Category Archives: Scrapbooking for Beginners

Monochromatic Color Schemes and Starters – Paperclipping 221

paperclipping 221

Want an idea that will help you pick out your colors and papers more quickly and easily?

How about an easy method to help you match patterned papers from different lines so you can use your scraps and get more out of what you’ve bought?

It’s super easy to mix and match papers when you go with a monochromatic scheme because when you pick just one color — blue-green for example — and then you can use lots of different versions of it from lots of different lines, including your leftovers. Light or dark, bluer or greener, warmer or cooler; most all versions of a color will play nicely together in a color palette.

But it doesn’t have to stop there…

Toy Time (closeup)

A Cheater’s System for Mixing Papers with Lots of Different Colors

I have a little cheat for how you can create a palette packed with lots of different colors. It’s a system that uses monochromatic color schemes as starters to make it very simple to create a varied color palette that looks complex.

This week I’m sharing this system in a video tutorial that goes way beyond the basics of monochromatic color. In this tutorial I share…

  • the mood that monochromatic color evokes so you can use it to better tell your stories
  • how to change the mood when you want monochromatic color but not the tone or feeling that monochromatic color naturally creates
  • which versions of color will NOT go well together
  • how you can use monochromatic color schemes to mix and match supplies from all types of lines, old and new
  • how to use monochromatic color as a starer to more easily create a color palette with lots of different colors

Paperclipping Members will find this video tutorial in the Member’s Area and on iTunes.

Does this sound like a video that could help you? You could get it along with 220 others today!

CLICK HERE for info.

Hopefully this episode will help you use a lot more of your products, match your mood to your story, and mix your patterned papers a lot more quickly!

Shine On,

How to Mix Patterned Paper

Do you ever struggle with how to mix patterned paper?

Have you heard a few rules here and there, but still find it a bit confusing?

The fact is, there aren’t any real rules for mixing patterns. There are lots of different methods, and people like to call them rules. Unfortunately, it’s the myth of the “rules” that leave scrapbookers feeling like they can’t do it.

Here’s the good news…

You don’t really need to learn all those “rules.” There’s just one single concept that will help you mix patterns well, and it’s extremely simple.

I’ve pulled a video out of the Paperclipping Library to share with you so you can see for yourself how those “rules” aren’t, in fact, rules. You’ll see how that one single concept leads to every wonderful patterned paper combination that exists.

With this concept you can become an expert, yourself.

Go ahead and watch the video. When you’re done you’ll be able to take all your leftover patterns from older collections — the ones you’re not sure what to do with — and start mixing them with each other.

And after that…?

Well, if you like this video, you might want to see more Paperclipping tutorials. We have well over 200.

CLICK HERE for info on a Paperclipping Membership!

Shine On,

How Izzy’s 4 Easy Tweaks Make Project Life a Truly Simple Approach to Scrapbooking

Izzy's Project Life 2013 5

Is your experience with Project Life as simple and easy as you thought?

Becky Higgins created Project Life as a simple solution to scrapbooking, but many of us online have complicated it with daily and weekly approaches and a focus on lots of additions and embellishments. For some, those approaches are perfect, but for others of us (me! me!) these daily/weekly/highly embellished pages are more demanding than our original scrapbooking process.

We’ve talked on the Roundtable about how we, as women, often place unnecessary expectations on ourselves. Now that Izzy is doing Project Life, that idea has become more real to me. He blew me away with his simple approach, and let me tell you, I LOVE looking through his Project Life scrapbook!

So if you’re someone who need to simplify your approach to Project Life, (or if you just want to see a male version of the project!) take a look at Izzy’s process…

4 Ways to Have Super Easy Scrapbooking with Project Life

1. Use Project Life Like a Journal.

Izzy sees PL as a way to journal, but it’s more awesome because it includes photos!

Journaling Approaches:

  • journal about a topic
  • record what you did
  • record what you’re learning

He doesn’t make it harder than necessary by forcing each spread into a week, or forcing each week into a spread.

2. Design a Spread Around a Topic.

So far, Izzy mostly picks a topic, usually related to what’s going on in his life. He prints related photos and creates a spread on that topic, regardless of whether it filled a week, a day, or a few hours.

Izzy's Project Life 2013 1

For this spread he wanted to talk about working on the editing of his short film so he added in some pictures during the film shoot last year.

Izzy's Project Life 2013 4

Izzy has left the right side of this spread blank because he wants to fill it in with photos from another, future, bike trip. See how you don’t have to tie yourself down with time constraints?

Only once has he done random photos from a specific week.

He also does pages about some things he’s learning.

3. Share A Sampling of Your Photos.
Izzy's Project Life 2013 (1)

Izzy is really good at just picking the 3 or 7 photos that fit into a 4×6 pocket. He knows that our other photos are easily viewable for us on the computer, on Facebook, and streaming on our television screen. We don’t even need all of the good photos in an album because they’re viewable these other places.

So his picks a few favorites and they represent.

Click here for help on how to choose fewer photos.

4. Use Repetition for Easy — But Good — Design.

Izzy's Project Life 2013 3

We love using embellishments to make our pages more visually pleasing but Izzy did something I’ve never seen before! He repeats the same decorative card across the spread. This repetition…

  • creates bold contrast between the cards and the photos
  • leads the eye across the page
  • gives a sense of unity to the spread

It’s a simple way to get good design without having to break out lots of products, tape, etc. And it has great impact, don’t you think?

There’s no right or wrong, and there are other simple approaches you can take for Project Life or scrapbooking. But if you’re finding it difficult to keep up with your current method, these are a few possibilities you might consider if you want to make it easier on yourself.

And by the way, isn’t it cool to see how a male might go about it?

How to Choose Products to Tell Your Story – Paperclipping 208

paperclipping 208

I’m assuming you’re a scrapbooker, since you’re on my blog. Are you also a storyteller?

My favorite kinds scrapbookers are also storytellers, and not just through words but also the design.

It’s amazing how one piece of paper can set the entire mood of your story. I’m getting ready to scrapbook a dance number my daughter and I did — the snow scene in the Nutcracker — and I found a beautiful white glitter paper that would look gorgeous behind my photo.

On the other hand, it also looked very calm, like a sunny morning when you wake up to find that snow had fallen while you were asleep and blanketed the world.

That is not what our dance was about.

Our dance was about that exciting night when the snow is still flying through the sky. So a little lower in my pile of papers I found a white paper with silver glittered flurries and swirls. That paper feels just like our dance to me.

Snow (closeup)

Do you look at your products this way? Look at them in terms of whether they feel like your memory?

Not only will this help you share your story in ways other than words, it can make the process of scrapbooking simpler because it helps you to narrow down your product choices. Many of us need help narrowing down our choices. :)

Give it a try!

Shine On,

P.S. To help you out I made a video where I assembled four different layouts, beginning to end, so you can see the whole process!

You’ll see products that match the photos but not the story. You’ll see what a difference it makes when you choose the products that do tell the story! And you’ll see those products all come together with lots of layering and scrapbooking fun to make complete pages.

This video is for Paperclipping Members. Members can find it in the Member’s Area and in your iTunes subscription.

If you’re not a member and you think you might be missing out, CLICK HERE for info!

December Daily Cover: Step by Step Instructions

25 Merry Days 2010

This is my favorite cover so far! Here’s how to do it…

Nov 2012 5

1. Die cut 3 ornaments from grungeboard. Paint them in the general color of the glitter you’ll cover them with. The paint doesn’t have to be an exact match. Then cover them in their final glitter or liquid pearls. I used 2 or 3 coats.

Supplies I used: Ornament dies * Joy die * other optional word dies here and here * Grungeboard * Christmas Red Stickles * Key Lime Liquid Pearls * Orchid Liquid Pearls

Nov 2012 1 (1)

2. Hand cut some cardstock as backgrounds for the ornaments. Use paper in the general glitters you’ll be covering them with. It doesn’t have to be an exact match. Then cover the hand-cut backgrounds with Stickles and Liquid Pearls.

Supplies I used: Thistle Stickles * Ocean Blue Perfect Pearls * Firefly Stickles

Nov 2012 17

3. Glue your backgrounds to your ornaments and then glue the ornaments to your album cover.

Paperclipping Members can see how I covered the chipboard for my cover in Paperclipping 200. Click here for membership info).

Nov 2012 14

4. Add foil tape to the top of your ornaments.

Nov 2012 11

5. Curl a thick wire into a loop for your ornament. I use wire from the floral area of my craft store.

Nov 2012 8

I curled mine by wrapping it around the top of the lid of a bottle of Stickles.

Adhere your ornaments to your cover.

Nov 2012 4

6. Tie 3 cute bows with some silver Christmas string. Cut a straight string for each ornament. Attach the straight strings to the bows with a glue dot. Then attach them to the wire loops of your ornaments.

Bend your silver strings over the top of the album cover and glue dot them to the back. Finish by covering the back with some fun holiday paper!

Happy holiday paperclipping!

Shine On,

P.S.> Did you know there are more than 200 video tutorials in the Paperclipping membership archives? You get immediate access to those when you sign up, plus 2 more every month! Click here for info.

Ten Scrapbook Layout Ideas With 5 to 6 Photos

There are a lot of ways to make scrapbook pages with 5 or 6 photos. They can be clean and simple or more layered and intricate.

Here are ten examples, only two of which required a two-page layout

Lots of Drama

1. Crop the photos down into smaller, irregular random sizes.

I cropped my photos digitally and I didn’t plan my page out ahead of time. This page works because all the pictures are randomly sized — as opposed to just some of them — and they’re laid out haphazardly. The randomness of all of the items, including their placement, gives unity to the quirkiness and tells a playful story.

If you have a Paperclipping Membership you can watch me put the title of this page together and learn about how its design communicates a specific feeling and idea. Look for Paperclipping 170 – Scrapbook Titles That Ramble.

This is Us

2. Lock cropped photos together into an irregular grid shape.

I cropped these photos manually. They’re fairly random in size and shape like in the previous page, though they’re much closer to regular shapes. By locking them together into a grid like this with straight lines, they create an interesting shape. The resulting alleys in between the photos become lines on the page that anchor everything in place.

If you don’t know what alleys are and how to use them, you’ll definitely want to watch Communicate with Space – Paperclipping 165. To understand the design concept of anchoring, look for Paperclipping 131 – Design with Anchoring Lines. You’ll need to be a member to watch these tutorials.

A little more about the page above – it’s an intro pages for an album, so it doesn’t have journaling. For both of this page and the next I gathered photos that never made it onto a scrapbook page.

Snuggle Bug

3. Overlap the cropped photos into one single structure.

The two circular photos were ones I had cropped years and years ago when it was common to do so. They never made it to a page and for a long time I wondered what I’d do with them. It turns out they provided some nice contrast for this photo structure I created. Again, I’ve made an interesting irregular shape with the photos, but it feels more like one single item on the page, as opposed to many items locked together.

Members can see me assemble this page in my two-part series called, Transform Your Albums Into Unified Stories. You’ll also learn about my intro pages, like the one just above this one, in that series. Look for Paperclipping 175 and 176.

At Home - 14760 Lucinda Dr.

4. Crop your photos extra small and link each one to a journaling box.

Both this page and the next one are scrap-lifts from Ali Edwards’s Yesterday & Today classes. I chose to place some photos on top of the journal box and other photos below to spread the weight in a balanced way.

I also made fewer rows so I’d have the empty space over on the left. This makes the page less symmetrical and allowed me to attract the eye to a starting point with my title, which also acts as a line that leads you horizontally across the page.

Related tutorials: Paperclipping 160 – Designing with Titls

Intro Page to Yesterday & Today Album

5. Enlarge one focal point photo and crop all the others down into a series.

This page is almost an exact lift from Ali with only my supplies being different. It’s the contrast between the two sizes that makes this page work so nicely. This is based on the dominance principle, which you can learn in Paperclipping 155 – The Dominance Principle and Photo Groupings if you are a member.

Mission(s) Accomplished: at 38

6. Form an irregular line.

I cropped these photos to three inches high. I then cropped the width of my top two photos so I could place them side-by-side as if they’re one. This is really just a vertical line, but by staggering the photos the line is irregular which causes more curiosity so you’ll want to investigate the photos and the page more.

It’s also a good way to add white space (breathing room) between busier photos.

Christmas for 2? - no journal insert

7. Form regular shapes, like rectangles and squares.

I cropped these photos into 4×4 squares. I paired two together on the left side, forming a rectangle, and placed the other four on the right side, forming a square. This makes a very clean-lined simple page.

Members can see me assemble much of this page in Paperclipping 184 – Stretch Your Leftover Themed Products.

Christmas for 2? - with journal insert

I typed my journaling onto a 6×12 page and inserted it in-between my two-page spread. Paperclipping Members can learn more about additional pages for journaling in Paperclipping 173 – A Journaling Design Technique. In that episode you’ll see me make an interesting layered journal page with tags and embellishments.


8. Form three rows.

Leave two or three of your photos as full-sized 4×6’s. Crop the width of the others. Form three rows with them, rounding the corners so each pair feels like one row.

This page came from my Train Station Flexible Template – Paperclipping 159. If you’re a member you can also learn about alleys and space. Look for Communicate with Space – Paperclipping 165.


9. Form a 9-square grid.

Crop your photos into 3×3 squares. Lay them out into a grid and use the remaining spaces as places for journaling or embellishments.


10. Form a circle.

This is a page that shows my Monday schedule in 2007. (Looks like I need to add the year to this page!). I added photos, ephemera, and words around the clock to show what I did at what time in a 12-hour period.

This layout was an alternative approach to using my Circular Anchor Flexible Template, which I shared in Paperclipping 120. You get access to all the video tutorials I mentioned in this article as a Paperclipping Member. Actually, you’ll receive a total of 188 videos, plus two more every month.

CLICK HERE to learn more about a membership.

So there you have it! Ten completely different ways to lay five or six photos out, each designed visually to evoke a different tone and tell it’s own story. Is that enough to get you started?

Q & A: What Kit Club Should I Join?

Today 2-28-08 Minibook

I need your help! I got this question and I think many of you will be better at answering it than me! I’ll leave my own answer with two recommendations, but if you have a kit club you’ve been using that you love, please share (with a link) by leaving a comment!

So, I’m a new member at Paperclipping and started listening to the Round Table (playing catch-up …)

I love crafting but what has always hold me back is my lack of creativity and inspiration … I’ve also a problem with space: in my little 1 bedroom apt, I’ve no room ;-( I could use the little kitchen table but my Lovely DH can’t stand mess … We also don’t have much storage …
One other big trouble with me: I get overwhelmed at the store with so much choice :-/

I was thinking that maybe joining a kit club would help me start a little collection until I figure out what I really like and use out of those kits …
So I come to you to ask if you would have a company you would recommend me ;-)

Thank you for your time.

PS: I really like your Podcasts and Videos

Sincerely, Karine (fdgtgrl)

I do think a kit club would be a great solution to get Karine started!

What I Would Look For in a Club

Some clubs are collections of products from one company line. I recommend Karine go with a club that mixes products from multiple companies instead. I think eclectic kits will be better at helping her decide what she likes and will introduce her to more of what is out there.

What Kit Clubs Do I Recommend?

I haven’t tried many since I live near so many different scrapbook stores. One I have tried twice and had a great experience with is Cocoa Daisy. They bring in guest kit designers who choose the products. I like that the products are so varied and different but all looked great together.

Most of the products in my minibook above and below were from one of the Cocoa Daisy kits a while back.







I’ve also been wanting to try Studio Calico. They seem to have a nice mix of manufacturers along with their own products.

Audience Suggestions

I know there are a lot of you out there who have much more experience with kit clubs than I do! What are your favorites? Please leave a comment with a link to a club you recommend! Thanks!

How to Print with a Photo Developer and Maintain a Simple Scrapbook Process


I don’t print at home. I send photo orders to my local Costco Warehouse and I drive the ten minutes to pick them up.

Sounds inconvenient, you say?

Well, I disagree. I find it totally convenient.

I actually have an Epson printer that will print photos, but I happen to like using my developer. It’s true! It’s the reason I’ve felt no incentive to use my own printer!

I know a lot of you print through a developer like me. Others of you print at home, but would like to save money and ink by doing some printing through a developer. If you’ve been agreeing with the masses, though, and feel inconvenienced that you can’t print at home, you might want to take a look at my process and see how I make it work well for me. Maybe just a little tweak here and there to your own process will give you the same ease in your workflow that I feel in mine.

Get Into a State of Flow by Task-batching Your Scrapbooking Steps

I scrapbook when I want to scrapbook, and I play with photos on my computer when I want to play with photos. I don’t make myself do one activity when I want to be doing the other.

Each of the two activities uses a very different mindset and different tools, so I don’t combine them. What I mean is, I don’t think it’s as effective to creative flow when you want to scrapbook, but first you have to get on the computer and pick the photos, edit the photos, and then print them.

There’s nothing wrong with it, and I know there are many scrapbookers who do it that way just fine. But it does require that you change mindsets, and you’re less likely to maximize the potential of your photo editing if you’re hurrying through that process because what you’re really trying to do is scrapbook. Plus, it’s no fun to be doing one thing when you’re wanting to do another. Right?

Of course, this method means that some photos must be ready and waiting for you when you have the paper urge, and want to get into a paper flow.

Here’s my scrapbook process from digital photo to the actual page layout.…

Photo Prep & Printing

When I’m in a computer-photo mood, I spend time prepping my photos by doing any of these steps:

  • Identifying the ones I will want to print, share, or scrapbook.
  • Editing only those chosen ones.
  • Adding journaling into the metadata of my chosen photos.
  • Digitally cropping those favorite photos to the sizes I want for scrapbooking.
  • Ordering my photos for printing.
  • Uploading them to share in sets and collections on Flickr.

For more details on my process, you might want to read my article, How You Really Can Tell All of Your Stories.

How to Organize It:
I have a folder within my Pictures folder on my computer that I called, “Photos In Progress.” Within that folder I add even deeper folders for any picture groupings I’m working on over time. For example, I had a lot of pictures from Aiden’s birthday party and I spent a couple of days choosing the photos, cropping them, and adding multiple small photos to single larger canvases for me to crop later. I kept these pictures in that folder until I had it all finalized.

Screen shot: Pictures Folders

When I have a single photo I’m excited to scrapbook, or a folder of photos that I finished prepping for print, I send them to a different folder on my desktop that I call, “Print.” As soon as I’m ready I upload them to Costco and then pick them up while I’m running errands.

Print in Small Chunks Instead of Big Batches
I no longer wait until I have a big stack of pictures to print. When I did that in the past I found that I had hundreds and hundreds of photos that didn’t motivate me; or that weren’t in the sizes I wanted when it was time to scrap.

What’s working amazingly for me now is to order prints for just the handful I’m most excited about. I order just enough to last me about two weeks of scrapbooking. It keeps me motivated to scrapbook, and I don’t get overwhelmed by the process of organizing a big stack of photos, especially since I love to print in various sizes.

Customizing Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories System
Many of you know I follow Stacy’s system. How am I doing it now with this new process? I do it digitally. I organize my favorite digital photos into quarterly albums in my photo manager (instead of in actual tactile albums), and then when I’m really motivated I keyword photos by Library of Memories categories (instead of putting actual prints into physical category drawers).

Scrapbooking With Prints I Have

I find that after I’ve edited, journaled, and cropped the digital photos I’m most excited about, I’m almost always motivated to scrapbook them right away. I’m working on making a landing spot for the small handful of pictures I’ve printed to serve me over the next week or so.

What if I ruin a photo? Someone commented recently on the large focal point photo that I cropped with the Fiskar’s Apron Lace Border Punch, asking me how I dared to take such a risk with my photo, since I print them at a developer.

4 July

I don’t see this as an issue. If you mess up your photo you just order it again. It’ll be ready within a couple of hours and you can continue scrapbooking with your messed up photo until you can replace it with the good one!

You Have the Urge, But Not the Photos

Recently my urge and scrapbooking speed got fairly manic and I found myself needing to scrapbook two stories for which I did not yet have prints. No problem. You can see in the photo below that I went right to work without the print. I could see what the photos looked like on my computer and I used my understanding of design principles to help me make decisions.

My Work Table on 4/19

Left Layout
On the left I used my understanding of scale and proportion to know how much bigger I would want my photos to be than my embellishments. In this case, it was actually better for me that I started scrapbooking before printing, because had I not started this way, I would have printed my photos either too large and they would have dwarfed my embellishments, or I would have made them too small and my embellishments would have competed.

In this case, the embellishment choices were important to me because they are ephemera. I wouldn’t have wanted to just change my embellishments to fit my photos.

Right Layout
On the right I used a stand-in scrap piece of paper with a similar size and a similar visual weight as the photo I wanted to use. This worked perfectly fine, as you can see in the final results:

N 38

An Easy Printing and Scrapbooking Process

As long as you live fairly close to a decent photo developer (mine is ten minutes away, not close to other places I go), this is a very easy process for scrapbooking! Sometimes I get the impression that scrapbookers feel inadequate for not having a printer at home. I choose not to print at home, though I have the tool to do so.

I just find the common viewpoint to be incorrect. Printing with a local developer can be very convenient if you fit your scrapbook workflow around it!

This Week at Paperclipping

No Paperclipping Event for (Inter)National Scrapbook Day

In the past we’ve had some fun and awesome live online events, plus a donation drive. I’m so sorry to say that this year I can’t do it. I have been looking for an opportunity to take a weekend workshop with an artist I admire, and she finally scheduled one fairly near me on that same weekend! I had to jump on the opportunity!

I know there will be many other fun events happening around the web. I will be looking for a different day where I can do a live event in the next couple of months, so please keep watching the newsletter for the announcement!