What is simple scrapbooking?

by | Productivity Advice | 2 comments

This is a guest post from Lain Ehmann, whose famous Layout A Day course starts tomorrow! I love the message Lain has for you & I hope you do too!

I‘ve been scrapbooking for almost 15 years now, and I’ve created over 1000 layouts during that time (yeah, I’m a little obsessive-compulsive!). I’ve scrapbooked while moving cross-country (twice). I’ve scrapbooked while pregnant (in fact, that’s about all I did while I was pregnant!). I’ve digi-scrapped, hybrid-scrapped, and paper-scrapped. I’ve done the shabby chic, the clean and simple, and the sticker sneeze.

I’d venture to say that I’ve had more scrapbooking styles than Madonna’s had hairstyles! And while I haven’t loved them all (referring to Madonna’s locks AND my scrapbooking phases), I’ve always loved scrapbooking. Enough to come back to it again and again and again. So I feel confident that I have a few words of wisdom to pass on regarding this crazy hobby of ours. Read on for my thoughts on scrapbooking – simple scrapbooking, in particular:

  • “Simple” is in the eye of the beholder. To some, a “simple” page is one with nothing more than cardstock, a photo, and some journaling. To someone else, “simple” means they left off the glitter on the edges of the handmade flowers they lovingly created from their child’s baby teeth and dryer lint. What’s simple to you may seem impossibly complex to someone else, just like French braiding my daughters’ hair is well beyond my somewhat limited stylist skills, but is second-nature to most moms. (Note: How did we get back to hair again??)
  • “Simple” isn’t tied to one magazine or one website or one person. Now that Simple Scrapbooks Magazine is gone, does that mean simple scrapbooking is gone? No way. I’ve seen “simple” layouts in BHG, on 2Peas, in CK, and on fabulous sites like the Write.Click.Scrapbook. collective. Simple lives on thanks to simplescrapper.com (and of course over at my site, http://www.layoutaday.com, too!)
  • “Simple” can be digital, paper, or hybrid. The means of conveying your memory has less to do with simple scrapbooking than do your feelings about scrapbooking. You can have a simple photo book, a simple digital layout, or a simple mini-album. Simple is an equal opportunity scrapbook philosophy, and does not discriminate based on hard drive size or skill with Photoshop Elements.
  • The bottom line. “Simple” is what fits in your life, right now. Simple is the style that will allow you to document the memories you want to document, in the way that makes you happy. Simple goes with the flow, adapting to what you have to offer and what you need.

How you define “simple scrapbooking” may change over time. Maybe right now you’re in a Martha-Stewart-behind-bars period in your life, and you’ve got tons of time to spare, at least for another five to ten with a few months shaved off for good behavior. But once you get out and re-enter the workforce, your time may become a little tighter (after all, those visits with parole officers can eat up a whole day!).

That’s okay. True simple scrapbooking will stand the test of time. You can even leave it for a few months and come back to it if you have to (like if you’re someplace where they don’t allow sharp implements). All your photos – and your memories – will be waiting when you come back to them.

About Lain: Take a dash of Rachael Ray, a scoop of Ellen DeGeneres, and mix with a heaping cup of Becky Higgins and you come mighty close to author, instructor, and professional scrapbooker Lain Ehmann. With a wide variety scrapbooking videos, tutorials, and tips, her blog inspires women to make their scrapbooking fun, fast, and fabulous!

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. Kimberly Bates

    Great article/post! I also think the “simple” concept really helps people get out of overwhelm and just get STARTED, which is so much of the battle.

  2. ava-j

    oh, what a great post…Lain is a funny lady!but what she said are all true…here’s to each of us finding our own simple perfection! 🙂



  1. Link love da semana | Scrap Mix - [...] já que estamos falando de simplificar, que tal uma reflexão sobre o que Scrap [...]

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