Brittany Hopkins

75 posts.

Guest Post: Using Your Scraps

Please welcome scrapbooker and photographer Becky Novacek as our guest blogger today!

I enjoy scrapbooking year-round. But there’s something about settling in and scrapbooking in the winter. Here in the Midwest, it’s cold outside, so there’s no temptation to spend time outdoors, like in the summertime. But whatever the time of year, I know that creative time for me is essential to my well being! It’s something that I just have to do to be a happy person!

Whether it’s crafting, home decor, or my wardrobe, I find such satisfaction in using what I have and making it look the best it can. As far as applying this to scrapbooking, I am a huge fan of using scraps. I love to find uses for little bits of paper, ribbon, sticker negatives, etc. So I thought it would be fun to explore this with a couple of layouts.

The first layout, “Each Other,” features little skinny strips and punched pieces. I really love the look of a graphic design paired with pops of pattern and color through pattern papers, texture, and different shapes. For the past 3 years I’ve been on the Fiskars design team, so I’ve had access to many different punches and tools. Since tools are non-consumable, I’ve been able to really use scraps much more than before. For years, I’ve had Ziploc bags with scraps organized according to either patterns or colors. In years past when I didn’t have many punches, I would go to a local scrapbook store with my bags of scraps and use all their tools to punch shapes and do title work with their machines. It was always a fun, sort of mindless afternoon, visiting with friends, while accomplishing something that I knew I would use, without spending a ton of money.

The second layout, “Home,” features skinny strips again. I really favor homespun looking layouts, so the more imperfect the strips, the better. I cut them with scissors, rather than using a trimmer to get them perfectly straight. I used border punches for two of the strips. Actually I already had those strips sitting on my desk, so I picked them up and tried them on my page. That happens a lot when I’m creating. I pick a scrap up from my desk and end up liking it on my page. I also used the negative of some alpha stickers. I’ve been doing this for years. When a letter is used before the rest of the stickers, I will place a scrap of pattern paper under the sticky and cut it out and use it with adhesive. I also used a favorite chair stamp created by my friend Denise, stamped on a little piece of pattern paper. To add interest, I used an exacto knife to cut the chair back out, then added a scrap piece from a vintage book to the negative. So easy!

Both of these layouts were created entirely from scraps, other than the cardstock background. I get the same sense of satisfaction creating layouts like this, that I do when I use what I already have in a fresh way in my home. No money spent, yet the finished project is something that makes me happy.

Thanks for letting me share my ideas for using up your scraps today!
Happy Holidays!

Find more ideas from Becky at

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Calling All Crafters!

Have you seen Leah Fung’s latest On Assignment challenge? The challenge for our August issue is to use another craft on your scrapbook pages! Read all about it on our Challenge Blog, then head on over to the gallery and share your pages! The challenge is open until December 7th, so there’s just one week left to submit your page. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Happy scrappin’!

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Sneak Peek: February Issue

We’re getting ready to send the February 2011 issue to the printer, so I thought I’d stop by the blog this week to give you a few sneak peeks of some of my favorite projects in the issue. The magazine hits newsstands December 28, so you’ll get it just in time to provide post-holiday inspiration. Until then, here’s a quick preview of what we’ve been working on.SBEQuickCollage217

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From the Gallery

We at SBE HQ love looking through the gallery to see your inspirational projects! Here are a few that recently caught our eyes!

design by jentsuru

design by sgray1101

design by zakirahzakaria

design by rogerskk

design by vblythe

design by ciaoitalia2007

Have you uploaded any projects to the gallery recently? If not, what are you waiting for? If you need a little incentive, be sure to check out Sarah’s post from yesterday about Photo Faves!

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Easy Travel Mini Album

Making mini albums can be a small-scale way to scrap events, trips, or memories that deserve a little extra attention. I recently completed a mini album about a trip I took to England last spring, and while working on it discovered five tips that I wanted to share today.

1. Keep it simple. I wanted a pretty album, but one that I could make quickly. So I covered a Maya Road 6×6″ Binder Book and with Studio Calico paper and Fab Rips.

2. Keep the cover flat. I wanted to add a title to my cover, but was worried that over time any dimensional elements I added would fall off or become damaged. The London circle trimmed from a sheet of patterned paper was the perfect solution.

3. Think beyond paper. To give the binding a finished looked, I covered it with several strips of adhesive-backed fabric. Since they have a little more give to them than paper, I didn’t have to worry about tearing. You can get a similar look by covering fabric with iron-on adhesive and adding it to the cover (as Maria did on her December Daily album).

4. Create a template for each page. The same basic design is used on all of the inside pages of the album. Cover the chipboard with a piece of patterned paper, then add a 1″ strip of another pattern along the side.

5. Hide the journaling. Since the design didn’t leave much room for journaling, I hid my journaling underneath the photos. This was easy to do—just score a line 1/2″ from the top of a piece of cardstock that is approximately the same size as your photo, fold, and adhere the photo to the 1/2″ fold. Adhere the cardstock piece to the album page, then write your journaling.

Here are the rest of the spreads in my album. As you can see, the overall design is the same from page to page.

What are your best tips for making mini albums?

SOURCES Album: Maya Road. Patterned paper: October Afternoon (brown, yellow), Studio Calico (green, words, airplanes, travel). Fabric stickers: Studio Calico. Punch: Crop-a-Dile by We R Memory Keepers. Pen: Faber-Castell. Design: Brittany Hopkins.

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Gallery Love

Just popping in to share a pair of adorable cards Sarah and I spotted in our gallery this morning! Both are by tanisharenee74.

Happy Halloween!

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Brittany’s December Daily Album

I love the holiday season but never scrapbook it. Maybe it’s the lack of photos, or that by the time I actually have photos to scrap I’ve moved on to the next holiday. Every year I say I’m going to change that, but this year really is the year. This year, I’m making a December Daily album.

A December Daily album is an album concept created by scrapbooker Ali Edwards where you create a holiday album in advance and fill it in with photos and journaling throughout the holiday season. We featured Ali’s 2009 album in our December issue, and SBE staffers will be making our own this year. (You can check out Michelle’s album here.)


For my album, I chose Pink Paislee’s Parisian Anthology Portfolio Album. The album comes with several different size and style page protectors, which gives me a lot of options for each day.


The sticker letters and trim are all from Making Memories, but I recolored the trim using Studio Calico’s Mister Huey.


I covered the inside of the album with red patterned paper and punched snowflakes using a punch from Martha Stewart Crafts.

In my family, the holiday season starts on Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving we always cut down and decorate our Christmas tree, so I decided to begin my December Daily on November 25, and go all the way through the end of December. If I decide after Christmas that I’ve had enough, I can end it there, but I have a few extra pages made in case I want to include all the way through New Year’s Eve.


Most of the products I used come from three of my favorite holiday lines: Noel by Making Memories, Noel by BoBunny Press, and Christmas Delight by Little Yellow Bicycle.


The album came with several divided page protectors. I plan to print  wallet-size photos and journaling and stick them directly in the protector.


Another favorite feature are the divided envelope-style protectors, which make it easy to store any memorabilia I may want to keep from those days.


I punched holes in several seasonal journaling tags from Little Yellow Bicycle and scattered them throughout the album. They won’t belong to a certain day–instead I plan to use them as a supplemental page to record different holiday memories and stories.


Overall, I kept embellishments to a minimum. I added a few stickers and rub-ons throughout the album, and I plan to keep a stash of supplies near my album so I can embellish as I work (but only if I’m inspired to). I only numbered a few pages because I have commitment issues, and wanted the freedom to change the order if a certain page protector style doesn’t work for the day it falls on. I’m hoping to keep the album flexible and let it evolve throughout the process.

In case you’d like to see more of my album base, I’ve posted it in our gallery.

After Thanksgiving I’ll be back with more of my December Daily album to share my progress and any tips I figure out along the way!

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Scrap Books

We’ve featured novels about scrapbooking before, both on the blog and in the magazine. And there are two new scrapbooking mysteries out! I can’t wait to read them.

The first is Photo Snap Shot, the third book in a series by Joanna Campbell Slan.

The next is Fiber & Brimstone by Laura Childs, the 7th book in a series about scrapbook store owner turned amateur detective Carmela Bertrand.

Have you read any scrappy novels? What did you think?

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Trim the Tree

101590205On the back page of our December issue, you can see trees created with patterned-paper and foam cones. Want to make your own? Here’s the scoop.

  1. 101590207Cut patterned paper into 1″ and 3/4″ strips.  Using decorative-edge scissors, cut the strips into 2-1/2″ long pieces.
  2. Curl one end of each piece with a smooth pencil.
  3. Adhere the strips in even layers around the foam cone using a hot-glue gun. When you get to the final layer, fold the tops of the paper strips down and adhere them to the top of the cone.
  4. Embellish with buttons, gems, and brads. Add a star or other shape to the top using a thin piece of wire.

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Jewelry Box + Bottle Cap Necklaces

Love the jewelry box and bottle cap necklace from the December issue (page 80)? Here’s how to make them.SBE-8-6-10-19050

The Necklace

Collect bottle caps from beverages (these were twist off caps from sparkling juice bottles) and wash them. Punch a hole in the top of the cap using a heavy-duty hole punch, such as the Crop-a-Dile. Punch a patterned paper circle to fit in the cap. (We used a 1″ punch.) Adhere the patterned paper with liquid adhesive, and consider sealing with a coat of dimensional adhesive (Mod-Podge, Glossy Accents, or Diamond Glaze) overtop. Once it is dry, add a chipboard letter or embellishment and a ring through the punched hole, then string on a chain.


The Box

Vicki Boutin decorated a wooden box found at a dollar store to create this jewelry box.

  1. Spray the inside of the wooden box with ink.
  2. Cover the outside of the box with fabric tape and spray with ink. Let dry.
  3. Hammer bottle caps to flatten and add paper circles to the centers. Glue the bottle caps to the sides of the box.
  4. Creatae fabric blossoms by winding cotton fabric in a spiral shape. Adhere it to a cardstock circle using fabric glue.
  5. Spray the fabric flowers with ink. Let dry.
  6. Attach stacks of buttons to the bottom of the box to create legs.
  7. Adhere the fabric flowers to the top. Embellish.
SOURCES Patterned paper: Sassafras. Gaffer tape, velvet leaves: 7Gypsies. Buttons: Foofala by Autumn Leaves. Ink: Tattered Angels. Flower centers: Prima Marketing, Inc. Ribbon: Maya Road. Punch: Fiskars. Adhesive: Beacon Adhesives. Design: Vicki Boutin.

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