Templates Make Scrapping Collections Easier

Time Capsule: Weekly Challenge #32… Extended

When you look around my home, you get the distinct impression that I am woman of contradiction. There are no ornaments around my house. Everything serves a purpose even if I find the most decorative object to fill that purpose. I have no dolls or decorative plates. I have never quite understood my mother’s obsession of collecting teaspoons or grandmother’s need to collect… well… everything. For me, if it serves no purpose, then it must go.

I do however, have a rather large collection of storage tins, an extensive collection of teen fiction and an almost shameful collection of shoes.

See… functional. Right?

Documenting collections, especially if you’re a scrapbooker, can be fun. It plays right into the plethora of themed kits out there. For me the hard part was getting as many pictures as possible on to the page. Another challenge is that, generally, collections are rarely in a color scheme.

I find the best tool to use when scrapping collections is multi-photo blocked templates. These  usually provide space for a focal photo as well as 6-8 smaller photos, a title and journaling. They also help with embellishment placing when your page is already full.

As you can see by my shoe page, a multi-photo page does not have to be minimalist or graphic. Provided that you follow the rules of design, your page can still be pleasing to the eye.

Some designers who have templates suitable for collections are Cindy Schneider, Janet Phillips, Nanie’s Designs and Kay Miller. All of them have a focus on multi-photo journal-heavy pages.

Besides removing the obvious design headache, templates are great way to speed scrap. You can use the template as is by plopping your pics, papers and embellies in the correct spot, add your shadows, then customize as needed. You can flip and rotate them or shrink and expand them to create more than a dozen different looks with the same template. Remove all the embellishment spots and you have the foundation for a clean and simple layout.

Templates can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to use. This is usually exacerbated when the designer doesn’t have a logical order to her layers. Sometimes a heavily layered template is just difficult to navigate. I suppose there are many ways to deal with this. I will briefly explain my method.

The first thing I do is remove all the embellishment spots. I figure I can look at the preview to remind me where all the embellies should go. Next I remove all the paper layers I know I won’t use. I expand the photo spots and convert one to a journaling spot. Only then do I rotate, flip or customize. This takes all of five minutes and saves me time in the end. Once I’m happy with my placement of photos, I remove the template layers and then start my embellishing.

There are many template designers out there for all scrapping styles and many of them are available in formats for most software. Inevitably you will come across that one niggling question: Is template use cheating? The simple answer is, yes. But no more so than following a sketch or scraplifting your favorite scrapper.  They are just a tool, pretty much like using an electronic cutting system as a paper scrapper. All it does is make the process easier.

If you’re interested in trying before you buy, many designers include one template in their stores quarterly or monthly collab. Search galleries for pages similar to your own or a style you find pleasing. Odds are a number of them will mention a template in the credits.

Here’s to more effective memory keeping!


Chantal StoberI am a mom to Nikita, wife to Stephen, project manager and volunteer teacher’s aid. I live in sunny South Africa. You can learn more about me at http://thehybridmess.wordpress.com



Additional 2012 Design Team sample layouts for Weekly Challenge #32may be found in this week’s Challenge Galleryif you complete this challenge yourself, please consider posting your project in the gallery as well so others may be inspired by YOU!

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