What’s On Your Scrapbook Table Right Now?

My Scrap Table Right Now

What is the value of a cheap folding party table from Walmart? Monetarily, it’s about $38. But the real value? My big long ugly table allows me to work on multiple projects at once! And I LOVE that!

What You See From Right to Left

I know we usually explain things from left to right, but please bear with me on this one. It’ll do your creative brain some good to go backwards anyway!

Far Right – a scrapbook page about Trinity and a little phase she’s been in lately. During this weekend’s True Scrap event I’ll be sharing the step-by-step process of how I put this layout together (I’ll show it with photos) in terms of design and the principles involved in each step. If you’re interested in this event, you’re running out of time, so please sign up quickly!

Mid Right – the next scrapbook page just to the left is my story about walking to school with my crew in 1980. I went back-and-forth on this layout so many times. I’ll share this process with you this week on the Paperclipping Roundtable. In a couple days I’ll also post photos here on the blog of the layout from beginning to end!

Far Left – a stack of my art journals, plus one lying open to a page I’m working on (I have four, and I’ll share those some time next week hopefully). In that same spot on the table I was also spray-misting pieces for the first layout on the far right of the table.

Big Ugly Empty Tables

For a long time I kept a regular stash of items on my table — tools I need every time I work, adhesives I use the most, my tray of scraps, and a basket of new and old products I wanted to use (which got ignored and did not work for me at all!).

Now I keep nothing on my table except the current projects I’m working on. That leaves me plenty of room to scrapbook one or two pages on one side of the table and do artsy projects on the other side.

It turns out this seems to be the most perfect way for my particular manic creative brain. It goes along with my theory that by acting on ideas when you get them, instead of waiting or adding them to a list, you increase your creativity.

So this is how I’m facilitating my desire to be able to work on multiple projects at once. You can read this article to see how I organize all my unfinished projects.

Are You a Speed Crafter/Artist/Scrapboooker? Or Are You Slow and Thoughtful?

For years I’ve thought I was slow because I need to take many step-away breaks while I’m working. I’ll be chugging along and then suddenly I just need to let my brain twirl around for a few minutes before I’m ready to pick up again.

Now I realize I work up a feverish speed if I can have multiple different projects around me. For example, I’ll be working on a scrapbook page and hit one of those moments when I just want to stop and let the ideas mix around in my head for a few minutes. So I push my chair-on-wheels down to the other end of the table and look at my art journal and have an instant idea for a page I had been feeling stuck on. Then while I’m putting that new idea into action on my art journal page, I’ll suddenly come up with a solution for the middle layout on my table!

At that point I might interrupt my art journal to jump over to layout number two, or I might finish what I was doing first and then jump over as soon as I’m done. Inevitably, that process will then spur the next idea for the first layout I was working on. Overall I’m zipping up and down my table, back-and-forth, getting lots of idea bursts and making things happen.

So now I know I was wrong about myself all those years. I am a Speedy Gonzalez under the right circumstances for me.

So, back to my original question…

What’s on your table right now? What are you working on?


Can you work on more than one thing at a time like I do? Are you fast or slow and thoughtful? Have you experimented with different processes?

Feel free to add to the conversation by leaving a comment!

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  • I have my project life on one side of my table (I have a table like yours.) I add to it almost every day, usually just for 30 seconds while I jot something on a sticky note or add a piece of ephemera.

    Last night I actually scrapbooked (first time in 2 weeks…way unusual for me!) and I shoved my Project life book to the side. I made two pages and then have then sitting on my table now to “dry.” (there were stickles involved.)

    I almost always start a project and finish it in the same sitting. I am a fast scrapper. Once I get an idea, I just go for it, and I always tape things down right away. I actually have to work on slowing down because sometimes I regret taping too fast!

    So far I have lots of “extras” on my table, like my making memories tool caddy, some sterilite containers and several jars and bowls of useful things. Its actually getting a little crowded. I like how you cleared yours off and just have open space. Maybe that would help me leave projects for longer.

  • JillT

    I’m sorry to say my ugly table is folded up right now. But I love the idea of leaving it totally clear except for current projects. Have to re-think that when I unfold it again. Sigh. . .

  • Why is it folded?

  • Actually, http://www.debraclarkpunchart.blogspot.com/ is what I have on my scrap desk right now! April 6 post. Great minds think alike.

    When making cards I can be working on quite a few at one time – I get what you’re saying by some things needing a bit of time to gel etc etc. I flip back and forth between the cards and get so much done.

    As for when I’m scrapping – I stick with the one page. Just a different process, I guess.

    And yes, I’ve experimented a lot with different processes of doing things – makes a huge difference when you do something that actually works for you like move your scrapping out of the office and into the living room and stand up and do it, no less. I still can’t believe it’s out there, but it works, so I’m happy :o)

  • Cool, thanks for sharing!

    How do you manage the scrap-in-living room situation? Do you store your
    stuff somewhere else, bring in your supplies, and then put them back? Or do
    you have a designated space in the living room for your stuff and work area?

  • Susan Manohar

    I’ve also kept my tools on my table, but they take up a lot of space! And I really like to spread out….so what do you do with your often-used tools? Thanks!

  • The hand tools and adhesives that I use every time are in buckets on shelves
    above my table. Below or to the side within reach will do, as well.

    My cutting tool is in a shelf behind me. I tend to get up just once or twice
    to grab it during a longer scrapbooking session. If I can tell I’ll need it
    more than that I put it on the floor next to me until I’m done and then I
    put it back in its shelf when I’m done.

  • Erink

    LOVE this idea…may have to give it a try. I have been working on my process (Finding your Way at BPC) for the last few weeks, but had not thought about clearing off my table, but this may really work for me!

  • Hi again,

    I have cabinet out there that I re-purposed. I moved all the stuff (junk) out of it and put my stuff in it. If people come over and I need to clean my stuff up, I just put it all in there and no one is the wiser. This takes me 2 mins.

    The cabinet is stand-up height and has two doors on the front with a shelf inside. I’ve also commandeered some drawers in the nearby dresser for storage (tools, paper scraps). My scrapping is fairly contained – it’s mostly album, photos, paper, tools – so it works for me. I am so totally not a stand up type person, or didn’t think I was, but I’ve been known to stand there for hours at a time.

    Sitting was committing I found and I wasn’t crafting like I wanted to. The whole stand up thing in the middle of our life, makes it more accessible and do-able for some reason.

    It’s not without it’s negatives (like I have to walk back and forth to where my other stuff is sometimes), but they don’t outweigh the positives.

    I’ve never scrapped and done all my other stuff (I teach class) in the same place – they’ve always been separate because they’ve needed to be. The scrapping never had it’s own place – I’d just do it at the dining room table. Now it does though, and it’s good.

    Whatever works! And this does! :o)


  • That’s great!

  • Laura

    I loved your post. I think we all get caught up in having to have the “perfect” place or thing so it’s nice to see someone else that uses a sturdy folding table or in my case a repurposed kitchen table. I was wondering where you got the easel that your pages are on. I love how it brings your pages up as you work.
    I’m looking forward to hearing about your art journals. I just started art journaling myself.

  • It’s funny you say that. I’ve made the observation to Izzy that artists
    don’t strive for the perfectly decorated rooms that scrapbookers tend to
    strive for. I guess it’s because they’re working with paint and glues and
    messier stuff. But I get all kinds of color stains on my table, so it just
    doesn’t make sense for me invest in something nice!

    Plus, I like that I can pull it out once or twice a year for a party and
    then put it back, rather than keep a separate table for parties that sits
    folded away all year long.

  • Laura

    I hadn’t thought about that contrast between studios. It’s true. Do you mind sharing where you got the easel that your pages are on? I would really like to try working with my pages up like that. I use a design wall for quilting that is similar and I think it would work with my scrapbooking, too.

  • It’s called a FRED and it’s made by a small company (two people, husband of
    a scrapbooker) in the U.S.

    You can order them here:


    It’s awesome!!

  • Laura

    thank you

  • Thanks for sharing your table! I also appreciate the link to the easel/Fred. BTW, the link on their home page to your paperclipping review is a broken link.

    My desk is covered with packages of trades to mail out, and handmade flowers (super sized) that my daughter is making to help decorate her classroom with. I hope to start a castle/princess/knight themed minibook album soon.

    I also tend to work on different projects at one time. I find having a little box that can hold all the items I want to use for that project is helpful because I can just toss it into the box and move on to another project when I get stuck/inspired. Sometimes those unfinished projects lay around for ages though. Any tips on finding motivation to finish?

  • Did you read the article I linked to about organizing unfinished projects?
    In explaining my system, it also explains why and how that system keeps me
    motivated. Here’s the link:


  • Thank you!

  • Renee Richards

    This is pretty amazing! My 1st time writing a comment back, and I have to say, I thought of myself as slow as well. You just helped to clarify for me the type of scrapbooker I really am. I always have a number of projects on the go at once, and I have second guessed myself for that for the past 10 years that I have been scrapping. Of course, now that I look at it, that is the way I am with book reading, house cleaning, gardening etc. I always thought in the back of my mind that it was not good to have more than 1 task on the go at one time. And the funny thing is, I never used to do things this way, not until I had kids. (HA! HA!) You learn once you become a mother to juggle many things at the same time. WOW!!! What an eye opener. Sadly, I also have Fibromyalgia. A problem I did not have 8 years ago. As a result, I have had to learn to adjust my whole way of living; living around constant chronic pain is not easy. Even scrapbooking has become difficult, but when I get the chance to do some work on my projects, I thoroughly enjoy that time remembering the events I am scrapping, and am so thankful, that I will be leaving a story for my children to remember their family, friends and the many events that took place in their life by. This is not something that was done for myself or my sisters and brothers. Therefore, it is very important to me, and my daughters both love to join in with mom. We have been blessed to have a huge room to do our scrapbooking in, as well as, a place at my mother-in-laws house. In fact, my daughters have their very own table/desk to work at.

    Thanks again to the eye opener on my own scrapping technique, just by sharing with all your own techniques and style.

    Renee R.

  • I hope it ends up being helpful and fun for you! How awesome for you to have
    so much scrapbooking space — WOW!