Simple Scrapbook Techniques – Brads

brads Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Brads

Most scrapbook and card crafters will easily identify with brads. These versatile implements have been around for a long time.  Brass brads have been used by students for ions of time as the fastener of theme papers and reports.  Today they have been transformed into a very useful art object which paper crafters use in a variety of ways.

In addition to being used to affix items to your cards and scrapbook pages, you can use them to embellish your projects.  While the most common brad is a basic round shape, today these time honored little fasteners are being produced in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes.  Your use of them is only limited by your imagination.

flower with brad center Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Bradsdecorative brads Simple Scrapbook Techniques   BradsYou will see them used as the center of flowers–for decoration and as an attaching element for your flower–dual purpose use.  The more decorative brads can be used on your projects to give either a simple touch of accent, or to affix something else to your page or card.

Brads are extremely beneficial to scrapbook and card crafters because of their versatility and their relative low cost.  Saving money lets you do more of your creative projects.  The fact that they are easy to use, and require no special tools, make them a great tool or decoration to have on hand.

brad tool Simple Scrapbook Techniques   BradsPhoto Courtesy of
We R Memory Keepers

To use a brad is a simple process.  First, make a small hole in your paper or card (use a small pointed object like a pin, nail or paper piercer–but don’t make the hole too big), and anything you may be attaching.  Next, the brad has two prongs on its backside.  Make sure these prongs are together and insert them through the hole(s) you have just made.  Next, with the brad inserted in your whole you can then splay or flare the prongs out flat against your project like a butterfly securing them–and anything you may be attaching.    To keep the prongs flared out and the position of the brad constant simply place a strip of tape over the splayed prongs–which should be on the reverse side of your project.  There you have it.

Now you have another useful and decorative tool in your crafting tool bag!

With brads you have a versatile and easy way to enhance pages and cards as well at attaching other embellishments.  They help you expand your creative capabilities.

If you’re not currently using brads in your scrapbook page and personal card creations, you may want to invest a little money and some time to give them a try.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Ron on April 15th, 2011 | File Under Basics, Cards and Invitations, Helpful Products, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Simple Scrapbook Techniques – Paper Tearing

tearing scrapbook paper Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Paper Tearing

Scrapbook and personal card crafters are always looking for ways to enhance the quality and uniqueness of their finished creations.  Paper tearing is one of those simple, yet very effective ways to add that uniqueness to their cards and pages.

The reason this technique is so popular is because of its simplicity, and there are not tools required to make your creations–just paper and your fingers.  In a matter of just a few minutes you can turn your cardstock, photos, vellum and other papers in to useful and interesting additions to your projects . . . adding varied dimensions, textures and interest as you go.

torn scrapbook paper samples Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Paper TearingPhoto Courtesy of

Digital Scrapbook Previews

 

As you begin this simple technique you may want to experiment on scrap pieces of paper to see what effect your tear will have, and that this effect is what you’re looking for.   Tearing gives you two separate textures:  a smoother side and a rougher side.  You get the smoother side by tearing the paper towards you, and the rougher look by tearing away from you.

Some papers have different colored cores–some card stock for instance.  If you are looking to reveal that core you may want a more rough looking tear, so tear the paper away from you.  Remember to experiment a bit with some scraps to see what the end result will be, and if that results is what you want.

A controlled jagged edge can best be made by placing the paper you wish to tear on a flat hard surface.  With one hand hold your paper on the hard surface, and with the other hand–using only your thumb and index finger–begin the tear  in small sections working down the paper to what ever length you wish.  This slow small tear approach allows you to control the size and length of the tear.

For a wide tear effect, hold your paper with both hands and tear in opposite directions with each hand.   The speed of your tearing will help determine how much control you have on the width of the tear.  This techniques is best suited for longer paper tears.

If you’re looking for a more soft, fuzzy and delicate tear you’ll need to crease your paper where you want the tear to be.  Then add a bit of moisture to the creased area using your finger moistened with water, or use a soaked cotton swab, or a sponge (not overly wet).  Wipe the creased area to add a bit of moisture to the paper.  With the crease moistened begin your tear–on a solid flat surface to help control the tear.  Tear the paper down and towards you.  The completed tear, when dry, will have a soft fuzzy appearance.

tearing paper with straight edge Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Paper Tearingpaper tearing guides Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Paper TearingAnother soft tear technique is to use a straight edge down on your paper and pull the paper towards you.  The end product will be similar to the wet method above with a soft straight tear line.  There are tearing guides that will also give your a patterned tear like the deckle or scallop edge.

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Ron on April 14th, 2011 | File Under Basics, Cards and Invitations, Scrapbook Paper, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Simple Scrapbook Techniques – Card Stock

 

cardstock display Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Card Stock

Courtesy of Oriental Trading

In the beginning years of scrapbook crafting, card stock was the prime paper available and used by most crafters.  With the coming of printed papers many paper crafters abandoned the plain color card stock offerings.  Nothing against patterned papers, but there is a place–a significant one–for plain colored paper.

As you acquire your scrapbook and personal card making supplies, paper will obviously be a staple.  When choosing the primary papers you want to work with, and there are tons of choices out there, be sure to have ample supplies of card stock.

Beginning scrappers may be well served to “cut their teeth” using plain colored card stock on their initial scrapbook projects.  Card stock offers you a simple clean and fresh looking paper to begin your layout.  There is less time and focus needed to select accents and embellishments that won’t clash with a printed or patterned paper.  A beginning crafter need only concern themselves with an appropriate color, selected photographs, some journal entries and an accent or two to bring our your page’s theme.

With time and experience, paper crafters can expand their horizon.  They will learn balance, symmetry and color schemes that will allow them to begin mixing textures and patterns in their creations–but in the beginning they will do well to stay with simple elements.

cardstock scrap cutouts Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Card Stockcardstock photo frames Simple Scrapbook Techniques   Card StockCard stock holds a great deal of versatility.  In addition to being the backdrop of your scrapbook’s pages, with the help of scissors and die cuts, scraps of card stock can be the embellishment you need for a particular project.  This also extends the cost value of the card stock itself by making more use of the whole sheet for other than your page’s background.  Consider, too, using card stock for photo mats, journaling strips and blocks, tags and borders.  You’ll find more uses for this important material as your effort and experience increases.

Be sure the card stock you purchase is lignin and acid free.  If you purchase your paper from reputable scrapbook and craft supply stores or outlets (online), you should be comfortable their providing you with reliable card stock.

Scrapping can be tons of fun, but costly, if you let it.  Use these tips to help you enjoy your crafting and help reduce your expenses.

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Ron on April 13th, 2011 | File Under Basics, Cards and Invitations, Scrapbook Paper, 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 - sherrycheever.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com

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 -

Scrapbook Mistakes Beginners Make

scrapbook cartoon 2 Scrapbook Mistakes Beginners Make

Scrapbook crafting has exploded over the past several years . . . both crafters and suppliers.  This trend does not seem to be slowing down.  So, if you are new to this special craft of creating books filled with pictures embellished to tell wonderful and heartfelt stories, you would be well to review this common mistakes beginners make when getting started.

Understanding and correcting these common mistakes often made by beginning scrapbook crafters can save you time and money.

Failing To Follow Your Own Style

Too often beginning scrapbook crafters just try to duplicate designs and layouts down by others.  “Duplication is the best form of flattery.”  This statement holds a great deal of truth, but the benefactor is someone else.

When you create your pages incorporate your own personality: colors, shapes,  embellishments that are to your liking–that you feel helps best express the theme of your page or book.  You certainly have freedom to use an idea you’ve seen, but always try to add your own little twist or improvement to it.

Not Recognizing “A Little Goes A Long Ways”–Embellishments for Added Decoration

Over doing pages with too many embellishments will detract from the focus of your page–telling the story with your pictures.  Colors, embellishment and journaling are important, but use moderation.  Each of the enhancing elements should help, not drown-out, the story your trying to share on your page and in your book.  Over doing things is easy because there are so many little touches you can purchase to “spruce-up” your pages.  Keep it simple, is good counsel as you begin.  A couple of accents, some well thought out words to journal are the pure essence of success.

Not Using A Color Scheme–Which Help To Bring Focus To Your Page/Book’s Theme

Too much color, or too many colors can confuse viewers.  When selecting your colors follow the basic color scheme (see article on Color) to help you add harmonizing colors.  If you’re using color photos pick a color from the picture that best focuses on the story you are telling with your page.

Understand colors help to enhance and focus attention when properly used.  They can imply a mood: formal, fun, funny, serious, etc.

Black and white photos basically are neutral–thus most any color will not clash with them.  You may want to use colors your perceive items in a black and white photo may be to invoke a specific feeling or look.

Place your photos on several different colors of paper to see which you feel the most comfortable with, and you feel helps you in your story telling.  Patterned paper may have a good blend of colors, but can also be too busy for a particular set of photos.

Using Too Many Shapes

As you design and construct your scrapbook pages, like much of the counsel here, be frugal in the types and number of shapes you use.  When cropping your photos, simple shapes work well . . . round, ovals, oblong, etc. help break the monotony of sharp cornered squares and rectangles.

Not Following Basic Balance or Symmetry Rules

As you design your pages you’ll want to follow the basic rules of balance and symmetry–the “Rule of Thirds.”  For specific guidelines and help in this area check these two articles: “Balancing Your Scrapbook Page Layouts” and “More Information About Symmetry in Scrapbooking.”

Knowing Which Paper To Use–Patterned Paper Versus A Solid Color Paper

There are many wonderful patterned papers available for your use . . . some which are theme oriented.  They come in small, medium and large patterns.  Be sure to mat your photos–especially when using patterned paper–with a complimentary solid color matting to one of the colors in your patterned paper.

Be sensitive in your selection of a patterned paper.  Don’t choose a pattern that is too busy for your there and focus.  Sometimes a busy pattern adds to your page’s focus, but more often than not you will overwhelm your photos with too busy a paper selection.

A conservative orientation will always serve you well–especially as you get started in this fun craft.  Plain papers would fall into that conservative vain.  Color selection would be the significant determining factor in your selection of a plain paper for your page.

Failing To Use Grouping Elements on Your Scrapbook Pages

In the art world there is a rule about “odd numbers.”  Following this rule will be helpful.  Visually, the eye sees things more comfortably when they are grouped in odd numbers.  Whether you are selecting the photos to use on a page or the various embellishments to add keep them in odd number groupings.

In the case of photos, don’t overload your page with too many photos–three works well and allows ample room for journaling and the addition of some embellishment.  If you have more than three photos you want to use consider a second page.

Don’t make your pages too garish with an over abundance of buttons, beads, eyelets, etc.  As has been noted earlier–a little goes a long ways.

Not Using Modest Repetition Which Can Work Wonders on Your Pages

As you create your scrapbook pages be sure to consider repeating elements and features from your photographs.  By doing so you bring greater focus and attention to the theme you are presenting.  Colors, as noted previously noted is one element.  Consider natural items-dried flowers, leaves, etc., or buttons, pins, etc.  These repeated items should be drawn from the photo primarily, and help to add attention to your focus otherwise you could just be adding clutter.

Lack of Journaling

Pictures say a thousand words, but sometimes you still have to say something, and in scrapbooks we do that via journaling.  Journal entries should help clarify or add unknown information to your page.  Quotes and facts are keys to viewers finding a greater appreciation for the theme and focus of your page.  Identifying names, dates, places and other pertinent information about your photos is most helpful.  Don’t assume everyone knows what you know about the photos on your page.  Any helpful descriptive information will help enhance the value of your page.

When journal entries are made you certainly can use stamps, stickers and other mediums to say what you want to say.  Different fonts can also add a touch of elegance to your page.

Failing to journal using your own penmanship is a major mistake.  Doing so lends a personal touch.  Remember, your pages should be an extension of who you are–not someone else.  Just make sure your journaling is legible–printing is best, but cursive will work if viewers can easily read it.  If you have to, because your best penmanship lacks, you may want to have someone else do the hand journaling . . . a family member, friend, etc.

Trying To Acquire Too Many Supplies and Tools

This may seem like an odd error to make.  Beginners should go from the simple to the complex over time.   Real scrapbook creativity comes when you have to work with a  small amount of supplies.  The biggest factor here is cost.  If you rush out and “buy everything under the sun” you will expend a fair amount of cash–which may not be in your budget.  There are so many things you may want to have–pace yourself.  If for some reason, heaven for bid, you loose interest in creating scrapbook pages, you may have invested a lot of money and little to show for it.   Add to your cache of supplies and tools over time.  These additions may be more evident after more experience has been gained.

Not Attending Workshops and Classes

Beginning scrapbook crafters would do well to attend as many classes and workshops as time and finances will allow.  Expanding your knowledge and experience is very helpful.  Being around other fellow scrappers helps build confidence and enthusiasm for your craft.  Some of the larger scrapbook suppliers put on programs throughout the year in various places across the country.  Your local craft supplies stores may offer “crop days.”  There are retreats you can go to.  All of these are great sources of information about new products and new techniques.

Failing To Have Fun

If you’re not having fun creating your scrapbook masterpiece then why are you involved?  The more fun you have, the better your output will be, both in quantity and quality.  Because through scrapbook pages you are telling a story you want to preserve for others, you should have fun sharing your ideas on those pages.  If you find this craft to be a drudgery, you may well be served to leave the history and story telling to others in your family. . . share what you have, but let them do the creative work.  Be engaged, but be happy!!!

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Ron on March 31st, 2011 | File Under Basics, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

7 Scrabpook Mistakes To Avoid

caution sign 7 Scrabpook Mistakes To Avoid

While scrapbooking is a wonder art craft, there are pitfalls scrappers can do that either add cost or diminish from your finished product.  Understanding these mistakes that many of us make at one time or another can help us avoid them when we see them.  Part of the problem stems from the creative genius each crafter has . . . or at least the think they have.  Add the myriad of materials and products you can use to create, enhance and embellish your pages, and you have the potential for the beginnings of trouble.

Consider these faux pas as a beginning to mistakes often made by scrapbook crafters:

Being Organized

A major mistake scrapbook crafters make is being unorganized . . . clutter being a primary factor, and not knowing what supplies and tools you have being another.  When possible, have a designated scrapping area where you regularly work.  Store your tools and supplies in a designated area in and around your work space.  Structure your organization by putting those items you use most frequently in the most convenient and easily accessible place near your work space.

Keep your work space neat and clean.  Avoid letting clutter pile up around your work space.  Clean your work area frequently.  Do your best to let material gather on your works space that could be transferred to scrapbook pages–i.e. glue, glitter, etc.

Using The K I S S – Keep It Simple Stupid – Principal

In the beginning of our scrapbook and personal card crafting this principal is easy to follow because we generally lack knowledge, supplies and tools to do much else than be simple.  As we acquire more knowledge, supplies and tools we tend to increase what we feel we need to complete our pages and cards.  Too often we go over board in the process.  We add too much of one thing or another because we have it and we can (no overly restrictive rules to abide by).

We have to remember what our goal is in creating a page or card.  Once we have our goal defined then we have to make sure we do only what is required to create the end product.  Too much focus on one thing, or the wrong thing, can distract from our original goal.  What we do as we create our project is let the object of our page or card shine through.  In the case of scrapbooking we need to focus on the pictures (see below).  On cards, we need to focus on the purpose of the card–generally what it says and how you display what you want to say.

Forgetting Scrapbooks Are All About Pictures and Telling Stories

The center of attention of each scrapbook page should be directed to the photos you have selected. These selected photographs should in someway tell a story or convey some thought to the viewer. Everything you add to these thoughtful pictures should help enhance the story or thought they are meant to share with others. Adding too much clutter (embellishment) can over power what your pictures can easily say–so much so that the photos have little value for your page. You can vary the placement on the page or the size of the photo you wish to use to add variety. Select colors that also help enhance your photos. Where black and white photos are used, you may have to imagine the dominant colors in the photo–green grass, autumn colored trees, color of a persons hair, etc.

Not Cropping Photos To Eliminate Unwanted Elements and Help Vary Photos Sizes

Photographs are seldom taken with the specific purpose of mounting them in a scrapbook–although that can happen. Most pictures are taken to capture a moment in history or a scene for others to enjoy later . . . when the benefit of the scene or moment is no longer available. So as we consider what a particular page’s story or thought must convey, we may need to remove aspects that appear, but are not needed or are unwanted, in a picture we plan to use.  Cropping simply allows you to select the most important elements from your picture and allows you to fit pictures more comfortably on a page.

Failing To Use Archival (Acid & Lignin Free) Quality Supplies

If your goal in creating a scrapbook is to provide a story or thought for long term view, you must also consider the preserving nature of using materials that will last and not damage your crafted pages.  Papers, adhesives and embellishments which contain acid will cause damage to your pages over time.  Making sure your supplies are free from acid and lignin.  Most products sold in scrapbook and craft stores are free of these elements, but be sure to check the labels and packaging to be sure.  If there is no notation indicating the item is free of these harmful items, don’t use them.  Again, because of the explosion of scrapbooking in recent years most reputable scrapbook supply sources are sure to make their products acid and lignin free–BUT ALWAYS CHECK THEM!

Photos will disintegrate naturally over time, but more quickly when acid is present.  Using acid free products and lignin free paper will help retard this process.  Ensure your papers and products that will be used on or near photos are labeled “photo safe.”

Failing To Journal On Your Pages

Don’t assume viewers of your scrapbook pages will know what you know about your pictures. Embellishments can help you say what you want them to know, but nothing falls short of writing what you want them to know. Journaling adds depth and meaning to photographs. You can share the where, when, who and what of a photo. Time diminishes our own memory, so jotting down simple details will help us as we view these pages for our own pleasure, or sharing them with others. Be sure to include such things as dates, places, names of people and special thoughts you have about a particular photo.

When journaling, you can use “produced” writing, but the best and most endearing journaling will come from your own hand. Make every effort to write in your own thoughts using your own penmanship. Printing is the most legible, but sometimes a cursive note is what’s needed–just make sure others can read it too, otherwise the effect may be lost.

Not Considering Learning From Classes and Workshops

Even the most experienced of scrapbook crafters may think they have all the knowledge and experience they need, but because of the continued development and production of new products and services for scrapbooker they can easily find themselves behind in the craft.

Beginners should take advantage of gaining as much knowledge through classes and workshops as time and finances will allow. Working with knowledgeable and experienced crafters will save you time, money and many mistakes from the school of “hard knocks.” You’ll know when you need to taper off, or become more selective about the classes and workshops you may need to attend as time goes on.

Classes and workshops help keep your crafting skills sharp. You will learn about the latest methods, supplies and tools to help you in creating your scrapbook masterpieces. Sharing your knowledge and talent with others is a great way to further expand your scrapbook association with fellow scrappers.

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Ron on March 28th, 2011 | File Under Basics, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Eyelete Setters for Scrapbooking

While eyelets have been around for what seems ions of time, they have on recently become a standard fixture for scrapbook and personal card crafters. We have the newest innovations in eyelet tools to thank for this evolution. The hand crimp eyelet setter, while useful for many applications, has limits because of the lack of being able to set eyelets much beyond factions of an inch from the border.

Our newest iterations of the eyelet and punch setter tools has expanded our capacity to place eyelets just about anywhere we choose on our scrapbook pages and personal cards. Having one of these versatile tools in your menagerie of helps is almost a no brainer. There are three eyelet products that should be able to accommodate your crafting needs:

Clikit from Karen Foster Design

clikit eyelet setter Eyelete Setters for Scrapbooking 

Now you can set eyelets, punch holes and emboss–quietly–with the help of Karen Foster Design’s Clikit multi-purpose spring action tool. This patent pending tool provides the same pressure as a hammer, but you only have to press Clikit’s handle.

Clikit comes with ten (10) interchangeable tips–including a duel tip; lacing tip; an eyelet splitter tip; an eyelet rounder tip; a piercing tool; six (6) hole punching tips (from 2 mm to 5 mm in diameter); a starter set of two (2) sie of eyelets; a punch pad; and complete instructions–all in a custom wooden box. Additional embossing alphabets and six icon sets can be purchased separately.

How to set an eyelet using the Clikit Tool:

  • Place you item to receive the eyelet on the setting mat that comes with the tool kit.
  • Select the appropriate size tip for making the needed hole to receive the eyelet.
  • Place the tool on the item you’re punching the hole in– where you want the hole to be and press down on the toll handle until you hear the click of the completed punch.  For thick or layered items you’ll want to keep the tool in place to allow for another push on the tool to complete the hole through all the material.  You may have to do this a couple of times to complete the hole.
  • Select the eyelet you wish to use and place the eyelet into the hole you’ve just created with your Clikit Tool.  Holding the eyelet in place, flip your material over and rest it on your setting mat.
  • Change the hole making tip in your Clikit Tool to one of the two eyelet setting tips.
  • Place the tool with the new tip down onto  the backside of the eyelet protruding through your hole and press down on the tool until you hear the click.  You may need to set the tool more than once to spread the eyelet open (securing your project with the eyelet).

In addition to setting eyelets, you can emboss metal  and stitch–just follow the instructions provided.

Instant Setter from Making Memories

eyelet setter mat box set Eyelete Setters for Scrapbooking

Instant Setter from Making Memories is an easy tool to use. The Instant Setter has a magnetic head for easy tip changes and an adjustable tension control.

The kit includes:

  • 3 hole punch tips
  • 4 setting tips (punch and setting tip sizes are: 1/16, 1/8, 3/16)
  • A cone tip that works with the Stamping Set (for paper or ribbon weaving and corner slot punching)
  • A setting mat, and
  • An adjustable spring loaded setting handle/tool with tension control for easy hole punching and eyelet setting.
  • All of these components come in a tin storage container.

Silent Setter from Provo Craft

silent setter Eyelete Setters for Scrapbooking 

Provo Craft’s Slient Setter Hammerless Eyelet Tool Set will help you papercrafters set eyelets without the bother and noisy process of pounding your setter to set eyelets. Now all you need to do is push and twist the selected punch tip through your project to create a hole. With the magnetized tips, changing to an appropriate sized setting tip is simple and quick. After creating your hole and inserting your chosen eyelet simply give a push down on your tool with the setting tip to secure the eyelet.

Provo Craft’s Silent Setter Hammerliess Eyelet Tool Set includes:

  • The Silent Setter Tool
  • Three (3) sizes of punch tips
  • A mini craft mat
  • 50 eyelets in assorted colors
  • A zippered carrying case (measures: 2-1/2″ by 5-1/4″ by 10-3/4″inces).

 

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Ron on March 25th, 2011 | File Under Cards and Invitations, Helpful Products, Scrapbooking | No Comments -