Brittany Hopkins

75 posts.

Family Memo Center Freebies


In the December issue, we show you how to transform a cookie sheet into a family memo center. Want to make your own? Contributing Editor Leah Fung designed these lists and calendars for you to download.



Click here to download the family memo center freebies.

Have you used a cookie sheet for something other than baking?

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Gift Tags Galore

In the “Get Tagged” story in our December issue, we share fun gift tags. Here are a few bonus tips and tricks to help make creating tags even easier.

“Joy” tag

To add an extra jingle to her tag, Erin Roe replaced the “o” in her sentiment with an actual bell.


To attach the bell, cut a small hole in the back of the tag that is just large enough to stick the top of the bell through. Trim a small strip of cardstock and slide it through the top of the bell. Adhere both ends of the strip to back of the tag. It should look like this:


“Many Thanks” tag


Dress up a simple tag with hand-crafted flowers, as Vicki Boutin did here. To make the flowers, punch several circles from patterned paper. Lightly dampen them, then layer the paper circles and crumple to create the shape. Add a brad through the center and let dry.

3-D Tree


Creating a dimensional tree like the one on this tag by Erin Roe is really easy.

101618179Simply cut or punch several triangles from patterned paper or cardstock and fold them in half. Adhere each half to half of another triangle until you create the desired shape, then adhere the accent to your tag.

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Free Holiday Gift Labels


These pretty labels and tags are perfect for customizing gifts (bottles of wine or sparkling cider anyone?), and easy to make. And since the holiday season is such a busy time, we thought we’d make them even easier to make and offer them as downloads. You can download PNG files of these four labels here. Simply print them and attach them to your gift using tape. Happy holidays!

Picture 36

Picture 38

Picture 39

Picture 47


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Calendar Freebies

Handmade calendars are a popular holiday gift, and we have just the tools to help you easily craft the new year.

january 2011Contributing Editor Erica Hernandez designed this set of 2011 calendars that can be used as a brush or JPEG file. (See how she used it on page 123 of our December issue, which goes on sale Oct. 19.)

remindercalendarIf reminder calendars are more your style, we have a monthly template (used by Celeste Smith to create a birthday-reminder calendar featured on page 124) you can download as well.

Click here to download the calendar templates.

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Album Options

Picking an album has always been a no-brainer for me. I always gravitate toward black albums with plenty of room for dozens of 12×12″ page protectors. And since I scrap chronologically, this has never really been an issue for me.

But then I got engaged. And for the past month, I’ve been putting off scrapping my photos of the proposal, simply because I can’t commit to an album for all of my wedding pages. But now that I have photos of dress shopping, and will have engagement photos soon, I need to pick so I can start scrapping!

Should I go with this pretty linen album from We R Memory Keepers that is nearly the same shade of purple as the one in my wedding color palette?

Should I stick with my traditional look and pick a classic black leather album from American Crafts?

Or should I choose a wedding album, like this one from K&Company?

What type of albums do you use? What did you do for your wedding album? And, if you’ve posted any of your wedding or engagement pages to online, leave a link! I’d love to see them!

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Are You Up for the Challenge?

Have you seen Leah’s latest On Assignment challenge posted on our Challenge blog? There’s less than a month left to post your pages to the gallery to be considered for publication in the June issue!

We’re starting to plan the challenges for the  2012 On Assignment columns, and we would love to hear your input on the challenges we choose.  What challenges would you like to see in the future? Do technique-based challenges inspire you? Or would you rather take on theme or topic challenges?

We’d love to hear from you!

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Brush Basics

Have you seen the free digital kit we featured in the October issue? Contributing Editor Erica Hernandez designed it, and included a variety of patterned papers and fun digital elements.


Some of the elements are provided as brush files (which end in .ABR). When I first started dabbling in digital scrapbooking, I was really intimidated by the idea of using brushes, but once you dive in they are really easy to use!

Here’s how to load brushes (in Adobe Photoshop–the steps will be slightly different depending on which image-editing software you use).

WEBloadbrush11. From the Brush drop-down menu, select Load Brushes and navigate to the .ABR file you would like to load.

WEBloadbrush22. Select the brush you would like to use, and stamp it on your canvas.

The first time I used a brush, it took me ages to figure out how to load them. Now it seems really simple. Have you ever experienced that with a scrapbooking technique (either digital or traditional)?

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From the Gallery

Have you been checking out our gallery lately? It’s full of inspiring pages! Here are a few that caught my eye.

design by e.hammann

design by nj2nh

design by allypeytonbrynn

What inspiration have you found in the gallery?

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Behind the Scenes: October 2010

Oct USsm

By now I hope you’ve all had a chance to read the October issue! Here are a few fun facts about the making of the magazine.

  • Picking which answers are included on the Masthead is always difficult, but, as bookworms, we hated having to choose which books got a mention and which didn’t. (Green Eggs and Ham, Stuart Little, Anne of Green Gables, and the Trixie Belden series were the other responses.)
  • The inspiration for the opener on page 17 came from Lisa Storms’ layout on pages 20-21. We loved that little journaling block so much, we asked her to recreate it for the opener!
  • We often get asked about the fonts we use in the magazine, such as the cursive school-theme font used in “Making the Grade.” We used School Script Dashed for all of the project headers.
  • We fell in love with the paper flowers on page 55. Senior Associate Art Director Deb Berger has now made dozens of them!
  • The photo insert on the red MyStik on page 72 features Deb’s daughter Anna and one of her friends.
  • Every time we discussed “Hot Pockets” on page 74, Michelle would sing the title just like they do in the commercials. It made us wish we could put a sound chip in the magazine!

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Quick Collage Basics: Week Six

Welcome to Quick Collage Basics, a six week blog series sharing basic techniques for our free photo templates. Each week I’ll post a new tutorial featuring a technique readers frequently ask about. All of the tutorials will be in Adobe Photoshop, but leave a comment if you have questions about adapting the instructions to the software you use.

Week Six: Adding Digital Elements

Replacing template blocks with digital elements may seem intimidating, but it’s as simple as adding photos to the collage!


1. Open the collage template you’d like to use in your image-editing software.


2. Place your digital element—in this case, digital paper from the free Citrus Blitz kit featured in the October issue “Digi Fusion” column—in a new layer above the collage template. Choose Layer>Create Clipping Mask (or Layer>Group With Previous) to drop the paper into the collage block.


3. (This is the new step I mentioned in week 4 for the Adobe Photoshop CS4 users.) Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to draw a box around the template block, then go to Select>Inverse. In some version of Photoshop, you may need to then go to Layer>Rasterize>Smart Object.


4. Go to Edit>Clear to delete the digital paper from the other template blocks.


5. If you want to add text over the template block, all you have to do is select your Text tool, draw a text box over the template block, and start typing.

I hope you enjoyed the Quick Collage Basics blog series! If there are any other techniques you would like info about, or other topics you think would make a good blog series, let me know!

Missed a week?

See Week Five: Recoloring the Background

See Week Four: Deleting Excess from Shape Collages.

See Week Three: Combining and Deleting.

See Week Two: Stretching and Resizing.

See Week One: Flipping and Rotating.

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