1. You know the journaling booklets that you can get from the scrapbook store that include about 10-15 journaling tags? I keep one in my purse at all times & when I’m at the park or see my child do or say something funny, I quickly get it out and write it down or journal about it. Then later when I go to a crop or scrap on my own, I can just whip it out and slap it on a page without having to transfer it from a notebook or sticky note. I also write down the date so I don’t forget!
2. I love the small caddies that have several pockets. You can find them at most stores in the bathroom section. They are perfect for a travel card creating center. Mine has 4 pockets and one large middle section. I keep a small trimmer, scissors, 1 yard of each ribbon (red, white, black, and a pattern), adhesive (preferably glue sticks since its small), a few diecuts, 2-3 sets of clear stamps (one being an alpha), a handful of my favorite scraps (including some already cut and folded blank cards), a clear stamp block, black and brown ink pad, black pen, and a small jar of embellishments (brads, eyes, buttons, flowers, etc.) It’s not much, but its perfect for travel card making. I bring mine in the car with me, to the lake, to the parents house, etc. When I have a few minutes to spare, I can quickly whip up a card in no time!
3. Make your own kits! I like to take an entire evening spent on the floor of my living room just putting kits together. Grab a few sheets of coordinating cardstock, patterned papers, journaling boxes, titles, ribbons, large embellies, and some sticker alphas and you’re ready to make a few pages right there! I like this method because it keeps me from having to take all my things to a crop AND it makes me dig through all my stuff just ONCE and use up some of my stash that I’ve had for years and forgot I had it!
4. Have a garage sale at your local scrapbook store. Coordinate with the owner, charge $5 per table, then tell everyone to bring their “not so wanted” goodies marked at Garage Sale Prices. I’ve picked up stickers for $.10 a sheet that someone only used 3-4 letters off it, diecuts, flowers, idea books, leftover kit supplies, large and small tools (like a cuttlebug for $25!), and storage! It’s a great way to get rid of some stash that is still nice but you don’t see yourself using it on a project.
5. Use your computer! It’s usually in your scrap space anyway but if it’s not, it’s okay! I use mine for journaling, titles, printable embellishments, backgrounds, and much more. If you can’t print from home, save it to a flash drive and take it to Kinko’s or better yet a small copy shop. You can print almost anything! Invest in Photoshop and take advantage of their brushes and many photo altering features for an extra uniqueness to your albums.
6. Organization is the best policy! When you know where it’s at, you spend less time digging and more time scrapping! I hate knowing I have something specific I want to put on a page and waste 15 min digging for it just to find that it won’t work anyway. I organize all my things and I rotate weekly on organizing something new. One week will be my stamps, the next week will be my stickers, and so on. Also, organizing helps filter out the non-wanted stuff, and helps jog your memory of what you DO have. And ladies, every different brad doesn’t have to have their own container. I put all my black brads, eyes, and very small buttons in the same container. Keeps down space AND time!
7. Don’t scrap EVERY picture. You’ve probably heard this one a ton of times. Picking your favorite two or three can cut down time and make your layout much more meaningful. If you just absolutely have to scrap all 20 pictures then consider a mini album or an interactive page with hidden pics. OR print them small so you can cut them down to 2x2 and put several on a page. I like to make collages.
8. Less is sometimes MORE! White space can be your friend if you let it. You can create a dramatic effect by just having one picture and journaling and maybe an embellishment or two. Don’t feel like you have to fill every inch or it’s just not finished. Make sure everything is balanced and free to take in at a steady pace.
9. Invest in a diecutting system. Whether it be a $400 Cricut by Provo or a $10 Sidekick by Sizzix, these can save you MONEY in the long run. No more searching through your sticker letters just to find that you don’t have ONE letter in your long title. A cricut can give you the versatility of multiple sizes, but it comes with a price! If you’re looking at getting a diecutter, consider going with the Cuttlebug or Big Kick Sizzix since both of these offer being able to use OTHER brands of diecuts on their machine. Then – get together with friends and decide to EACH buy a cartridge or diecut that’s different so you get a nice variety!
10. Watch your ads and sales! You know, I’ve gotten two free Cricut Cartridges by ordering 3 others, a free memory stick, free 8x10 photo just by ordering 25 4x6’s, a free bo bunny album kit for spending $25 on National Scrapbook Day, and MUCH MUCH more! Check out ebay for your tools, stamps, and supplies. Hobby Lobby posts a 40% off coupon every 2 weeks on their website and Michaels post one in the newspaper weekly in most areas. My local scrap store has coupon Monday where I can bring in ads from other stores and use them there! As I said, watch the sales and keep an eye out of coupons!