Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Being Creative with your Scrapbook Layouts

By Christina VanGinkel

Creating a scrapbook layout can be a somewhat simple task. Choose a color or theme, an accent or two, and adhere your photos and journaling if you are the journaling sort. After a while though, your layouts might begin looking similar to each other to the point that you become lackluster in your approach to scrapping altogether. Being creative in your scrapbook layouts will not only keep your layouts looking fresh and unique, but it will also provide you with the enthusiasm to keep scrapping all your fabulous photos and memories.

So how does one be creative with their scrapbook layouts?

Pay attention to the Market

Keep an eye on what is popular in both the scrapping world and other crafts to begin with. This does not mean that you have to run out and buy every sheet of every new line of paper or embellishments that hits store shelves. Browse online stores, and your local scrapbook store. Pay attention to what is being advertised for the scrapbook market, and take note of those items you like. Ask yourself why as this can often lead to the discovery of other products and tools that may enhance your scrapping time.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

If you find yourself turning to the same color scheme, same layout, same old same old every time you sit down to scrap, take those offending items, and put them in a drawer or the back of the closet. The old adage about out of sight, out of mind really does work. Make a vow not to use them for the next two or three layouts that you create. To make sure that you do not go from one rut to another, do not allow yourself to repeat more than on or two things from layout to layout either. For example, if you used glitter and placed your title across the top of the page on the last layout you made, skip the glitter, and come up with some creative alternative for placement of the title on the next layout you do.

Check out what other Scrapbookers are Doing

If you have friends who scrap, ask them to show you their pages. You can also browse online galleries for inspirations. If you actually borrow someone's page idea, do not fret, as there is even a term for this and it is called scraplifting. While it is unethical to scrap lift a page for something you plan to profit from, (an example would be if you were selling pre-made pages on eBay), it is very acceptable to do so for your own personal albums and layouts.

Magazines can be a Scrapbookers Best Friends

Pick up a magazine or two. Scrapbook magazines are rife with ideas for bringing out creativity in your layouts, from reviews of new products, to tips on how to use supplies and tools in ways we might never have thought of, to page after page of other scrapbooker's layouts and projects. Do not just stop at scrapbook magazines for inspiration though. Pick up your favorite magazine, no matter the title, and page through it. What pages catch your eye and why? If it is an ad, is it the colors, the designs, or design of the layout, or the overall page itself? By noticing what it is about the pages that grabbed your attention, you can possibly borrow some of those same aspects to pump up your own layouts.

Be Brave and Try Something New

Try new things. As simple as the idea sounds, it is something that many of us who scrap forget to do after a while. One advantage of scrapbooking being as popular as it is is that there always seems to be something new on the market. Other crafts also lend themselves well to the hobby of scrapping. One of my personal favorites for use on layouts is wire. I purchased a wire jig for jewelry making some time ago, and one day as I sat at my scrapbook table trying to come up with a way to create a wave effect for a beach layout with not much luck, I happened to glance at my jig. A little while later, I had torn out some paper and edged it with some gently sloping wire waves to define the edges of the paper. Voila, I had unique and creative waves. I have since made letters from wire, and a variety of shapes for embellishments from both metallic and colored wires.

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