Your New Favorite Technique to Combat Crafter’s Block

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

April 27, 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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7 Comments

  1. mariane

    Thanks Jennifer. This has been so helpful and I plan to do it. ;o) I guess this is sort of like a sketch. And step by step is great when stumped.

    Reply
  2. Heidi Tressler

    Great pierce as usual Jennifer. I struggle with layering paper and the 5- 2×6 pieces is genius. I am going to use that as well as lifting one of my own pages at my crop this weekend.

    Reply
  3. Sheri Berke

    Love it! I’ve done this on a serendipity path or to get multiples done quickly, now it will be a deliberate plan for starting! Thanks

    Reply
  4. Carol White

    Great post and your daughter is growing up so fast and she’s so darn cute!

    Reply
  5. KirstenNB

    This is great. Not only the idea to reuse templates that I’ve used before, but also your two templates. I’ve not tried either. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Gabrielle Watson

    Scraplifting is definitely a way that I get out of my unmotivated/scrapbooking funk. It’s been months since I’ve scrapbooked, and it was mostly because I wasn’t making time for it, and I felt unmotivated.

    I found that I enjoyed organizing my scrap room and moving things around, then I would just get tired and sit down and stare at my pictures and paper completely overwhelmed to begin a project.

    Finally, the other day I ordered all of the pictures from our most recent family vacation (last September) to Disney World. For years, I’ve been trying to collect Disney embellishments, paper, etc to prepare for this beautiful, magical Disney scrapbook that I was going to create for my family.

    So I received the pictures, and I sat down the other day, and I made a goal for myself…. one layout per week, and just last night I finished my first scraplifted Disney page for the scrapbook, and I feel so proud and motivated to tackle the next few pages.

    To keep the momentum, I’m giving myself time and a goal, just one layout a week, and I’m planning what page I want to do next and the one after that to keep my motivation.

    Thanks for the awesome blog and tips/tricks. I seriously love them.

    Much appreciated,
    Gabi from Denton, TX

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      I am so so proud of you Gabi. Thank you for sharing how you simplified the process so it could work for you!

      Reply

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