Thursday, July 2, 2015

10 tips for creating your own scrapbooking kit...

Yesterday I announced that I would be starting a new series on my YouTube channel all about creating kits with your stash and then using it up. I am doing this because a lot of us have tons of product in our stash that we need the motivation to get used up. For me, creating a kit mixing older products with brand new products breathes life into the old stuff. Today I'm here to share the ins and outs of my process for putting this kit together and I want to share some tips with you. And just a disclaimer, this is what worked for me. Everyone is different!

The first few tips apply to picking patterned paper.

10-12 Patterned Papers is plenty! Don't put too many papers because you will get bored with the kit before you've "killed" it. If you put too few, you don't have enough to work with. If you have a 6 x 6 Paper pad that you want to throw in there, do it.

Sometimes it all comes down to "what do I like better?" If you find yourself having a hard time whittling down your patterned papers to just 10 or 12, you just have to choose what you like. Make sure you have a good balance of colors and pick what you love.

Make sure you have a good balance of prints! 
busy vs. restful 
small patterns vs. large patterns
multicolored vs. solid 
tight patterns vs. loose patterns
papers that could be used for backgrounds vs. papers that steal the show
florals + stripes + dots + text + texture

It's important that your papers have a good mix of patterns that pair well together.

When mixing collections, look for similar tones and styles! You can see from the photo below that all of the papers go together really well. That's because, even though I used several manufacturers and papers that were newer and some that were older, I looked for papers that had a similar tone and style to them.

Now, embellishments.

Try to find something that incorporates several of your kit colors! I have learned that I can usually find a sticker sheet or die cut package that includes multiple colors that will work with my papers. It's okay if every single sticker/die cut doesn't match. That being said...

Don't be afraid to split up your packages! For this kit, I had a package of tags from the Crate Paper Notes and Things collection. About half of them had the right coloring, so I just pulled them out. I'll save the rest for another project.

Try to include a variety of textures and dimensional items! Try to include items that are flat, like stickers and die cuts, as well as more dimensional items like chipboard or flair. Include things that can be tucked or layered, like tags. I always try to include one or two trims, like washi tape, ribbon, or twine. This will keep your layouts from feeling flat and boring. 

Some final words...

Include what you've been meaning to get to but haven't! What I mean is that if you have some awesome peerless watercolors that you were so excited to buy, but haven't used at all, throw them in with your kit if you think it will get you to use them. If you bought an amazing package of gold foil die cuts but haven't had occasion to put them on a layout yet, throw them in with your kit. .

Include what you love! It does you absolutely no good to have a bunch of stuff that matches well and that you don't really like. What is enticing you to use that kit? Make sure you include things that you love!

There are no rules! I've put together a kit that has 11 patterned papers, 1 specialty paper, 2 cardstocks, 1 sticker sheet, 1 diecut package, 1 set of rub-ons, 1 sheet of label stickers, 7 flair buttons, and two trims. That doesn't mean that you have to do the same. Of course, you can do whatever works for you. That's the beauty of making your own kit, isn't it?

I made a video describing my whole process of putting together this particular kit, and I'll do it again each month. Have questions? Watch the video. It might answer some of them.

Still have questions? Leave me a comment and I'll try to answer them. :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Stash Kits + new YouTube series announcement...

In October of 2014, I made two scrapbooking kits from my stash. Each included 10 sheets of patterned paper, two cardstocks, 2 trims, 2 alphabets, and several embellishment options. (If you want to see the kits in detail, check out the video here.) I made a layout or two right when I created the kits, but since then they have been sitting in my scraproom, mocking me constantly. CONSTANTLY.

Until the day before yesterday. I decided to kill those kits. Really, they had it coming, what with all that mocking. I created seven layouts from those kits in one sitting. Get ready for a photo overload...

These layouts were created with the first kit:

And these were with the second. I liked the second kit more...

You can see a full layout share in this video:

There are a few things I noticed while I was busting through these layouts.

1. Not every single page needs to be a masterpiece. Sometimes it's fun to just let go, play with pretty papers, and not worry too much about the end result.

2. Pick products you love. If you try to make a kit out of all of the items that have been sitting in your stash because you don't love them, you are going to have a hard time with the kit.

3. The more you create, the easier it gets. I made all of these layouts in one sitting. I know that isn't feasible or even desirable to everyone, but the point I want to make is this: If you create consistently, you don't get stuck as often. The more layouts I made, the more I felt like I could make and the faster the process was.

A few weeks back, I asked my YouTube followers to let me know what they would like to see from me on my channel or in future classes. By far, the most popular reply was creating kits from your stash/mixing old product with new products. I thought for a minute that this would be a great topic for my first class because it was in high demand! But, I decided instead to make it a weekly series on my YouTube channel. I want this information to be available to all.

So, starting tomorrow, I'll be launching a new series called Stash Kits: Old Meets New. In the first video, I'll go into detail about how to put a kit together using older products mixed with newer items. Future videos will show either a process video or layout share.  I hope you'll enjoy it!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Do your kids ever cover their faces when you pull out the camera? Do they pull faces? Do they run away? Mine does. All of the above. I know it's partially her age and attitude right now, but sometimes it makes me wonder if I've just taken too many photos. I try not to. I really feel like over the years, I've grown quite good at deciding which moments need to be documented and which ones I just need to be "in the moment" for.

I've been trying to include myself in our story, and part of that is taking selfies. It's a thing I sort of hate, but no one else can make sure I only have one chin! I try to have Malia take selfies with me when we're twinning or when she is being/looking extra cute and she hates it.

I felt like that was an important thing to document. I never had that problem when I was a kid.

I used my Felicity Jane kits for this layout and had a bit of fun coloring some of the black and white patterned papers with my distress inks. Also, that glitter foam "smile" title piece is winning all of the things. I love it.

Everything on the layout came from the kit, except for the inks, which I'll list below. If you want to see the process of how this layout came together, you can watch it!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and be sure to check back tomorrow. I'll be doing a huge layout share and announcing a new series on my YouTube channel!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

An insane amount of wood veneer...

Sometimes I see a layout and I think, "I have to go to make a scrapbook layout right this very instant!" That's how I felt after seeing a few layouts using mass amounts of wood veneer like this one by Geralyn Sy:

So cool, right?! I love how she put vellum over her wood veneer. I don't know about you, but I have a lot of wood veneer. Probably more than I'll ever use. In fact, after taking a stab at this technique myself, I can barely see a dent in my stash. Crazy.

I love the way it turned out! And it's perfect for the story I wanted to tell. My daughter and my niece did handstands and cartwheels for over an hour one day and I remember doing the same thing when I was that age. The chaos of the wood veneer pieces is very fitting for a fun and playful childhood layout. You can see my process on my YouTube channel.

Thanks for stopping by!

My Name is Jen...

...and I speak for this tree. This one. This tree that looks good in all seasons. My favorite tree.

I loved this tree. It wasn't even at my house. It was at work! But it brought me so much joy.

Then a few bad storms hit and thrashed the trees. I came to work one day and my beloved tree looked like this:

Sad day. I know it's stupid to be so attached to a tree, but I was. My co-workers knew it too and they even gave me a sympathy card with a tree on the front. :)

I thought the story was worth telling, so I scrapbooked it.

Here are some of the details...

And here is the process video:

I used my Felicity Jane kits (which I love!), as well as a few other products, which I've listed below*. Please let me know if you have any questions!

*Products listed use affiliate links