Trouble finishing layouts

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Posted 6/11/2013 by IAmMikki in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 520,674
September 2011
Posts: 723
Layouts: 7
Loc: Las Vegas, NV

Posted: 6/11/2013 11:56:25 PM
Lately, I can't seem to get past the starting point. I have the paper, I have the photos and and I can even arrange them... but that's where it ends. I just can't figure out how to put the rest of it together.

Any suggestions?


PeaNut 497,330
January 2011
Posts: 1,780
Layouts: 0
Loc: Where the polar bears live

Posted: 6/12/2013 1:25:32 AM
I'm having the same problem, so no suggestions from me, but hopefully someone can help us.


PeaNut 566,723
September 2012
Posts: 177
Layouts: 17
Loc: Canada

Posted: 6/12/2013 1:45:50 AM
I'm not sure how helpful this is, but when I get stuck I walk away. I can't force my creativity no matter how hard I try. So I take a break and try again later. If that still doesn't work, I put everything I have laid out into a 12x12 plastic envelope so that it is all ready for me whenever I want to try again. (I often have several of those envelopes just waiting for the time when they move me to work with them again.) Then I move on to to a new set of photos, paper, and embellishments and see how I do with those.

I also use my computer for inspiration. I take photos of all my layouts and have a folder of all of them on the computer. Sometimes looking at them gives me ideas. I also have a folder of other people's layouts that have inspired me, or even photos of embellishments or detail shots of stitching or journaling that have caught my eye over the years. Scraplifting, even my own projects, can help to break my creative block. I hope that was even a little bit helpful. Good luck getting past the starting point!

Will trade mosquitoes for cookies.

PeaNut 416,788
March 2009
Posts: 22,257
Layouts: 0
Loc: Living in Kim's Perfect World, again.

Posted: 6/12/2013 1:47:04 AM
1) Watch videos in a style that's different from yours, and keep watching until you begin to appreciate why they do what they do. You might not ever decide to try that style, but it doesn't matter. It still gives you a fresh perspective.

2) If you like to start with the photos first and then pick out the paper, start with paper and begin a layout. You can use a sketch. You can use Shimelle's starting points. You can let the paper tell you what to do with it. THEN check out photos you already have that you'd like to scrapbook.

I couldn't believe when I tried this how well the next photos I needed to do actually went with what I had already begun. AND.... they're some great pages!

If you don't want to use them on the photos you want to work on now, you can just put them in a binder for a later time.

3) Pick out something new in your stash, and then go into your older paper and find something that will work with it. If the new piece is all flowery, find a tone on tone for the background.... or vice versa. Determine to use that older piece of paper even if it barely shows. If it just shows a tiny bit, it's OK, but you've got to use it somehow. If nothing works at all, paint over it or change it some other way. It doesn't matter what you do to it. You've just got to use it.

4) If you've got a group of photos and you feel like you need to do something with them but you just don't want to put too much time or effort into it, then go through all the different divided plastic pages and find a design that will work with your photos. For example, I take a lot of photos both horizontally and vertically, so I have a lot of pages that hold a combination of the two. Either that, or make one page for the vertical photos and the facing page for the horizontal photos.

You can use PL cards, other manufacturer's products, or your stash. If you're short on time, lay the photos out, put them in the sleeves and call it done for the day. It might not seem like much, but organizing photos to make sense when you look at them is a step in the process and sometimes it's easier to do that step at a different time than when you add all the additional paper, etc.

5) If you have a group of photos and one or two stand out to you as much more important than the others, make a layout with that one/two photo(s) and stick the others into a divided photos page to face your layout.

Sometimes, there are just too many different ways to go with a group of photos, where if you pull out just one or two, you may focus better.

If PC is the way to get to Heaven, I'm going straight to Hell.


PeaNut 118,945
December 2003
Posts: 3,174
Layouts: 144
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden

Posted: 6/12/2013 3:05:00 AM
Perhaps some good sketches would help you to get past that starting point? You don't have to follow the sketch from start to finish if you don't want to, but maybe it would be a way to get started?

/Margareta I recently gave my paper trend blog a makeover.

The Most Honest Nut you'll find...

PeaNut 185,443
January 2005
Posts: 7,638
Layouts: 211

Posted: 6/12/2013 5:43:47 AM
My suggestion is to do the journaling. Since you know most of the layout already, do the journaling. That is what usually gets me into the final ideas. What I mean is that I usually have some pics that I want to scrapbook and although the pics may be about my kids playing in the front yard water sprinklers, I look at the pics and then decide to scrap about how the kids are 16 to 4 yrs old and still they all enjoy playing together. It turns into something about the bonds that kids have about playing together or maybe about summer.

And then without thinking about it, I know which pics I really want to use because I have narrowed them down, I can then draw out a sketch of the layout on the back of the layout itself or on a 5x7 notecard. And before I know it the layout is done. I have all the work done so it just becomes about actually gluing the layout down.

That's my suggestion. And honestly it has worked for me time and time again.
2013 Tally (April 2013)
Pages 8
Cards 5

2012 tally
pages 65
cards 25

Going Up

PeaNut 579,055
January 2013
Posts: 2,048
Layouts: 91

Count: 1
Posted: 6/12/2013 6:24:07 AM
i agree with ChiChiScraps, that if i'm not feeling creative, i just can't get things to come together and need to take a break.
if you are really feeling like you want to be productive, start with a sketch or a challenge so you have a jumping off point. it might lead you to finding a new technique or idea that you wouldn't normally have tried.
have fun!

Pea, Glorious Pea

PeaNut 43,536
July 2002
Posts: 17,010
Layouts: 190
Loc: In the land of loss...weight loss, that is. 47.4 down, about 6 to go! :D

Posted: 6/12/2013 9:21:59 AM

"Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances." Proverbs 11:14
"Don't let your suitcase full of cheese be your fork and spoon." -Marie Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
"Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't!"


PeaNut 586,816
May 2013
Posts: 258
Layouts: 25

Posted: 6/12/2013 9:47:37 AM
Recently I picked out a background paper, adhered two photos, wrote the journaling, then went back with my scraps to decorate and added a title. It was totally backward from how I usually work, but I loved the effect and it was quick!

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