Tips & Techniques

These easy tips and techniques are things that I’ve learned along the way and will be adding to periodically through posts.

Get ideas from magazines. Advertisers hire professional graphic artists for their pages.  Flip through magazines.  You might find something visually appealing that you could use on your next page or layout.   

Creative cropping.  Don’t be afraid to cut your photo (EXCEPT Polaroids if you even know what they are) to focus on a person or object.  I’ve heard people say they couldn’t bear to cut a photo.  If that’s you, then make a copy before you cut your photo for the page.  By using the whole photo,   you may have a lot of unnecessary excess on your page.  Do you really want that weird guy in the background that somehow got into your photo?  LOL.  Be creative, cut your person or object out in a circle, oval or even heart (Valentine’s Day).  A photo doesn’t always have to be square or rectangle.

Like circles Make a page with all the photos cropped in circles.  Create extra circles on the page for memorabilia and/or journaling.

Inexpensive supplies and embellishments.  Use everyday objects in projects.  See what’s lying around the house – paperclips, old CDs, old fabric, quotes from old calendars, toothpicks.  Anything that isn’t too thick can be used and may be the perfect accent for your next page.  Remember only acid/lignon free papers on photos though.  If it’s a concern, there is a preservation spray you can use such as Archival Mist by EK Success but it is a little pricey.

           – Check out the office supply store.  Often they will have something you can use (like fancy paperclips) much more affordable than the scrapbooking section of your favorite hobby store.

Use a pocket from a pair of worn out jeans for a teen’s page or book.  Put a note/journal in the pocket or a souvenir. 

For dimension Cut a letter or shape from cardboard (an old box), cover with paper to match your page and tie a ribbon or string around it.  Voila a cheap embellishment AND you recycled.  🙂

Hidden secrets.  For little surprises or personal journaling, create a pocket on the page. 

BEWARE: Newspaper Articles/Tickets.   Anything made with paper, either copy onto acid free paper, spray with archival mist or laminate otherwise DO NOT let it touch your photo!

by Debbi founder of
Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment.


11 thoughts on “Tips & Techniques

  1. Great ideas to add interest to you pieces. I’ve always suggested to people that they move closer to their subject before taking the photo. But, almost every photo can bet helped by cropping.

  2. Hi Debi,

    lovely site and I do have one such album that is currently in storage but I look forward to getting it out and checking your site for tips on how to make it better. One thing I think would be nice to see here would be some of your favorite albums – with samples of how they look. I’m sure your readers would enjoy seeing them too.
    Best regards

    • Maria,

      Please do come back as I plan on doing just that. I was trying to get all the information in first. Perhaps I can put a few albums (or pages) between tips. I’m working on a gift album now.
      Thank you for visiting and your suggestion. I’m always open to them. I want to help and therefore, I must know what people want.


  3. Lignon/acid free watercolor papers and an inexpensive set of watercolors can be used to make inexpensive background and accent pieces for die cuts, as well.

    Also, you can buy buttons and beads by the hundreds at crafts stores. Buttons are perfect accent pieces, as are small, ready cut die cut pieces that you can use the watercolors on, or colored pencils, markers, or even acrylic paints. I found a bag of 100 wooden die cuts for just a couple of dollars in all sorts of shapes, from stars and squares to airplanes and cars. It was a great investment!

    Also, craft stores often have scrap bags of ribbons and cloth for very cheap, a couple of dollars, and you get a huge bag of scraps that are perfect! I even found a scrap bag of leather at my local Hobby Lobby. I used it for lots of crafts, and still have tons left.

  4. Wonderful site,Deb! I wish I had this info long ago. Maybe this will inspire me to finish some of my projects and organize the ton of photos I currently have in boxes.:)

  5. Debbi,

    The site looks wonderful! I really love scrapbooking, so I am definitely excited about coming back and seeing what more you have! Thanks for the wonderful tips!

  6. Some great tips here! I’m looking forward to reading more about scrapbooking. I do have a question: If a person was brand-new to scrapbooking and didn’t have anything at all in the way of supplies, what would be your advice on how to begin, assuming they had a modest amount of money to spend on it?

    • Max, Check out the Tools tab. These are the very basics. The paper trimmer and mat are probably the most expensive but well worth the cost. I use them for more than just scrapbooking. Look for the 40% off coupons that Michaels and Hobby Lobby often have in the newspaper. If it’s not on sale or clearance, it usually will not go in my cart. 🙂

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