25 Scrapbooking Hacks

We talked to the pros in our art studio and came up with a list of easy, yet very effective, tips and tricks to take your scrapbooking artwork from good to great! (A few of these tips were shared in previous blog posts, but a lot of them are new. We’ve put them all together for you to have as a resource in one great list!)

Ready to step up your scrapbooking game? Take a look!

1. Try attaching embellishments with mini staples. Mini staples can give your page a different feel without any extra work.

2. Use a ruler and pencil to draw in journaling lines. Write your journaling and then either erase the lines or go over them with a black journaling pen.

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3. To change up the look of your title, cut letters from patterned paper or even the background of extra photos using Block Alphabet Thin Cuts.

4. Place embellishments in odd numbers on your layouts. Odd numbers are visually more appealing.

5. Cut shimmer trim into smaller strips by lightly attaching it to your paper trimmer. This will keep it in place while you trim, giving you a nice straight cut. Plus, it pulls off easily when you’re done!

6. Stamp outline shapes on patterned paper. Then, you don’t have to color the shapes in yourself.

7. Don’t be afraid to mix and match the patterned paper from several paper collections to have more options for your layouts. We spy three different paper collections on this page. Can you find them all, too?

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8. Missing a photo for your layout? You can put wax paper under a Complement sticker that might go over a photo. This lets you finish assembling your layout and add the missing photo later.

9. Stamp words with alphabet stamp sets to create personalized backgrounds.

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10. Before you throw your paper scraps away, see if you have pieces that you can use to cut small shapes like circles, squares, or rectangles. Even these little pieces can be used for layering, backgrounds, or as journaling strips. You can even tear the edges to use as washi tape.

11. When adding paint splatters after your page is put together, make sure to mask the layout and photos with scratch paper.

12. Didn’t get your title perfectly straight? Use a small tool like a Cricut® spatula to gently move something already attached to your page.

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13. Bend up the edges of layers to add dimension. This could be a simple banner or photo mat, just to give an extra touch of depth.

14. When sewing on your layouts, avoid putting adhesive where you plan to sew. The adhesive will get stuck on the needle. Use adhesive to attach paper in the center and then sew the edges like we did below.

15. Experiment with a ⅛” photo mat on your layouts. This gives you slight definition around your photo without distracting from other elements on your page.

16. Trim Complements from the 6″ x 6″ sheet and lay them on your artwork to preview their placement before attaching them. It’s much easier to find the perfect spot and see how they will look on your page.

17. When layering several patterned papers, staple them together first, then cover with a photo. This will keep your layers arranged how you’d like them while you are gluing down your page. Here is an example. A small staple holds the three layers in place behind the photo.

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18. Before attaching your paper, embellishments, and photos, lay everything out on your page and snap a quick photo with your phone. This gives you something to reference as you attach each piece, making sure you get it exactly how you want it.

19. Use the smallest possible My Acrylix® block when stamping on a layout. A smaller block can help you avoid rocking your stamp back and forth and ending up with a wobbly image.

20. Mix patterned paper with small, medium, and large patterns. Here you can see how we used a tiny floral pattern combined with the medium-sized triangle pattern, and finally the large polka dots.

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21. Move the paper not the scissors when hand trimming embellishments, stamped images, and other shapes.

22. If a color feels too bright for a layout, use vellum to tone it down. We added a small strip of vellum, sewn over the Charcoal cardstock, to create a softer edge.

23. Hold on to extra Thin Cuts or Cricut® shapes to use for other projects. You never know when an extra tag, banner, or circle could come in handy while you’re crafting!

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24. Need a different color or patterned paper for your layout? Remember your pocket cards! Pocket cards from paper packets or from Picture My Life™ cards can be trimmed and used as accents or titles.

25. Use tweezers, a piercing tool, or even the tip of your micro-tip scissors to help you gently place small embellishments like bitty sparkles.

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Now it’s your turn! Do you have any tips or tricks that you use while you’re scrapbooking? Share in the comments.

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Patterns on Patterns on Patterns

Behind every successful team, there’s a playbook. The same thing goes for artists. Lucky for us, the brains behind the beauty of Close To My Heart, our CEO, Jeanette Lynton, wrote a collection of how-to books overflowing with patterns for cards and layouts that will march you toward crafting victory time and time again.

These books are what you should turn to when you’re not sure where to start; they’re like the supportive coach waiting back on the sidelines. They never fail to kick off our artistic ideas and lay the foundation for a triumphant artistic production!

So what play did we use to pull off the lovely page shown below? The answer is the Reflections: Main Frame—Back Drop™ pattern. But that’s not the end of it.

The true secret behind the sauce is that we added a little twist to this pattern. Let’s head into the locker room and we’ll fill you in on the technique.Unknown-1
Ok, listen up. This technique is simple, yet powerful: We simply chose a piece from the how-to pattern and then filled it with a repeated shape instead of a block of cardstock. We used circles on this page, but you can use any shape you want.

Repetition is one of the fundamental characteristics of excellent design and including it in your artwork is equivalent to doing your sit-ups or eating your vegetables—it’s guaranteed to bring good things.
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With the help of the 1″ circle punch and the Jackson and Blossom paper packets, we were able to add variety without overwhelming the design, making this layout a graceful pileup of B&T patterns, repeated circle patterns, and how-to patterns. That’s a lot of patterns!

When you give this technique a try, you could mix it up by using a different pattern, a different shape (we think using hearts would be game-changing), or different papers. The combination potential of these pattern players is incredible!

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But that’s enough talk, folks. Now let’s get out there and craft like it’s game day.

Looking to add a few key players to your team of crafting supplies? Here’s the all-star lineup of the how-to books available through Close To My Heart:

  • 9035 Make It from Your Heart™ Volume 1
  • 9042 Make It from Your Heart™ Volume 2
  • 9038 Cherish™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9039 Imagine™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9040 Magic™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9037 Reflections™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9041 Wishes Card Confidence Program™
  • 9036 Originals Card Confidence Program™

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