Getting out of a slump, randomly

by | Productivity Advice | 4 comments

This is a fantastic guest post by Shannon Fugal, aka “shanknits”. I can’t wait to try out this trick myself! You can read more from Shannon on her blog or on Twitter. – JSW

Usually I do the exact same thing when creating a layout. I choose the photos for the event or time period I’m scrapping, go through my kits trying to find something with a theme or colors that coordinate, then go through my embellishments, templates, and fonts to find things that coordinate.  But some days I sit down, choose a few photos, and then my brain stops. I look at my kits and all I see is a sea of folders and kits that all look the same.

This has happened to me many times. I’ve spent hours staring at my supplies, completely stuck. Eventually I decided that the best thing I could do was to inject a little randomness into the process. As well as making the process much less predictable, it makes it a bit of a game.

I know that everyone stores their supplies differently, so you may have to change the technique you use for picking them slightly, but remember, randomness is the key.

So here’s the game:

1)       Pick your photos. Start with 1-5 photos. Anything else will take too long. (I suggest starting with something with a unifying theme, not a Project 365 page.)

2)      Pick a template that is designed for the number of photos you are using. You can open up to three different templates and look at them, but then you have to use one of those.

3)      Pick a random kit. Make sure it’s a full kit, no paper packs. There are a few ways to pick… (Which ever method you choose, I recommend you make your decision with your eyes closed.)

  • You can do a search for “kit” in your digital scrapbooking directory and then randomly choose one from the list.
  • If you keep your kits in the same directory you can randomly pick one in the directory
  • Choose your most recently downloaded kit

4)      Open up your font folder or font list, close your eyes, and move your mouse up and down the list, click with your eyes closed. (If you hit the Dingbats you can choose again.)

5)      You now have your supplies. You can use that font and template, those photos, and the contents of that kit. Nothing else.  Go to it! Put them all together and save the page.

At this point you may be thinking one of the following:

But none of those things go together!
This page is going to be ugly!

These are both likely. The point here isn’t to create a page that you’ll keep forever. The point is to get the ideas flowing, and once you’ve created that page you’re sure to start thinking about how you can change this page to make it the page you want. Once you’re thinking about how you want that one page to look, you’ll find it that much easier to think about what you want to do with your other photos. If you find your ideas aren’t flowing freely yet, create another random page. I find that when I create a random page, as soon as I save it I think of the kit, embellishments, or font that would really make that page look great.

Here’s a page of mine from this point in the process.


Template by Chrissy W; Font: Bell Gothic; Kit: Jokes on you by Sweet Digi Scraps

It’s not terrible, but there are a few things I know now I’d like to change. The photos don’t fit well into squares. The font is kind of dull for what I’ve got going on, and I don’t think the colors in the kit work well with the photos.

Here’s my finished page with the same photos:


Kit: Reason to Smile by Spotted Dog Designs; Title font: Cry Kitty; Template: Pressplate 15 by Paislee Press; Journaling Font: Tekton Pro

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Jenn

    GREAT ideas! Sometimes just getting ANYthing on the page is what starts things flowing. I’m going to have to remember this!

  2. photojenic

    Love this idea! It’s like giving yourself permission to make a potentially sucky page on purpose. *lol* I get so hung up on wanting them to be perfect the first time that I freeze up. I’m going to have to give this idea a try. 🙂

    Random: I think it’s totally kewl and funny how many “Jen’s” keep showing up here. It’s practically a Jen convention. *rofl*

    • photojenic

      FYI: I’m a Jen too, in case you couldn’t tell. (photoJENic)

  3. Jenn

    No kidding – worst part for me is the name didn’t get really popular until about 15 years after my parents named me, so there’s all these YOUNG chicks running around with MY name! LOL! Still, I like all the Jen/Jenns I meet, so guess I can live with it. Or change my name to something unusual… Ethel? Prudence?


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