2 Professional Scrapbookers Give Their Best Tips

Scarpbooking Seen On WeddbookI have two close friends who take scrap booking to a whole new level.  One, my cousin Crystal who has a whole room devoted to her paper punches, array of papers, and scrap booking tools.  Her husband doesn’t keep track of all the money she has spent, because if he did, he might just have a mini heart attack!  If there is a scrap booking tool, chances are, she has tried it, or owns it.

Sarah, whom I once worked with, has won an award for her scrap booking.  She is very talented, and doesn’t admit, her scrap booking is an obsession.  So I thought I would ask some questions to these two ladies, and save you and I the time of trial by error by purchasing the right tools, and techniques the first time around.

Crystal Sumlak- You can find her facebook page here…..

1. Is there one unique scrapbooking tool that makes your pages look unique? If so, what is the name, and why is it different than the rest?

I love my Cricut!  It is a cutting machine which can cut shapes, letters or phrases from many types of materials. (paper, cardstock, cardboard, vinyl) I don’t use it on all of my pages, but this is one tool I would not want to have to give up.  It also has other applications such as home decor items and is useful for school projects.

2. Do you have any advice on journaling, ( the words added to your pages ) which can tell a story? This can be a road block for many scrap bookers.

This can be tough but I just write what I feel.  If I just don’t know what to say, maybe the page doesn’t need me to say anything – the pictures can speak for themselves. A good title can also take the place of journaling sometimes.

3. Photocopying can be a unique way of adding content to your books. Would you have any suggestions of what to photocopy, or some ideas that you have used in the past?

I have never done this – although I have scanned items (such as a first paycheck or a wedding certificate) to use on a page.

4. How do you save money scrap booking?

I don’t!    I would suggest that you decide on your project before you shop.  If you don’t have an application in mind for something – don’t buy it! I have tons of stuff that I bought because I loved it but I have no real use for it.

5. Is there any tools available that are cost effective for maximizing your creativity when on a budget?

Scrapbooking can be very costly, however, the dollar stores are carrying more and more items that can work really well and help to cut the cost.  When purchasing higher cost items such as punches or paper cutters, shop when they are on sale or with coupons.  Both Michael’s and Hobby Lobby have online coupons and if you watch, sometimes Michaels has time sensitive coupons that are an extra % off the sale amount.

6. What rubber stamp sets would you recommend?

I don’t typically buy them by the set, but basic shapes and alphabets are my favorite. If you are just starting out, I would recommend buying an alphabet with a bold font that’s about an inch high.

7. Creative Block, What do you do about it to move forward?

Move onto something else until inspiration hits you. Sometimes I will go a couple months without doing anything, just because I’m ‘stuck’ and don’t have any ideas at the time.

8.  Is there such a thing as having too much on a page?  How do you go about balancing a page so it doesn’t become too busy?

Yes, I think there can be too much on a page.  It is good to have some “white space” or clear area to allow you to focus on the important parts of a page.  I quite often try to balance out a page by having either 3 or 5 of something (buttons, pictures, embellishments etc.) as this seems to be more visually appealing.

9.  Organizing- What works for you?

I find it’s difficult to keep embellishments organized but you can find some cool storage containers in hardware departments/stores that can be useful for separating things.  I like to sort by item, then by color. For example, I have my buttons sorted by color groups – but all buttons together.  I find stickers are much harder to keep organized but I have put mine into several large binders with sleeves and sorted by theme.

10.  Road Blocks to getting pages done- Do you have any tips to finishing projects?

Sometimes you just have to wait – I had a picture that I loved and really wanted to create a page with, but I just couldn’t find anything to go with it that seemed to work.  I just kept watching and it was about two months before I was able to finish.

Sarah Hollander-Sarah Hollander

Sarah Hollander’s Scrapbook Pages

Sarah Hollander-

1. Is there one unique scrapbooking tool that makes your pages look unique? If so, what is the name, and why is it different than the rest?

I am fortunate enough to have a Silhouette Cameo personal cutter.The ability to design and cut my own elements allows me to create pages exactly the way I envision them. It’s a pretty amazing tool. I also tend to use my sewing machine to sew on just about every layout I complete. I find that the stitching adds a great level of texture and detail. Occasionally I will be lazy and decide to forgo sewing on my layouts, but I invariably regret it because I always feel that the completed page is missing something.

2. Do you have any advice on journaling, ( the words added to your pages ) which can tell a story? This can be a road block for many scrap bookers.

Journaling is probably my least favorite aspect of scrapbooking, but when I make the effort to add it to my pages, it often becomes my favorite part of the completed layout. I write down the funny/cute/memorable things that my kids say and do in a notebook that I keep handy at all times. I have found that by doing this (instead of trying to rely on my memory) I have lots of inspiration for my journaling. One of my favorite techniques is to incorporate a quote from one of my kids as the title of the page. Another favorite technique is to journal using lists rather than paragraph form as I find that lists are often easier to incorporate as a design element than a block of text.

3. Photocopying can be a unique way of adding content to your books. Would you have any suggestions of what to photocopy, or some ideas that you have used in the past?

I’ve use photocopying to resize elements that I wanted to add to my page but were too large for the page. For example, I often photocopy and reduce my children’s artwork so that I can fit multiple pieces onto a layout. Photocopying is also a great tool to enable you to include items on your layouts without damaging the original, such as a marriage certificate or antique photograph.

4. How do you save money scrap booking?

I try to be patient and wait until the supplies that I want go on sale rather than paying full price just to buy them when they are newly released. I love sites like www.peachycheap.com and www.craftysteals.com that sell designer supplies at a discount. I have also learned that a lot of the fancy embellishments that are sold to match the designer papers are fairly easy to make so I often just buy the patterned paper and forgo purchasing all the extras in favor of creating my own embellishments.

5. Is there any tools available that are cost effective for maximizing your creativity when on a budget?

Even though I have a personal cutting machine, I am still a big fan of punches. I have a couple that are my “go-to’s” that I use on a very high percentage of my pages – the Martha Stewart butterfly punch and the Jenni Bowlin Fiskars scalloped banner squeeze punch and the tab squeeze punch. I also love my Fiskars cloud punches. One of the best values as far as punches goes is the American Crafts Knock Outs punch sets because it is an interchangeable system the brings down the cost of each additional design that you add to your collection. A crisply punched shape or edge can add a lot to a page.

6. What rubber stamp sets would you recommend?

To be honest, I am not much of a stamper so I don’t have much experience with rubber stamps. I do like to make cards as well as scrapbook though, so I find that having a few simple phrase stamps, such as “Happy Birthday” and “Congratulations” can be a real time saver when making cards.

7. Creative Block, What do you do about it to move forward?

If a layout is not coming together, I just walk away for a while. Sometimes it just takes ten minutes of focusing on something else for inspiration to strike, sometimes it takes a week. But I have learned that trying to “force” myself to put a page together when I am not feeling creative just results in a page I am unhappy with. Browsing Pinterest is a good way to reignite my creativity though, and I have a board full of pages that I find inspiring to look at.

8.  Is there such a thing as having too much on a page?  How do you go about balancing a page so it doesn’t become too busy?

I do think that it is possible to overload a scrapbook page. I don’t follow any hard and fast rules when it comes to designing my pages, but I do try to keep in mind general principles of design in order to make sure that my layouts are balanced. The rule of thirds and the Fibonacci spiral are particularly helpful tools when it comes to designing well proportioned layouts.

9.  Organizing- What works for you?

I have had to deal with all kinds of spaces when it comes to finding somewhere to work on my scrapbook pages. Right now I am lucky enough to have a room dedicated to my crafty pursuits, but I’ve also done a lot of layouts on the kitchen table, and even on my bedroom floor! Regardless of how much space I have to organize and store all of my goodies, I like to have my go-to’s visible and readily available. This includes my tools (adhesives, knife, scissors, markers, ruler), my punches, and my “general” embellishments (such as buttons, ribbons, wood veneer shapes, etc). I like to store these items in mason jars or bowls so that they are visible and easy to access. I recently bought a rolling kitchen trolley from Ikea that I have re-purposed to hold all of my scrapbooking essentials and I absolutely love it because I can move it wherever I need it and always have my supplies close at hand.

As far as paper and stickers go, I usually file those things according to manufacturer and collection. I like to keep the elements from each collection together so that when I start to work on a layout I can easily see what coordinating supplies I have.

10.  Road Blocks to getting pages done- Do you have any tips to finishing projects?

As a homeschooling mom of 4 kids, I have plenty of things that get in the way of completing my projects! I used to get annoyed by that, but I am slowly learning that it really doesn’t matter if a page takes me two hours or two weeks, as long as I am happy with the end result. In the past I’ve been a part of design teams and maintained a scrapbooking blog which meant I had deadlines and expectations to fulfill. As much as I loved being a part of those things, it got to a point where I wasn’t enjoying the process of scrapbooking anymore because of the pressure, so I stepped back from those commitments. For me, scrapbooking is a way to relax and explore my creative side; it’s also something that I do as a gift for my children as I document their childhoods and our life and growth as a family.

I do have one hard fast rule for myself though when it comes to finishing projects – I will never start a new layout without finishing the current one. And I always clean up my workspace before I start a new page.

The Best Scrapbooking SuppliesAmerican Crafts D-Ring Cloth Scrapbooking Album 12x 12 $17 on Amazon

Organize the Chaos- Tips From Paper Clippings Blog

Paper Clipping had an interesting article that gave a dozen or so tips on organizing your scrap booking collections.  We all have endless projects that take up room in our house and often leave us in emotional turmoil, because they aren’t completed.   Our mind keeps reminding us that we have yet to do A,B, C and D, and until they are done, they can be persistent reminders.  Here is a couple tips that Paper Clipping suggests to get organized which results in more getting done:

1.  Categorize Your Projects-

There are three types of unfinished projects, and taking a good hard look at what you have in your project list will allow you to get out of that dead lock of getting nothing done.

First, there are projects you have lost interest in.  Once you come to terms that you have no desire to work on it, perhaps it is better to cut your losses, and make room for projects that you are excited about.  Salvage any pieces that you can, and throw the rest away.

Secondly, there are projects you have on hold.  For some reason or another you are waiting for that specific item to get it finished.  And lastly there are on going projects that will be in the state of partially done, and that is ok.

Finishing a project can be the number one barrier the very best scrap bookers face.  There are several ways to combat this.  Paper Clipping suggests to first clear your work space, and organize your on going projects in boxes.

They suggest organizing your various projects into boxes large enough to hold 12 x 12 papers.  This allows you to also store away tools, punches, embellishments.  They purchased large 12×15 inch boxes at Ikea, which can be quite costly.  Amazon sells 14 x 14 White shipping boxes with lids, which they sell in 2 inches, or 4 inches, in packs of 25 and 50.

Bauxko Scrapbooking Boxes

Buy Bauxko Boxes For Scrapbooking here

– Item 554- 14″x14″x2″.25-Pack $38.95 + Free Shipping

-Item 557 14″x14″x4″.25-Pack $ 51.95 + Free Shipping

-Item 555 -14″x14″x2″.50-Pack $63.95 + Free Shipping

– Item 558 -14″x14″x4″.50-Pack $88.95 Plus Free Shipping

Antique Brass Label Holders

Lillian Olive on etsy sells vintage label holders in shiny bright brass, or vintage brass in packs of 5 for $6.25, making labeling your boxes affordable.

Additional Deals On Amazon

-25 Label/card Holder Nickel Plated 5/8×2 1/2 W/screws $26+$6 Shipping on Amazon

-25 Label/card Holder Black Plated 3 1/2×1 1/2 W/screws $26+$6 Shipping on Amazon

While we all might not have a room devoted to scrap booking, identify some vertical spaces around your home, where you can shelves and store boxes.  Perhaps your guest room closet can be transformed into an office space, or a computer armoire can be turned into a space that can hold your supplies.

Lisas Scrapbooking CollectionLisa’s Pretty Scrapbook Collection

Simple Scrapbook Tips From Lisa Moorefield- Adventures In Simple Scrapbooking

Lisa Moorefield put together a really interesting article called “The Scrapbook Diet: Trim Supplies & Drop a Size” in which she was faced with moving, and had to go through her gigantic scrapbook collection. She explains her five-step process that helped her downsize to small albums, eliminate the majority of her scrapbook supplies, and rediscover the enjoyment of simple scrapbooking.

1. Simple Scrapbooking- The Idea Of Story Telling

In addition to the supplies, I had albums, unfinished layouts, and finished layouts that never made it into an album. I kept the loose layouts – finished and unfinished – in a box for another time; my first priority was clearing out the mountain of supplies and deciding whether or not I ever wanted to scrapbook again. Meanwhile, my children started looking through the albums and asking me questions. Apparently I had a lot of fluffy layouts with insufficient journaling. So I began telling them stories about what they were like as toddlers. And then it hit me.That is what I want my scrapbooks to be like: storybooks. Stories written just like I would tell my children in person. Stories they can read over and over. Stories that tell what they were like, what they did, funny things they said and more.I realized that for me, scrapbooking is storytelling – with photos and embellishments used to enhance the story. And I knew I wanted to start scrapbooking again, but in different way.”

Scrapbooking suppliesCloth Covered Grey Linen Three Ring Binder – 1 inch $15 dollars Amazon

Red, and Dark Gray Binders From Jam on Amazon

2.  Use Binders Instead of Albums

Lisa decided to switch from Albums, to small 3-ring binders.  She found Avery half-size (5.5×8.5) 3-ring binders and page protectors at an office supply store. Update: The tan albums in the photo are We R Memory Keepers Memory Dock system. I got them at TJ Maxx years ago but I’m glad to discover that they are still available online. They are fabric covered 3-ring binders, and Avery page protectors fit in them. Now there are more small album choices. See her article- Small Scrapbook Album Review.

3. Pairing Down Your Collections

Every collector has to go through this process at some point in their lives.  When they do, they can actually get more work done, because having less can be freeing in itself.  Here is how Lisa did it.

A- Select What You Cannot Do Without…….

“So I did the opposite: instead of starting with everything and taking out what I don’t need, I imagined starting with nothing (I had already detached myself from the supplies anyway) and thought about what I would actually need.”

What did she pick?

“First, I needed 5.5×8.5 solid color cardstock, so I cut all of my cardstock to that size using a paper trimmer. No turning back now! Trimming was easy with letter size cardstock – I just cut it in half. It was more time consuming with 12×12 paper and there were a lot of leftover strips. Then I needed adhesive. I’m an old-fashioned glue stick and sticky tabs kind of girl, so I kept all of those.Next, I selected only what I thought I would actually use with my new small & simple storybook approach. Here is what she selected:

Inkadinkado Wood Peg Stamp KitsInkadinkado Wood Peg Stamp Kits


Perfect Organizers For Your Pretty Scapbooking Stamps 
Darby Wire Basket - Round -Set of 2
Darby Wire Basket – Round –Set of 2 $80

Scrapbooking supplies

A: A 3-tiered wire stand – These stands are perfect for paint, punches and stamps.

Amazon Suggestions –

– Sur La Table Three-Tier Fruit Basket Stand $49 on Amazon

-Metal 3 Tier Wire Basket By D Broth $10 on Amazon

-2 Tier French Loop Wrought Iron Basket $45 On Amazon

-Creative Co-Op Rust Metal 3-Tier Basket $55 Amazon

-Sur La Table Brushed Aluminum Three-Tiered Stand $60 Amazon

-Sur La Table Brushed Aluminum Two-Tiered Stand $30 Amazon

Scrapbooking Punches

EK Tools Paper Punch -Journal Plate and Bracket $16.11, Real Estate Sign $16.36, and Sale Sign $13.09 on Amazon

B. Punches – She kept the punches she used most: large and small circles, a large square and a corner rounder. She also kept the stamps she used the most: a date stamp, a round stamp, an alphabet set, and a couple of ink pads.

 Other things she kept: A desk carousel  to holds paint brushes, pencils, pens and scissors, a  basket of embellishments (adhesive, journaling cards, ribbon, stickers)  A basket with paper such as extra page protectors, patterned paper, envelopes, and two baskets of solid cardstock, cut to 5.5×8.5

I had to remind myself that my layouts would mostly be stories printed on cardstock – I would not need many embellishments, and certainly not large ones.”

Read more about what Lisa did with her donation pile here

ms july map booking

I like this clever scrapbooking idea from Martha Stewart Living. Use the map from your summer vacation to make envelopes, photo corners, and other scrapbooking supplies.It’s an inexpensive and creative way to embellish the photographs from your recent travels and most people will already have a map left over. –Photograph courtesy of the July 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living. Seen on Iffer’s Little Nest Blog

Photo ScrapBooksPhoto ScrapBooks Visit jengrantmorris.blogspot.com

Personalized Stamps From Paper CafeCustom Stamps From Paper Cafe…  Family Brand Stamps


1.Beaded Brass Cartouche– 3-1/8″ x 4-1/8″ $8

2.Oval Cartouche– 3 1/8″ x 4 1/8″ $8

3.Georgian Cartouche-3/4″ x 2-3/8″ x 3-1/8″ $6

4. Wedding Wreath –  2 1/2″ x 1″ $5.21

See More of my selections at Rococo Gustavian Stamps And Accessories- 70 Ideas For Your Home or Business at The Swedish Furniture Blog

Scrapbooking Furniture On Amazon

 Check out The Original Scrap Box On Amazon For Unique and Space Friendly Furniture Dedicated to Scrapbooking

184d7d5eb3e4d6133314afb3522507ecCelebrating 8 Years-– Evie S

Paper To Petal

Paper to Petal: 75 Whimsical Paper Flowers to Craft by Hand Buy It On Amazon

Scrapbooking Made Easy For Busy Moms- Project Life KitsKatie from Sweet Rose Studio shows how easy it is to put together a beautiful photo album that doesn’t have to take you months to complete. While everyone loves to look at pictures on their computer, your kids will always treasure something they can hold in their hands.

The simplicity of the layout of Project Life kits allow you to add memories from an event, or a moment in an easy page.  As you can see in her post, (link at the bottom) you still can add your custom embellishments and the classic creativity of scrapbooking that every mother enjoys.

Here is what Katie says:

Last week we chatted about the digital versions of the Project Life kits and their awesomeness. In fact, since that post, a new Rad Dad digital-only kit has been released! This week, I want to touch upon the digital kits that are available but aren’t specifically “Project Life.” There are oodles of designers that sell digital kits made to fit within the Project Life system and are a great option for those looking for something different. 

Read more about this project at Sweet Rose Studio