Plan Your Creative Year Now!

Discussing … timeless vs. themed kits

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

May 14, 2009


Once in a while, I want to see you all go head to head on some of these non-controversial, but still opinion-based topics. Today we’re talking about digital scrapbook supplies, kits mostly, but other smaller sets too. Let’s explore the importance of both timeless and themed items in your stash.

What I consider “timeless” includes:

  • non-seasonal color schemes
  • re-usable elements, especially stitches, fasteners, alphas, word art in neutral or basic colors
  • non-specific elements like hearts, starts, circles, buttons, ribbons
  • large selection of papers with classic prints and strong solids

Here’s an example in the TroubleMaker kit from Crisdam Designs. While there are a few word bits that reflect the title, most components of the kit could be used in completely un-related layouts. The color scheme would be great for camping photos, for example.

Themed kits often have these qualities:

  • specific, thematic color schemes and word art
  • seasonal, event or character (think princess or zoo animals) based elements and papers
  • can sometimes be smaller in number of elements or papers
  • more readily matched with specific photos

ABC, byIsabel Mendez, is an adorable school-themed kit. It probably wouldn’t make sense to use many of these elements for photos from Mother’s Day, but they would be perfect for a wide variety of  kid pics.

There is a spectrum of relative “theme-ness”, I think, and the differences between the two ends transcends design style. But this is YOUR post. What do you think?

More questions for you:

  • Do you buy mostly full-sized kits or smaller sets?
  • What do you look for when shopping?
  • How important is re-usability to you in a digiscrap product?
  • How often do you try to match a kit to the subject of your photo?

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  1. breeoxd

    great topic! Here’s my take: while i recognize the necessity of classic kits, they become really boring to buy after awhile. After all, the idea is that they are reusable, so you arent going to shop for them forever. When ou have the ability to recolor, how many red stripes do you need? I do have specific basic kits that are tagged in my software as go to kits, under my ratings system. Everything that I buy now pretty much has a theme. And reusbality is very important to me- the challenge of using a themed kit in a way not intended gives me a mad scrapper rush! For instance- I have three twilight themed kits that I have used in the following ways- wedding, love religion, comic books, camping and art. And of course, Twilight. lol. I look mostly for themed kits I know I can pick apart for later use and very original good quality basics.

  2. Jude

    This is a really difficult one. I don’t tend to go for super-themey kits. I quite like to get element packs so that I can theme up a layout without going over the top and cheesy. I *try* to look at the colours rather than the theme so that I can see if I can use it again, but I’m a bit of a sucker for being trapped by the kit name! I’ve also bought ‘timeless’ kits before, thinking I can get loads of use out of them, and end up using them no more than a themed kit. Guess I’m just fickle…

  3. Jennifer

    @breeoxd – I’m impressed with your kit-stretching!

    @Jude – There’s nothing wrong with being fickle. With every new release day, I’m like a kitten who has just spotted a ball of tin foil.

  4. Christine (supertwinkle)

    I tend to shy away from themey kits. It’s also the reason why I only CT for two individual designers now. I find themed kits very difficult to work with when I was CTing for more designers. Combine that with the weekly deadlines to make pages for the themey kits, I just didn’t enjoy it. I don’t have children, so many themes don’t apply to me. I am a sucker for beach/vacation themes though, so I will buy those occasionally. Overall though, I go for the “timeless” kits.

  5. shanknits

    I prefer timeless kits right now for a few reasons. I don’t have an extensive budget for kits, so I try to buy kits that I can use for as many projects as possible. I don’t have any kids, which I suspect effects my choices a lot. Most of my pages are about me and/or my husband, and photos of us are rarely wildly fun, so more sedate or general use kits serve me well. I don’t seem to participate in that many activities that would have matching kits, though if I found a yarn related kit that was my style I’d buy it in a second. I always figured that one of the great advantages of going digital is the ability to buy one design and use it over and over and over, and I still get a bit of a rush from doing so.

  6. Ginnie

    hi… I *buy* kits that are mostly related to kids. I love to scrap my grandkids… they are the reason I started. But I find that I can use those kits for almost any other page I want… so basically I like *color*. Doesn’t matter if it’s a themed kit or not. I visit lots of designers that do kids stuff.

    Thanks, Ginnie


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