My Easy Method for Shopping for Online Scrapbooking Supplies

I have been shopping for scrapbooking supplies for almost 20 years now. Could we label me as a Scrapbook Shopper Extraordinaire? Oh, I'd like that title! Does it come with a sash? When my husband gave my in-laws a tour of my new home including my craft space, my mom's first question was, "How does she know where everything goes?" Frankly, I don't and I'm working on that; but I do have a regular formula I use for purchasing supplies that seems to work well for me. I thought I'd share that with you today.

I do most of my shopping online as box stores are no longer a short driving distance from my home. That presents a challenge in that I can't always touch, feel, and see for myself what I'm buying. Long gone are the days of being able to carefully match and put together a shopping basket full of coordinated items. Now I use this formula to ensure I get exactly what I want every time. You can use this to shop at your local store or for online as it works well for both.

1. Start with a show stopper. This might be a multi-colored piece of paper. It might be an embellishment pack with items that speak to my heart or fit a story I'm trying to tell.


2. Add papers that match. Using the show-stopper, shop the store one of the following ways. Choose papers from the collection the paper or embellishment originally comes from. For instance if the sticker is from Crate Paper's "Journey" collection, shop papers from that specific collection. They're designed to match making the process quick and easy. The second method is to use the search engine in the store to shop for "pink paper" or "sea foam green paper." This will bring up several selections for you to choose from. If you're shopping in a box store, carry the show stopper around the store and match the item to the additional papers you're buying.

3. Add 1 new item to your cart. Because most of us already have a large stash to choose from, it seems a shame to add more than we need to our shopping cart. So I look for unique items. A metal embellishment I know I don't already have. Or a new border strip set that gives me more than one option for upcoming projects. You get double points if the items will stretch and can be used in multiple ways on multiple projects.

4. Find a tool that makes life easier or makes you happy. I'm a sucker for cool tools. So I often search for a stamp set, or a die set, or a punch that is generic enough to be used more than once but is also unique or beautiful. These are typically big ticket items so I try to leave enough in my shopping budget to get one of these a month. Sometimes I splurge if there are more than one tool that catches my eye.

5. Finish your project. When creating a layout you'll typically need: paper, a title, somewhere to journal, and embellishments. Keep in mind that you have items you already own that might work. Maybe a sheet of Thickers that will perfectly coordinate with the papers and show stopper you've chosen. Or maybe you have a bunch of cardstock begging to be used on your next layout. If you know what you already own, it keeps you from buying items that you don't need. Buy only what you're missing and think ahead to other ways you might use it.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I've found this method helps me get exactly what I need and yet still inspires me. You can actually use this same formula to shop your own stash. It works every time. And it keeps things fresh.

The next time you're shopping, give it a try. Or develop your own method for keeping costs down, and keeping focused on the things you need leaving with you enough money left over for a few wants.

Want to see what I'm buying? Be sure to check out my "Out of the Box" scrapbooking haul videos HERE on YouTube. I share exactly what I've ordered from some of my favorite stores including, Simon Says Stamp, and other online places I love. I use those products to create the layouts in many of my other Youtube videos so be sure to subscribe to my channel HERE to learn more about my scrapbooking process.

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