Saturday, June 16, 2012

Page Planning

If I'm going to a crop, I like to plan ahead so that I don't have to bring all of my scrapbooking supplies and the kitchen sink with me. My process has evolved over the years, and now I've expanded it so that I (generally - not always) buy my patterned paper with a specific layout in mind. This has definitely helped keep my pp stash down to a minimum.  (leaving more $ to spend on other stash items, such as stickles, ink, dies, etc, etc, etc :) )

The first thing I do is go to my photos. I have them stored on my computer (with a backup on an external drive, of course). I like to use the organizer built in to PhotoShop Elements. From there, I select the events that I want to scrapbook. Let's say I want to use the photos of my kids down at the stream. I highlight all of those photos and print a contact sheet of them.

In PSE, highlight all the photos, then (right click) Print.
Paper Size = letter
Select Type of Print = Contact Sheet
Show Print Options = turn on "Filename"

I change the number of columns so that the pictures fill most, but not all of the page. I keep the filenames showing so that I can find the photos more easily later on.

If I'm heading over to my LSS (Scrapbook Queens) for a little retail therapy, I'll take a few of these contact sheets with me, so when I buy my patterned paper, I have the photos to match up to. Usually 2 pieces of patterened paper, and a couple of sheets of cardstock for each layout.  Sometimes I'll buy matching embellishments, but often I'll shop my stash.

The next step is to plan my layout. Sometimes it'll just come to me, or sometimes I'll look at online galleries and/or sketch books for inpiration. I like to draw a sketch right on my contact sheet. In today's example, I have a piece of paper that's a frame shape that I want to incorporate, so I'll sketch that in, too. I draw a dotted grid at the 1/2 and 1/4 marks, knowing that those are 3" increments.  This is a step that is great for when you're travelling, as you only need a pencil and these contact sheets.

Now I look at the sketch to see what size photos I want (I need 1 4x6 and 4 smaller photos) and select the photos I want to print. I circle the photos and note what size I need. Sometimes, I'll use PSE to crop the photos a bit, or do a little photoprocessing to fix the white balance, remove weeds from my garden, etc. :)  Then I can go to PhotoSheet and resize as needed and upload the photos to my printing site (Costco, Blacks, etc).

My paper, this sketch, the photos, and any embellishments all go into a Cropper Hopper 12x12 folder. You could also use an XL Ziploc bag. If I have more time, sometimes I'll even cut a title on my Cameo, or print my journalling and stick it in there.

Here's what a finished kit might look like...

These can be packed away for the real crop time! I find that if I invest my time in the planning, then I'm so much more productive when I'm cropping. I'm a slow scrapper as it is, so every little bit helps.

Often, my layout ends up completely different than the sketch I draw on this paper, but I think that's just part of the process. And enjoying the process is the whole point of this hobby, right?

Some favourite bits:

And the end result:

I might go back and add a title one day, but right now, I like to just think that this one is "Joy."

Materials: patterned paper and embellishments - LYB, push pins, fabric buttons - Maya Road


  1. I just found your blog and enjoyed this entry on page planning, such a great and simple idea, thanks for sharing and going to incorporate this into my next crop night, I always try to make kits but always end up bringing too much, this idea would help me so much

  2. great idea, thanks for sharing!