By Christina VanGinkel
Framing layouts is nothing new, and I think it is a great way to show off layouts with special meaning or some significance beyond your more ordinary pages. However, what if you think that all of your layouts are worthy of some special recognition, at least for a while. Maybe you just like the way a layout turned out and putting it away in an album feels too final. Maybe you only get to share your albums with those who appreciate them once or twice a year, like when your mom or sister comes for a visit. So just finishing each layout and tucking it into a protective sleeve in an album might seem more like an ending than a feeling of satisfaction that you have created something unique and worthy of being shared.
Moreover, not every scrapbook layout belongs tucked away in an album, at least not right away! After you have worked hard and laboriously on some of them, they should be framed and hung on the wall for all to see, or if not framed, at least displayed for a while. This is actually a great way to share your work with some people that might not otherwise have an opportunity to see what you do. So how else can you display those layouts, other than lining your walls with frame after frame?
One way to temporarily display your pages, until you are ready to put them in an album, is to hang them from a clothesline, or should I call it a layout line. It can be fashioned from any lightweight line you have or pick up a roll of thin cording from the craft department or home wares department at your favorite store. Keep it thin though, otherwise you risk leaving a mark on your pages that you do not want. Pick up a pack of tiny craft clothes pines, big enough to clip your pages in place, small enough that they also will not leave a mark. Paperclips will also work. Ideally, insert your finished layouts in a protective sleeve, and attach the clips to the ends, and not to the layout itself. Even if the album you plan to put them in does not have a removable sleeve, pick up a pack of inexpensive ones just for your temporary line of display. (Our local dollar store carries them in packs of ten for a dollar. At ten cents apiece, that is a hard price to beat.)
String your line in a place that you can hang your finished pages for everyone to admire, but where they will not be damaged prematurely by the sun or prying fingers of small children. If you have a dedicated scrap space, that can be the best place to hang them. Not only will others get a chance to admire your work, you will be able to be inspired during future projects yourself. As the line becomes filled, move the end ones to your album, that way you never have to worry about which ones to put away next.
If your pages just seem too precious to leave out, but you still like the idea of displaying them, scan each finished page when completed, store the original way in the album of your choice, and print a copy of the page. The copies can be life-sized, if you have a printer capable of this, or in a smaller format. I actually prefer to print them smaller, as the finished display is easier to leave about. An 8" x 8" is a good size as you can find protective sleeves in that size. Assemble a group of them together and make a coffee table book. The book does not need a cover, just slide each page in a protective sleeve, pinch some holes along one edge with a three whole punch or a simple paper punch, if the sleeves you use are not already made for insertion in some sort of binder, and slide a keychain styled ring through one or all of the holes. Visitors can flip through your book of layouts while your originals are stored away safely, and the book itself will stay looking new in its protective sleeves for many visitors to come. If you are concerned about the pages sliding out, slide a decorative paper clip over the top of each page or even use a decorative stapler to staple each sleeve securely closed.