Make Your Own Pre-made Scrapbook Kit

Supplies for Pre made Scrapbook Make Your Own Pre made Scrapbook Kit
Pre-made Scrapbook Supplies


How to Create an Inexpensive Pre-made Scrapbook Album


With a little effort and some supplies you can put together your own Pre-made Scrapbook Albums. Here are some of the supplies you’ll need to create your own pre-made book:

1. Scrapbook Binder: You will need a binder – a 12″ x 12″ three ring binder will work. You may purchase a plain binder that you can decorate with the theme or subject of your book, or you can buy one that has acceptable decorations already for your project. plain 12 x 12  scrapbook binder 150x150 Make Your Own Pre made Scrapbook Kit.
2. Sheet protectors: You will need some 12″ x 12″ sheet protectors to insert your completed scrapbook pages into. You’ll need enough for each page you wish to place in your book. Although you may want to put back to back sheets into each protector sheet–facing out on each side. 12 x 12 scrapbook sheet protectors 150x150 Make Your Own Pre made Scrapbook Kit
3. Scrapbook paper: You want to select your scrapbook paper with a design or theme that is in keeping with what you feel the book aught to be about. paper green pattern Make Your Own Pre made Scrapbook Kit
4. Cardstock: Here you’ll want to select cardstock with the colors that coordinate with those colors found in your scrapbook design or themed paper. cardstock display 150x150 Make Your Own Pre made Scrapbook Kit
5. Paper Cutter: You’ll need some type of paper cutter or trimmer. cutterpede paper trimmer pink 150x150 Make Your Own Pre made Scrapbook Kit
 6. Adhesive/Glue or Double-stick Tape: You will need some sort of adhesive to put your scrapbook pages together, and to add embellishments if they do not already have adhesive on them.   glue and adhesive display 4 views 150x150 Make Your Own Pre made Scrapbook Kit
 7. Embellishments: Select the embellishments you want to go with your theme. (Stickers, stamps, cut-outs, ect.)  embellishments Make Your Own Pre made Scrapbook Kit

Okay, now with your supplies in hand you can begin to assemble your Pre-made Scrapbook Album. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

1. You should have already selected a theme for your book as you were getting your design paper and cardstock in coordinating colors.. Themes can be focused on colors, an event or special occasion, or maybe you want it to eclectic with various themes. This is your album, so you decide. (Unless you are putting this album together for someone else, then you need to be directed by their theme or interest needs).

2. You should have the paper[s] selected and set aside that you want to use in this specific album.

3. Select one of your designer sheets of paper to use as your background.

4. You want to make frames to hold your photographs.scrapbook photo mats 150x150 Make Your Own Pre made Scrapbook Kit You can create mats by cutting your cardstock and designer paper ¼” to ½” larger than the previous one. Determine where they should be located on your background paper and glue them together with the smaller one atop the larger one to form a frame background for the photos, and adhere them to your background mat cutting templates 150x150 Make Your Own Pre made Scrapbook Kit You may just want to use a single sheet of cardstock and cutout a decorative opening to frame around your photos in a less formal way. These mats could also be used for areas to put title and journal entry items. With some of the scrapbook tools available, you can produce whimsical as well as fancy or elegant cutouts.

5. Now some of the fun starts. You’re at the point where you can begin to add the embellishments. You can add your stickers, buttons, stamps, brads or any other embellishment you have chosen for this album to help focus on your theme.

6. When each page is completed to your personal liking, you can then insert them into your sheet protectors and place them inside your binder.

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Ron on February 8th, 2013 | File Under Basics, Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Pre-made Scrapbooks

Why Should You Consider Pre-made Scrapbooks?

 pre made scrapbooks 150x125 Pre made Scrapbooks

There are several answers to this question. The three of prominence would be (1) time, (2) expense and (3) creativity. Let’s consider each of these issues one by one.

  1. Limited Time:Some people have a limited amount of time to engage in scrapbooking. For some people engaging in a craft that consumes a great deal of time, like scrapbook crafting,  may be put off by the time and effort required to finish a book. Having a complete kit that includes all one needs to put a scrapbook together is a great way to soften the issue of time commitment.
  2. Total Expense: Buying all of the elements one will need to put a decent scrapbook together could be overwhelming. While a pre-made scrapbook has some cost involved, they could be looking at a much smaller  drain on their wallet buy investing in a complete  pre-made kit. Buying individual items can easily be more costly–especially when the crafter has to include all the supplies and tools they may need to use. If beginning scrapbooker really think they’re going to jump into scrapbook crafting with both feet, then maybe doing a pre-made book is a waste of time and mone–go get the necessary tools and supplies and jumb in.
  3. Creativity: The newbie to scrapbook crafting may feel overwhelmed with getting started in this paper craft craze. There may be some hesitation because they feel they lack the creativity they see in others who are more experienced and practiced in the craft. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Everyone has some measure of creativity. Besides, these are for and about the creator of the scrapbook. All of that having been said, getting started for the first time can be a challenge. They may want to consider pre-made scrapbooks as “training wheels.”They’ll be able to become involved in the process without all the issues noted above. This way they will see how it’s done, and hopefully get a feel for whether or not this is something they want to get involved with in a bigger way.

Whether you get involved in the scrapbook family of crafters or not is a question only you can answer. The point being made here is that you have the option to be involved in the craft at a low level of cost, time and having to rack your brain for creative things to produce.

Another advantage of some of these pre-made scrapbooks is that in those kits that require some assembly they come with examples or instructions to follow. These kits can come with easy to use pre-printed photos mats on the page. All the person has to do is put their photographs in the right places.

Even the well healed scrapbook crafter may find a pre-made book the way to go for a particular theme, or because of time constraints–someone asks you to produce a book on short notice for them. Pre-made books can also be a nice gift, and are not necessarily difficult to construct.

There are some disadvantages to these books, however. The biggest one is being locked into a defined or limited set of themes available and what the kit provides. What ever the kit offers is what you have to work with. There is little room for you to modify the book–things like the number of pages, the number of photos you can use, etc. So they aren’t perfect, but they answer the needs for many would be crafters for the reasons noted above.


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Ron on February 8th, 2013 | File Under Basics, Helpful Products, Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook Pages

tips and tricks graphic Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook Pages

Helpful Scrapbook Tips and Tricks

Whether you are a novice or a well experienced scrapbook creator, we all look for new ideas and helps to get our precious masterpieces completed. We want to do them with ease . . . yet be as elegant or thoughtful as possible.  Making scrapbooking as fun as possible will help us want to craft more pages. Each new tip or trick we learn will bring variance and increased skill to our task. Our artistic ability will be enhanced as we learn new ways of doing things. We can learn from others tons of things to make our efforts easier and richer. Scrapbook artistry comes differently to each one of us. Our creations, however, are as individual as we are. If the page tells your story then you have been successful. Even our mistakes can be seen as an amazing touch. Still, there is always room for improvement. We can, and should, learn from others when we can. Here are 10 tricks and tips to help you in your scrapbook crafting.

The tricks and tips noted below are not presented in any order of priority. They are presented simply as helps to you in your scrapbook crafting.

1. Let each page tell its own story. 

 layout sketch2 150x108 Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook PagesAs you layout your page, consider the story you are hoping to tell. Each picture you use should add to the story. Layout the page in such a way as to make the story flow from the top to the bottom. Be sure to add the right comments, titles and embellishments to focus your page on your story. Even though you may be conveying a story over several pages, make each page a separate chapter in your book or story.

2. Organize your page before you glue things down.

glue arts logo Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook PagesOnce you glue things down, and then you have a change of mind, getting them off can be tricky. In the process of removal, you could damage your page. So, with this though in mind THINK BEFORE YOU GLUE!!! You may want to use a moveable adhesive until you are sure where things really are going to go. Stickers can be a real problem. Don’t remove the backing that exposes the adhesive until you are sure of its placement. Stamping can also be a challenge. If you use a stamp, try stamping on a scrap piece of paper first, cut the stamp out and place it where you want it to go. Once you’ve found the right spot, you can do the stamp for real. Another way to use the stamp, would be to use a solvent ink on some plastic–clear inserts and packaging can work too.

3. Use themed paper when making cards.

greeting card Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook PagesCreating your own personal cards adds a little something extra, a special touch for the receiver of your card. The nice thing about themed paper is having the paper say something about the occasion for the card. These cards are much more appreciated than commercial cards because the recipient knows your own personal effort and touch went into its making. You can layer the cards, or add pockets to put money or gift cards inside. This is where the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” really comes to life.

4. Don’t throw away those scraps!

scrap odd and ends 150x150 Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook PagesAfter every paper crafting project there are scraps. The “round file” is home to many of them. The prudent and frugal scrapbooker would do well to collect them and put them away for use on another project. There are several reasons you would want to save your leftover scraps. Saving money would certainly rank at the top of the heap. Who knows what creative opportunities may come as you begin work on some future project that paper scraps, odd embellishments, etc. may be just the thing you need to complete your page. Those kits we often buy may have several elements we don’t use for a specific project. Try the challenge to create a page using only scraps . . . will the creative juices begin to flow then?

5. Move things around your layout before you make them permanent.

layout sketch 150x150 Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook PagesHaving a hand drawn rough layout can often speed the process of putting your scrapbook pages together. Even after you have been skilled at laying out pages, you can often see changes as they actually develop on your card-stock. Moving things around a bit may put things in their right place as you visualize them. Do this before you put adhesive to them and make your choice permanent. Undoing a misplaced item may be difficult to undo. Before you put glue to your items, take the time to do a dry run. Even if you follow the original design you sketched, you’ll be happy you didn’t glue them down as you placed them. If you find you need to keep something in a particular space while you construct your page use a bit of tape that can be removed when you are ready to make things more permanent. Also, you can use moveable adhesives, but keeping things dry makes the most sense until you’re ready to glue everything in place.

6. The Rule of Odd Numbers.

odd number of scrapbook items1 Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook PagesAs you create your scrapbook pages remember the artistic rule of odd numbers. 3′s, 5′s and the occasional 7 work best as you select your photos for each page and the embellishments. This may possibly mean having to do more than one page because you have more pictures, or the one’s you’ve selected create an even number on your page. This practice is equally true of the embellishments you use. While this is an artistic rule, this is not a rule that you can’t break from time to time. The object here is to not let even numbers be your rule, but odd numbers.

7. Create mini-scrapbooks with a hole punch and some ribbon.

coner ribbon bound mini scrapbook1 150x150 Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook PagesSometimes bigger is not better. For a variety of reasons you may not want a full sized scrapbook. Maybe the subject your are scrapping is small and limited in the amount of pictures you have. Perhaps the object of your creation is structured around a simple yet important activity, event or special person. In that case, you may want to craft a small book. You can do this by using a single hole punch in the corner and threading a piece of string, yarn or ribbon through the hole. Finish the decorative binding with a secure knot and a nice bow.  If you want to, you can do two holes along the binding side so that the pages leaf open like a regular book. You could also put the holes and fasteners at the top of your booklet. Folding over a sheet of card-stock and adding additional pages secured with holes on the binding side with the string, yarn or ribbon make an elegant touch. You may want to reinforce the holes, but no ring is needed.

8. Improvise when you have to.

improvised letters 150x150 Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook PagesThings are going great on your latest project. All of a sudden you realize you are short a letter or two to complete this page. What do you do? You could go to your favorite paper craft store, or if it’s too late to do that, you could do a bit of imaginative improvising. Let’s say you need another “E” or two. The number “3″ could be the right improvising solution by turning it around. How ’bout an upside down “h” in place of a missing “y”? If your page isn’t really too formal, you could create a letter from scraps as well, or just pen one in.

9. Switch things around a bit. Make them different.

paper layering 150x150 Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook PagesConsider switching things around a bit to create a different look with the same materials. Try layering colors or papers. This can add depth and a new character to your scrapbook project. Try cutting your paper with decorative scissors, or use different shapes to change the look. You could use the “tearing technique” to give a completely different feel to the paper.

10. Stretch the scrapbook kits you buy.

scrapbook themed kit 150x150 Tips and Tricks for Scrapbook PagesWhen you purchase a scrapbook kit for one of your projects, you may find there are some pieces that you don’t plan to use. That doesn’t mean those leftover pieces should go to waste. Look at them as elements for other projects you may be planning to work on. In fact, you may buy a kit to get just one or two pieces from it and there are many pieces left over. Keeping items you don’t need for one project may be just the right pieces for another. Besides, think of the cost savings that go along with making the maximum use of the things you buy for your scrapbook crafting. A penny saved is a penny earned.

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Ron on February 7th, 2013 | File Under Basics, Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Simple Scrapbook Techniques – Embellishment

Without the benefit of embellishment, personal cards and scrapbook pages would generally be passe or unattractive–plain.   So, with a little attention to or flourish of embellishment you can turn an otherwise bland looking card or scrapbook page into something of interest with elegance or pizazz.

As each scrapbook and personal card is crafted careful attention is placed on the amount and type of embellishment used.  Judicious care should be directed in the construction of your project.  Consider the gathering of photographs focused on your theme or subject; identify a focus or specific theme for your project; make a careful selection of the colors you plan to use;  the appropriate paper or card stock to be used should be ordered around your theme and color scheme.  Lastly, direct your attention to the types and quantity of embellishments you feel you need to complete your page or card.

When selecting your embellishments take into account these three elements:  1) Can I make it myself, or do I have to purchase it?  2) Is there an item I can use that has another purpose, but would work well for my project?  3) What embellishment best meets my need that has been produced for that purpose?

When selecting things that you make or has been manufactured for another purpose, be sensitive to the item’s thickness.  As a general rule, try not to use things thicker than a 1/4″.  Eliminate pointed aspects of the item to keep them from harming your page or card–poking holes in them.  Standing your completed scrapbooks up will help keep unwanted weight from becoming a damaging agent.

Also, be aware that things made for another purpose may be harmful to your project because of acid or lignin.  These selected items need to be neutralized wrapping them in plastic or putting them in small plastic bags will help.

The first rule in the use of embellishments is:  “a little goes a long way.”  Over use of embellishments can cause clutter, create a page or card that looks too busy or garish.  Keep in mind the photo is the prime element of scrapbooks, and the statement or quote is most important for a card . . . everything else should help accentuate them.

Below are some embellishments you may want to consider. This is not a comprehensive list, but one to get your creative mind going. They are not listed in any order of priority:

brads1 Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Brads

Brads come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. They can easily add a touch of elegance to pages and cards. They are easy to apply. Brads are often used to attach other items to your cards and pages as well as for their pure decorative value. See article on “Brads” for more helpful information.

buttons shapes1 Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Buttons
(and sewing notions) 

Buttons need no introduction. We all use them–mostly for clothing–each and every day. Given the vast array of variety, sizes and colors available, they make a great addition to scrapbook pages and cards. See article on “Buttons” for more helpful information.

chalk pastels1 Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Chalk
(or Pastels) 

What a great way to add color, texture and some depth to your paper projects. They can be used as accent or shading to die-cuts and letters. Chalk can liven up otherwise dull looking elements. One thing to be aware of when using chalk is that it can be messy. Be sure to use a clean area, and be sure to clean the area thoroughly after use or you’ll add chalk to other projects where you may not have wanted it. See article on “Chalk” for more helpful information.

charms scrapbook Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Charms

Charms like buttons and brads can add variety and interest to your cards and scrapbook pages. These little tidbits come in a vast array of subject material–finding one that meet a theme can be just the ticket you need to say something or add emphasis.

Charms are small machine pressed imprints of items. Some are painted to add detail or emphasis. Most have a small hole so they can be attached to bracelets or necklaces, but today, many are produce exclusively for the paper crafter.

Charms can be attached to your project with glue dots, or maybe a brad, or stitched . . . to this end you can be a bit creative.

Like the warning giving so often when adding things to a scrapbook page, be sure the item is acid free–doesn’t have sharp points or edges which could damage your pages. Take the necessary precautions to protect your project from these potential problems.

Loveland Die cut Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Die-cuts

If you want a quick infusion of interest and focus on your card or scrapbook page you should use die-cuts. Die-cuts are available in thematic packets, individually or you can have your own cut at your favorite scrapbook store. For those who are believers in the value of die-cuts, and who have the capital resource, will be investors in a personal die-cut machine. There are several different models in various price ranges available to the paper crafter.

Die-cuts can be made from various materials–mostly card stock–but there are other mediums you can use.

eyelets decorative Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Eyelets

Eyelets are little rings generally made from metal provide both a visual touch on their own, or can be used as holes to thread other material such as yarn or ribbon through. Eyelets come in the colors of the metals they are made from (typically aluminum or brass), or they may be color coated. These decorative facets can also be used to attach other elements to personal cards and scrapbook pages. Eyelets do need to be set and may require the use of a setter to bend the flanges back to secure them to your project.

scraps of fabric Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Fabric

Fabric, like buttons, is something you see every day. Using fabric with your personal cards and scrapbooks can add texture, dimension, focus, elegance and warmth to name a few attributes. The only additional tools needed to work with fabric are spray adhesive or iron-on transfer paper and scissors or pinking shears (to help keep ends from fraying).

What fabrics can you use? Try denim, satin, corduroy, twill, linen, tulle, burlap, leather, cotton in a myriad of patterns. You can attach your fabric with eyelets, brads, stitching, spray adhesive or iron-on transfer paper. With shear or transparent fabric you may have to experiment on attaching to your projects, but spray adhesive may be your best bet.

What can you do with fabric to spice up your scrapbook pages and personal cards? Consider sewing items on your fabric; Use iron on transfers to add a touch of something to your fabric, or in place of putting it through your printer; tear sections into strips; use them as photo corners; add words–stencils, hand written, rub-ons, stamp or print; use fabric as a stencil backing that can be seen through cut out openings; you can stamp or paint images or lettering on the fabric; make die-cut or punched images or create your own tags. These are just a few ideas to help you consider ways to use fabric.

Fabric will give you a means of adding several elements to your pages and cards. Your own creativity will be a big boost to your finished products.

fibers scrapbook1 Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Fiber

Fibers, like fabric and buttons, can provide you with an added dimension to your cards and pages. They are varied and versatile. Consider yarns, string, waxy flax or linen, embroidery thread, fancy fibers, cording, etc. The various colors and textures of these fibers will add utility and dimension to any paper craft project. Fibers can be single strands from wide woven fabric.

What are some of the ways you can use fibers in your scrapbook and card projects? Consider using them as borders on photos and other embellishments; as a means of creating a dangling effect–like hanging charms;
stitching around items or attaching other embellishments; sew on fancy buttons, or add beads and sequins threaded on fiber; make decorative bows; lace through pre-punched holes. Fibers can be affixed to your projects by stitching, weaving, wrapped around eyelets and brads, and with adhesive or glue dots. Any way you use fiber you will find a fun and easy way to add texture and interest to your scrapbook and cards.

silk flowers Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Flowers

Flowers are such a natural addition that can add a touch of elegance to any scrapbook or card project. The first impression would be to use real flowers. They are delicate and will dry out. Dried flowers are even more delicate, and will require some extra care and attention when using them. Putting them in plastic will help keep any material that may break-off from going all over your page or book. Also, the plastic will help eliminate the worry about damage to your pages from the lignin which plants are made of. Use flowers wisely.

When project’s layout calls for flowers you may want to consider using silk ones. Silk flowers will get rid of most of the problems noted above.

You may also want to consider paper flowers. They can be purchased or you can make your own.

washers hardware store items Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Hardware Store Things

The hardware store has a lot of “non-traditional” things you could use in your card and scrapbook layouts. Consider sandpaper to give the appearance of sand. Washers–painted or plain–offer a variety of uses where circles may be needed. Wire or plastic mess or screening. Plastic electrical tape in various colors. Wire–steel, aluminum or copper–coated or uncoated. These suggestions should get your creative mind going . . . hardware stores have a lot to offer in this non-traditional effort.

metal sheets decorative Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Metal

Be sure to take advantage of metal in your card and scrapbook layouts. Metal can be in many different forms from sheets: aluminum foil, steel, copper are the most common, but others can be used. There are many high quality die-cast embellishments you can purchase through your favorite scrapbook outlet.

When using metal sheets, be aware that thin sheets can be torn . . . while thicker sheets can be sharp or too heavy if you use too much. Where the material is sharp you may consider bending over the edges or sanding them with emery cloth.

paper clips decorative Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Office Supplies

When cost is a serious consideration, you may want to check out your local office supply store. These outlets have a number of items you could use in your card and scrapbook efforts. Things like: paper clips–including colors and various sizes; staples (in colors); address labels–self adhesive and in different sizes (great for journal entries); tags–in various sizes; brads; small envelopes (make great pockets).

crepe paper ruffled Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Paper

One of the most versatile elements you can use for embellishing your scrapbook pages and personal cards is paper. Paper comes in many different weights (thickness); textures and certainly colors. Consider crape paper, tissue paper, corrugated paper (cardboard), card stock, etc. Add a pair of scissors or a die-cutter and you have an almost limitless array of opportunities–along with your own creative juices. You can cut, tear, shred, color, layer, etc. paper to give you unique pieces to add to your pages and cards. You can layer paper or add shading with paper. Let your creative imagination go wild!

scrapbook punches Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Punches

Punches are simply single purpose small die-cuts. They come in a wide array of shapes–some are big, some smaller. Punches can be used for borders or as free standing elements. Small scraps of paper that otherwise might be thrown away can be used to make cut-outs.

Punches can be used two ways: 1) from the punched out piece being affixed to your card or page; 2) the punched out design in the page or card (add a color backing for an additional affect). See article on “Scrapbooking Punches” for more information.

ribbon dispenser Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Ribbon

Ribbon can be used in a number of different ways–similar to those for fiber noted above. The finished nature of ribbon can give a little touch of elegance to your project. The right type and color of ribbon can equally give a more masculine look. An extra wide ribbon can be punched for the benefits noted in the “punches” ideas–either for the punched item or for the punched hole affect.

rub on Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Rub-ons

Rub-on or transfers as they are sometimes referred to are similar to stickers. They started out as alphabet transfers; phrases came next, and graphic designs were added. So now rub-ons come in a wide array of choices for varied uses in your scrapbook and personal card creations.

The prime differences are in their application and permanency. Rub-ons are hard to remove once you’ve applied them to your project–covering them with something else is a good way to hide a rub-on mistake. Like stickers, rub-ons have an adhesive backing, but are applied by rubbing over the item with a stylus (a Popsicle stick is ofter used as the stylus). They can be used on most any clean flat surface . . . textured surfaces may cause distortion to the look of the transfer.

Rub-ons (alphabetical and word phrases) are often used for page titles, or in place of hand written journal entries. Don’t be shy in trying something new. They are a great help to scrappers who take the time to used them, and they’re not overly expensive compared to other embellishments.

To help eliminate errors from rubbing a part of an unwanted transfer from a sheet (usually how they are produced), before transferring, cut the desired item from the sheet–ensuring both the backing and overlay are cut at the same time. Then rub-on the individual item to your project.

rubber stamp collage Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Rubber Stamps

Rubber stamps are another of the very versatile tools available to scrapbook and personal card crafters to help provide exciting embellishments. Crafters can purchase ready made stamps in a wide variety of designs, or you can have personally designed stamps fabricated for your use.

Using rubber stamps is easy. Simply load or our rubber stamp with a thin layer of ink or Acrylic paint (the most preferred medium now) using a foam paintbrush (or a clean make-up sponge). Inks come in a wide broad range of colors. Stamp pads are not the preferred method because you don’t often get a fully loaded or covered stamp. A poorly layered stamp will provide a poor result–one lacking detail and clarity. Once the stamp is adequately inked press the stamp straight down on your project with firm even pressure, and lift straight up after the impression has been affixed to your page or card. Rocking your stamp as you lift it off will give the stamp a slight distressed look–you may want that.

After each use be sure to thoroughly clean your stamp pad. This allows you to use your stamp with new colors and with out ink build-up which can cause poor future impression and add color you may not want on other impressions. See article on “Basics of Rubber Stamping” for more helpful information.

stitching scrapbook Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Stitching

Stitching is a fantastic way to add a special look to your cards and scrapbook pages. Crafters can hand stitch their projects or use a craft sewing machine.

Stitching can be done with thread, embroidery thread, waxy flax, fancy fibers and ribbon (small sizes usually). Hand stitching may require pre-punching or piercing your project to allow the fiber material to be sewn. Stitching is most often used to border or outline other elements. It can also be used to attach items to your pages and cards. See article on “Hand Stitching Scrapbook Pages” for more helpful information and“Machine Stitching Scrapbook Pages”

stickers scrapbook Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Stickers

Stickers have become one of the favorite embellishments for paper crafters. They are readily available in a myriad of colors, shapes and sizes. If you needed to, you could create your own, but their is a probably a commercially produced one already available. Stickers come in sheets, rolls and individually. Using stickers is a simple as finding the sticker you want or need peeling it from its backing and placing it where you want it on your project. Most stickers are forgiving and will allow you to lift and replace them as needed. Their versatility of use only requires a bit of a creative mind. See article on “A Scrapbook Sticker Technique To Use” for more helpful information.

tags scrapbook Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Tags

Tags are a draw from shipping tags found at the office supply store. Tags can be found in many shapes and sizes. They can be hand made–best with the help of a template, or purchased from your local paper-craft store. Scrapbook crafters have a number of innovative ways to used them.

Here are a few suggestions: As a photo mat if the tag is large enough for the photo; One of the most used ideas is as a journal medium–including stuffing them in a pocket as a hidden journal note; As a title with the addition of other embellishments; When arranged properly they can be a unique border to a page or an element on a page; Use them as a quote caption; Mini-scrapbooks could be made from them; For the card makers in the crowd, you could create a personal card from a tag. See article on “Simple Scrapbook Techniques – Tags” for more information.

template scrapbook Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Templates

Templates are a useful tool when creating your scrapbook pages or personal cards. The template is a “blueprint” for what you want your page to look like, and how the page is laid out. They are a guide to follow. You can make your own template or utilize the designs created by others.

Templates are also useful in making elements for your project–tags, photo frames, embellishments, cards, etc. These templates help you follow a pattern to make your item. Each succeeding items created from your template should be identical.

chipboard naked Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Embellishment Wood/Chipboard

Chipboard and pressed wood are useful in scrapbook designs because they are thicker material and present a nice dimensional look. Most often you find these items already die-cut and ready to use. Some tags come ready to use with adhesive already on their backs. Another nice feature about them is they can be larger in size because of their thickness. They are durable and less flexible.

Wood and chipboard that has not been produced with a design–called “naked”–can be made into most anything you would like. They can be die-cut, but require equipment designed to handle these thicker pieces. You can paint or cover them in many different material. They can be attached with glue, large stapes, brads and eyelets. Chipboard and wood present a great way to expand your embellishing efforts. For information on die cut machines see article on “Scrapbook Die Machine – Cut and Embossing” for more information.

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Ron on May 11th, 2011 | File Under Basics, Cards and Invitations, Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Simple Scrapbook Tecniques – Handmade Embellishments

handmade embellishments Simple Scrapbook Tecniques   Handmade Embellishments

Courtesy SRM Stickers

No scrapbook is complete without the addition of well thought out touches of color, accents or embellishment and some chosen journal words. Otherwise you just have a plain old bland looking photo album. Scrapbook crafters are all about providing those special touches to their pages to give feeling, dimension and tell a story along with the photographs.

Each scrapbook page is unique in their stories. The addition of embellishments certainly helps bring them to life. Personal cards, too, say something special with the right embellishments and comment(s). You can easily buy hundreds of embellishments from professional producers at your favorite craft or scrapbook supply store. The real creme de la creme embellishments are those created by your own hands.

Handcrafted embellishments are well thought out additions to your project–along with your page’s basic layout. The selected pictures are there to help tell your story. The words you choose to journal have personal meaning. These aspects of your crafting a scrapbook page or a personal card are priceless. Many handmade elements you add or use in your page or card creations don’t take a great deal of effort or expense. In fact the expense part may be one of the real benefits because you can, and should, use leftovers and other things about your house and craft area.

handmade embellishments card Simple Scrapbook Tecniques   Handmade Embellishments

Courtesy Sherry Cheever -

handmade embellishments ribbons Simple Scrapbook Tecniques   Handmade Embellishments

Courtesy My Mommy's Bracelets

Consider some of these items as you look at adding those special treatments to your pages and cards. These special items can add a touch of elegance where needed, or give the page some levity or whimsical flare . . . you’re the judge: yarn (knitted or crocheted items), lace, beads, ribbon, paper, silk or plastic flowers (don’t forget dried flowers–but remember they’re very dedicated, so use some of the more hardy items like leaves and stems, etc.). Be sure to check your magazines for pictures, letters and phrases. Certainly this list is not all inclusive, but a guide to get your creative juices flowing. Maybe a bit of your own art work (see article on “Theorem Painting with Scrapbook Pages”) or tole painting.

When considering creating your own embellishments–especially for scrapbooks–be sure the items you use are acid and lignin free. You don’t want your creative enhancements to be harmful to your pages. Also be sensitive to sharp or jagged edges which can cut your pages and cards, and items of extra thickness. You want to make your pages uniform in their look and thickness where possible.

Use good judgment and remember that a lot goes a long ways. Don’t try to over due any page with accents that over whelm or detract from your overall page’s theme and feeling . . . that said, hand made embellishments add a great deal of feeling and focus. Use them wisely because they’re “one of a kind.”

handmade embellishments quilling Simple Scrapbook Tecniques   Handmade Embellishmentshandmade embellishments crochet Simple Scrapbook Tecniques   Handmade EmbellishmentsHere are some more examples of handmade embellishments you could consider making and using yourself.

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Ron on April 12th, 2011 | File Under Basics, Cards and Invitations, Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Simple Scrapbook Techniques – Sanding

sanding scrapbook pages Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Sanding

imaginise d stress Simple Scrapbook Techniques   SandingSanding is a simple inexpensive yet very effective way to add a worn or aged look to your scrapbook pages.  With the aid of an abrasive such as sandpaper, sanding block, emery board, wire brush and steel wool you can create a totally different look to an embellishment or space on your scrapbook page.  You also may want to consider using a distressing tool like Imaginisce’s d-stress cordless hand-held sanding tool.

Like many techniques scrapbook crafters can and do use, limiting them to a few pages enhances there usefulness.  Over doing one technique can reduce the desired affect you are seeking to get.

sanded embossed scrapbook page Simple Scrapbook Techniques   SandingSanding offers a quick and easy way to make a new item or element look old, worn and used.  You add a dullness, a softening and aging to an otherwise new item.  This change of texture on paper or an embellishment can create an awesome feeling of nostalgia.

With little effort you can create new looks on such items as: photos,  chipboard, paper, card stock, metal and other embellishments.   A few rubbing strokes on these elements can do wonders to their overall look.

distressing abrasive tools Simple Scrapbook Techniques   SandingTo get that distressed look all you need to do is begin by lightly rubbing your desired element with your choice of  abrasive–some experimentation may be needed to ensure the abrasive you use gives the desired affect you’re after.

Sanding can be a messy task as you remove color and material from your objects.  You should work in an area away from your scrapbook pages so the unwanted removed material doesn’t get on your pages.  Cover the work area where you do your sanding with paper to help in keeping the work area clean.

As you use this simple technique try or experiment with different abrasives and materials to be sanded.  Try using different ways of sanding:  against the grain, circular or directional (all in the same direction or across–in two directions at ninety degree angles).  With sandpaper and steel wool try different coarseness of each to see their individual benefits.

sanding cardstock before Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Sanding

Cardstock Before Sanding

sanding cardstock after Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Sanding

Cardstock After Sanding

Areas that can be rubbed or sanded might include: edges of paper, card stock (try color core) and photos; stickers and embellishments; lettering, patterned paper.  Always begin your sanding on a lighter basis first and heavier as you try to get the look you are after.

This sanding technique works equally well on personal cards  and invitations you may also be creating.

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Ron on April 9th, 2011 | File Under Basics, Cards and Invitations, Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Simple Scrapbook Techniques – Custom Made Toppers/Titles

home sweet home lettering Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Custom Made Toppers/Titles

What is a “topper” you may ask–simply put: the notation or title you make for your scrapbook page.  A good topper will set the tone for your entire page.  Before anything is viewed one can determine what your theme is for the page from your topper.

thanksgiving toppers Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Custom Made Toppers/TitlesToppers are frequently, and more easily, provided by  using a professionally produced rub-on, clip art, or other embellished statement.  There is nothing wrong with using one of these store bought helps.

However, a topper which is hand made often speaks as much about the creator of the page as it does about the page’s theme itself.  A well handcrafted topper or title to your scrapbook page can become an additional accent of it’s own.

What differentiates a topper from a page title?  Well, a page title is simply a descriptive notation of your pages theme.  A topper, on the other hand, is both descriptive and decorative.  Some additional creativity and art goes into a good topper.  Toppers easily add a flare or sense of elegance to your pages.  They may be whimsical, formal or something in between.

hand lettered scrapbook topper Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Custom Made Toppers/TitlesFree hand toppers allow you to show your artistic talents–we all have them, some more so than others, but we all have them.  These hand created (in many cases just lettered) toppers don’t have to be elaborate.

sketched scrapbook layout title Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Custom Made Toppers/TitlesWhen creating a free hand topper begin doing so as part of your pages layout before you begin cutting and pasting photos and embellishments.  Determine what your topper will say–your title, and where at the top of your page you it will be located.

Lightly rough-in or sketch what you topper will say and how it will look using a pencil.  Light pencil marks can be removed later.  Be sure to leave ample space between letters if you plan to use block style lettering.  Once you are comfortable with your design or topper creation, using markers, paint, etc. outline and  fill in the  areas where you want color and definition.  You can use any of your embellishing techniques to help, such as adding glitter, etc.  You be the judge on how you want your topper to be decorated.  Once you have completed the stylish decoration of your topper you can erase any pencil marks you don’t want to show.

letter stencil cutout Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Custom Made Toppers/TitlesYou could use a stencil or template to cut out the letters and designs you want to use for your topper.  You can also simply trace them onto your page.  Color and/or decorate them as you wish.  Affix them to your page in a formal order or a random order.

Like many new techniques you may try, you may want to do a dry run on a scrap piece of paper to help you learn and visualize what you can and can not do to create your topper.

You’ll find fun and a special feeling for your custom/hand crafter scrapbook page toppers.  You can use commercial titles too, but your own creations will always standout more!

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Ron on April 8th, 2011 | File Under Basics, Cards and Invitations, Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Simple Scrapbook Techniques – Tags

scrapbook tag Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Tags


scrapbook tag handmade Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Tags The use of tags has become a chosen embellishment for use on scrapbook pages by many scrapbook crafters.  Tags represent a great way to extend and enhance the function ability of your pages.  They can become their own mini-page on your page.  Tags allow for the addition of photographs, captions, decorative mats, journaling, page titles and much more . . . let your creative juices flow.

Tags can be purchased ready made, or you can cut them from templates–as well as create them freehand.  There are die-cuts too to help you make needed tags.scrapbook tag ready made Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Tags They can be made from paper, wood, fabric, card stock, metal, sponge, press-board, or other craft materials you can easily cut.

Shapes of tags are primarily: rectangle, square, oval and round, but are not limited by these boundaries.  Your own imagination will create the right tag for the right project.  Tags can be various sizes: small, medium and large–depending on what your specific need is.  They should be so large as to overpower your page, however.

Pre-cut tags can be purchased and your favorite craft or scrapbook outlet, or from a supplier online.  There is a myriad of colors, shapes and sizes to choose from.  You’ll just have to do some looking.

scrapbook tag fasteners Simple Scrapbook Techniques   TagsTags are easy to attach to your scrapbook page projects.  Use staples, fibers, ribbons and brads to name a few special ways to affix your tags to your pages.

You can keep them plain–for journaling, or gussy them up some to add to a photo you may be using, or as a simple embellishment of its own.  The uses for tags is limited mostly by your own imagination.

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Ron on April 6th, 2011 | File Under Basics, Cards and Invitations, Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Using Beads & Jewels in Scrabooking

When creating your scrapbook pages consider adding some non-traditional embellishments like jewels and beads.

flower Beads Using Beads & Jewels in Scrabookingdecorative Beads 3610 Using Beads & Jewels in Scrabookinghalloween beads Using Beads & Jewels in Scrabookingalphabet beads Using Beads & Jewels in Scrabooking

Creative scrapbook crafters are always looking for unique or different ways to spruce up their pages.  This may mean reaching outside the box as they say.  There are what are considered non-traditional materials one can use to add that little something to their pages.  Beads and jewels are one of these non-traditional elements you can use to bring a new or different look to your projects.

One of the drawbacks to using beads and jewels has to do with the bulk or thickness some beads and jewels have.  If you are looking to reduce this concern, select thinner items to complete your pages.  There is a plethora of beads and jewels to choose from.  Many craft stores have a large selection of material for you to select from.  Don’t forget the online options too.

Beads and jewels are produced in different materials: acrylic & plastic, glass, pearls, metal, shells, seeds and wood to name a few.  They are produced in different shapes and sizes: alphabet, charms, designer styles, gemstones, holiday & seasonal.  Beads and jewels come in varying colors as well.

Attaching them to your scrapbook pages is relatively easy.  Some of the beads and jewels have a sticky backing on one side which only requires peeling the backing off and placing the item where you’d like to be on your project.  Where there is no adhesive on the bead or jewel use glue dots or a double sided acid free tape to attach them to your page.

Because of the variety of shapes, sizes and colors of these non-traditional embellishments, you have the ability to use them where you want them–as an addition to another embellishment, or as individual independent touches.  As examples, you could use a gemstone as the center of a flower, or create a flower using various falter beads, etc.  Let your own creative juices guide you.

Here are a couple of online suppliers of beads and jewels:

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Ron on June 14th, 2010 | File Under Helpful Products, Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Taking Scrapbook Portraits

IMG 1923 Taking Scrapbook Portraits

Let’s face it, taking photographs for inclusion in a scrapbook generally come from the regular snapshots we take a parties, gatherings and candid snaps as they occur.  There are times, however, when you want to have a really good picture of an individual that we might consider portrait quality.  Here are some tips to help you shoot some winning photographs you might consider a step above the regular shots you take at a birthday party.  These tips on lighting, backgrounds, and other important elements will help you take those special pictures.  Your photographs will help tell the story you want them to tell.

IMG 1925 300x225 Taking Scrapbook Portraits

Have A Plan Of What You Want To Capture Before You Start

Know what you want to accomplish before you drag you camera out to begin taking your photos.  Ask yourself, what is the story I want to tell with these photographs–or this single snapshot.  This may give you ideas of how to have your subject dress, determine what props, if any, you think will help you tell your story.  You may have to try a couple different props, including familiar toys or objects which help identify who the subject is, and clothing outfits,  to see what works best to bring the beauty and identity of your subject.  Change them to find the one you feel works best for you project.  This extra effort can enhance your images and make them truly reflective of your subject person.

Use A Draped Background

IMG 8923 Taking Scrapbook Portraits

A simple background set 3′ to 4′ behind your subject can help enhance your pictures.  You’re looking to create a photograph of your subject with the backdrop or background to make your subject the focus of your photo.  Use some plain cloth you may have around the house: sheets in various colors, blankets, tablecloths and large sheets of colored paper.  Use props available to you to help create some visual interest: a large easy chair, a sofa (you can drape your background between two chairs and shoot between them–or tack the backdrop material to a wall or in a doorway).  Outdoors you could use a child’s swing set to drape you cloth over, or a low hanging tree limb.

Use Natural Light As Much As Possible

DSCN1806 Taking Scrapbook Portraits

Where possible, use natural light from windows, porches, garage entries, doorways or other areas where there is a sufficient splash of light.  North facing areas are a great natural light source that isn’t overly harsh.  Natural light creates wonderful highlights and special effects on faces.   The changing season also cast light that can provide exceptional differences in shadows and in skin tones on your subjects.   Eliminating the use of your flash can also craft some interesting and useful affects.

Have Your Subject Pose For Pictures

DSCN3892 Taking Scrapbook Portraits

Some of your photo subjects will be “hams” and pose naturally, while others may need to be coached into the position or pose you’d like to photograph.  Simple and casual poses work well in general.  You should be willing to try some other poses–even silly ones to draw-out your subject’s personality.  This is a time and place in your shoot where you can have some fun.

DSCN3678 Taking Scrapbook Portraits

Don’t Be Afraid Of Close-ups

DSCN1456 Taking Scrapbook Portraits

Close-up are the cream in your shoots.  They may show feature flaws, but that is who they are.  Try to fill the frame with as much of the focus you wish to capture: face, eyes, hands, etc.  Close-ups give you the opportunity to capture the strongest features of your subjects.  This is another time when taking snaps of various features would be helpful, and then select the ones that tell your story.

Take Plenty of Pictures

Whether you use a digital or film camera be sure to take plenty of shots while you have your subject, background and light.  Try shooting different angels, poses, light sources (time of day for natural light), distances, and color (black and white or color).  Don’t be in a hurry.  Mother Nature didn’t create her masterpieces in a day, so don’t you try.  As you take your pictures you’ll grow in confidence and ability. . . mistakes afford you the opportunity to learn and grow in your skill.

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Ron on April 26th, 2010 | File Under Basics, Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -