Organize Patterned Paper by Design Principles – Paperclipping 192

paperclipping 192

How would you like to spend zero time staring at your page trying to come up with a design concept whenever you scrapbook?

What if you could find and choose your patterned papers within a minute or two, and sometimes within seconds?

It was so liberating to discover a scrapbook process that eliminated the awful staring-at-the-age torture, and turned one of my longest steps (choosing and finding my papers) into my shortest ones.

The solution to both of these problems is one simple question:

What is the mood or tone of the story you’re scrapbooking?

Many of the design principles are there to communicate mood, emotion, even very specific ideas. So if you just ask yourself this simple question, your design knowledge will give you all the ideas you need to make a page!

And now I’m organizing my papers according to these principles.

My 3rd Birthday

Just identify your story’s mood (energetic, serious or traditional, quirky, playful, stable, peaceful, etc), then go to the papers filed under that mood and its design characteristics.

I can’t promise it will be this fast for you, but it now takes me only as long as it requires to reach my hand over to my paper file and pull out the top 1-3 papers in that file — since I’m finding that when organized this way, whatever is on top will almost work for the page!

No more digging!

Finding the papers used to be one of my slowest steps, but it’s now the fastest.

Not sure how to start, or what those specific design principles are? We shot a video that shares…

  • many of the pattern styles and the emotions and moods they evoke
  • specifically how I’ve organized my papers this way
  • samples of the patterns I put in each of my “mood” files
  • some of the recent pages that resulted from many of these “mood” files
  • how a layout begins to actually comes together using this process.
  • how to test out this new system before you decide to commit to an
    entire re-do.

If you’re a Paperclipping Member you can find this newest video in your iTunes feed or in the Member’s Area!

Not a member yet? Click here to learn more!

  • Wendy

    Tried to watch the video on my iPad and I get an error….the other videos still work, though. I tried both SD and HD versions.

  • I get the error message too :(

  • I’ve just downloaded it through iTunes :)

  • Love it! But I’ve just organized my paper by color and want to give it a try :)

  • Rochelle

    I am also getting an error message.

  • Debbie Piercey

    This new method of organizing your pp’s is quite intriguing. Right now I separate my papers by manufacturer, but I can’t say that it really helps my process. I many try this on a few papers, like you suggested, and see how it works. I think you may be onto something. Thanks for sharing! Loved your layouts in the video!

  • Mary L.

    Oh my, I think I’m sold. I just reorganized all my papers using this method (I was using by manufacturer before and it was cumbersome to flip through everything every time, but color alone didn’t work for me so I stuck to brand). I feel liberated already. It took me less than an hour (I don’t have too much, maybe 80 full sheets or so) but I think the ease with which it came together indicates something. I started just putting things into piles and at first I had way too many piles, but as I went I started to come up with preliminary categories and tweaking as I went. I found that as I continued I would come upon one or two “ah ha!” pieces that just totally screamed whatever I was trying to say, and then it was easier to put the harder to categorize papers with those obvious ones.  I ended up with seven of my own categories that I feel great about, and even organized my corresponding scraps in just a few minutes (I can’t have just a pile of scraps, it’s too overwhelming for me).

    The real test came when I was done however. I’ve been staring at these two photos on my desk for a couple of weeks now–I wanted to use them with orange and cut part of this truly pretty orange paper with a graphic white pattern. But something was totally off and I was making no progress. I looked at them again tonight after the reorg, and decided they were actually “whimsical/fun” photos and pulled out a large white/orange dot pattern from that folder. There is no comparison, it works now–even though the oranges are basically the same! It just feels better. 

    The one other tip (besides looking for the ah ha! papers in your stash) I can offer is that I realized that for me personally color is a huge part of how a paper makes me “feel” and that the colors in my piles are extremely similar in tone if not also in actual color.  But this was so much better for me than color alone because I often have found it hard to decide which color a pattern actually was…And often I found that organizing by mood/feel accounts much better for both sides of the paper in almost all cases.  Thanks so much, Noell!

    PS of course, when my boyfriend asked what I was doing, and I said that was organizing my paper by how it makes me feel, he thought I was crazy. But when he saw how quickly I was done, I think even he was impressed. He is used to seeing me obsess over half-finished organizational schemes for much longer than this took!

  • Dear Noell, Nancy, Izzy, and everyone else, 

    I really, really enjoyed last weeks episode of the Round Table. I was so excited to immediately try organizing using some of the methods talked about on the show. First of all, I want to thank Noell for mentioning her system of purging. Wow! Who would da thunk? Not scrapbooking supply hoarder I. I know I have more supplies than I can ever ever use. I know I am not in love with everything I own. Yes, many things I love are buried under things I don’t love. What an organizational awakening! I have now decided (I must be honest and add that I haven’t quite started sorting things yet) that I will only keep what I love and get rid of what I don’t. I love the idea of having a bin on my desk where I scrap to put things in that I want to give away. Super smart! I also want to mention that I too use the color bins that Stacy uses. I am for the most part a color gal. I do however forget what is in each color bin, and end up using more time sorting through the bin, than actually scrapbooking. This makes me sad. I think my problem is that I have too much stuff. It is definitely stifling my creativity. Does anyone else have that problem? I honestly haven’t purchased any scrapbooking supplies besides adhesive in over a year. Most of my stuff is at least 3 or more years old. I like to mix old and new like Noell does, but wishing it didn’t take so much time to find what I want to use. Plus, I really want to buy a few new items that I’ve seen links to on this sight. 
    PS. Thank you, thank you for the awesome membership deal. I was once a non-schmow, then a schmow, and thankfully not a schmow no more :) 

    You guys are great! I always learn so much. By the way, my husband sometimes listens to the shows with me. He says that he feels sorry for Izzy being around all that estrogen all the time. He says he needs to host an episode called “The Man Show”, where there are only male scrapbookers, who drink beer, and fart a lot. 

    Oh, one more thing. I am totally going to sort my paper by pattern size. That is a super idea!

    Amy B.

  • Woo hoo! Thank you for your membership! Loved reading your comment, thank you!
    I did have that problem before — all the hunting and searching for the right product to use for each of my pages. It was a huge part of what took up my time.
    I think #1 that once you whittle your supplies down to only what you really love you’ll see a difference. Then #2 you might need to switch the way you have stuff organized if you’re still spending much time looking. I thought I had my stuff organized best for me — I organize them by how I look for things (ie. I have a handful of favorite manufacturers that I know well, so I organized them mostly that way for a while). Then it occurred to me — after many years of scrapbooking — that I actually look for products in a very different way that I thought. Now it literally takes me seconds to find what I’m looking for. I seriously can’t believe it!!
    I shared the details of my patterned paper hunt in the newest episode. Watch it if you haven’t seen it. I’m not saying you should organize your stuff the way I do, but it might help you figure out how YOU look for stuff. But always always do that purging step first so you’re only dealing with your well-loved items.
    P.S.> Thank your husband for his ingenious advice. I’ll pass it on to Izzy, lol. ;)

  • Amy — I just realized you were actually commenting on the post for the video I just suggested to you! I was thinking it was a Roundtable comment! Hee hee, so I guess you probably just saw this video! :)

  • It’s like a miracle, isn’t it? I’m so glad it worked for you too! I still can’t believe how fast I find papers now — every time I start a new page I brace myself, thinking that it can’t possibly continue to work so well, but so far it continues to stun me!
    To keep the episode from getting too confusing I didn’t focus on color, but color is definitely a part of how I organize my paper. I divide it up by specific color, the types of colors and color combinations on the page definitely play a role in how they make us feel so that also plays a big role into how I divide the papers.

  • Good luck with it!!

  • KikiK

    interesting approach! the funny thing is I already have a file folder with my soft/ delicate/ serene feeling papers based on the mood they give me when I see them. but this happened accidentaly! all of my papers are sorted either by color or manufacturer and a few by other categories (transparent, fabric, laser/die cut etc) I have to think of your approach. thank you for the inspiration!

  • Becca

    Hi Noell,
    What brand are the folders you use to store your patterns? I have something similar, but I believe that the manufacturer is no longer selling them.
    Speaking of a manufacturer that no longer sells something… a FRED was the number 1 thing on my Christmas list after seeing your review… sadly, they don’t seem to be available anymore and no response to any of my (or my husband’s) inquiries. Any ideas of where to find a similar product?

    Sorry to get off on a tangent…what I really want to know about is where you got those folders! :)

  • Those folders are from Creative Memories. I bought them about 8 or 9 years ago but they keep their items in stock for a very long time so they may still sell them.
    Sorry about the FRED! It’s such a good product, I hope they make/sell them again. I do not know of any other product at this time.

  • Becca

     Thanks for the reply. I have the same Creative Memories folders then! I’ll have to look for some more, or else I did find some Cropper Hopper ones that look good too. Maybe I’ll make my own FRED (and call it a BECCA?)… looks like it would be so handy!