By Christina VanGinkel
A friend of mine, along with her sister, sells scrapbook layout kits. They assemble paper, embellishments, titles, etc., that all coordinate to make creating a layout as quick and simple as can be. Right after checking out a few of her wares one day, I received an advertisement in my mailbox that was promoting a 'personal shopper' for scrap bookers with limited time on their hands. Somewhat the same as the kits my neighbor was selling, this was put together in the form of a club, and each month, for the cost of $29.95, the mail person would deliver a box of paper, embellishments, even adhesives and a different tool, so that visiting a scrapbook store would never be required again. You did not get to choose from any theme from month to month though, and while you could send back any kit that you might not want, we all know how that works when you sign up for something such as that. If you figure you will not use it, you will most likely still keep it, intending to pass it along to a friend, or to trade with if you go to a scrap crop or such.
I do think that these or other similar ideas can be the perfect answer for those individuals who are truly strapped for time, and still want to scrap as often as they can. While the deal that came in the mail seemed to be a bit overboard, coming with something like twenty sheets of paper in each kit, and tools that a scrapper might or might not already own or ever need, the neighbor seemed to be on the right track. I also questioned the quality of the mass produced kit, as I had seen something similar from a different company and was not overly impressed with the quality of the included materials.
My friend and her sister though, pick and choose several different themes each month, and assemble their kits with just the right amount of supplies to create a layout. They use products from name brand companies, and are always willing to create a kit in a theme of your own choosing, as long as you give them a few weeks notice. Each kit will still obviously have a few leftovers, as they make sure to add enough embellishments and such that whoever is assembling a layout from one of the kits, will still have some choices to make, allowing for personalization, which is always one of the most fun aspects of creating any scrapbook layout.
They do not include any sort of tools with the kits, though if they have a layout that they would use foam dimensional dots or something along those lines, they do include specifics such as those. They send out a notice with the current month's kit, detailing what the upcoming month's themes will be, and you simply check the one or ones you want, and send the card back with your choices checked, and the cost of those you have chosen.
They also have a running list of extras, such as various adhesives and tools, which you can order from them at any time. Living in a small community as we do, with no dedicated scrapbook store, having the luxury of accessing many of the newest papers without having to track them down and pay shipping on just a few sheets here and there, is a big draw for many people. While others and I myself, will always like to assemble our own layouts from bottom up, if you are struggling with time issues or just cannot seem to create a layout without struggle, purchasing pre-assembled kits such as these might be just the products you have been looking for.
I always figured I would never buy a kit, yet when I look through theirs, I always manage to find something I like, and am amazed at how they thought to put certain embellishments together. A different perspective such as through a kit is also a good way to breathe life into your scrapbooking if your designs all seem to run along a similar style. Check out a few pre-assembled kits, you just might be pleasantly surprised in much the same way as I was.