Where does inspiration come from?


It happens to all of us – the dreaded creative block. I (Katie) have been going through it myself lately, I’ve just had a hard time finding my “mojo”. I have a stash of tricks that I usually rely on when I’m needing some help in the inspiration department. I also asked our creative team to share what works for them.




One of the biggest sources of creative inspiration for me lately is the Paperclipping Digi Show podcast. Even though I’m a frequent guest, I still go back and listen to past episodes over again. We cover so much in each show that it’s hard to get it all in one listen. Some of the ideas for this post come from PDS041 – Bombarded by Inspiration, where the topic was actually where to find inspiration. I always feel like scrapping after I record or listen to a digi show!




A screen shot of recent layouts posted in our Flickr group


Team member Heddy says “I browse galleries for recent posts, specific kits and even events (like ‘birthday’, ‘birth’, ‘wedding’, etc.). My favourite galleries are DigiShopTalk, MyScrapbook Art, Two Peas In a Bucket, Log Your Memory, and MeSoScrappy. I also ‘subscribe’ to my favourite scrapper’s galleries through my Google Reader. That way, whenever they post a new layout, it shows up in my Google Reader list and I don’t miss any layouts.”

Resources to help you:




scraplift by Heddy, see credits here


Scraplifting is a great way to get ideas! All you need to do is pick a layout and use it to guide you with your own creation. Team member Lauren says “When I’m feeling especially uncreative, I looooove doing lifts, especially of paper layouts! Sometimes it’s nice to have that jumping off point, even if your layout ends up looking completely different!”

Resources to help you:




I absolutely LOVE online classes! I think it’s so amazing that we can learn so much right from the comfort and convenience of our own keyboard! When I learn a new idea or technique, I’m anxious to try it out and it gets me scrapping!

Resources to help you:



entertainment of young woman in green park, book and reading


Even though we love our online sources, sometimes it’s just hard to beat looking through a beautiful book or magazine!

Heddy’s favorite inspirational books:

  • The Oral History Workshop by Cynthia Hart and Lisa Samson
  • We Dare You: Scrapbooking Challenges About Real Life by Kristina Contes, ee Meghan Dymock, Nisa Fiin, and Genevieve Simmond
  • 365 Days of Scrapbooking Ideas by Better Homes and Gardens
  • That’s Life: Finding Scrapbook Inspiration in the Everyday by Nic Howard
  • Paper scrapping magazines have lots of really great ideas that translate very well into digital.

Katie’s favorite inspirational books:

  • Life Artist by Ali Edwards
  • Page Maps 2 by Becky Fleck
  • Clean & Simple Scrapbooking (both books) by Cathy Zielske
  • Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • Martha Stewart magazines (not scrapbook related, but always inspiring to me)



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Team member Amelia says “I also find a lot of inspiration by either being on a creative team or seeing the layouts that creative teams do – they are a bit more focused than just looking through a gallery and I always come away with ideas!” Heddy also mentioned that “store previews are a huge source of inspiration for me!” I have to agree, I often decide whether or not to purchase a kit based on the CT layouts and I love to bookmark them for future reference. Sometimes I simply save the web image right along with the kit folder so I remember to use that inspiration when I scrap with the kit.

Resources to help you:




Fabric swatch from IKEA


A trip to IKEA, a glance through a Pottery Barn catalog, or even a label on a jam jar can give me a creative idea for a layout design or element on a page. Great design is all around us! Why not use inspiration from the professionals who bring us beautiful ads and products? This is similar to scraplifting in that you simply use an item to influence your own creation. Steph has mentioned many times on the Digi Show, that when she sees a great poster, she immediately thinks of it in terms of a layout. Get out your own designer eye to look at the world around you!

Resources to help you:

  • Your favorite retail stores and websites
  • Catalogs and ads
  • Billboards




Pictures from Fast Photo Fixes


When I look through my folders of photos, I’m often inspired to do something special with them. Pictures make me happy and make me feel creative!

Resources to help you:




story card by Katie – credits here

Sharing stories can be just as inspiring as a trip through a gallery. Talk about memories with friends and family to inspire yourself to document them. Often, I feel like scrapping after reading something my Mom wrote on her blog, or listening to an experience that one of my children have told me about.

Resources to help you:


After compiling this list of ways to find inspiration, I feel a bit sheepish that I have been lacking in that area. Can you imagine if our ancestors heard us complain about losing our “mojo” when we are surrounded by so much creativity and design? There really is no excuse, except for perhaps having too much to inspire us!

Where do you find inspiration?

katie big