Faster Scrapbooking Using an Assembly Line Technique

by | 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? 

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. 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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