My Digital Scrapbooking “Secret Recipe”: Part 1

When I started digital scrapbooking, I spent a lot of time trying to find the “secret recipe” for creating great pages.  I wanted to create pages that were meaningful to me, as well as pleasing to look at.  After asking about other people’s processes and trying out different processes of my own, today I am excited to share with you my own “secret recipe” for digital scrapbooking pages.

Always start with an idea.

I always start with a general idea of where I want to go.  Sometimes it’s a kit, other times it’s a photo or set of photos.  Occasionally, it’s a kit that I am dying to use or a challenge for a digital scrapbooking site.  Whichever it is, I always have some sort of idea as a starting point.

Pick your tools.

After I have an idea, I start searching my collection of templates to find one that matches with the photos I want to use and the style I want the page to have.  Once I have a template ready, I go ahead and pick the kit based on the theme of the layout, the pictures I have, and how well the kit fits the template.  If I have a template with a lot of flowers and clustered embellishments, I need to have a kit that has embellishments I can use.  At this point, I don’t open my photos or anything else, I work solely with the template and the kit.

Start with papers.

Once I have the template open, I look at the layers that I will need to use paper for (like the background, or large paper mats).  Then, I go in and pick the papers from the kit that I think I may possibly use.  I always open more papers than I need.  Once I have everything open in Photoshop, I start experimenting with the  papers.  There is a A LOT of trial and error going on at this point.  I try one paper, and then replace it with another, and then choose a totally different one.  Getting the papers “right” is a big part of creating eye-catching digital scrapbooking pages, especially when you start mixing patterned papers.

Next, start layering on the elements.

After the papers, the fun really starts.  This is when I start adding the embellishments to my layout.  I have some pretty specific ways I go about doing this.  For example, I usually try to add things in threes, so I’ll open three flowers and place them on the layout.  I also often replace some thin paper strips with ribbons, so there is a lot of trial and error with that as well.  Often, I’ll find that the element that I’m looking for isn’t part of the kit.  Once I’ve placed everything from the kit I want to use, I start looking into my stash to add the finishing elements to the layout.

So that’s how I start my pages.  Tomorrow, I’ll take you through what I do to finish the pages up and get them posted.

Do you have any specific “secret recipes” for your digital scrapbooking layouts?  How do you put a layout together?  Let us know in the comments below.

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