Category Archives: Nerd Academy

Not All Layers Need To Be Paper

Hello all! Milena here with another sketch and tutorial for you.

February Tutorial Sketch

February Tutorial Sketch Page

Sometimes you might look at a sketch and think it won’t work because you’re in the mood to get your hands dirty and incorporate a little bit of mixed media on your page. Not all the layers in a sketch need to represent paper. For the large bottom layer of this sketch, I cut a stencil out of vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo and misted through it to create a soft background layer. I used vinyl instead of paper for my stencil because I find it gives cleaner edges when using textured card stock.

I began by preparing the file within Silhouette Studio.

Silhouette Screen

I then changed my cutting material to vinyl.

Choose your Media

Then I changed my Silhouette setting to Load Media and put the vinyl straight into the Cameo.Silhouette Settings

I weeded the image and placed the Transfer Paper on top.

Preparing the vinyl

Then attached the vinyl to my page.

Place on the page

I misted through the stencil and – voila! – I had a lovely background image.


February Tutorial Sketch Page

February Tutorial Sketch Detail

Go ahead and give this a try sometime if you’re feeling the need to get your hands dirty. Mixed Media can always replace a layer in a sketch.

Silhouette Stencil Vinyl

Vicky Boutin All the Good Things 12×12 Pad

Vicky Boutin All the Good Things On the Edge Embellishments

Heidi Swapp Color Shine Spritz

Milena W - designer at


Hey scrappy Nerds, Gisele here to bring you a Valentine card tutorial and a little bonus… a small treat bag.

Some of the materials used: American Crafts Thickers: Together, Rose and Sweetest. Also from Crate Paper: Main Squeeze 6×6 paper pad, stickers. I used a bow punch too, Tim Holtz ruler for measuring, Tim Holtz tiny attacher and some red and white twine.

Started off with some pink cardstock which I cut to size for the card. Then using my Tim Holtz ruler to make some lines to form a tic tac toe grid.

In this picture you can see my lines in pencil and I temporarily positioned my letters and heart to see if they would actually fit before continuing the card. Being careful to leave space under the tic tac toe to add my bow for embellishment.

Now to poke some holes along the lines, which will become the back of the card. This way, no erasing of the lines and you have the perfect guide to hand stitch on your page. I used red and white twine and my needle is blunt at the end so I do not poke my fingers. It is likely a darning needle. I did remove the letters and heart before proceeding to stitch.

When the stitching was complete, I added some foam to the back before attaching it to my card base to give it some dimension, I used some score tape for that.  Have I told you, I love dimension ??

Next up is making a bow. I am using a bow punch, Tim Holtz tiny attacher and my Zig 2 way glue. I love my tiny attacher!! In the second picture you can see I have made the left and right side of the bow. Now I also use my Martha Stewart bone flower to soften the Crate Paper Main Squeeze paper to make the bow more 3D and look more natural. This is done by holding the paper between your fingers and running the bone folder in a swirling motion. This breaks the fibres in the paper so it is not as rigid. Each side of the bow is glued together with the Zig pen.

I used the tiny attacher to join together both left and right sides of the bow with the tiny attacher. It keeps the bow parts better together. The tiny attacher staple is just the right size to do this! This will not show in the end as it is covered by a small rectangle piece, you can see that in the finished card.

So the bow is attached to card using glue dots. I add a phrase sticker and some gold stickers from the sticker sheets. By using gold it becomes the sparkle of the card, it  gives it uniformity. The flow is much better, and that’s a great hint, to keep your embellishments or other using repeated colours.

Now comes the time to add more Thickers.
I also used some enamel dots from Shimelle and  a sentiment from jillibean.

And voila, the finished card. It is mounted on a white card base and also is matted with some paper from the 6×6 Crate Paper pad. Almost forgot, I added a small bird and arrow from my stash of wood veneers and here’s a hint: they are coloured using a gold Sharpie pen to tie in with the other gold in the card. The arrow was cut in half and inserted behind the heart Thicker sticker and the word love on top of the heart.

A little bonus for you today too, a small valentine treat bag I found as a cut file on my Silhouette. It was made from Crate Paper Main Squeeze and Falala collections. The hearts are are doubled so you can put twine between them to hang from a small pin as an embellishment to your bag. The wooden heart and pin are Recollections.

And there you have it! Wishing you a Happy Valentines and check out our shop as they will be soon receiving some of the new and the latest from Creativation in Phoenix.
All for now,

Gisele J - designer at

Creative Team Weekly Digest

Scrapbook Nerd Creative Team


Hi there!

Nathalie with you today bringing you a bit of inspiration courtesy of the amazing Scrapbook Nerd Design team.

First up is Gisele with a sweet and colorful layout about her grand-nieces.   She is a master at combining colors and designs in one page.  For this page, she is using Photoplay Paper’s “I Love Gymnastics” collection along with a few embellishments from Amy Tangerine, Bella Blvd, and JIllibean Soup.

The colors of this page are the perfect background for the picture of her adorable girls.


Next up is Mari with this gorgeous card. She created this Valentine’s card using Yupo paper and Ranger Alcohol Inks; these products are so much fun and so easy to work with. Using the Alcohol Blending Solution, Alcohol Inks and a straw, Mari created the rainbow of colors on the card front. She used a die to cut the card front out. She added the silver glitter die cut using the MFT Mandala Die. Some hearts were cut from glitter paper using a heart punch from her stash. The card front was added to an A2 white card base. A sentiment was added to the inside using the Hero Arts “You Are Loved Messages” stamp set.

This card is truly a work of art.

Be sure to watch Mari’s process video to see how she created her beautiful card.


Joy created a few projects using one of this month’s free cut files (LOVE SONG) .   First she used one of the cut file’s images to create this simple layered tag.


She then used some of the other cut file images to create this rather masculine card ( just in time for Valentine’s Day!).  Thanks Joy for sharing your projects with us.



Finally, Nathalie’s Tuesday Tutorial was a new entry to the Silhouette Savvy Series.   Her focus was on showing how easy it could be to create a one-of-a-kind background by simply welding some of the cut file images together.

She then proceeded to show us  how she put the layout together by combining some homemade marbke paper with the beautiful Simple Stories “Romance” collection.

That is all for this week!  AWESOME work ladies!!!

See you all very soon!

Nathalie D - designer at


Silhouette Savvy Series: Welding Cut Files

Tutorials and creative tips


Hi there!

Hope you are doing well!

We are heading into February (time is flying!), and that means “Valentine’s day”.    The store will be releasing a few free cut files, this month.  The Love Story cut file is available now and the rest will follow on Feb, 1st.

I wanted to show you an easy way to manipulate the cut file to create a one-of-a-kind cut out by welding some of the cut file images.  So sit back, and take notes on how to weld cut file images together:



Here is a small cheat sheet on the steps to follow:

  • Open and trace each of the images you will be using.  Make sure that the image is converted into a Compound Path (highlight the entire image -only what will be used in the cut out-, right click on the mouse, and chose “Make Compound Path”
  • Move the image so that it is intersecting?touching the other image/images that it will be welded to
  • Highlight the all the images to be weld, right click the mouse, and chose “Weld”  or chose the Modify window, and click on the “Weld”comand.

It is that simple!  Two things to  remember are:

  1. Make sure you are only selecting the image that you will be welding together  ( you can always get rid of any extra images by releasing the path, and then deleting any unwanted pieces.  Don’t forget to convert the  cleaned image back to a Compound path).
  2. The images being welded have to intersect/touch for this comand to function correctly



Now let me show you how this page came together using the cut out created in the previous video, a bit of mixed media, and the beautiful “ROMANCE” collection from Simple Stories. SO  sit and enjoy the nex few minutes:




As you see, I used a bit of watercolor and Yupo transluscent paper to create my own marble paper to back the cut file.




All the embellishments from the “Romance” collection complement the picture of my husband and I while watching tv.


I hope this inspires you to bring out your Silhouette machines, and create a one-of-a-kind cut out by simply welding some images together.

Let me know if you have questions about how this came together.

Take care!

Nathalie D - designer at

Yupo Transluscent watercolor paper pad

Prima Marketing watercolor palettes – The Classics, The Tropicals, Pastel Dreams, and Odyssey

Simple Stories  – Romance collection – kit

, stickers, chipboard stickers, die cut pieces

Simple Stories – High Style paper pad

Free Love Story cut file at

Using Mixed Media on a Layout

Welcome back to the blog today!  I love using mixed media on my projects.  It is an opportunity to create something completely original.  There are so many amazing products to include in a mixed media project.  Today I am sharing a layout using several products from the Scrapbook Nerd store.

The first product I used is the Carta Bella Prairie Floral stencil with some of the Vicki Boutin Art Crayons.  To create the look I have used, I started with some white card stock.  I treated the card stock with Vicki Boutin Gesso and let that dry before I applied the color.

Once the gesso had dried, I scribbled some of the crayon onto a palette and then picked it up with a damp sponge.  I placed the stencil onto the card stock and then rubbed the sponge onto the patterns of the stencil.  I alternated areas on the paper with different colors.  I used pink, yellow and teal.  This creates a subtle bit of color on the background.  I also splattered the background with some blue paint from my stash that matched the color scheme.

This is a fun and easy technique that you can use with any stencil and a variety of mediums.

The rest of the layout was created using the Good Vibes collection from Crate Paper and Vicki Boutin’s All the Good Things, as well as some stitching with my sewing machine and some gold Color Shine splatters.

Don’t be afraid to try some mixed media on your layouts!  It’s a fun way to create some cool effects on your projects.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!


Get More Photos On Your Layout

Step by Step paper crafting tutorials @

Step by Step paper crafting tutorials

Hello all. Milena here. I’m always trying to find ways to get more photos on my layout. A lot of sketches these days are for a single photo – mine included – but, while these pages are beautiful,  I often find I just can’t limit myself to one photo. Last month, I shared how I turn a single page sketch into a double page and this month I’m going to turn a single photo sketch into a multiple photo layout.

Last year, just before Christmas, we lost our family cat to cancer. It was a hard time for everyone and we didn’t want to be missing him over the holidays so we went out and got ourselves a couple of new kittens. All of my Christmas photos were of these kittens and they are so cute I just couldn’t limit myself to just one.

I started with this sketch:

January Tutorial Sketch

And created this page about our boy Shadow. You can see this sketch calls for a 5×7 photo, which is perfect to showcase this photo of the two of us but rather limiting for scrapbooking the kittens.

January Tutorial Page Shadow

January Tutorial Detail Shadow

I used Pic Collage on my iPhone and created a 5×7 collage of my favourite photos of the kittens. The free version prints a watermark on your photo but if that bothers you, you can purchase the full version and you no longer have the watermark.

January Tutorial Kittens

January Tutorial Detail Kittens

I hope you found this useful and are able to make sketches work for you and the photos you have instead of dismissing them if they don’t match the photos you have perfectly.

Milena W - designer at

Echo Park Cat – Mini Theme Kit

Photo Play Mad 4 Plaid Collection Kit

Photo Play Mad 4 Plaid Ephemera Die Cuts




THEME WEEK at SCRAPBOOK NERD: another use for your Christmas papers… and using a mood board.

Hey all you scrappy nerds, Gisele here with some scrappy goodness. This week is theme week to get you to try a mood board as inspiration. How beautiful is this board? If you have never played with a mood board, then maybe this is your cue. You use colours, or textures, or patterns… from this picture board to inspire your LO or card.

As our tutorial this week, a have a card for you, a Happy 2018 Year card.
Choosing Christmas papers for another theme. Here I have used Pinkfresh December Days collection.

I cut a frame off this paper:

Next, used a circle punch to punch out a sentiment from the ephemera tag in this same collection.

Choosing other circles of ephemera and some I punched gold circles slightly larger than the ephemera.

Playing with placement of ephemera:

Adding some stars as another embellishment, not glued down yet.

Adding 2018 AC Thickers (Together) and some stitched holes:

Next up, stitching:

Now placement and gluing done ephemera and circles and stars. Added some dimension to the sparkle circle to make it stand out.

And voila, our finished card, forgot to mention I added a gold frame as well to compliment the alphas and the ephemera:

Another view:

Hope you were inspired by my card to try a mood board and using themed papers for other uses. Stay tuned later this week for the designers take on theme week. If you have not visited the store yet, please take a spin over there as new things are coming in. Check it out here: Scrapbook Nerd . Catch you later this week for the designer reveal and Happy 2018!


Llama drama home decor idea

Easy LLAMA Home Decor Idea

Step by Step paper crafting tutorials @

Step by Step paper crafting tutorials

Hello there crafty friends,
It’s Joy here today with a quick and easy home decor project using a new favourite of mine…a cute little Alpaca!

For this project I’m thinking of this guy as a Llama so I can use a trendy quote reference. supply listOne sheet of pattern paper, one sheet of cardstock, a picture frame, a ruler, a black pen, some Heidi Swapp Colour Shine, and a feature creature or other image.

I will warn you, my Llama is stolen!
Yep, I stole it with permission before shipping out an order of Crate Paper Good Vibes products to team member Nathalie DeSousa. Thanks for giving me your Llama Nathalie.

First I found my sentiment/quote online. There are a few llama sayings floating around the web, SAVE THE DRAMA FOR YOUR LLAMA and NO DRAMA LLAMA which I thought were fun. But I came across a t-shirt photo with a llama in glasses and the saying ‘this llama doesn’t want your drama’.

Step 2-  was to measure my photo frame and my Llama to figure out placement.
Step 3 & 4 – I printed out my sentiment and cut down the papers to fit my frame.
I left a 1″ border around the white cardstock to show off the Cactus paper.

Step 6 – I wanted some dimension so I added a piece of craft foam to the back of the white cardstock before glueing it to the pattern paper.

Step 7 – I added some Heidi Swapp colour shine by using the nozzle and tapping it to get some splatter. 

Step 8 – I added some extra liquid adhesive to the back of the chipboard Llama to make sure it stayed in place.

Step 9 – I adhered the white cardstock to the pattern paper and put it into the fame.
That’s it, pretty easy right?

Llama Drama home decor idea by Joy for

Thank you for stopping by the SN blog today, I hope you got inspired.
If you have any questions I’m just a comment away.
Joy supply listOne sheet of pattern paperone sheet of cardstock, a picture frame, a ruler, a black pen, some Heidi Swapp Colour Shine, and a feature creature or other image.

Using Mixed Media to Mute your Backgrounds


Hi there!


Hope you all had a blessed and peaceful Christmas!  Now, we start the countdown to the end of the year.  Wow, time has flown by!

Today, I wanted to share with you a small idea on how to mute busy backgrounds using a bit of mixed media.  I found it that many times I love the patterned paper i  want to use as a background, but it becomes too busy when I start adding on to it.  One of my solutions for this is to mute the background using gesso or white acrylic paste.  The following video will show you how I go about it.




As you saw in the video,  backgrounds can easily be muted/toned down by adding a bit of mixed media to it.  In this particular page, white acrylic paint was used for this, however white gesso will also work to create a very similar result.



The key for this technique is to use an acrylic paint brush.   These types of brushes have a harder/sturdier bristle (either plastic or nylon) which helps when stippling/stretching the paint on the page.



A dry brush was used to spread a very little amount of paint on the background sparingly.   Though it seems the paint covers the background, once it dries it becomes translucent, hence toning down the intensity of the background.



The background paper from the Winter Meadow collection from Photoplay is quite busy, but the technique makes it possible to add a cut out  -created with a Just Nick Studio cutfile- seamlessly.



Once the cut out is put in place, the page comes together easily by adding some embellishments from the collection, as well as Crate Paper’s Snow and Cocoa collection.   Here is the completed layout:


This technique will easily let you use those busy background papers  seamlessly in your next layout.   Remember to check the Scrapbook Nerd store for all the materials used in this page.   There are so many new things arriving at the store.

Let me know if you have questions on how this came together,  I would love to   help you!


Have a Happy New Year!


Nathalie D - designer at


Photoplay – Winter Meadow collection – 12×12 kit

Photoplay – WInter Meadow collection – ephemera pack




Choose Your Angle | Mari Clarke

Hey everyone, thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!  I have a fun, winter themed layout to share with you today using a sketch created by team member Milena.  I love working from a sketch and I especially love a diagonal design.  

This particular sketch suggested the creation of the angle by cutting a triangle strip for the top and bottom of the layout.  This is an easy way to establish the angle for the layout.  The middle strip of patterned paper follows that same angle and provides a “home base” for building the rest of the layout.

The sketch also suggested various strips of paper be used to frame in the photo.  I love this idea; the strips add interest and provide a way to create emphasis on the photograph.  I added some extra texture to my paper strips by running them through my Big Shot in an embossing folder.  The circle embossing matches the other circles in the clusters, which were another suggestion in the sketch.

I placed my title and journaling in the exact spot as the sketch. I really like how this turned out!

If you need inspiration for a layout, a sketch is a great place to start.  And a diagonal layout is always fun to create!!

This layout was created using the PinkFresh Studio December Days collection.  You can find these supplies in the Scrapbook Nerd shop!

Here is Milena’s awesome sketch:

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!!  Hope you have an amazing holiday season!!