Get Inspired from your own archives


Have you ever sat down to scrap and just couldn’t get the creativity flowing? I’ve had that happen a lot lately for some reason. Maybe because it is summer and my mind is on other things? Sometimes I just get lost in the process and worry about making the “perfect” layout using the latest techniques. Whatever the reason, I had a big time creative block hit me earlier this week. (AKA “losing my mojo”) I decided to look back through some of the pages I have created in hopes of sparking something to get me going again. As I browsed through my own archives, I realized that was a great activity to inspire myself creatively!

I thought I would share some of the things I learned from this exercise and encourage you to take a look back through some of the layouts you have scrapped. You can (and should) inspire yourself!


This is one of my early digital scrapbook layouts. I didn’t know anything about shadowing, and my photo editing skills were not top notch either. I love the layout though, because I expressed my love to my children through my journaling. That never goes out of style.

A favorite tip from this layout: Sign your journaling. Just a simple “Love, Mom” lets my children know that I wrote this especially for them.

Layout by Katie. Papers by Mindy Terasawa. Font unknown.


Here’s a page I created all about a funny thing my daughter would say when she was little. She called Simon and Garfunkel “Simon and Bullwinkle”. We still call them that to this day! 🙂

Favorite tips from this layout: You don’t have to have a picture of the actual person or event you are scrapping about. It’s ok to use related photos and if you don’t have one, Wikipedia is always a great resource!

Layout by Katie. Paper by Meredith Fenwick, White notepaper by Katie Pertiet,  Staples by Tracy Murphy, Fonts are Hootie and CK Good Day Pictures from Wikipedia.


Here’s a layout that came together simply because I decided to document a moment in time. I grabbed my camera one day and took some very random photographs of my kids. I sat down in front of my computer that very night and put together this page and wrote about what their lives were like at that moment in time. I need to do this more often!

Favorite tips from this layout: Templates are my friend! They make the scrapping process go so much faster so that I can focus on telling the story and capturing the memory. Also, be sure to date your journaling!

Layout by Katie. Ali Edwards template (Songbird Avenue Bloom and Grow kit April 2009)
Jen Wilson papers


This layout took me several hours to put together because I hunted through all my photo files for the year 2007 to find just the right ones to represent our year together as a family. I printed the layout off to include in our scrapbook albums, and I also framed a 12×12 version to display in our family room, where it still resides today.

Favorite tips from this layout: This is a great way to use photos that might not make it into your scrapbook albums otherwise. After doing this page, I decided to put together an end of year collage to finish off each calendar year in our scrapbooks. This has become a fun tradition for me and I usually send copies of these creations to some relatives and friends with a short recap of our year.

Layout by Katie. Template by Heather Ann.


Yes, I really scrapbooked about the contents of my refrigerator! That might seem silly, but I actually love looking back on this page to see how our eating habits have changed (or not) and I think this kind of information will be really interesting to my kids throughout their lives.

A favorite tip from this layout: The everyday details of life are interesting and worth documenting.


Layout by Katie. Arial font. Paper designed by Katie.


I did this layout for a challenge in a digital scrapbooking store forum. I went through a time period where I really enjoyed doing a lot of different challenges, and when I look back on those pages, they are still some of my favorites.

Some favorite tips from this layouts: Challenges and prompts are a great way to get the mojo going again. It is also fun to let some of your page elements go off the page – it makes for interesting design. Photograph a collection and then explain why you were motivated to collect those things.

Layout by Katie. Template No. 6 by Ali Edwards. Aaron Solid Papers by Michelle Martin. Basic Paper Alpha Beige Caps by Katie Pertiet. Calibri font.


This layout is still very precious to me. I documented my son’s struggle to tie his own shoes. He has some fine motor skill difficulties related to his autism and he still has a difficult time tying his own shoes today (at age 16). We had worked really hard with him during the school year of 2006 and he finally was able to tie his own shoes. It was a big accomplishment and I’m so glad I scrapped it!

Some favorite tips from this layout: Write down your feelings and celebrate the little (which are really big) accomplishments in life! It doesn’t matter if the page is worthy of magazine publication, the words and photos are what matter most!

Layout by Katie. Fonts are Ali’s hand and Hootie. Papers and label unknown.


As you can see, none of my pages are super fancy, but they all have special meaning to me and my family. Taking a moment to realize and appreciate the importance of these memories has inspired me to scrap some more. I already feel my “mojo” rushing back! Whether you have scrapped 1 page or 500, I encourage you to take a look back through your own archives to see what stands out to you. You might even be surprised to see what matters to you and what doesn’t after some time has passed from the time you made the layouts.

If you are just getting started with digital scrabooking, browse through any paper layouts, blog posts, journal entries, or photographs you might have for the same type of exercise. You will be so inspired!