Arrange Your Space for Optimal Christmas Scrapbooking

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Do you rearrange your table or space in any special way for scrapbooking during the Christmas season?

Is your setup working optimally for you?

This is a hectic season, so now more than ever I want my supplies easy to find and access. I only pull out my Christmas supplies once a year. They come out between late October to early November and then go home to sleep some time in January.

I typically only scrapbook Christmas and Nutcracker Ballet stories between that period of time, and once I put it away in January, I never touch the Christmas stuff again until October, (though, the Nutcracker stuff might come out to dance a time or two).

Here is how I’ve got my space set up this year and what’s making it work for me.

A Planning and Staging Area

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I don’t know about you, but I often need to spread photos out and look through the album I’m working in as I figure out how to best tell my stories.

Remember that five-page layout I made last month with old photos and Santa letters and a secret lucky penny?

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You can’t easily develop a story over several pages like that without some space to spread out that is separate from the actual scrapbook crafting spot. Sometimes I use the floor for this, and that is A-Okay. For optimum use of your time and to avoid the crazy confusion and lost items that inevitably happen if we’re not ultra-organized, it’s best to actually DESIGNATE that space, whether it’s the floor or not.

These days I am fortunate to have a table specifically for this.

What if you don’t make five-page layouts? Well, normally I don’t either. For single and double-page layouts, a Planning + Staging Area still does a lot to keep it all organized, especially if you want story-centered albums.

I use the above table this way all year long no matter how simple or large my story is.

The Scrapbooking Area

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Of course, I have a separate table for the actual crafting of scrapbook pages (though I’ve scrapbooked many, many pages on the floor, too!).

The main supplies for the season are set up strategically around the table. They’ve stayed in these spots through all of my November scrapbooking and will continue through January until I decide I am ready to put Christmas to bed until next fall.

Since we all scrapbook a little differently and with an emphasis on different types of supplies, your optimum table should be a little (or a lot) different than mine. But the principles that guide the most helpful setups are the same, so I hope you get a few ideas to improve your own space, based on the underlying principles behind my own choices.

I’ll do my best to explain those principles as I describe how and why I’ve arranged my supplies the way I did…

Separate Any Paper Types You Most Often Look For

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Over the years I’ve learned that while I like a variety of colors on my Christmas pages, there are two types of staple papers I especially look for while Christmas scrapbooking. They’re the stable, consistent threads among the variety in my pages.

And so it makes sense to separate them.

Anything you find yourself looking for again and again should have its own special spot.

So I divided my patterned papers into three piles:

  1. Textured white, sheer, or screen-printed transparencies.
  2. Red, red, red.
  3. All other Christmas patterned papers of any other color.

I like to have some red on pretty much every Christmas page, so giving the reds their own special space saves me SO MUCH hunting time.

What characteristics of paper do you consistently look for to use on most of your pages?

Separate them and give them their own spot!

Embellishment and Detailing Supplies

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Directly across from me on the table is where I like to put all my supplies for adding detailing to my pages.

This includes favorite embellishments, other embellishments, punches for decorative edges, etc.

Favorite Embellishments

Our newest embellishments tend to be our very favorite, so they’re in their own pile, (on the right) separate from the rest (on the left in the white box).

Now that I’m looking at these pictures I have an idea for making this even happier. We tend to like our stuff more when it’s contained nicely so I have a pretty dish I sometimes use temporarily for items like this and I plan to grab it for the embellishment pile on the right next time I scrapbook. :)

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Punches

I use decorative edge punches and my scalloped circle punches more than usual for my Christmas pages, so out they come on my table for easy instant access.

Red Detail Additions

I pulled out some red glitter, washi, and jewel stickers and set them right in front of me because they are especially useful for adding pops of vibrant Christmas red to any (and almost every) page.

Remember, anything you do or look for regularly should have its own special spot for easy access!

Less-Used Items and Miscellany

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As we move farther left on the table we get to items I use less often.

Did you notice I have things set up right-to left, instead of left-to-right?

Why would I set it up opposite of the way we do most things?

Right to Left

I’m right-handed and this right-to-left orientation prevents me from having to cross my right arm over myself and my page to grab things. It’s easier to lean right with my dominant right hand.

If you’re left-handed it would be easier for you to put your most commonly used items on the left and your least-used items on the right.

a) In the box I have my other embellishments, some more likely to get used this year than others.

b) The weird-looking items to the left of the box are for video shoots: a video monitor, some pressed powder, and post-it notes. These are not related to Christmas scrapbooking. ;)

c) The tray on the left is a combination of two needs:

  1. Project Life cards.
  2. Glittered items.

The Project Life cards are glittered, so while they’re not designed for Christmas, they are a great addition to my Christmas supplies, since glitter is another must-have on all my Christmas pages. But once I put Christmas away, these will go back to their regular spot with my Project Life supplies for year-long scrapbooking.

I also have some wooden pieces there from Crate Paper that have glitter, but were not designed for Christmas. These will go back into my store of everyday supplies, as well.

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What’s Not on the Table?

First — Purposely missing from my table this year are my die cuts and inky, mixed-media, technique-driven supplies.

I have so many great new Christmas products I’m inspired to use this year that I am highly doubtful I’ll feel the urge to pull them out this time around (other than Christmas Red Stickles).

In past years I have pulled out dies, stamps, inks, embossing powders, etc. that are Christmas-themed and put them in their own space. My die cutting, stamping, and mixed media supplies are so easy for me to get to anyway, that I won’t be in any way inconvenienced if I do end up want to use some of them.

Second — Also missing from my table are Christmas products from the past that are not currently inspiring me at all. I might get rid of these. For now they are sitting in a container and out of my way!

Third — My Nutcracker supplies are in their own separate container. I am scrapbooking fewer of these pages right now, and plan to scrapbook more of the Nutcracker stories AFTER the holiday is over when I’m winding down on my Christmas album scrapbooking.

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Did you know we spent an entire season last year on organization tips for setting up your scrapbook space, in general? CLICK HERE for lots and lots on organizing for scrapbooking.

And finally…

Do you want to see some Christmas scrapbooking in action? The four November and December video tutorials are all Christmas-related!

CLICK HERE for info about a Paperclipping Membership. :)

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For videos on Christmas scrapbooking, everyday scrapbooking, organization in scrapbooking, and much more, CLICK HERE.

You made it all the way to the end! Good job! ;)

Happy holidays and shine on…

Love,-Noell

  • disqus_rtrf0BF366

    Really great ideas Noell. Thank you. Can you tell me how and when you use your gorilla bars (not sure if this is the name for them??) Do you clip them onto your table somehow?

  • Debra

    Oooh, I love long and informative posts like these!! They’re a rare breed in the blogging world nowadays. Thanks for sharing your process and space. I’ve got mine set up – it’s working well at the moment, so yay.

  • You’re so close! It’s a Gorilla Pod. You can clip it to the table, but I’ve just got the legs curving up so it’s simply sitting on the corner of mine. :)

  • Yes, longer posts are a rarer breed because long-form readers are even more rare these days!! Thank you for appreciating it. :)

  • Such great tips, Noell! I don’t do a lot of Christmas scrapbooking but I use similar staging and organization methods for working on project life. I tend to do PL in batches a few times a year, so I use a system similar to yours. Thanks for sharing and for the awesome behind-the-scenes look!

  • Ann Johnson

    Thanks for sharing. I was working on my DD at my desk that other day and was getting frustrated because of all my surroundings. I like the idea of having a designated spot for certain projects.

  • disqus_rtrf0BF366

    Hi Noell, Can you tell me how to clip it to the table please. I have one and rarely use it but want to start. Thank you.

  • Sure. It’s not actually a perfect clip, though. You just bend the legs so they wrap around the edge of the table. That’s not going to stop it from getting knocked off, which is why I don’t even bother. The clipping is better used when you ant to clip it to a tree or something. If you want something truly clipped to a table, you’d have to find a different product. This isn’t something I’ve looked into.

  • disqus_rtrf0BF366

    Thanks so much Noell. I thought this was the case. I was thinking of using it with my iPhone for creating videos. I’ll see what I can come up with. You have me very inspired to get organized to do some Christmas scrapping too! Thank you again.

  • Thank you! If you do end up deciding on a gorilla pod, be sure it’s iPhone compatible (you probably already looked into that). Different ones work with different cameras. We’ve had this one for years and years, so I don’t know what varieties they have available these days. Good luck!

  • Lezlee

    lol! You’re so sweet, Noell! Yes, many of us still read – old school I suppose. My fave priorities on Paperclipping are podcast, podcasts, podcasts, blog posts, and then the videos. Rarely enough time to WATCH, I’m afraid. Yes, your posts are definitely appreciated – not too long, honest!

  • Gabrielle McCann

    Really great post Noell – I love all the pics and tips!

  • Bev Beard

    I really need to do something more like this. I tend to not really clean up between projects or seasons. So everything stays all aclutter. It makes it difficult to move onto the next project.

  • Cyndi

    Great ideas! I especially like the idea of separating out papers that I would reach for first. Good tip. Thanks!