Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Paper Strips For Quick & Easy Scrapbook Pages - Week #42

Halloween is over, and the candy has been eaten. Here in the U.S., that means our thoughts are now turning to turkey and stuffing!

Thanksgiving means family gatherings for most of us, which means lots of photos of course. I still have lots of photos that haven't been scrapped from when my daughter was small and the demands of motherhood limited my creative time. It's my goal to get some of these in albums! For this layout I dug out photos from her second Thanksgiving, when she was 18 months old.
We don't tend to think of our paper trimmer as a primary creative tool. Instead, we see it as a utilitarian support tool. But one of my favorite techniques for creating quick and simple pages is to use paper strips. Strips let you get a taste of a pattern without it overwhelming a page, and it also lets you add multiple colors to a page in only a small area.  This entire layout is created pretty much with only a paper trimmer. 

While the strips look random, their placement is actually very carefully determined. How do you decide where to put the strips? In this layout, the photos were placed first when planning the layout, and then the plaid and green strips were placed to ground them. then the blue strip was used to ground the title chipboard piece. 

I find that 5/8" is usually a perfect width for paper strips on most layouts, and this Westcott trimmer makes it super easy to cut them. The edge of the metal base on the right side of the blade in the photo below is 5/8". There's no squinting at small marks or measuring needed - just line your paper up with that edge and trim! 

Besides the trimmer, the only other tool that I used on this layout is a set of food planner stamps by Clearly Kelly. Many planner stamps are also perfect for pocket scrapbook and event pages. After all, if you think about it, planner stamps are designed to record in our planners the things that we are taking photos of! Their small size makes them particularly suited to using on pocket cards, like this one from the Pumpkin Spice collection kit that I added to my layout as a journaling block.

Chalk ink like this Colorbox archival one (in Chestnut Roan) gives a matte finish that is a great match to the finish on quality papers like these Simple Stories ones. Thanks to the chalk ink, the stamp looks like it is part of the original paper design.
Strips don't always have to be paper, either. At the bottom of the page I mixed in some sticker pieces to the strip design. Some word strips combined to form a longer strip underneath the "thankful" title, making the title blog a bit more bulky and inserting a few more colors into that area of the layout. Then the journaling card was grounded using a patterned border sticker that matched an element on the top of the card.
Strip layouts are extra easy to do when you start by using a coordinated collection pack. You know then that no matter what you choose from the stack, it will match. And sometimes that leads you down unexpected paths.

I used to only buy open stock paper so that I could "cherry pick" collections and only buy the sheets that I was sure that I absolutely loved. If I had done that, I would have passed by that plaid in the top strip because, well, as a child of the 70's I became somewhat traumatized by bad plaid experiences (and have the pictures to prove it) - especially brown plaid. But since it was in the collection pack, I was willing to give it a try...and I'll admit, I love the results!

If you don't have the exact elements on my supply list, you can substitute letter stickers or a die cut element for the title, and a punched or die cut element for the sticker on the top left. Get out your trimmer and start cutting!


  • Simple Stories Pumpkin Spice collection kit
  • Simple Stories Pumpkin Spice Chipboard
  • Simple Stories Pumpkin Spice Simple Basics paper kit
  • Colorbox Chalk Archival ink in Chestnut Roan
  • Kelly's Food Planner stamps by Clearly Kelly for Hero Arts stamps
  • Westcott Titanium Bonded 12" Multipurpose Trimmer
  • Black pen

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