Faster Scrapbooking Using an Assembly Line Technique

by | Feb 13, 2013 | Productivity Advice | 3 comments

This is a guest post from team member Aimee Maddern.

Super Bowl weekend I knew I would have some time on my hands, so I decided to work on a scrap-related project. I had been saving catalog covers for some time now. You know those catalogs in the junk mail we all get? They always inspire me. I also love the fact that they have the month/season/year on them.
OverviewFriday night I pulled them out and jotted down the months they were from. I then went to my computer and found a picture for each month to scrap. I printed the photos 5×5, keeping it simple (they happened to already be square from Instagram). Saturday, after my morning routine, I was ready to see what I could get accomplished.

To keep this project simple and productive, I chose to use white wood-grain cardstock for the foundation of my pages. I also decided to use all those little bits and pieces from kits and such. I needed to use only what was in front of me, including all those things I can’t use on design team projects and the bits I had been hoarding. After all, this project was for ME! My first layout took only five minuets. I also used a stamp that I have been holding on to. I set the layout aside and began on #2 and was done in less the ten minutes! I was on a roll.

Layout 1

Maddern 2

I decided I wanted to stamp on the layouts too. I left a little spot on each page where I could stamp later with a sentiment. I also wanted to do a little hand stitching to each layout in addition to machine stitching. I decided those little extras should come later. I also decided I could get more done if I stuck to a similar sketch. I made six layouts before lunch. If I hadn’t run out of cardstock, I think I could have easily made six more.

When the last photo got adhered to my last piece of cardstock, I laid all my layouts out and gathered stamps (most from Studio Calico kits and Ali Edwards’ stamp club with Technique Tuesday). When I came across a sentiment that went with one of my layouts, I stamped it. All nine layouts were stamped without a huge decision of which one to use here, or had I already used that one there.

I almost always machine stitch on my layouts. I hadn’t stitched any of these yet. I went to my machine with all nine layouts, sat down and stitched. This cut so much time out. I wasn’t up and down for each layout. For the last little bit–hand stitching I grabbed my bag of stitching supplies, sat down with my layouts, and pierced away. I then snuggled up on the couch with my dogs and began stitching.

I wasn’t trying to tell a story in my layouts as much as I was trying to preserve inspiration from 2012. (Editor’s Note: I love that you can use Aimee’s ideas no matter your creative intentions or storytelling objectives. An assembly line technique would be especially helpful when scrapbooking layouts for a thematic album, such as a trip.)
DetailsHere are the steps I took for accomplishing multiple layouts and keeping the process simple:

  • Use the same foundation (cardstock) for all layouts.
  • Print photos ahead of time and keep them the same size.
  • Keep to one or two similar sketches.
  • Use limited supplies.
  • Use an assembly line technique.

I loved how I could finish this fun project faster than I ever could have working one-by-one. Have you ever used an assembly line to create multiple pages at once? 


  1. Lois

    Aimee, this is a fantastic idea and I love it!! You go girl!!

  2. Sandra

    Aimee….Just loved this idea.. and the magazine is my all time favorite…!

  3. Leighbling

    Love the idea. I think I might do the same but use pattern paper scrap layers instead of the catalogues. Brilliant.


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