Monday, December 29, 2008

Embellishment Ideas for Boys' Pages

Several years ago I was sitting at my table working on a scrapbook page about my son. I had my basic design constructed and was ready to begin embellishing my page. I remember feeling frustrated at the products I had in my stash and the items available at the scrapbook store. I felt like everything was geared more towards girls . . .the colors were girly, the shapes were girly, embellishments were mainly flowers, ribbons, trims, fluorishes, scallops, jewels, glitter, etc. I felt like screaming, "Where is all the stuff for boys?!" The scrapbooking industry has come a long way since then, but at the time I began making a list of embellishment ideas that I could refer to whenever I felt stuck for an idea for a boy page.

Here are some of those ideas.

Overall Design and Page Elements

Use Masculine colors. Ignore the pattern and go for a color scheme that screams testosterone. :D Browns, blues, yellows, oranges, reds, greens.

These colors and patterns may seem feminine on their own, but combined in a "boyish" color scheme they work perfectly fine for this baby boy page.

Use patterns that are more generic or geometric. Dots, stripes, plaids, checks, diamonds, woodgrain, etc. Use them alone or combine them with "feminine" papers to keep the page feeling more masculine.

Use a Neutral background color. Patterns and colors will seem more masculine when combined on a background of black, white, grey, cream, tan, or Kraft.

Use a large circular element on your page. This obviously works for all kinds of pages, but can be especially helpful when would like to include a large page element on your layout for a boy.

Use office/school inspired patterned papers. Notebook paper, maps, ledger paper, book paper, music paper, invoices, telephone message paper, graph paper . . . mixing these in with your other patterned papers on your layout can give it a more masculine feel.

Distress! Paint splotches, swashes or drips look interesting. Change the color of something by using paint or ink. You can also ink and distress edges of paper, chipboard, etc.. Sand your paper, stickers or embellishments for a time-worn, rustic look. Crumpling. Rolling edges. Walnut Inks. Dyes. Etc. The list goes on and on.

Build your layout on a sheet of cardboard. Pulling off the top layer in spots reveals the corrugated layer underneath adding a great "boyish" feel.

Use background stamps. There are all kinds of background stamps available. Use these to add an interesting layer to your page or to alter something that is typically considered "feminine" . . . like a flower. Imagine a flower with a graph pattern stamped on it! Cool!

Accents and Embellishments

Ribbon. When I think of ribbon, I immediately think of big fluffy bows tied in little girls' ponytails or around a pretty package. But ribbons can be masculine, too! Tie a ribbon in a knot around a photo or journaling block. Tie a length of ribbon in several knots and use it as a border. Weave a length of ribbon in and out of holes leaving the ends loose and cut at an angle. Staple the ends of ribbon to your page for a masculine feel.Pleat it. Fray the ends.

Flowers. Cut the rounded ends of of flower petals for a more spiky flower. Paint it. Grungy them up with ink. Stamp a pattern on them.

Use Geometric chipboard shapes as page accents. You can also arrange them in a grid, or in rows.

Try using a large descriptive word as a page accent. Or how about the date . . . really big! 1/11/2009 A row of numbers is cool, too!

Tags, tickets or bookplates.

Strips of patterned paper. Cut them straight or uneven.


Mini Envelopes or a torn larger envelope.

Large monogram or number. Try the person's initial, age or jersey number.


All kinds of hardware . . . hinges, washers, picture hangers, etc.

Metals and Office Inspired embellishments. Brads, paper clips, binder clips, staples, labels, File Folder tabs, safety pins, stick pins, etc.

Try printing out a quote or poem to fill that empty space.

How about a bunch of messy stitching to add that final touch?

Bare chipboard. Or give it a messy coat of paint.

Zig-zags and ric rac.

Arrows, leaves, trees, stars, animals, bugs, tools, etc.

I hope this gives you some new ideas to try! If you have any other ideas, I would LOVE it if you would share it with us in the comment box, so I can add it to my list! ;)

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mini Book from scratch

I figured since Christmas was around the corner you could whip some of these up for a little happy to someone. this was inspired by these cute Kolo albums.

For this I am using the new "Love Story" kit which can be found here. There is only 3 left in stock so if you wnt one i suggest you get it now.

The only supplies you will need for this is:
* Cutting mat
* Cutting tools (eyelet setter or hole punch, craft knife or trimmer )
* Stapler
* Ruler
* Bone folder ( or whatever works for you to make good creases )
* 1 piece of 4.5 x 12 paper
* 3 pieces of 4 x 5.5 printer paper
* Ribbon

1) Take your 4.5 x 12 piece of paper and fold in half lengthwise. Sharpen crease with bone folder.

2) Open up your folded piece and fold in from both ends towards the middle crease. Leave an inch space in the middle ( so .5 inches from each side of crease )

3) Set aside cover piece and take your three sheets of 4 x 5.5 pieces of paper and fold in half lengthwise. Flatten crease with bone folder and 'sandwich' them together.

4) Return to your cover piece and mark spots half way from top to bottom and 1 inch from the edge. ALSO, mark spots directly across 1 inch form the spine. You only have to mark either side because you should be able to use your hole puncher and pnch through the layers. if you are using an eyelet setter mark the font and the back.

5) Punch holes in those marked spots. ( Punch all the way through the flaps inside )

6) Take your inside pages and sandwich them inside the cover page

7) Turn it all over flat so the inside is facing the table and staple twice through the spine. This is to secure your inside pages.

8) Take your ribbon and thread through hole (1) from the outside in. Come up through hole (2) from the inside. Re-enter at hole (3) from the outside then come up through hole (4).

i know it might be hard to see but i penciled the numbers. you will start on the right.


Done in about 10 minutes... easy quick, cute and a great little xmas happy!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mini Stamp Storage

Well if you are anything like me, you love those dollar mini stamps that they have at Michael's and Joann's. Even companies like Scenic Route and Pink Paislee have come out with their "singles" stamps. Organizing them can somtimes be a little messy. I have put all my acrylic stamps in a binder and they look something like this.

This is a basic page protector and on the other side of this sheet is a transparency that the stamp sheets are glued to. I recently stamped all of the images onto a white piece of paper so I could clearly see what stamp is where. I also have them organized acording to journaling, flourishes, flowers, etc. Makes it a little easier for me to find things.

Now for those small little stamps I finally found something that keeps them all in one place...baseball card protectors! The last time I was at the dollar store I say them and didn't know what I would do with them - but KNEW they would be good for something - so I bought 2 packs.

Turns out those little singles stamps fit PERFECTLY in there.

Here is what I did:

For the stamps that I had previously attatched to a transparency, I took them off and stamped the image onto a piece of white cardstock that I could slide right in front of the stamp. This is what they look like:

You can see that the Secnic Route Stamps have the original packaging -- they fit perfectly! Just remember to keep them and not toss them like I did!

Here is another page:

I hope this helped a little bit and will help to keep you organized -- I know it does for me!

Michelle Lanning

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tips from my scrap area

I wanted to share with you today a few simple tricks that I've learned to make working in my scrap area a little easier. I work in a fairly small space, and I have small children, so I have to work around those issues to make things easy and accessible!
The first trick I have for you is to use small magnets to keep all your needles and straight pins up and within reach. I love having them on my metal organizing tins, or even on top of the metal lid on my button jar. They stick there very well and are easy to find!

The next thing I want to show you is where I keep my flowers! I have a 12x12 piece of cork hanging on my wall, and I store some of my flowers on there... I stack them together and stick a push pin through them, and voila! A pretty way to display them and keep them where I remember to use them.

I also keep a few of my favorite flowers in glass mason jars where they are easy to grab for crops & such.

I really like the idea of a Clip-it-Up, but I knew that if I had one sitting on my desk, sooner or later one of my littles (my kids are 3, 2, and 1) wouldn't be able to resist all those lovely dangly stickers.

I saw this on several websites, and created it for myself in just a few minutes! It's just a simple curtain rod, curtain hangers, and clips. It's not pretty, but it's very easy to use!

For some of my more frequent letter stickers that I use, I store them in an old napkin holder I found in my Grams' garage. If you don't have a grams that has cool vintage napkin holders just laying around, check your local thrift store or yard sales. Even a new napkin holder would work well for this storage!

I keep all my kits in one of these wonderful 12x12 plastic drawer sets. I made little labels for each drawer, so I can keep the current kit in an easy to access place. Once I'm done with that kit, then I break up any remaining items and store them with other like items in the rest of my stash.

When I first get the kit, I lay all the bigger pieces down in the drawer, then I use one of these plastic trays (found at Walmart for .99!) to store all the smaller pieces. It's easy to just grab the whole drawer and take it into the tv room, and not worry about losing any of the small pieces.

The last little tip I wanted to show you is one my friend Brittney recently told me about. You know how Staz-On ink comes with that little plastic thing inside to keep the ink protected and juicy? Well, it's always a pain to me to lift the lid off, and that thing, and then get it back on... I know, I'm lazy. :) Put a couple of foam adhesive squares in the lid, then stick that plastic tray onto it. It still covers the inkpad perfectly, but then you don't have two loose lids! Ingenius!

I'd love to hear what sort of little solutions you've found to things around your scrap room!