DPI stands for dots per inch. When you print or scan, you do it at a certain resolution, which is measured in DPI. The higher the DPI, the better your finished product will look. If you printed something at 4 dots per inch, it would look pretty terrible compared to something printed at 100 dots per inch.
The industry standard (for professional printers and publishers as well as scrappers) is 300 DPI. This is a minimum you want to shoot for. Most scrap designers create their products at 300 DPI.
Why worry if your DPI is already taken care of, then? Well, there are just two things to remember:
- Don't resize your elements to be bigger. Smaller is fine, but if you make a 3-inch flower cover 6 inches instead, your DPI will be cut in half and your printed product won't look good, even if it looks fine on your screen.
- Send high-resolution, 300 DPI minimum files to the shop when you print your pages.
This is the fun part! You can have all those cute papers and frames and flowers from your paper scrapping right on your computer, and you don't have to scan them in. There are hundreds of digital designers lurking on the internet just waiting for you to buy their stuff. So now you have to ask yourself: do I want to hunt freebies or do I want to buy?
There are advantages to buying. You can go straight to exactly what you want. You won't waste your time poking around for freebies. If you want to buy, here are some of my favorite designers to get you started:
I have to admit, though, that I've only spent $1.50 on scrapping supplies. That's it. I'm a freebie hunter. So many designers give their materials away, either because they're nice and want to, or because they want to get your attention and buy stuff at their shop. Either way, I'm happy!
Lucky for us, we don't have to wander around the internet googling for freebies. Here are the top two sites for finding freebies:
- IkeaGoddess. This site is run by an actual person. She looks through the vast quantities of freebies out there and posts her favorites. This is my favorite place to find freebies because all of those posted are high-quality.
- DigiFree. DigiFree is an automated search engine that roams the internet, finds freebies, and publishes them. Pros: vast quantities of freebies to choose from. Cons: takes a long time to look through them all, and there's a lot of junk.
Building a stash
You can organize your stash by kit or by item. I personally do both. Kits that I love and that I want to use alone I keep separated by kit. Other kits that I might just like a few things from, I trash the stuff I don't think I'll use and then separate them into folders for paper, frames, flowers, etc. I keep the TOU files in their own folder, and I make sure that the files are labeled with the designer's name so I can easily match them up later.
I use Picasa to organize and browse my photos and supplies. I love the organizational features; I don't love that it doesn't handle transparency well and therefore can't handle PNGs properly.
Here's another part of the Old Books kit for you today. Click here or on the image to download. Enjoy!