Thursday, April 5, 2012

Contest & Scrap Stash Buster Tutorial (Start to Finish)

Scrap Stash Buster
{start to finish}
By Kelly Shults
Do you have a basket (or box, bin, envelope, or drawer) full of off-cuts & scraps from previous projects?  Is it overflowing with bits of pretty papers that you just can’t bring yourself to throw away?  However, you just can’t seem to find a way to use them because they are a mish-mash of patterns and colors?  If you have this dilemma, then let me try and help you get those scraps on a page!  As you can see from the photo of my scrap basket, there is no rhyme or reason to the organization, other than storing my scraps, all together, in a basket.  I don’t go through the unending process (and hassle) of sorting by color, pattern, or manufacturer.  I just throw them in the basket!  Yep, that is the extent of my organization!   

Let me tell you a little about my process of using up these lovely bits and pieces.  I will take you through the evolution of a scrapbook page, using only scraps, as the base of my layout. 

Let’s get started!

Step 1:
I sort through my “to be scrapped” photos and find the ones I want to use.  I am not a matchy-matchy scrapper, but I do want to find a color scheme that will compliment my photos.  My photos in this case had a grey-blue sky, a little green from the background trees, some orange-red and aqua-blue from the train.  I also knew I wanted to throw some dark brown in there for contrast.  I pulled out the top paper with the multi color doilies (indicated with the arrow) and will use it as my color guide. It has the colors, I feel, will work with my photos.  I also pulled out a grid paper to use as my base.  (I find that using a grid helps me keep my lines straight as I layer and stack elements). Next, I begin sorting through my scrap basket, using my color inspiration scrap to pull out coordinating bits and pieces of paper. As you can see, there are a variety of manufacturers and patterns in my “sorted pile”, I don’t always end up using everything I pull out, but it helps me narrow down my choices and gets me started.
Step 2:
I sort through my “chosen”  scrap pile and decide on my base layer.  I play around with them and fiddle with my photos to get an  idea of how I want to arrange them on the page.  As you can see, I  chose to add a large scrap (approx 8”X9.5”)  to the middle of the page.  I knew that I wanted my 2- 4x6 photos to fit on this scrap with room for more layering and still have at least part of the pattern showing. Next, I layered a long strip (approx. 3.25 X 12) of tiny polka dot pattern paper, to the left side of the page, slightly overlapping the bottom layer.

*Tip:  I like to ink all my edges with brown or black ink. Depending on the color scheme.  I feel that it pulls everything together and creates some cohesive-ness to the design.  It is purely a personal preference.  For this project, I chose to use Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress ink.  It is a brown ink, that I use most often.  
*Tip:  When creating a layout with lots of layers, I know I will be moving stuff around and pulling the edges of my papers up to tuck bits here and there.  Therefore, I only use adhesive in the middle of my scraps or I use an adhesive that I know will pull up pretty easily without ripping my papers.  I find that the Elmer’s Craft Bond non-permanent tape runner, comes up pretty easily.  However, the adhesive in my ATG gun does NOT come up easily, so I only use it when I am certain of element placement. I also use it to tack any loose edges down when I am finished with the layout.

Step 3:
Continuing the process of sorting through my “chosen” scrap pile, I begin to add more layers.  Here I layered the original color inspiration scrap (3.75”x 10.75”) on top of the mini polka dot scrap and overlapped the base layer.  I also pulled out a piece of chevron pattern paper (6”x6”) and added it to the top half of the page, making sure I still had some of my base and color inspiration pieces peeking through.  I wanted to repeat the chevron design, for balance sake, so I found another small scrap (3.75”x4.25”)of the chevron pattern and layered it beneath the base layer.  (See, this is where using adhesive only in the middle pays off!) 

 Step 4:
I had this gorgeous 6”x8” floral scrap from Sassfrass Lass. I knew I wanted to use it as the mat for my photos. It had some aqua and orangey-pink that helped bring out some of the other colors in my composition thus far.  Plus, I liked the contrast it created.  I wanted to repeat the orangey-pink color, but didn’t have any more of this pattern.  I only had a small strip of the gingham pattern, so I cut it in half.  I used my notebook edge punch on each of the gingham strips to create a little dimension and interest to the page.  I layered these beneath two of the previous layers.

Step 5:
At this point, I decided that I needed some horizontal lines to break up the page a bit, so I lifted the photo mat and added three strips of coordinating colors in different lengths. I knew I wanted to repeat the dark brown color, so I used my notebook border punch on two dark brown tweed patterned scraps. Next, I layered them beneath previous layers in the top left and bottom right corners.  (Note: Repeating the dark brown brings unity to the page and leads the eye from the top left to the bottom right corner.) Finally, I added my photos to the mat, with about a quarter of an inch hanging off the right side onto the aqua base pattern.  I didn’t have a large enough scrap of the floral paper to center the photos, which is fine by me. I have found, with this type of layout, you just go with the flow! J

Step 6:
 I added my title work to the top of the page.  I used American Crafts Thickers and Dear Lizzy Neopolitan alphabet stickers. I like to add more than one style/size of font on most of my pages.  I like the way it looks and I feel it makes the title more interesting.  It is just a matter of preference.

Step 7:

Embellishment Time!  Whoot! Whoot! J
First, I decide where my 3 embellishment areas will be.  (*Arrows indicate these 3 areas.)
I don’t always use 3 areas, it just depends on the layout.  It is a basic design rule, that creating a visual triangle on your page is pleasing to the eye and help leads the viewers eyes through the page.

I had some Tim Holtz journaling tickets, which I decided worked with my train theme and also complimented the color scheme.  So, I layered them underneath the previous layers.  I placed them at the top center, middle left center (under photo mat) and bottom right corner under the photo mat. I started feeling that I needed something to break up all the straight lines. So, I dug through my stash and found a large round journaling sticker, some Sassafras Lass Foldies floral elements, and coordinating label stickers.  Again, I added the elements under previous layers. I also added one of the floral elements to the embellishment area #2, with pop dots, to add a little dimension to my layout.  As you can see, I repeated those elements in each of my 3 embellishment areas. (Are you starting to see a pattern here? I do a lot of lifting, layering, and repeating.  J )  

Step 8:

We interrupt the tutorial in progress, because… I have to clean up my desk. I have no more room to work!  

Step 9:

Now that I cleaned off a spot for my sewing maching, let’s do a little sewing! I LOVE the look of stitching on my pages.  I add it to most of my layouts.  On this layout, I just did a simple straight stitch in each of my embellishment ares.  The first line of stitching went on the top edge of the word “ALL” in my title.  The next lines were stitched on the inside edge of of each of the strips I used the notebook edge punch on.  

Step 10:

My final step was to add my journaling.  Over the past couple of years, I have learned to get past my fear and loathing of my own handwriting.  I decided that my handwriting is part of who I am, and if I want to make my layouts authentic, then I need to “just do it!”  One thing I do that helps me is to write my journaling lightly in pencil and then go over it with ink.  I then go back and erase my pencil lines.  This helps to me to make sure my journaling will fit on the page, as well as edit before I commit to ink.  

So there you have it!  My completed layout and thought process while creating it. I used up a big pile of my scrap stash and am feeling pretty virtuous and thrifty about putting those scraps to use!

 I am so glad you joined me!  I hope I have provided you with a few tips and have inspired you to dig in and use up some of those lovely scraps!  

If you would like this in a printable PDF format, please click HERE.  The link will expire on April 12, 2012.  If it is after that date and you would like the file, please email me or leave a comment.

Contest Information:

Complete a layout (using your scrap stash) inspired by this tutorial. Leave a link to your layout in the comments!  I will choose a random winner to receive a $10.00 Gift Certificate to A Cherry On Top.  Links should be received by Saturday, April 28th, 2012.  The winner will be chosen on Sunday, April 29th, 2012.

Want extra entries in the drawing?
  • Blog about this contest/tutorial and leave a link to your post in the comments = 1 extra entry.  
  • Post a link on your facebook page and leave a link to you post in the comments = 1 extra entry.  
  • Become a blog follower =1 extra entry.


Sandy said...

Love it! I do have a large basket of scraps. I have cut them down into manageable sizes, but I still accumulate them faster than I use them. Thank you for this tutorial - and I really like your layout!

Gine said...

Great tutorial =)
Have a wonderful week

Andrea said...

What a great tutorial and adorable page!

SandiB said...

This challenge was perfect for me. I have so many scraps to work with. Loved your tutorial.

SandiB said...

I also just became a follower of your blog. Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful and creative layouts.

Janet said...

I am now following your blog!

Janet said...

I love your layout!