Deconstructing A Layout | How Unrelated Ideas Can Create A Cohesive Page

Do you ever write down ideas when you come across them? I have a stack of index cards on my desk right now full of one idea cards. Notes I jot down when I’m on an inspiration hunt. Things I see in magazines that I want to try. Or a cool technique I saw on a blog. When I’m creatively stumped, I go through my notes to see if any ideas will get the layout moving again.

The layout I’m going to share today is actually a culmination of many different ideas. I’m going walk through the process of how I got the ideas from my index cards onto a layout.

This page came about because I found some journaling written in a sketch book. I don’t remember writing it but when I found the words, I knew I needed to create a layout for them. There was no sketch for the page, I just took each idea one by one and made it all work.


It’s a little dramatic, I know. It’s not the most positive layout I have ever created. When I read the words again (especially now that I’m in Florida and far removed) I felt like it was the right time to express how winter in Nashville really made me feel.

Tip: keep a small notebook to jot down quick thoughts and ideas and conversations when they happen. You don’t need to know how you will use them. Eventually the right page will come along and you’ll be prepared.


An idea on one of my index cards was to create a title with the Silhouette using the negative space. I pinned a layout from Wilna Furstenburg earlier this year where she cut out her letters and backed some of them with pattern paper. I typed out and lined up the words in my Silhouette software (in much the way that Wilna shows in this tutorial) and cut them out on a landscape 8.5×11 sheet of paper.

Tip: The title is actually song lyrics from the Matchbox Twenty song “Unwell”. This song came to mind as I typed up my journaling. Since I first heard the song I’ve wanted to use this phrase on a layout. The right one finally came along! Whenever you are stumped for a title, see if any song lyrics or favorite movie phrases would work.

The photo

I don’t take my camera to my book club, so I don’t have photos from that specific event. This photo was actually taken in January 2011 and has nothing to do with the story. But I liked that the camera was hiding my face (this page would not have the same feel with a photo of me smiling into the camera) and I was wearing a sweater (indicating winter). I printed this photo at home, so I was able to size it to the exact length of the title. I turned it to black and white because a). the colors would have clashed otherwise and b). the mood and story of the page needed a colorless photo.

Tip: Your stories and photos do not have to come from the same time. Just because you don’t have a photo from the event does not mean you should skip the memory. Chances are, if go through your photo library, you’ll be able to find something that will work.

The embellishments

I knew that I wanted minimal embellishments on this page and happy flowers just were not going to work. Another one of my index cards had the idea “make a vertical garland strung with twine”.  This layout had a empty space to the left of my photo that was perfect. I punched some shapes from the papers I was working with created this super easy garland.

Random border punch

When I put all the pieces of my layout together, something was missing. It needed just a little something more so I added two random border punches into my cream mat. This also came from my stack of index cards.  The idea was to take a border punch and just punch one time some where around a frame. It feels random and unexpected which helps reinforce the idea of crazy and unwell to me.

The completed layout

And that is how the layout came together. It was definitely a departure from how I normally scrapbook. But sometimes we need to take ourselves out of our comfort zone and do something different. And I’m thrilled that I can now take some of these idea cards out of the pile and recycle them!

How often do you shake up your own process?

Thanks for stopping by today!

*ETA — Grrr. Why do the comments keep getting turned off??? You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now! Comments back on…


  1. Such a cool process and end result Tammy. This layout is super creative and I love every part of it! I swear I suffer from Seasonal Effective Disorder every winter! I crave Vitamin D!!!! 🙂 I have a book that all my ideas are kept in and I refer to it every so often, but usually when I’m in the middle of something and stuck. Very rarely do I look at it to get myself started. Maybe I should do that now!

    • You never know where the mojo will come from. Maybe it will jump start you! 🙂

  2. This is FAB! Love the random border punch!

  3. I love mixing up my process often…i get to experiment with different styles that way. I love what you did here.

  4. This is such a great layout.
    I love how personal it is.
    As for recording my ideas, nope, I deep meaning to make a note book for just that, but haven’t yet.

  5. What a great border punch!! What a beautiful LO! Thanks for sharing the process 🙂

  6. Fun to see how everything came together for your page! I have a notebook, plus back issues of Scrapbook Trends magazine, plus my Pinterest boards. Oh, and articles I’ve bookmarked at Masterful Scrapbook Design. These are my go-to sources for ideas and inspiration.

  7. love your process here tammy- your end result is one awesome page!! great job

  8. Great use of the title!!!
    The journaling is great! Not too dramatic??? 🙂 Awesome page as always.
    Do you have an album for the seasons?

    • That’s good! It feels that way to me a bit – especially now that the sun shines just about every day and it makes such a difference in how I feel and approach life. I don’t have a separate album for seasons but I do have a section in my Things albums for 4 Seasons, so that is where this layout will go. 🙂

  9. I enjoyed reading about the process, so different with the variety of inspiration, but it works wonderfully together. I’m heading out for a 4-day crop tomorrow – normally I would put together page kits, but time has been limited lately. So, I’m taking a storage binder, one pile of papers, my tools, scraps & a few embellishments. Not sure what my process will look like this time!

    • Well that will be an adventure! I’m sure you will still be able to create fabulous pages and if you are missing anything, just add it when you get home. 🙂

  10. Great layout! I love everything about this layout! I especially love how you shared your process! What a great way to keep growing in this field. Keep up the great work!


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