Monday, September 18, 2006

Fixing Scrapbook Mistakes

By Christina VanGinkel

The title of this piece does not even seem right, simply because it is difficult to make a mistake when scrapbooking. Sure, we might spill a drink or some such thing on a layout, and other than salvaging what we can we might have to trash the piece, but other than that, there is not a lot that cannot be fixed during the construction of a layout no matter how bad you think it might be.

Take for example the day I was using acrylic paint to hand create a border on a layout commemorating the years I worked at Splinter's, a home decor company where I hand painted wooden Santas and Amish folk and various other wood products. One minute I had a bottle of gold acrylic paint in my hand ready to squirt a small amount into a plastic tray, the next, the cover was off, and paint was all over one end of my layout. (I had previously opened the bottle to clear away the dried debris from the nozzle as I had not used the paint in quite some time, and I apparently did not close the bottle as tightly, as I had though I had!)

Aghast at what I had just did, I first sat stunned for a minute, assessing just how much paint there really was all over the piece, a finished layout except for the border I had just been about to start.

In the end, I mopped off what paint I could, which was a lot of it, and as the paint was cleared away, it started to look as if I had meant to antique the whole piece with the paint. Following through with my new 'theme' I even added more paint along the other side of the page where no paint had spilled, using a small sponge to create a soft painted effect with the gold paint. One picture had been overdosed, so I peeled it up and printed a new copy. This was a reminder to me to always make a copy of any photo I planned to use that there currently were no copies of, and keep the original in a safe place.

There are also products on the market specifically created for helping erase some mistakes. Keeping one or more of these products on hand is probably a good idea. I find myself using the UN-DU adhesive remover and the UN-DU Photo Care Kit quite often. The adhesive remover works to solve all sorts of adhesive problems, such as the sticky residue left from a misplaced sticker. The UN-DU Photo Care Kit though is one of my favorite problem solvers. It can help you fix smudged and fingerprint covered photos.

For those photos that might suddenly look a bit rougher than you thought, showing a scratch or even a small tear, do not bother replacing those, just use something to cover them up, or alter them. Add a sticker; trim the photo, or use a frame to cover up the blemish. If it is bad, consider distressing (aging) the photo by sandpapering the edges and inking. You can even lightly sand the whole picture and ink with an ink created for this purpose. Tim Holtz's Distressing Ink Pads work great. Choose a light ink such as Antique Linen or Old Paper, or go with a more bold choice such as Walnut or Black Soot, or play it safe and choose his Vintage Photo ink created specifically to provide your photos with a color resembling a vintage photograph.

If you use the computer or templates to create titles or journaling, only to realize once your piece is printed that there is an obvious spelling mistake, do not panic. For a title, cover up the mistake with another form of lettering such as a metal letter or even an opaque lettering rub on. Size of the replacement does not have to match perfectly, so try various types of lettering until you find one that works. For journaling mistakes, create a fix with a label maker if the sizing works, or good old white out, then redo the lettering in a contrasting colored ink, even covering up a few of the correctly spelled words to add more of the lettering just for fun.

My favorite way to fix what some might consider a mistake on a layout is to doodle over the error with my gel pens or to cover it up with some other embellishment. From clean lined layouts to busy themed ones, one more embellishment is often the best way to cover up any oops.

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