Advances in technology mean that your scrapbook pages, cards and other crafts no longer have to end on the paper they were created with. A page about a vacation with photos, journaling, and more can now be augmented with additional photos, videos, voice messages and more that are not on the page itself. I am sure you have seen a QR code, similar to the photo on the left, on some item at some point in the past. If you had a QR code reader on your smartphone, you could scan the code and an action would take place. In most cases, you will find that the code will load a website in the browser of your smartphone so you can learn more about what you just scanned the code on.
Imagine a page (either paper or digital) about a trip to the zoo with kids. You spend time creating the page and then show it off. If you were to add a QR code to the page which looks like a new form of an UPC code, the people viewing the page can scan the code with a QR code reader on a smartphone and be taken to a video from the trip to the zoo, a blog post, a photo hosted on the internet and more.
I am going to explain how to add QR codes to your pages for free. If you plan to use QR codes in your products heavily, this is something you will want to know. It will save you a lot of money in the end versus buying the special products that are designed specifically to allow you to add QR codes to your pages. Two examples of products that we have covered and look like a very good options for some crafters are Stkr.it and Sizzix TalkingTag Labels. Both products offer labels that you can add to stuff you create. Stkr.it offers cloth QR codes that can be sewn into fabrics.
How to create your QR codes for free
There are a lot of sites that will allow you to create QR codes. I have selected the QR code generator at kaywa.com because I found it easy to use and it allowed me to easily save my code as an image without requiring me to create an account and login.
The QR Code Generator is pretty straighforward. When adding a QR code to crafts, it will most likely be added so the people viewing your crafts can scan the code and be shown a video, photos or whatever else you want to link to. Just select the “URL” option which will let you add a link and then add the link to the content. For my example, I am going to link to www.scrapmag.com.
Once you have entered the URL, click the “Generate” button. Your QR code will appear. If you had a QR code reader installed on your smartphone, you could scan the code below and it would take you to the Scrap Mag homepage. If you were going to add a link to a youtube video for your QR code, scanning the QR code would take the people to the video on youtube.com.
You can right click and save the QR code that has been generated to your computer. The QR code image that you save will look similar to the image on the right. This is the original size that it was saved as. The size showed as 248 pixels by 248 pixels. You can reduce the size of the QR code to add to your pages, but be sure to test the QR code after resizing to ensure that it still works correctly. The QR codes can be printed on sticker sheets, cardstock, or basically anything that will let you add the QR code to the page, card or craft you are making.
Reading the QR Codes
People will need a QR code reader on their smartphone or similar device in order to scan the QR Codes. The image to the left is of a free QR code scanner on an ipod scanning the QR code that we generated. As soon as the reader “read” the code, the Scrap Mag homepage loaded in the browser.
If you are worried that people may not be able to figure out how to scan the QR codes, as long as the have one of the many free apps out there, scanning is simple. just start the app and a box will show which will be for you to frame the QR code so it can be read. The app will read the code and send the user wherever they need to go.
Adding QR codes will allow you to expand the content of the page broader than ever before. If you don’t want to mess around with making your own QR codes for free, you can check out the other paid options such as the Sizzix TalkingTag Labels or the Stkr.it products.