Scars – Part 1 | A Scrapbook Layout

Unfortunately, today’s layout isn’t quite finished. But it’s the only thing I worked on over the weekend so I’m sharing it anyway. Please excuse the fact that the journaling is absent. Originally I thought I would add some journaling strips at the bottom, where I left some room But I didn’t realize I would have so much to say. It won’t all fit so it will wait for another day.

These photos have been in my stack to scrap for several years. I wanted to get them documented but I struggled with the right way to do it. Recently I came across this layout from Nina Ostermann on Pinterest. I loved how that punched edge is peeking from beneath the top layer. It was the spark I needed.

While I have addressed this topic in other layouts, this is the first time I’ve scrapbooked it with actual photos. I had a malignant melanoma removed from my leg back in 1999. It was a Stage I tumor and luckily I found it early. At the time, I wasn’t pleased that my Mom insisted on snapping the photo of my scarred leg, but all these years later I am glad to have it.

This layout came together so perfectly that I thought I would do a step-by-step of my process.

While I never got sick or had to have follow up treatment, I do have to visit the dermatologist every six months. The other photo documents the only other time the pathology on a biopsy came back bad. This one wasn’t cancer, but it could have been given more time. I had to go in for a procedure where they opened up my back and gave me another scar.

The starting point for this page was the idea of that punched edge. Since this layout is all about revealing my scars I wanted the layout to be revealing something too. I added a punched border to my background Walnut Cream cardstock.

Then it was time to cover it up with a block of pattern paper. I used that red, high contrast cardstock behind to make sure I was adhering the pattern paper in the right place to get a 12×12 canvas.

Distressing the bottom edge of the pattern paper, I lifted up the right corner, revealing just a small portion of the punched edge. Like my scars, I may not show them, but they are there.

My layout needed some some hand stitching. The stitching added to the idea in the photos, the need to be stitched up. Along the bottom edge, I added a small strip of the same pattern paper I used on top. It’s from Basic Grey’s Hey Girl paper pad. Over the top, I added another layer of high contrast pattern paper, Potpourri from the Collecting Moments collection from Fancy Pants. (I am still loving anything Navy right now.)

Using my Sew Easy tool, I added stitching holes in a zig zag pattern.

With the top and bottom borders in place, I added my photos and worked out where the title would go. I used a strip of green ric rac to give my title a place to rest. I wanted to use ric rac instead of any other kind of ribbon because it has bumps. Ups and downs. It’s another symbol of life’s rocky road.

Knowing where the title would go, I then found my spots to add embellishment clusters. That photo of my leg is kind of awkward. My Mom isn’t one to think about composition when she takes a photo. Half of my body was cut off and it’s just this odd leg shot. I wanted to find something to to go on top of that photo.

I used the Collecting Moments ephemera pack and added clusters of flowers. Flowers feel hopeful to me. And they make me smile. There had to be something hopeful on this page because I’ve been cancer free for 14 years. The pack also included clocks which I felt helped illustrate the time gap between the photos. And is a reminder to me that no matter how much time passes, I will always have to have my skin checked for cancer.

I added the year each photo was taken with my new Pebbles Roller stamp.  The Jenni Bowlin tags are significant too as the Fig. # on each one is the age I was when the photos were taken. The last thing I added was a tiny bit of navy ribbon to two of the embellishment clusters to balance out the large navy flower in the biggest cluster of flowers.

Here’s one more detail shot of the punched border peeking out behind the pattern paper.

Well, if you lasted this long, thank you! I am sad that I didn’t have enough time to pull together the journaling insert. It will probably have to wait until Christmas break when I have a little more time. As soon as it’s complete, I will share Part 2 of this layout.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


  1. Wow, I’m glad to hear you caught them early and are okay.

    I love that peeking out idea! So clever and cute! Love that orange PP too.

  2. Scary stuff but I’m glad you’re okay, Tammy. Love the look of the punched border peeking out. Such a pretty page!

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Tammy. I always find it interesting when someone documents a difficult time. Your mom snapping that photo makes me smile and also think of that awkward time when I wonder whether it’s appropriate to take photos (I was at a funeral yesterday and there was such an amazing visual tribute to the person that passed that I really wanted to take a photo).

  4. A very inspiring layout. I am dealing with a serious illness and I find this very hopeful. Thank you for sharing a difficult time. Best wishes for good health to you. michelle

  5. I love that you did a layout about your scars. Life is not always bright sunshine and fuzzy kittens. I have some photos that help document some unhappy issues in our life. Its not fun but looking back it shows “LIFE”. Great job!
    I love the Fig # on the cards. I need to get my easy sew tool out and use it! Gosh I just need to spend a few days scrapping!!!
    Great layout!

  6. Great way to add interest to the layers! Thanks for sharing your page.

  7. So glad you are fine.
    Life isn’t always perfect, so I agree to document the sad times as well.
    I have to get a large mole removed from my back..hoping it is just that, a mole.
    You made a beautiful layout.

  8. So glad that everything was caught early enough!
    That had to be scary.
    I so wish I hadn’t broken my sew easy tool. I learned the hard way that you really need the special mat underneath 🙁
    But the stitching and layers on your page are perfect!

  9. This is beautiful and I just love that you have that photos and are doing a page about it. Its really fun to see the step by steps and that peeking border is perfection!

  10. what a wonderful layout- love the step out!

  11. What a great way to document this! I love that little edge too and the stitching!

  12. Love the step-by-step photos, great page! Glad you caught it early and everything is okay.

  13. I really like how each part of your layout correlates to part of the story this layout is preserving!



  1. Scars – Part 2 | The Journaling - [...] I forget to plan where the journaling is going to go. And I don’t leave room for it.  For…

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