Scrapping with items that wouldn’t work IRL


Paintbox by Cinnamon Designs (crafty madness). Howser font


I know some scrappers (*cough *cough – Steph!) won’t use an item on a page if it isn’t something they could have used in real life (IRL). Those who love to digi scrap with a paper-looking style, might feel uncomfortable putting branches, wheelbarrows, chairs,and other unusual embellishments on their pages. I can totally understand that, but I also love that in digi you can do anything you want to! There is a reason why these items would not work in real life… that’s because they would be too bulky! Can you imagine putting real paintbrushes on a page? To me, that’s the appeal of using these types of items on a digital layout – because I can! There really are NO limits to what can be put on a digital layout, and it will always remain just as thin as a piece of paper.

I love to use realistic embellishments to help me illustrate the story of my layout. I took photos of my kids painting for their art class, but I found that adding some brushes and a box of paints really accentuated the message I wanted to convey.


Layout by Katie. Cinnamon Designs Crafty Madness kit Template by Janet Phillips fonts are Calibri and Fontologie Messy Bessy


Some digi scrappers think that only fantasy-style scrappers can use items that “wouldn’t work in real life” but I love to add them for an extra pop on any type of page!


Layout by Katie, supplies: What’s for Dinner? by Cinnamon Designs, Template by Hilary Heidelberg. Traveling Typewriter font.


One of my favorite layouts from the Play it Again series we do here at The Daily Digi is this one that has a real fork as an embellishment. That would never work in a paper scrapbook, but I love it on this digital page because it tells the story of the formal dinner we were getting ready to attend.


Layout by Britanee Walker. Credits: Coastal Holiday by Tracie Stroud, Bon Appetit by SuzyQ Scraps and Brittish Designs. Foundations {Round} by DeCrow Designs.


Something I avoided as a paper scrapper was adding extra bulk to my pages. I loved the look of  even simple ribbons and flowers, but felt like they took up too much room in my album. Team member Lauren Reid expressed the same thing and said she loves to add “anything chunky… When I only paper scrapped, I LOOVED the look of chunky items (buttons, but flowers, keys, book plates), but hated how they trashed my albums and pages… I definitely love that anything is usable in digi!” Melissa Lewis on our team agrees: “This is me, too! I never used much of anything besides paper when I paper scrapped because I couldn’t stand how thick and unwieldy the books would become. But I LOVE using ribbons and buttons especially on my digital pages.”


Layout by Jenn Lindsey. Credits: TempBlends Vol. 1 by Jenn Lindsey Sea O Sea by Jofia Devoe


Team member Jenn Lindsey shares: “When I first started in digi in 2006, I wouldn’t use anything on my layouts that you wouldn’t normally find in paper scrapping, and I also had to make sure that most items were “attached” to my page in some way – as if I thought they would actually fall off of my layout? I’m not sure why I imposed those restrictions on myself since I’d never been a paper scrapper, but I guess I was looking to mimic the paper look in my layouts the best that I could. As the digi products evolved and expanded over the years I began to let go of my self-imposed “rules” and now just scrap with whatever makes me happy. I now have a hard time not using some sort of foliage or other “live” greenery on my pages. I love the dimension and texture that they can add to a page, and honestly leaves just make me happy. I don’t care anymore if I feel like I’m breaking any “rules”, I just scrap the way I like to, using whatever products I find along the way that appeal to me.
a tiny bit of “live” greenery was just what I felt this layout needed to really bring the photo to life”

Layout by Jenn Lindsey. credits: Where I Stand by Litabells Designs, Traveling Typewriter font


The spotlight in this layout certainly isn’t something you’d find in a paper supply store – but it added just the perfect whimsical touch to my layout:


Layout by Jenn Lindsey. Credits: Bonus Temp #1 by Jenn Lindsey (available exclusively to subscribers of TDD), You Rock by Kristin Aagard, Photography Frames by Janet Brisbois, Jailbird Jenna font


Boxes and balloons added just the perfect amount of dimension and festivity to this layout:


Layout by Jenn Lindsey. Year’s Worth Template Set by Jenn Lindsey, Mischief Maker by Micheline Martin, Birthday Love by HGD by Laurie Ann, sf Jubilee font


Sometimes I like to totally exaggerate an element by playing with the shadows to make them appear as if they’re coming straight out of the page. These weren’t necessarily non-traditional items, but when used in this way, they appear more bulky and realistic:


Layout by Jenn Lindsey. Credits: Psycho Magnet Reloaded & Crazy Stitches 1 by Flergs, In Bloom alpha (recolored), shadows from Flergs blog freebie (modified in places), glitter sparkle from In Bloom glitters. Jacki’s Hand font


Even if you aren’t comfortable using bulkier items on your digital layouts, you might want to consider using them in some of the following creative ways:

Digital scrapbooking is an art form that allows all types of creativity. There is no “wrong” or “right” way to express yourself, so let go and have fun!


katie big

P.S. The random winner from yesterday’s post was Amber Olson. Congrats Amber!