You Can Be A Productive Scrapbooker | Why Kits Work

Whether you’re an experienced scrapbooker or just starting out, there are times when we all lose our creative edge. Pages take longer to complete, you lack inspiration to use coordinated paper collections and your mojo takes flight.

What’s a scrapper to do?

It may be time to implement a fool proof approach to being a more productive scrapbooker: create your own page kits.

Pages get done faster with limited products

When you limit product choices, you may find that your creativity is actually heightened. Instead of spending 30 minutes looking through every bin and drawer for the perfect embellishment, try to improvise. Can you cover a piece of chipboard with coordinating pattern paper instead of searching for one button? Can you trim off a narrow strip of paper instead of searching through 6 jars of ribbon?

It’s OK to grab that doily stamp and distress ink as long as you can access them easily. There’s a big difference between adding a few additional products and searching high and low for that ellusive embellishment you’re not even sure you have anymore.

Combining products from different manufacturers inspires creativity

And not only from different manufacturers but how about from different time periods? Breathe new life into older products by combining them with newer things. Many manufacturers stick to a specific color palette so products from 4 years ago may coordinate with recent collections. Take a pretty doily pattern and pair it with a graphic color blocked paper. It’s unusual and your creative juices will be flowing as you figure out the best way to combine them. You can also dress up older products with any stickles, mists and distress inks you’ve added to your kit.

Using products you already own creates higher satisfaction

“Shopping” your own stash is a great exercise. If you’ve never done it, give it a try at least once. You will probably discover products you forgot you had. As you pull and stack random papers, look for unique combinations, things you might never have thought to pair before. Combine embellishments from different manufacturers. If you haven’t used any ribbon in awhile, pull some out and add it to your kit. It feels really good to use up your stash. Just think of all the room you are making for future shopping trips…

Creating page kits does not require an ounce of creativity

Are there times when you want to be scrapbooking but you are bone tired and your brain is fried? That’s a great time to put kits together. Pull some photos you really want to scrapbook, flip through sketches and inspiration files, pull several pattern papers and embellishments that fit and put everything into a page protector or a Cropper Hopper page planner. Set it aside. The next time you are feeling creative, you have a layout ready to go.

Additional kitting tips:

  • Create a large kit at the beginning of the month. It requires less overall planning. You will pull a variety of products and you do not need to have photos in mind. Keep all the products together in a 12×12 case or a Craft Keeper so that everything is ready when you are. Follow along with the Counterfeit Kit challenge for additional creative prompts and ways to use up your kit.
  • Always have 5-7 page kits on hand for the days when you only have limited time to scrapbook. When everything is together, you can just dig in and start creating!
  • When you are going through your stash and come across an older product that you love, pull it and set it aside. Go through that pile of products anytime you are creating kits to make sure you are getting good mix of newer and older products.
  • When looking for pattern paper, try to find a large scale print (like a large floral), 2-3 smaller scale prints (think polka dots, smaller florals, tiny squares, etc…), a few striped papers that incorporate all the colors and a few tonal prints in key colors to bridge the entire collection together.

I know that kits may not work for everyone. Some scrapbookers are more free spirited, don’t like to pre-plan and prefer to scrapbook spontaneously. But if you ever find that spontaneity is not working for you, give yourself a break and try something different. Create some page kits and see if that helps you with your productivity.

What do you have to lose?

20 Comments

  1. I actually really do love kits!
    When I subbed to Studio Calico, I would get a ton of pages done using just a kit 🙂
    And I have definitely made kits to take to crops with me.
    Makes things so much simpler!

    Reply
    • Studio Calico kits are fantastic! I always watch to see what they are putting in their kits. Good stuff! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Great blog post. Thanks for sharing I really enjoyed reading this and picking up some tips 🙂

    Reply
    • You’re welcome!

      Reply
  3. love your ideas tammy.

    when i go to my crops i totally make kits for each picture–i also truly believe that having less creates more creativity. I am not a hoarder and what I buy I use so i don’t have tons of stash.

    Reply
    • Isn’t it funny how that works? There are times when less feels constrained to me…if I didn’t pick out the right stuff and I don’t know that until I get started. But for the most part, I have found that I can make it work with what I have and the results are great. Maybe not spectacular, but not every page is going to be that, ya know? 🙂

      Reply
  4. I love kits too – for all the reasons you mentioned. Good tips too!

    Reply
    • Thanks. Looks like we are all in good company! 😀

      Reply
  5. I love the idea of shopping your stash. Heaven knows I have enough supplies to do this and be surprised every time. LOL.

    Reply
    • I love it when I uncover something I had forgotten about. It’s like a treasure hunt! LOL 🙂

      Reply
  6. I’ve pulled page kits together when I am preparing to go to a crop and really enjoyed how productive my time was at the crop (with lots of extra time for visiting and eating!). However, at home in my craft room, I enjoy thumbing through my papers and looking for the perfect embellishment because I don’t have a time limit for my craeative endeavors. If I pulled together a kit for a page, I would want to scrap it now! LOL

    Reply
    • I noticed this transition myself. When I was working 60+ hrs a week and traveling all the time, the only way I could scrapbook was with kits. Just didn’t have the energy otherwise. In my life of leisure these past two years, I can scrapbook whenever I want and haven’t had the restrictions so I stopped doing the kits. Now that I’ve done a few challenges, I can see how much I’ve missed them. Hoping that I’ll be working again soon, I need to get myself back in the habit of making page kits again so that I don’t lose any momentum. 🙂

      Reply
  7. I love to make kits when I go to a retreat. It’s so easy for me to get stuff done that way! Thanks for the great tips!

    Reply
    • That’s another great place to be packing kits for. Though if it’s a whole weekend I’m not sure I could even pack enough to stay productive the whole time. But there’s always chatting! 🙂

      Reply
  8. I have put a few together when I went for a long weekend of scrapping. I knew I was going to be doing pages of our camp/cottage. So only packed for that. It was so much easier. As I had limited supplies with me, it made me be more creative.

    Love this post, I should do more kits and keep them on hand. I could probably make hundreds of kits with my supplies, lol.

    Reply
    • I am right there with you. And it’s incentive really, because when you use up some things you’ve had forever, you make room for new stuff. It’s a great excuse to go shopping! 🙂

      Reply
  9. I find kits very inspiring… all the fun papers and beautiful matching colours! Yes… it all keeps one productive 🙂

    Reply
    • Sometimes, I just like to look at them. You can get inspired by the play of colors and different combinations. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Fantastic post! Limiting product choices definitely helps my creative process. One other help I use is 6×6 paper pads. I buy the ones that coordinate with my 12×12 papers. I can see a line of paper easily by flipping through the paper pads. This helps me mix manufacturers and I love using the scaled down version of a larger pattern!

    Reply

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