Four Ways to Create Stellar Scrapbooking Pages – Fast!

by Lain Ehmann on January 21, 2012

scrapbooking ideas simpleAs I mentioned in an email I sent out the other day to The Dot, I’ve been cranking out the layouts for LOAD212. In some cases, I’ve been creating two or more layouts per day! That’s not to say that all I’ve been doing is creating, though. The layouts are just part of the process of preparation for LOAD. I also have to create videos, provide a delivery mechanism, handle customer questions, and keep the rest of my business going. Watching myself go through the process has been a lesson for me; not only have I watched my response to the time pressure, I’ve also had to come up with some strategies for keeping the inspiration flowing.

When you’re scrapbooking a layout (or more) a day, you have to approach things a little differently. You can’t just figure you’ll take all the time you’ll need to choose the absolute right brad, or that you’ll set the whole project aside for a few hours to let it settle. You have to produce, and you have to produce NOW. I shared some ways for doing this in the email I sent out, but I thought I’d share a few more here:

Keep it simple. Yeah, I’ve got lots of scrapbooking ideas. Simple is best, though, when you’re under pressure. That means setting aside the fancy-schmancy techniques and the multistep process that require hours of drying time. Instead, think “grab and go.” Rather than creating your own layered embellishments from scratch, this is the time to reach for pre-made accents, or go for a minimalist approach.

Choose one area to focus on. Think about your scrapbook layout like an outfit. Pick an accent area and keep the rest the equivalent of “basic black.” Maybe you want to use one single photo, coupled with multiple patterned papers. Or you want the “wow” item to be the title cut by your Silhouette Cameo and over-stamped, like Nichol Magouirk does with such great impact. Or maybe you have a lot of text, so the rest of the page will be minimal. Even though it might feel unbalanced to play up one element so much, it works, just like a “statement necklace” or bright-red lipstick can carry a whole look.

Use a tried-and-true design. I have several simple scrapbooking layout designs I turn to over and over again. By using different products, photos, and page orientations, I can create a very different result. If you review just about any designer’s body of work, you’ll see the same basic scrapbooking layouts used time and again.

Repeat products. Once you’ve got a set of coordinated products on your scrap desk, why not use them in the next layout, and the next, and the next? That doesn’t mean you have to use them in the exact same manner, but you can use a patterned paper as the base on one layout, then use a strip of it on the second layout, and then punch a circle out of it for a third layout. Use the same products in different amounts and different ways. The end result will be substantially different.

You may never need to create multiple layouts in a single day. You may never need to create layouts under time pressure. But if you do, (like if you choose to take part in LOAD212 – and I hope you will!), these tips will give you a running start. Just remember that simple is good. Simple is good. Simple is… you get the picture. :)

P.S. We’ve got 300 people signed up for LOAD212. Will you take the challenge? 
  • Kristie Sloan

    Thanks, Lain!  Great tips for getting pages completed!  Part way through LOAD11 I decided to work on pages for one of my children who I’d never done a baby book for (#3 who was 27).  Once I scanned in some photos, it was so easy to select paper, embellishments and everything great for baby pages!  Once I started working with a theme, and a select group of items, it was so much easier and faster.  It didn’t feel like I was starting every page from scratch!

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes we think that limiting the products we’re working with will limit our creativity, but I’ve found the opposite to be true! :) Just to make you feel better – my #3 has a first week baby book. I made it before I went into the hospital and filled it with photos after. No real “baby” book with all the details of life – it’s all mixed in with our other albums.

  • Kristie Sloan

    When it doesn’t get made until they are 27, photos are pretty much all there are!  I did come up with a good story about Christmas that year because it was VERY memorable – a blizzard, and I was able to get details from online news archives. Love the internet!

  • Debalee21

    Thanks Lain, more ideas for me to use thanks.  Just a couple of questions.  I do a lot of double page layouts so during LOAD to not have so much pressure on myself is it ok to do one side each day or do I do both pages to complete the double layout.  I feel like I’m being so dumb about how this all works.

  • Anonymous

    No worries, my friend!
    We’ve had people do it both ways — two pages in one day, or one page each day. I’m easy. No real strict rules other than to scrapbook a page a day! Adapt to make it work for you!

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