Scraplifting Your Way to Increased Productivity

I have a confession:

I am a scraplifter.

No, it doesn’t bother me that some of my pages are not 100% of my own creation. We all need a little help sometimes and for me, scraplifting is a surefire tool in my arsenal.

Scraplifting is taking inspiration or copying from an existing layout. You can copy the overall design or just one aspect of the page. As long as your lifted creations go into your personal album and are not submitted for publication or payment of some kind, scraplifting is perfectly acceptable. If you post a lift on the Web somewhere, be sure to give credit to the designer with a link to the original or at least mention who inspired your layout.

I’ve seen a lot of debate over scraplifting, from those in favor and those against. There are strong arguments on both sides. No one is right or wrong in the debate. Everyone just needs to do whatever they are comfortable with. If it’s not for you, that’s OK. But for everyone else, it’s a tool that can help keep us productive and creating well designed layouts.

Let’s look at five different ways to scraplift:


It’s not necessary to understand design principles to recognize a well constructed layout. The overall design is what the majority of us struggle with the most. When someone else executes a beautiful design, follow their lead and bring that design into your own creations. It is in the act of creating and repeating that you can start to learn what works and what feels right on your layout.


Do you ever see a layout in a magazine where you are immediately drawn in by the color scheme? Scraplifting a color combination is a great way to start thinking outside the box or break scrapper’s block. If you cannot find any pattern paper in your stash to match, challenge yourself to create a layout with cardstock only. Use stamps and embossing to create subtle patterns. With a color lift, you wouldn’t even need to copy the design of the layout, just recreate the color pallete .

Pattern Paper

If choosing pattern papers always puts you in a panic, find a layout that combines at least 3 patterns and emulate the same look. My advice is to copy the design as closely as possible. For instance, if the inspiration layout has a stripe, a small scale flower and a swirl pattern, try and find the same types of patterns and trim your paper into similar proportions. If you have the same papers, use them. If you don’t, try to choose patterns from the same collection by one manufacturer.


Do you find yourself seasonally challenged? A great two page layout with a large number of photos can be challenging to pull off, so keep any that inspire you for future reference. You can also take cues from the types of photos in layouts that inspire you. A close up shot of the pile of birthday presents might remind you to take the same photo at your child’s next birthday or on Christmas morning.

Title or Idea

Sometimes the inspiration you derive from a layout has nothing to do with the design and everything to do with the ideas behind the layout. Not only can you get ideas for titles but you can also get ideas for journaling and topics for future pages.

You don’t need to re-create the wheel

Scraplifting can provide you with go-to inspiration. Start a 3-ring binder to collect torn pages from magazines or print-screens of layouts you love online. Use your 20 extra minutes one day just to look for layouts you like and then organize them. These inspiration pieces will help you scrapbook faster because they provide you with a starting point.

My last tip is to train yourself to look at different aspects of a layout separately. Instead of focusing only on the design, study the photos, read the journaling, and pull out unique color combinations too.

When is scraplifting not a good idea? When you are seeking to be published, trying out for a design team or entering a contest. Scrapbook magazines are looking for fresh, unique and original designs. Most manufacturers and kit clubs are looking for a designer that has a flair for using coordinated products in a way that will help them sell more products or kits. Contests want to see layouts that are authentically you.

What about you? Are you a scraplifter?


  1. Hi Tammy. Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my blog. I’ve been taking a peek at your blog also and I love your ideas. I think scraplifting is a compliment to the creator. It says, I like your LO so much that I want to recreate it. I know there are scrappers who frown apon it, but if we never used other people’s ideas then we would have a tough time growing and developing our own styles. Bravo for the internet. This has been my greatest source for inspiration.

    • I’ve only been working on this blog for a few weeks, so it’s still a work in progress. I think scraplifting is a big compliment too. I do understand why people don’t like it and don’t do it, but I’m here to encourage people to scrapbook and scraplifting is one way to make it easier! Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek, Kim.

  2. I scraplift myself alot…especially if I’m stuck on something…I’ll turn to my fave layouts and see if I can find inspiration there!! It definitely makes thinks faster!

    • That is something I haven’t done yet – scraplift myself. But I do have a couple of very favorite layouts that I want to scraplift. I will one of these days, when the right photos come along! 🙂



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