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Making Faster Layouts

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Paige @ scrapbooknerd.com

I am a slow scrapbooker. When I first started scrapbooking and was simply adding photos to a page with a few pieces of paper and a smattering of themed stickers, I could make several pages in less than an hour.

Then I went to a crop with a much more experienced scrapbooking friend and I took a few workshops. I learned that there are design principles (rule of thirds, leading lines, etc); that one typically uses a title and journalling on each layout; and that layering papers and clustering embellishments and balancing colours all make a layout look beautiful. Suddenly, it was taking me hours to make one layout.

That was years ago, but the truth is that although I’ve gotten faster at scrapbooking, I still average 1-2 hours per 12×12 layout. I am okay with being a slower scrapbooker – I am not usually in a rush and I prefer to savour the time I have scrapbooking, enjoying the process of creating as much or more than the final product. That said, there are times that I just don’t have that long, or I wish to complete a layout faster. Here is what I have learned about how to do that.

  1. Don’t start with a blank space. Nothing is more intimidating than a plain coloured or white piece of cardstock and no idea where to get started. If you choose a background paper that already has a pattern and space for the photos, it cuts down a ton of time. I used Pinkfresh Studio’s ‘Life Noted’ collection for the following two layouts. (their Felicity collection had similar patterned papers). All I had to do was layer a few pieces of paper and embellishments from the same collection behind and around the photo, create a title and add a bit of journalling and I was done. Each layout took me less than 45 minutes.puppy-love
  2. Use a bigger, bolder title. In both the above layouts, the title features prominently. In Awesome View, “Awesome” is a central part of the paper, and I simply added view.
  3. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Keep your embellishments simple and repeat the same shape (heart, circle label, star, etc.) in different colours or sizes.
  4. Make your journalling easy – sometimes I type my journalling or print from my computer, but when I want to do a faster layout, I handwrite on a journalling card or directly on my layout.
  5. Limit your products for the layout to either one collection or to a kit that you purchased or made yourself. I waste a lot of time searching for that perfect piece of paper or that one embellishment I know I have somewhere in my stash. If I work with just a few products on my desk, I create much faster.
  6. Use a simple sketch. Or look for a fairly simple layout that you did in the past that you like the look of. Copy that. For this layout, I used a sketch from Pinterest by Brenda Ragsdale of http://www.granddivasscrappy.blogspot.com.
  7. Create with a lot of whitespace. It is not necessary to fill every part of a page, and in fact simple layouts with a lot of white space draw attention to your photo(s) and title.

What are your strategies for making faster layouts? Have a wonderful scrappy week!


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