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And Awaaayyyy We Go!

The moment has finally arrived.  We are going to create your first scrapbook page.  Aren’t you EXCITED?  I am!

While thinking about this post, I decided that I would play right along with you, using only the basic supplies we discussed previously.  Here they are:

In addition to our basic tools, I have two 12 x 12 sheets of paper, one package of 3-D stickers, one sheet of flat stickers and one sheet of alphabet stickers along with the three photos I want to use in this layout.  I figured I had better be able to go back to just the basics and create a great layout if I was going to ask you to do the same.  On my honor, I used only the items you see in the above photo.  That giant pink thing?  That’s my ATG tape runner.  The one I photographed previously was just a different type of tape runner.  The ATG is the one I currently use, so I’m not trying to sneak anything past you.

This first step will undoubtedly be difficult for some of you, easier for others.  We are going to trim down our photos.  I am starting with standard 4 x 6-inch photographs, but there is too much extra “blank, uninteresting stuff” in them, so I am going to trim them down.

There is less “boring stuff” at the top of the photo, so I am going to trim it in a place that looks most pleasing to MY eye. 

When I trim the bottom off the photo, I try to trim at a “standard” measurement – in this case, the photo is going to be 3.25 inches tall.  I try and trim at the quarter inch mark because it makes it easier for me to figure out what size to cut the mat for the photo (and I HATE to do math).  When I am done, all three of my photos are 3.25 inches x 6 inches.  While we are talking about trimming, you will notice I have the blade of the trimmer at the bottom of the photo.  I almost always trim from the bottom up.  Why?  Well, when you line your paper or photo up with the guide along the top of the trimmer, you know it is straight and even.  Whenever I cut from top to bottom, I almost always get too excited and trim too fast and then my photo or paper slips away from the guide and I wind up cutting it crooked.  If I trim from the bottom up, it forces the paper/photo to remain firmly pressed against the guides and I wind up with a perfect 90-degree corner instead of a wonky mess.

Let’s talk about matting photos for a second.  To mat, or not to mat, that is the question.  I prefer to mat my photos almost all of the time.  I know a lot of scrappers who almost never mat their photos.  It is a matter of personal preference and style.  As you develop your own style, you will know rather quickly whether or not you like your photos matted. 

Your photo mat can be any size you wish.  You can have as many mats as you wish (i.e. you can double, triple or “fourple” mat your photos).  My style most often is to single mat with a quarter-inch border.  This means that with my 3.25 x 6-inch photos, I want to cut my matting paper 3.75 x 6.5 inches.  This leaves .25 inches all the way around the photo.

Here we are cutting our 12 x 12 mat paper down to size.  Before I begin cutting, I try to figure out how to best utilize my 12 x 12 paper.  Let’s face it, the paper can get expensive.  I try to cut it so that I wind up with the least waste and the largest leftover pieces I can.  I know that I have three photos and that each mat needs to be 3.75 x 6.5.  If I make my initial cut into the paper at 6.5 inches, have one piece measuring 6.5 x 12 and one piece measuring 5.5 x 12.  I can now take the 6.5 x 12 piece and get all three mats cut from it – 3.75 + 3.75 + 3.75 = 11.25 inches.  I will only have one tiny piece left over and will still have the whole 5.5 x 12-inch piece.  I can use the large piece later on another layout. 

Here I am using my tape runner to apply adhesive to the back of my photos.  I find it easier to apply adhesive to the smaller of whatever pieces I am working on and adhere the small to the large.

Adhering the photo to the mat.  I did this for each of my photos.  Now I am going to “audition” their placement on my background paper.

Should I place them this way?

Or this way?

Or this?

Hmmmmm….. Well let’s think about this.  I KNOW what and where I want my title to be.  Let’s start there.  Let me grab my letter stickers.

I want my title to be “bathing beauties” running across the top and down the side of my page.  Uh oh!  I can’t use my nifty tool for getting my titles on straight – it would be against the rules.  What to do?  I know!  I am going to peel the letters off the sticker sheet and arrange them along the edge of it like this:

I am being very careful not to allow the letters to stick onto the packaging underneath the lettering sheet.  I get them all straight, pick up the sticker sheet, and place it where I want it on my page:

That looks about right.


 I’m using my finger to stick the letters down onto the paper. 

Gently tip the sticker sheet towards your title to release the letters at the bottom.

Carefully slide the sticker sheet out from underneath your title.  Notice I have left the bottom of the letter “g” sticking up. 

That’s so I can slide my first photo underneath and let the “g” sit on top.  I am following the same procedure for the lettering going down the side of the page as described above.

I’m sure you’re wondering why there is no “t” or “i” in the photo.  I wanted those two letters to be centered in amongst the other “wider” letters.  I placed them on the sticker sheet for spacing purposes and then removed them prior to adhering the title to the page.  I went back afterwards and placed them just where I wanted.

This is the result.

You can see in the photo I have overlapped my photos on the page.  I had a very hard time doing that when I began.  I thought it might be “wrong.”  Guess what?


There are no scrapbook police who will breaking down your door in the middle of the night demanding to see your layouts to determine whether or not they are done “right.”  Nobody’s gonna haul you off to the scrapbook pokey.  The definition of right in scrapping is “if it’s right for you, it’s right.  Period.”  Hee hee hee!  I just made that up!  But seriously, there is no right or wrong way to do things here.  It is solely what appeals to you. 

That said, let’s wrap this project up.  I chose stickers from the two packages I had that “worked” best for me and the story I wanted to tell.  I used the word “sand” from the flat sheet along with the 3-D starfish, sand pail and beach ball.  There was also a popsicle in the 3-D pack that I did not use.  The Sesame Street song “One of these things is not like the others….” was running through my head.  To me, the starfish communicated the beach as did the sand pail and the fact that my bathing beauties were playing in the sand by writing their names.  I used the beach ball because, well because I liked the splash of color it added.  

 Here’s the finished layout.

WE DID IT!  We worked together step by step and completed your first layout!  How do you feel?  Excited?  Proud? 

I am so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new.  You faced a creative challenge head on and came out a winner!  I would love to hear from you how you feel the process went.  Did you like it?  Will you try it again?  Are you hooked beyond all hope?

Thanks for scrapping along with me today.  I had a great time.  Until we meet again,

Mama Donna


About mamadonna58102

I am a 40 -year-old Domestic Engineer. I live in Fargo, ND with my husband of 26 years. I have two grown children, one son and one daughter. I also have two fur boys - an 11-year-old cocker spaniel dog and an 8-year-old British shorthair cat. I've often been called "Woman of a Thousand Hobbies" by friends and family and have a love for all things crafty. My favorite passion; however, is scrapbooking which I have been doing for just over three years. I also sew, embroider, crochet, knit, bead and I LOVE to cook and bake. I am always eager to learn something new. Thanks for joining me here!

2 responses »

  1. Terri Anderson-Schlader

    Wonderful!!! I learned a few new things here! Thank you!

  2. I love the way that you write. You make everything sound so easy and not at all scary. Makes me want to go home and scrapbook asap! ❤


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