Digital paper is a useful addition to a crafter's virtual toolbox. However, its name, "digital paper," is a bit of a misnomer, as no actual paper is involved—at least at first. When you buy or download a sheet or pack of digital paper, you are downloading the design. You can use this in digital graphic design projects, such as scrapbooking, or print it out onto regular paper.
The designs are available in a variety of sizes, but the most popular sizes are those that can be printed easily at home on a standard home printer. The designs are available in different formats and resolutions. High resolutions—typically around 300 DPI—will give you good quality prints.
How to Buy and Download Digital Paper
Online scrapbooking stores offer a range of digital paper, either as part of a digital scrapbooking kit or as a digital paper kit. Online stores that offer papercraft and card making suppliers also often have a range of digital products. Other places to look for digital paper are sites that specialize in digital products and magazines who regularly offer digital paper kits as a freebie.
Digital paper is easy to buy and download. Unlike real paper that needs to be shipped to the customer, digital paper, like other digital products, is available for instant delivery via email or download.
Digital papers are often found as part of a kit which includes other digital items. If you don't want these other items, simply discard what you don't want after download.
Printing Digital Paper
While digital paper itself is low cost or free, the cost of printing the paper shouldn't be overlooked. Large highly colored sheets of paper can certainly suck up the ink, and the printing costs can add up over time. Different quality inks will give varying results, and a low-cost economy ink may not give the same results as a high-quality set of printer inks.
How to Use
Once printed, digital paper can be used like any other decorative papers. Use the paper as a background for handmade cards or scrapbook pages, add panels of decorative paper to projects and cut shapes out of odds and ends of paper to use as embellishments or accents. Digital paper can also be used in digital craft projects such as digital scrapbooking.
Tips for Using Digital Paper
- Match the quality of paper you use to print the paper to the project. If you are making a very special card, for instance, ensure you print onto high-quality paper. A low-quality paper may reduce the overall appeal of the finished project.
- Use a computer program to crop the paper design and only print what you require. This will help reduce printing costs.
- Store packs of digital paper in clearly labeled folders on your computer. This will help you find the papers at a later date.
- When you download an item from the Internet, make sure you download from a reputable website and use a virus checker to make sure that there are no unwelcome surprises.