Have you ever reached the invisible “undo” button when you were doing traditional or hybrid scrapbooking only to realize that there is no way of going back in time?
Like you, most of my time is spent on digital environment where I can easily press a key and the mistake I just did is gone. But it’s not like that when you take digital scrapbooking and bring it into the world of hybrid scrapbooking.
You need to really think about the placement of everything if you want to avoid waste of your time and the waste of the material you’re using. But the harder you think, the harder it gets to “just do it”, right? Well, in that case good news for you! Today I’m going to share with you my three steps of finishing a hybrid scrapbook layout quick.
First of we’ll start with an easy way of collecting layout idea that’ll free you from the blank paper syndrome. Second, we’ll explore prototyping. We’re going to engineer our layout but no worries you don’t need a degree from a reputable college! Then we’ll add the last touches and move forward to printing. Let’s get started!
Layout ideas doesn’t come from nothing. It’s hard staring into blank canvas and figuring out what you can do for your page. Instead of wasting time, here’s a handy tip that I came to realize during the first challenge of MOC at the Lilypad; you can go to any scrapbook gallery and open a random layout. It doesn’t matter if you liked it or not, if it looks balanced and pretty to the eye or not.
What you’ll do is just to make a list of what that person used on their layout. Here’s an example list I used for my layout;
- One photo
- One flower
- One branch
- Three brads or buttons
- Solid background
- A tag
- Small amount of paint
There is a saying I studied back in college. And it’s quite fitting into everything in life.
– Alexander Wendt
Anarchy is what states make of it.
In our case, the ingredients are what we make of them. With this list you can make tens of different layouts.
Collect as many ingredient lists as you can, write them in your notebook and when you want to make a layout you can refer back to it in order to get started with your project quicker. Because you’re doing these lists ahead of time, you’ll forget about the original source and your layout will be quite different than that.
2.Planning with Photoshop
What Photoshop can do for you is more than just designing or manipulating photos. I’m sure you’re already familiar with using Photoshop to type your journaling, printing your layout, changing colors of digital files etc. What you don’t know yet is that you can actually plan and prototype your layout before you print it!
Planning within Photoshop will save you hours of tweaking your layout in an environment where there is no “undo” button. For me printed material is precious and I feel that it is my responsibility when I use paper and ink only to see that the vision in my head didn’t work out the way I wanted. Then that paper is noting but just a waste. So, as if I’m doing a digital one I put together my layout within Photoshop.
For this step you don’t need fancy Photoshop skills but just the basics of it like moving objects around, making a clipping mask, or typing. If you like me and you want to see the layering effect you can use shadow styles as well.
Make sure your canvas size is the size of your finished layout. If you’re going to make 6×8 inch layout, make your Photoshop file 6×8 inch and 300 dpi. A handy tip; you can actually see in the print size on your monitor by setting your monitor’s screen resolution in Photoshop preferences. Then all you need to do is to press Ctrl (Cmd) + space bar and right click to choose Print Size. If you don’t know how you can set your screen resolution here you can learn it.
Seeing your layout in print size is very helpful to see your type size, if it’s readable or not. Or if any embellishment is bigger than you like, you have the chance to change the size before you print.
Once I’m happy with the layout placement, I’ll go ahead and save the layout without flattening the layers because I’ll need those layers in the next steps.
Now that I added all the digital embellishments, journaling and added the photo on to my layout it’s time to add the fancy stuff I have in hand. I like to use brads, clips and stitches on my layouts. But because these are not digital items, I’ll just take note of these on my layouts for the reference purposes.
I’m writing these notes in Photoshop with a small round brush in red color so that it doesn’t get mixed with the actual print items in my layout. You can use type tool if you’re not comfortable with handwriting.
Printing & building the layout
Once I’m happy with my layout digitally, now it’s time to print! I took the layers and moved them to a letter size document for printing. Laid them around to fill in the blank spots in my paper. If there are lots of empty spaces on the paper, I’d wait to finish another layout and pull in the print material from that as well so that the paper waste is minimized.
I’ve printed the background, photo and other ephemera. Also, I gathered the embellishments I want to use in this layout like paper clip, ribbon, a piece of vellum paper.
Then I stitched my photo and the vellum on to the background to create a pocket for the tag. Attached all the embellishments on to their designated places I’ve decided in the prototype created in Photoshop. And that’s about it! From blank paper to a full layout without frustration of not knowing what goes to where.
Once you have a chance to read the article I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.
What’s your experience with hybrid scrapbooking? And what strategies you use to finish your layout easily?