Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Works for Me!

Those of you who know me well know that I am an avid scrapbooker. Scrapbooking provides me the creative outlet I need to stay mentally fresh and alert. I love everything about scrapbooking, from taking the pictures, selecting the pictures, choosing my paper and embellishments, and assembling the pages. Over the years though, I've encountered one major problem: Scrapper's Block. Many a time I have found myself sitting at the table with a pile of pictures, some pretty paper, and not the foggiest idea of how to arrange those pictures on the pages. It ends up taking me 3 or 4 hours to complete one layout. If all my pages took that long, I would never make any significant progress in my albums. Here is the solution that works for me.

Make an idea book.

Step 1: Subscribe to a scrapbooking magazine. I recommend Creating Keepsakes.
Step 2: Purchase a 3-ring binder, dividers with 8 tabs, and plastic sheet protectors.
Step 3: Label your dividers with the following headings:
1-4 pictures
5-6 pictures
7-8 pictures
9-10 pictures
11-12 pictures
13+ pictures
Layouts to copy
Tips and Techniques

Step 4: After you have read your scrapbook magazine each month, go through it and tear out pages with ideas you like. This may be a picture of a great layout that uses a bunch of pictures. It may be a really cool layout theme you'd like to duplicate. It may be a photography tutorial or instructions on a fun new technique like painting your pages.

Step 5: Organize the torn out pages in your binder according to how many photos are featured in the layout. All articles you are saving go in the Tips and Techniques section. (After a while you'll need a separate binder for your saved articles).

Step 6: Use your idea book in the way that best suits you and your style.

I use my idea book to plan my layouts before I ever print my pictures. I put my pictures into subfolders in the My Pictures folder on my computer. I have a subfolder for each layout. Then, with idea book in hand, I choose a layout from my binder to correspond with the number of pictures in my subfolder. I do a quick sketch of my layout, and note if I need to print any of my pictures in larger sizes.

This method has been fantastic for me. When it is time to sit down and scrapbook, I know exactly what to do. The guesswork is gone. All I have to do is choose my paper. The other great perk to this is the amount of money I save on photo processing. I only have to print what I know I'm going to use!

It works for me! I hope this helps out a fellow scrapbooker! For more great works for me tips, visit We Are THAT Family's Works for Me carnival.


Raise Them Up said...

Thanks for the recommendation on what to subscribe to. I need to look into that and see if I can make progress on my picture piles!


Tasha said...

Some good ideas! I use Page Maps to help break out of ruts. I don't usually use her whole design but I go through and pick a LO with the number of pictures I want, then I edit to her sizes. It has made a huge difference in my scrapbooks as well. Not just 4x6's left whole or cut to bits. It has made them much more interesting.

Tiffany said...

Great idea! I had not thought about organizing by numberof pictures. Thanks!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Clever! I do something similar...I print out thumbnails of page maps I find online or in scrapping mags and glue them onto index cards. Then I stash them in a recipe box.