Category Archives: Tips

Not All Scrapbooks are Amazing!

Yup!  like the title says “not all scrapbooks are amazing”.  When people think about scrapbooking (if they haven’t done it) they think each and every layout has to be incredible, all the pictures need to look like a professional took them and there can’t be an inch of white or misused space left.  This is sooo not true!

I have been scraping for over 6 years and I have pages that I’ve completed this past week that are “just okay”  and I have some that I did within my first few months that to this day are still my favorites.   Over time you have certain pictures you will love and those pages could be plain and even have a spelling mistake but it doesn’t matter, you love them.  Other pages will be perfect, everything just fell into place, colours matching, embellishes sparkling and there’s just something about it that you feel it’s missing, even though you couldn’t fit another speck or sparkle anywhere.  It just happens!  Your mood or personal taste change day-to-day and that sometimes affects your overall judgement of layouts.

So when a newbie says they can’t scrapbook because they aren’t artistic I like to call their bluff.  It’s not the years of experience or fancy expensive stuff that make the scrapbook.  It’s the pictures they love and the pride of completing a project that makes the scrapbook a treasure.  So what if the pictures are slightly crooked, the mats are uneven and there’s a spelling error.  Those are little bumps on the journey.

So to make a scrapbook you can be proud of and want to show off all you need is pictures you love that tell a story, some paper and a pen and an acid free adhesive.  Sit down and put it together anyway that makes you happy, there is no right or wrong, no amazing or frumpy.  This is your book and your story to tell!

Dull Scissors and Punches? Fix it!

This has probably been said a million times but here it goes again,  “DULL SCISSORS SUCK!”  There I said it and I feel better? No, my scissors are still dull!  If you are like me, you have those 1 pair of scissors that just fit in your hand, they feel right, they move with you, they cut everything so perfectly they’re almost just an extension of your arm.  When they are dull it’s like trying to tie shoes with mittens on, pointless!   But I have a solution.   This is really simple and it works for punches as well.  All you need to do is cut some tin foil, seriously!  I always heard this “myth” but never tried it.  Then last March when I was designing birthday invites for my 2 older sons, I decided to use tin foil through my sizzix with a polka dot embosser (looked so cool!) and after cutting the 4″x6″ pieces of foil I discovered how sharp my favorite scissors had become.  It was like true love all over again, well maybe that’s a bit too dramatic. But I had forgotten how well those scissors cut through anything….no more snipping through paper just hold them open at that right angle and zoom!

For Punches I would also recommend cutting wax paper, it helps lubricate the moving parts so it takes less muscle to punch through even the toughest of papers.

So if your favorite scissors aren’t cutting it anymore then dig out the tin foil and snip away.

Your punches and scissors will be like new again!

The one tool I can’t live without

Out of all my supplies and tools, there are several I use a lot.  My bone folder (don’t know why it’s still called that it’s made of plastic) it makes a perfect crease in type of paper, great for card making.  My paper trimmer, I use it upside down compared to other people but my paper is always cut exact.  Then there’s my paper piercer, it’s small and sharp looks like a thumb tack on a pen but it makes a lot of jobs easier, like placing brads through paper or making decorative holes for an eyelet effect and even picking up small stickers like half pearls or rhinestones and placing them perfectly.  But my number one tool I can’t live without is my tape gun.  It’s huge, it was expensive and replacements are sometimes tricky to find due to “out of stock” issues but I can whip together a layout or card in minutes with it.  It’s faster than a glue stick and less messy, paper sticks immediately and there’s no dry time.

Although, if you are new to scrapbooking a glue stick can be you’re best friend, because once you place that piece of paper down you have several seconds to adjust it before it’s set, that’s how I started but now I can eyeball a straight line no problem and you will too, with practice.

Best tip for starting a layout

Out of all the things you need to do to scrapbook (color scheme, pick your paper, come up with a layout) the most important thing you can do in my opinion, is crop your pictures.  Cut them down to size.  That way you know what you want to focus on and how much room you’ll have to work with.  If you set out to do a birthday layout and you have 20 pictures to decide from then you need to look at what you want to keep and discard.  Crop out whatever is not important in the picture.  You might have a picture with the birthday person opening a gift but someone decided to reach in front just as you snapped the pic, no worries, crop them right out and you might only have a tiny wallet size photo left but that’s perfect for filling in little spaces.   If you have a full size picture that you just can’t crop that’s great, it can be a focal point.  You can choose something bold to make it really stand out like a fancy border or a bright matte (the paper the photo sits on to make a small border).  The center of one page is complete and now you can display the rest of the smaller cropped photos around to help tell the story of that event.

I think if you have too many photos and you feel too overwhelmed to even start a layout then that’s exactly what you need to do.  Crop the photos to see what has the right feel for the story you want to tell.  Sometimes you may not need to crop any pictures but ideally then you should have no more than 3 on a 12″x12″ page.  Other times you may need to crop them all down to 2″x2″ and that’s okay too because with the right layout you can get 10 or more and not have it look disorderly or crowded.

Hope this helps