Even the most experienced scrapbooker can feel daunted by something so simple: a blank piece of card stock.
You start to push items around but can’t quite “see” how it will all come together. The emptiness just glares at you and if it’s a white page, the intimidation factor jumps even higher.
All scrapbook pages begin with a blank page, but there are tools and shortcuts that lighten the pressure of staring it down. From sketches to “scraplifting” (i.e. copying another page), choosing a starting point to work from is the fastest way to jump that hurdle.
In this post I’m sharing a specific approach that is practically guaranteed to end even the toughest cases of crafter’s block.
The approach I’m suggesting is one you might have tried without even knowing it, but it’s the intentional act of it that makes the most difference for your productivity. What I’m actually talking about is scraplifting yourself, creating a new page or project using the same design you used before.
If you’re in need of a solid creative direction that works with your style, look no further than your own albums for the perfect starting point.
If it worked once, it is almost certain to work again! What’s most remarkable is that copying a design, whether all or in part, adds continuity to your album rather that seeming matchy or boring. Here are some examples:
Scraplifting Example #1
I love creating layouts with patterned paper as the star. This 9×12 page began by cutting five strips of paper into 2″x6″ strips. I layered them in almost a woven pattern at right angles, then adhered those to the page. The rest of the layout was built around this foundational block of papers.
I was able to tuck in my photos and embellishments by not going overboard with adhesive on the papers, and choosing one that doesn’t permanently adhere too quickly (Kokuyo). The last steps were adding a stamped embellishment, my journaling, and a few tiny enamel dots.
That page came together so easily I had to use the composition again and this technique did not disappoint. Getting started required very little thinking, only following my original as a guide. With a different page size, different colored background, different photo sizes, and completely different supplies it’s also not obvious I copied myself.
In scrapbooking the photos and words are the lead actors, with the supplies playing a supporting role. And as almost every movie or show follows a formula, when you replace the actors you get a completely different result.
Scraplifting Example #2
This page uses a classic grid with a twist: I staggered the rows. This geometric foundation is part of what makes the numerous patterns work so well and not look chaotic. I love scrapbooking in grids, changing up the approach depending on the size of photos I’m working with.
I began this layout with the two photos and a concept for the title work. The rest was built around that, beginning with creating a foundation via the pattern papers. Each additional touch served to fill in the grid, with the journaling forming a border.
Square photos and grids are a match made in scrapbooking heaven. Creating a new page with this 2×3 grid was fast, allowing me to focus on identifying embellishments for fun title work. I chose not to stagger the grid in this case and instead added the enamel dots inside of the journaled border.
As in the previous example, choosing visually different supplies makes the layout look consistent with your style but not a replica. Plus, knowing that my composition was going to work boosted my creativity and my confidence as I pulled it all together.
There’s a time and place for thinking outside the box and trying new things, but it’s not when that blank white canvas is frustrating you. If you’re in need of a solid creative direction that works with your style, look no further than your own albums for the perfect starting point.