March 2010

17 posts.


Ever wonder how the beautiful pages of Scrapbooks etc. Magazine come to be?

Here is a glimpse!


Our Art Director, Deb, modeling a demonstration for a color wash.


Yes, we really do test-drive our projects!


The crew, analyzing the final photos.


The final image! Look for it in our next issue!

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Using Heritage Photos

Last summer, I spent a weekend at my grandma’s house, scanning in hundreds of family photos dating back to the 1920s. I had so much fun going through all of the photos and hearing Grandma tell stories about my grandfather, who passed away when I was 3, and what my mom was when she was a child.

Scrapping the photos has been a slow process, mostly because when I scanned in the photos I didn’t organize them very well. (But that’s a project for another day.) This weekend, I finally had a chance to scrap a photo of my grandpa and the men he flew with during World War II.


SOURCES Patterned paper: October Afternoon (blue), Jenni Bowlin Studio (yellow). Tag: 7Gypsies. Stickers: Adornit–Carolee’s Creations. Journaling die cut: Anna Griffin. Pen: American Crafts.

I printed the scanned photo on my photo printer, and didn’t do anything to touch it up. There are a few scratches and tears on the photo, but I think it helps make the scrapbook page more authentic. I did cover up the torn corner on the bottom left-hand side with my journaling block, but it doesn’t cover a significant part of the photo.

Here are some tips for working with heritage photos:

  • Always work with scans.
  • Don’t limit yourself to using only dark colors. Heritage pages can be just as bright and colorful as pages about recent events–and with black-and-white or sepia photos, the color combinations are endless.
  • If you don’t know much about the photo, try journaling about the differences between life then and life now, the conversations you wish you could have with the person in the photo, or details about the photo subject that aren’t necessarily relevant to that particular snapshot.

Are you scrapping heritage photos? I’d love to see your layouts as inspiration!

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Scraplift Inspiration

One of my favorite things about scrapbooking–and crafting in general–is the creative sharing that occurs. Scraplifting can open my eyes to different styles and ideas. Plus, it gives way to fast scrapping! I challenge myself to look at every page and think of a way to suit it to my needs.

Though children aren’t a part of my life right now, I fell in love with this page by Erica Hernandez. (Get full details of the page here.)


My take is below. (I used an Abba song featured in Mama Mia as inspiration.) I trimmed bees and flowers from the base patterned paper to use as pop up accents.. My title is larger to emphasize the theme, and I rounded the corners of the photos for a softer look. Because the background is so busy, I mounted both the photos and title letters on white cardstock, and outlined the edges of each letter with a black marker to make them stand out even more.


SOURCES Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: BasicGrey. Letter stickers: SEI.

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Friday Finds: QuicKutz L Letterpress

We {heart} letterpress—and the Letterpress!

Happy Friday, and welcome to Friday Finds, a new weekly feature here at iScrap uScrap in which we’ll be sharing our latest obsessions.

We’re going to kick things off this week with the QuicKutz L Letterpress. It’s been out for a few months, but we just had a chance to spend some time with ours this week. And now we’re hooked!

The L Letterpress works with QuicKutz’s Epic Six die-cutting tool to create printed, debossed images for paper crafts. The art of lower-case “l” letterpress is very popular for printing special events pieces, such as wedding invitations. You used to need expensive, complicated machinery, but the uppercase “L” Letterpress tool makes it easy!

The starter kit is $69.99 ($149.99 when combined with the Epic Six and comes with everything you need to start printing, including an all-occasion plate set, paper, and back ink. There are also other accessories available, including 20 colors of ink ($6.99 each) and several printing plate sets ($24,99 each). QuicKutz also offers a personalized plate set so you can make your own wedding invitations!

We played with ours last week, and the rest of the staff had to organize an intervention because I wouldn’t stop playing with it. It takes just a bit of practice and experimentation, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy! I’ll post a video soon about the process, but until then, here are a few cards I made during our session.


Check back soon to see a video of the Letterpress in action!

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Creative Outlets

Your creative bone doesn’t have to stop in your scrapbook. These Web sites are my favorite (and free!) creative energy outlets when I’m all out of paper and glue. – If you are obsessed with shopping, fashion, magazines, and everything in between- you will become addicted to this. You get to pick from thousands of items (like purses, shoes, clothes, makeup, electronics, etc.), then mix and arrange them on a blank canvas. You can save and share your pages, and even buy the products! Below is a page I created:

Scrapbooks etc. – This is a website design program that is completely visual (no HTML coding!). You can use one of their many templates, or start from scratch. It has the same design and play essence of digital scrapbooking and is incredibly easy to use. Plus they have hundreds of free photos, clip art, animation and design elements to pick from. You can create unlimited free pages and send them to friends or publish it on the web with a Wix URL. To have your own URL and other benefits (like removing their Wix advertisements from your page) it costs extra (starting at $4.95/mo). Use your page to display photos, show off your hobby, sell stuff, list your recipes, promote your personal business, make a club homepage, an “about me” site, or even to promote your scrapbooking skills! You can view my portfolio site I created using Wix at – Here you can create and print your own books. It is free to use their program, however you do have to pay for any copies you decide to print. They also have cards, stationary, calendars, posters and other fun things you can create and print using either their templates or your own creation.

Also, if you want a book you created to be available for the public to purchase, I suggest It allows you to actually sell your personal book on Even if it isn’t going to win a Nobel-Peace Prize, it gives friends and family the ability to purchase their own copy. My 11-year-old cousin did this with a short children’s fiction book she wrote. You can see it here. And hey, you never know who might stumble upon your work!

Have you used any of these sites? Please share your creations!
Or do you have other favorite creative websites? I would love to hear them!

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Easy Wall Decor

Sometimes, as scrapbookers, it’s easy to become a collector of patterned paper. I often think, “That pattern is just too pretty to cover with photos!” when looking at some of my favorite sheets, then set them aside. They end up getting lost in my piles of patterned paper, waiting for the perfect project to come along. But if I love the pattern so much, why not do something with it?

I’ve decided to take some of my favorite papers and make wall decor with them. The first project, which I made this weekend, features my favorite patterned paper ever. I’d been struggling with how to use this paper (Do I use it to mark where I lived and worked when I was in London? Do I use it as the title page to my study abroad album?) and was starting to worry that it would end up in the pile of forgotten papers. Instead of letting it go to waste in my stash, I wanted to do actually use it. So I did. (Although I’ll probably end up buying a second sheet of it to use in an album later, it was liberating to remind myself that I can use patterned paper instead of just hoarding it.)


SOURCES Canvas: Art Alternatives. Patterned paper: October Afternoon. Paint: Plaid. Decoupage medium: Mod Podge.

This project was so easy to make—the longest part was waiting for the paint and decoupage medium to dry. Just paint the sides of the canvas a coordinating color, let it dry, and then decoupage the paper to the canvas. Actual work took about a half hour, and between the paint and decoupage, drying took about two hours. Not bad for an easy weekend project!

Patterned paper wall decor also is good if you’re looking for inexpensive ways to decorate your house or apartment. I found the canvas on sale for 50% off, and already had the decoupage medium at home. The paint was less than $5 (and would have been less had I remembered my coupon). All in all, the project cost less than $10 to make, and having the paper on display instead of buried in my stash made it well worth it.

Have you used your scrapbooking supplies to make home decor? I’m always looking for ways to spruce up my apartment, so I’d love to see your projects! And if you’re looking for more home decor inspiration, check out our home decor and photo decor ideas.

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Spring Fever Flowers

There’s still tons of snow on the ground outside SBE headquarters but I’m already in a spring state of mind! (Or a state of denial, maybe?) So, in the spirit of the spring, I took something old and made it new. These blooms are made from leftover ice blue and white cardstock, topped off with vintage-style buttons.

Flower bouquet made from buttons, patterned paper.

To make the flowers, punch shapes from cardstock, then punch a smaller hole in the middle of each shape. Layer the punched shapes over the button loop in the back.

Cut two strands of floral wire of the same length and twist them together to create a sturdy stem. To attach the stem to the flower, thread the wire through the button loop, then twist it around the loop to secure.

Back of flower made from button, cardstock.

I wrapped patterned paper around an empty salsa jar (attaching with glue dots) to create a cheery vase. To make the flowers stand upright, I poured sea glass into the vase. I also found that if I looped the wire like a hook at the bottom, the flowers were sturdier.

Just because I think the buttons are too cute, here’s a close up!


SOURCES Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: K&Company. Buttons, ribbon, sea glass, wire: Michaels.

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