Layout by Katie done in 2005. Papers by Katie. Font unknown.

It’s always fun for me (Katie) to think about how many ways the very same layout could be put together. When I created the above layout back in 2005, I had no idea of all the digital scrapbooking products and techniques that I would learn about in the coming years. There weren’t nearly as many products available back then, and I was just getting started with my own digital skills. While there is no NEED to redo this layout, I wondered what it would look like if I scrapped it today? Then I wondered what it would look like if some of the best digi scrappers in our community got to play with it? Soon, the idea for our new monthly feature “PLAY IT AGAIN” was born. We are so excited about this new regular feature because it will be a great way to illustrate some of the many possibilities that exist when it comes to digital scrapbooking!

We really want to emphasize that there is not a “right way” or a “wrong way” to put together a layout. It’s more about capturing the memory, finding your own style(s), and PLAYING! Yes, it’s ok to play and have fun!


The original layout is about a Disney Cruise in 2005. The picture is of me, my son Alex, and my daughter Riley. It’s not the best photo, but it is the only one I have of the 3 of us together during that trip. We loved formal night and my son was so excited to wear a tux (even though he doesn’t look that thrilled).

My original journaling reads:

On formal night we dressed all in black and white. Jeff and Alex wore tuxedos and Riley and I wore black and white dresses. Riley helped design her own dress and I made it.

We felt so fancy that night at dinner. We ate at the Animator’s Palette restaurant so we fit right in with the black and white décor. Alex said he looked like a “young James Bond” and everyone agreed with him.  He was very suave indeed!

That night is one of our very favorite Disney Cruise memories.

July 2005



We sent my original layout and the original photo (not edited) to several different scrappers around the digital scrapbooking community. They were free to use any style or products they wanted to. The only requirement was to incorporate the original photo and journaling.



It was so much fun to see how all of these different layouts turned out! The styles and designs were varied, but all of them captured the memory in a meaningful and beautiful way!

I love the soft and elegant color scheme of this layout. The photo and journaling really stand out.

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Layout by Brenda Smith (aka. kaleandkiara)

Credits: Timeless by the MScraps Designers (store collab), Stitches by Erinink. All products available at MScraps


I love the whimsical embellishments on this layout – they are so playful and fun!

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Layout by Tracy Ducar (aka Tracyfish)

Credits: In It Together by Julie Billingsley, Matted by Traci Reed, Take Me Away by Dani Mogstad, Oceania by Heather Roselli, Woo-dles by Shawna Clingerman, Fonts: DJB Gimme Space by Darcy Baldwin and Lauren Reid. All products available at Sweet Shoppe Designs.

Additional font used: American Typewriter.


I adore the soft white flowers on this layout, they remind me of my daughter’s dress.


Layout by Lorilei Murphy

Credits: Studio Tangie Haute Soiree Kit, Studio Vivarant Stark Raven Frames, Studio Flergs Metallica Alpha (lightened). All products available at Scrapbook Graphics.

Journaling font: Kingthings Wrote


How fun is that black top hat? The pop of red color is very classy, and the cluster of elements is a great touch.


Layout by Petra Prijs (aka Milo82)

Credits: When the summer ends’ kit by Kimla designs, Creation 23′ colab kit by Createwings designs & Catherine designs, ‘Pêle Mêle, Memory Keeper : Autumn Variation’ by Catherine Designs  All products available at After Five Designs.

Additional notes:
Layout created in ACDSee photo editor 2008
Photo edited in Abode photoshop CS4 using actions from My Four Hens Photography
Actions used: Clean color action from the ‘Color pop pretties’ set, Angel face from the ‘Soft & sweet’ set


Black and white with a splash of colorful flowers makes this layout visually stunning. I love the inclusion of both the full color and black and white version of the photograph.


Layout by Colleen York

Credits: Kaye Winieki ahh paradise, colored in alpha Jacque Larsen fontworks 2 Amy Wolfe build your own border Rachel Young daylight sequins spills Valorie Wibbins black beautynGina Miller essential whites. All products available at The Lily Pad.


Beautiful blues and browns are such a nice way to bring out the colors in the photo and are a great complement to the photo. Wonderful placement of embellishments.

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Layout by Holly Takatsuka (aka hollyinjapan)

Credits: papers and elements from Cherish by Jennifer Labre Designs, page template from Sweet Starts Vol 2 in the August Grabbag by Nikki Epperson. All products available at The Digi Chick.

All photo filters used for photo are Define Sharp and Lovely, both by the Pioneer Woman
font is DJB Liz


I love the way the theme of the fancy dinner was included in this layout. Fun use of a bold patterned paper that doesn’t overwhelm the layout.

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Layout by Britanee Walker.

Credits: Coastal Holiday by Tracie Stroud, Bon Appetit by SuzyQ Scraps and Brittish Designs. Foundations {Round} by DeCrow Designs. All products available at Scrap Orchard.


Isn’t it fun to see all the different ways that just one layout can be scrapped? Look through each layout again and think about which one you prefer. Think about why that one stands out to you and what you like about it. It’s a great exercise to help you learn about yourself as a scrapper and your style. It also might help you explore some new styles that you haven’t tried before.  Remember, there is no right or wrong way, all of these layouts are beautiful!!   When you get ready to work on your next layout, take some time to think about all the ways you could play with that memory and have some fun!


P.S. Barbara was our random winner chosen from the comments in yesterday’s post.  She won $10 in product from ErinInk!! 🙂

Traveling The World With You


This past Spring, Kim Lund joined us for a series on creating a Travel Journal. It’s the kind of project that can take as much time or as little as you want.  You can use her printables if you are short on time, or her layered templates if you want to use your own supplies.  If you are really running low on time, you could just use her prompts and put them in Evernote or a Word Doc.

I thought it would be fun to share a Vacation Journals, all put together, and maybe even inspire you to finish one up for any last minute trips you have coming up (here in the US, we have a 3 day weekend coming up 😉 ).


MandaK created a very cute travel journal, using Kim’s templates along with some digital supplies.  She also gives instructions for assembling it the way she did on her blog:



Didn’t that turn out adorable!?  I LOVE the little camera she added.


Katie just got back from a cruise to Alaska (she and I were both in Seattle at the same time with our families for a couple of days and actually ended up staying one block away from each other…imagine our surprise!  We did get together for a photo op, I’m sure we will share soon).  She made a Vacation Journal before leaving, here’s what she did:

It took me a day to get everything already to go.  I used this cute kit:


As well as Kim’s layered templates for this project, which are available exclusively here at THE DAILY DIGI (visit each class session to download the printables and templates).

I decided to enlarge my journal so it would fit in a 3 ring binder. I wanted to collect newsletters, menus, brochures, and other items during our trip and put them directly in the binder to keep them nice and neat. I turned each 5.5 x 8.5 template into a standard 8.5×11 inch size in PSE 8 by using the following steps:


In Photoshop Elements, select Image> Resize> Canvas Size, in PSCS select Image>Image Size. Change settings to 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall.


Then select all layers that you want to enlarge. If there are any locked layers, you will need to unlock them. Just click on them to unlock them. (In PSCS, you will need to select the layers FIRST and then resize).


With all desired layers selected, grab the edge with your mouse and stretch until they fit the canvas. In this case, you will have to stretch a little on the sides since it doesn’t fit exactly. This may cause some distortion in title work. The template shapes will be fine though.


You can resize the title work to make it proportional again. I hid that layer on mine because I decided to use a font instead.


I also modified most of the templates to fit my own content. Just move the squares around as needed.


I’m really loving how it turned out (click to enlarge images)! (Note: There will also be a tutorial showing another way to do this in the September Playbook)





I decided to use a font (Gil Sans MT) instead of the included titles so I could customize my pages a little more. I also like how it goes with the pages I have scanned from our cruise brochure materials. I used page protectors throughout my binder for these layouts, and stocked the binder with plenty of extras so I could include maps and other items as I got them.
So far, this has been a very rewarding project. My children have appreciated knowing more details about our trip and they have looked through our book several times. I imagine that it will be a well-used tool throughout our trip! I will be sure to include more details, photos, and pages after our trip is over.

I got all of my images from brochures and internet sites since they were put together BEFORE we actually took the trip.





Here are some photos of the travel journal I took during our cruise.

I used a standard 3 ring size binder from an office supply store that had a clear pocket cover so I could slide the cover page right into it. I will make a cute label for the spine so we can see the subject while it is sitting on our bookshelf.
This travel planner/journal ended up being such a big part of our trip! I filed all of the cruise newsletters, formal portraits, maps, postcards, and information sheets we collected from all of our stops. It was a great way to store the photos and memorabilia so they didn’t get ruined in transit. It also felt like we were creating a scrapbook while we were vacationing and that was fun for all of us. My hubby even started looking for things to put in the binder. Smiley I definitely will do this again in the future for our bigger vacations.




Standard size page protectors were a great way to store postcards we bought. I even bought some small 5×7 prints at Pike’s Place in Seattle that I didn’t want to get bent so I just slipped them in the book.


I feel like I don’t have to create a whole new scrapbook about this trip now because I have this binder. I will keep most of it intact. I will remove the postcards because we hang those on a wall in my son’s bedroom. I might frame some of the cruise portraits, but most of the contents will live permanently in the binder. I will have access to all the information when I choose to create some digital scrapbook pages, but I don’t feel a lot of pressure because I was able to put together the creative framework for this project before we ever left town. So fun!


k scrapbooklady note yellow

Nail by Kristin Aagard (on the farm), note by Katie the Scrapbook Lady, Fontologie Giggles font.

Want to know one of the best secrets for giving a digital scrapbook page a finished look? Fasteners! The little additions of buttons, staples, brads, clips, and stitching bits, all add visual interest to a scrapbook page. They also help the eye anchor the elements onto the page. I (Katie) get some of my best ideas for using fasteners from looking at paper-based layouts, which is I guess why I prefer buttons with stitched centers. When I was a paper scrapper, I never just placed a button on the page without tying a little string or ribbon through the middle first. Of course, I love that with digital scrapbooking, I’m not limited by space (or depth) to include as many fasteners as I want to. Here’s a page I would have never attempted back in my paper days:


Layout by Katie. Hazel Olive Sew Lovely kit, buttons by Jen Wilson, Janet Phillips template collection 43.

Whether you use buttons and brads as a major design element on your page, or add a subtle staple to the corner of a special photo, these little embellishments can make a big difference!



Layout by Jenn. Credits: My Charming Boy by Becca, Benjamin alpha by Jeni Hopewell, Stamped Dates by Simply Scraps, Fall Dating by Anna BV Font: Designer Notes

Jenn says: “I love all sorts of fasteners, and hardly every create a layout without including them.” Here are some of her great tips for using fasteners:

When placing curly ribbons, look for areas where it appears to be closest to the paper, to place fasteners so that it appears that they’re attached to the layout. In this particular one, I’ve placed the metal rivet elements on several areas of the ribbon to create a sense that it’s grounded to the layout. I tend to reduce the size of the original fastener elements (staples and brads especially) to a much smaller scale than their original size, in order to keep their overall realism more believable. I consider what the size relationship of the elements would be like “in real life” if I were using the same items on a paper layout, and then adjust the size of each element accordingly.


Layout by Jenn. Credits: Love Me by Dilo, Lucky by Amanda Heimann, Ruby alpha by Lauraskathi Font: Pea Noodles, Small Typewriting

I often use brads not only for scattered accents throughout layouts, but also in the center of bows to act as a fastener. Simply resize the brad to be just large enough to completely cover the center knot of the bow. The brad should have a slightly smaller drop shadow than the bow itself, which gives the illusion that the center of the bow is pushed into the page, and actually attached to it.
By far my favorite type of fastener is a staple. If I’m using the staple more than once in the layout, I always rotate the staple copies slightly so they don’t all look the same.


Layout by Jenn. Credits: Template from Reloaded Vol. 1 set by Sya’s Blueprints, Wild Hearts by Michelle Coleman, Everyday by Megan Turnidge, Explore, Learn, Grow by Sahlin Studio Font: CK Jot


New team member Tara used some fasteners to dress up a simple invite for my son’s first birthday. “Here I used the pin and the fasteners to make it look like that was how the paper frame was held down onto the photograph. To be able to give it a little more depth than just the paper mat.”


Layout by Tara. credits: the luck one page kit by Danielle Young Designs



Layout by Melissa S. End of Summer by Trish H designs

Melissa says: I use reversed staples and rotated them. I also split apart a row of stitching, by just selecting the stitches I wanted and pressing Ctrl+J and used them to secure the letters


(all images are linked)

Jenn’s favorite staple comes from this kit. My “go to” staple is in this kit by Sahlin Studio. I think I like it so much because it’s more of a brass/copper, versus being silver. It’s also got a great weight to it, if that makes sense.


For basic brads, rivets, buttons, etc, I’ve purchased some CU packs that I pull from if a kit I’m using doesn’t have quite what I need as a fastener, or if I’m combining kits for a LO sometimes it’s just easier to pull in a couple of CU items and recolor as needed, versus searching hundreds of kits for brads, etc.

Don’t be afraid to purchase CU items for your own personal stash. They’re a great way to add some fundamental elements that you’ll find yourself using again and again.

Here’s a couple versatile CU packs that I love having in my stash:



If you listened to episode 8 (The Well Rounded Mama) of the Paperclipping Digi Show podcast, you might remember Steph talking about her favorite staple found in the Modish Boy and Modish Girl kits by Shabby Princess.


On that same show, Janet talked about her favorite staple which is found in this Painted Summer kit (also from Shabby Princess)



While there are often great fasteners included with many digital scrabooking kits, you might also enjoy using some element packs to boost your stash. Here are a few of my favorites:












embellished stiches 1600


Next time you are digi scrapping, pull out some fasteners and add a few finishing touches to your layout. You will be pleased at what a big impact a little fastener can have!


Get Your Head in the Game


Now that all of the contributions to THE DIGI FILES for August have been revealed, we want to share with you our game plans for accomplishing some of the looks in the layouts you saw on the site during the month.  This month, we include:

  • a play-by-play for a hybrid project AND a digital layout (from start to finish)
  • ideas for clustering elements
  • how-to for using Flerg’s glitter styles
  • how-to for creating the rainbow word art we use on Fridays
  • cutting irregular paper strips
  • using a photo as an overlay and background
  • altering templates
  • giving papers a new look
  • editing photos in Flickr
  • a couple of fun free gifts

These are just A FEW of the items we talk about in this interactive e-book.  So grab your Playbook, a copy of THE DIGI FILES (if you haven’t already), and enjoy playing the digi game!

P.S. Amy is our random winner chosen from yesterday’s comments and won $10 in products from Hazel Olive Designs!  THANKS to everyone for your nice comments, we all appreciate them!!  Amy, check your inbox!



Templates are such a big timesaver for me (Katie) and I rarely scrap without one these days. I also love to reuse templates and I’m often surprised at how many layouts can come from just one template. I thought it would be fun to use one of NeeNee’s templates from this month’s Digi Files and challenge our team to show us how many different ways they could use the template. I was amazed at what they came up with!

Here’s the template I picked:


Template by NeeNee from The Digi Files #20


Here’s what our team did with this ONE template:


Credits: Happy USA by Shabby Miss Jenn NeeNee Designs PaperCropz template

Jenn says:
I rotated the whole template about 45 degrees counterclockwise, and lined it up so that the paper strips/ribbon placeholders would run edge to edge. I then rotated each of the photo placeholders individually to better suit the orientation of my photos.
After I’d placed the photos and selected my background papers, I started filling in the element placeholders with various elements from the kit I used. After I’d filled in all of the placeholders, I then went back and deleted all of the circles and the scalloped matt. I deleted a few of the paper strips, and moved or rotated a few other elements until I was satisfied with the results.



Credits: NeeNee Designs PaperCropz template Love Me by Dilo My Wish 4U by Digiscrappers Brasil Designers NSD2009Freebie by Flergs Enjoy the Moments Snippettes by Sahlin Studio, Greenbeans font

Another one from Jenn

I rotated the entire template 90 degrees clockwise. Reduced the size of the three photo placeholders and duplicated two of them, rotating each individually. I erased part of the scalloped matt, leaving only the left edge as a base for my title.  I deleted/resized and rearranged many of the elements.



Credits: NeeNee Designs PaperCropz template Flergs Daydreamer kit

Layout by Melissa S.-
For this LO is resized the template to make it smaller and deleted the photo spots. I used a scalloped frame instead of clipping the paper to the scallop shape. I extended the scatter across the page. I deleted some extra bits and pieces to put the title in and embellished the letters with gems.



Credits: NeeNee Designs PaperCropz template (altered) three paper peonies – organic kit two shutter sisters – organic textures 1 fonts avenir book and american typewriter

Layout by new team member Tara –
tip: I’m a minimalist most days but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a fantastic template like this one from NeeNee and alter it to suit your style and personality. When I plan on altering a template I will choose my supplies and photos and have it all open in elements. I decide if I am going to rotate the template like I did in this LO. Next I hide all the layers and I begin. from the ground up and I work through each layer and rebuild it. I tend to work through the photos first and then back fill the elements and layers and play until I achieve the over look I want.



Credits: NeeNee Designs PaperCropz template Emotions by FeiFei’s Stuff also included in TDF#20 this month

Layout by Steph. I tend to be a more simple scrapper and like fewer elements on my layout.  I turned off all of the element layers (clicked on the eye on each layer), but used the rest of the framework pretty much as is.  I love using lots of paper layers and larger photos as well and NeeNee’s templates are perfect for this!



Paper Cropz Vol. 9 – Digi Files 20 – Neenee Designs Raining Sunshine kit – Wild Dandelions Font – Rockwell

Layout by new team member Trina –

I shrunk everything in the template by selecting all the layers and transforming them at the same time.  I then duplicated all the layers and rotated the duplicated layers and put them in the top right corner.  I chose to delete part of it in the top corner and leave only one photo there with the cluster.  I placed the other layers in the bottom left corner and worked from there, deleting some elements and adding others as I went.  I also added a stroke to the outside of the title alpha to make it stand out a bit more against the photos.



Credits: Look At Me and Stuck Up Frames by Misty Cato, Nee Sissy Lynn font Paper Cropz Vol. 9 – Digi Files 20

A 3rd one from Jenn who says “I may have gone a little overboard with this post, as this is the third one I did, but I was testing myself to see if my layouts from this template could all look completely different and not like they came from the same temp. Anywho… 🙂

I flipped the entire template vertically,  then hid all of the layers, with the exception of the three photo placeholders. To make the photo areas look different, I used premade taped frame elements. I enlarged each of the photo placeholders slightly, and rotated the one on the right a few degrees. I then unhid the two rectangle paper matts behind the photo on the left, reducing their size until they barely peeked out from the vertical edges of the left photo’s frame.  I also blended the larger photo into the background paper.

This template was perfect for this series of pictures, as I wasn’t originally sure what I wanted to do with them, but as soon as I’d placed the photos within the template, the rest of the page came pretty easily. That’s the beauty of templates!



So twist, rotate, turn off layers, duplicate layers, or do whatever you want to a template to make it work over and over again! If you scrap a layout with this template from this month’s Digi Files, we’d love to see it! We hope you will upload it to our Flickr group so we can all be inspired!


P.S. Congratulations to Jenn L who was our random winner from the comments in yesterday’s post! She said “See, that’s what I love about TDD, you introduce me to designers I might not have seen otherwise. Loved looking through her store and I’ve added Everyday Bliss to my wish list.” Thanks Jenn! Watch your inbox later today for your gift 🙂



This is the final article in a series of seven covering scrapbook page design. Rachael Giallongo introduced the series and shared the mnemonic ECBARF that you can use to quickly recall six basic principles of page design. I’ve continued the series, looking at the first five of those principles: Emphasis, Contrast, Balance, Alignment, and Repetition.

Today’s lesson covers the 6th principle—the F in ECBARF—which stands for “Flow.” This is where we put it all together.

Think about the principles we’ve covered so far and how interrelated their applications are: Emphasis relies on the use of Contrast, and Balance can’t be achieved without taking into account the page’s Emphasis. What other connections are there? Read on to learn about flow and see how all of the design principles as you put together a scrapbook page contribute to good visual flow.


What is good visual flow? Good visual flow exists when the viewer of your page takes a tour through all of its elements, understanding what’s important, taking in the key pieces and avoiding snags or dead-ends. When visitors come to my home, I really don’t want them seeing into the bathroom that’s next to my front door. I want them to look straight in to my home—to the big windows overlooking the river. So . . . I keep the bathroom door shut (or at least I try to) and I have spots of color leading the eye right over to those window. Right now it’s a series of yellows—a large planter, a yellow vase, and a wide bowl.


To create flow on your scrapbook page, you’ll combine

1) The natural tendencies any of us have in observing things, and

2) Design principles

The human eye (and mind) will follow the natural order of things—following:

  • sequential patterns
  • the eyes of the people in your photos
  • a line of perspective
  • implied motion in your photo

When you combine an understanding of these natural tendencies with good use of design principles, you’ll be offering guided tours of your pages with no problem. Understand that repeated colors or images will draw the eye. Understand that whatever stands out (i.e., contrasts) will draw the eye. Understand that you can create implied lines that will draw the eye with alignments. Read on for examples.


You can set up a sequence that the eye will follow as simply as by arranging similar shapes in a pattern. When it comes to “natural tendencies” any of us who read left-to-write and top-to-bottom are prepared to move our eyes in these directions.

On “Worth a Thousand Words,” JPrainaitis arranged two rows of circles in a grid pattern that draws the eye horizontally across the page to this delightful photo.


“Worth a Thousand Words” by JPrainaitis

When you’ve got several of photos that convey a chronology of events, arrange them in a series as slurpeegirl13 has done on “Curiosity.” The three photos show her daughter checking out the doggie door at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. The horizontal flow is strengthened by other horizontal lines including the break between the two pieces of scalloped paper and the strip of small circles below the photo. The curved doodles and the loops of yarns add a sense of flow, again taking the eye from left to right.


“Curiosity by slurpeegirl13

The sequence of elements on “The Best Gift” by tettletop20 creates vertical flow on the page. The three photos set up this pattern, and the embellishments and title are layered over them, arranged in a sequence that enhances the vertical flow.


“The Best Gift I’ve Given My Dad” by tettletop20


When you have three spots on your page that stand out, you create a visual triangle that catches the eye and guides it around the page. In design, odd numbers of objects are more interesting to the eye than even numbers of objects. An odd number of objects can be arranged both symmetrically and asymmetrically. Three is the odd number that is most frequently used in all kinds of design. Just for a start, look for it in architecture, home decor, and floral design.

Jenbreeze has arranged a visual triangle on “San Francisco Adventure” that begins with the compass at top left, moves on to the magnifying class and tag at the right of the large photo, proceeds to the title below the photo and to the left side. Many of us will follow this path the first time and then loop back around at least one more time—taking in the photo, the design, and the mood the page evokes.

If you’re wondering why those three elements are the points on the triangle think back to the lesson on contrast (what stands out?) as well as repetition (what things are similar and, thus, connected?).


“San Francisco Adventure” by jenbreeze

While Jenbreeze took us on a tour around one oversized photo, NikkiE takes a different approach on “Pretty Sassy Chick.” Here, each point on the triangle is a distinct element cluster on Nikki’s page canvas. The eye moves from the blue-framed photo at top left (where the title also begins), then down and over to the photo closest to page center, and finally to the photo at the right edge of the page. Bleeding two of the photo clusters off the page edge adds even more design interest to this atypical composition.


“Pretty Sassy Chick” by NikkiE

What catches your eye on “Two Boys Playing Hockey” by pokey79? I immediately noticed the three gold spots on the page. This visual triangle of color takes the eye on a tour through the photos, title, and journaling.


“Two Boys Playing Hockey” by pokey79


Composing a photograph so that your subject is at a diagonal almost always makes a more compelling shot. The same principle can be applied to page design. Note: the diagonal line does not need to be literal. Rather, you just need to set up at least two points along your diagonal that stand out

A diagonal moving from top left to bottom right is created on “Ben” by the placement of two photos in opposite diagonal corners.


Ben by ViolaMoni

On my page, “You Use Too Many Dishes,” I set myself the challenge to arrange my page elements to create a strong diagonal on the page. Stepped and layered papers pieces create the foundation upon which photo, journaling, and title are placed. I’ve also placed journaling bits around the grouping to strengthen the line.


“You Use Too Many Dishes” by Debbie Hodge

The composition on “Hello, Sunshine” by just jess has a similarity to that on “Too Many Dishes.” The elements are arranged in a stepped design with bits of journaling contributing to the diagonal line. This page has an “ascending” diagonal moving from bottom left to top right and incorporates five photos. Repetitions of shape and color give the page great unity.


“Hello, Sunshine” by just jess


If you read a language that’s written left-to-right, your eye is accustomed to moving in a z-pattern: it begins at the left, proceeds to the right, and then comes back again to the left and then proceeds to the right. Since the brain already looks for patterns that flow this way, you can place items on your scrapbook page on a z-path to successfully guide the viewer’s eye through it.

On “Blueberry Bay Farm,” the eye begins with the title. This long horizontal title fills over 3/4s of the page width (and its length is accentuated by the blue ric rac below). The title ends with “farm” in blue and embellished by a flower. Color and embellishment connect this point to the only other embellishment point on the page—a blue and white circle epoxy layered with tags at bottom left. From there, the wide block of journaling moves the eye, again, horizontally across the page.



“Blueberry Bay Farm” by Debbie Hodge

Can you see the z-flow on “Gone Fishing” by scrappin-grandma? The bits of brown ric rac lead the eye to the blue flower and series of three photos—ending the line with another blue flower. Next? The eye moves down to the embellishment grouping at bottom left (and it helps that another blue flower and more brown ric rac sit here!). The blue rick rack along page bottom completes the “Z” base.


“Gone Fishing” by scrappin-grandma


When you arrange your page elements (and the points that stand out and draw the eye) in a circular flow, you keep the viewer cycling through the page.

On “DIY Fun” by Kathleen Summers, the eye starts with the centered title and moves clockwise around the grouping of photos and paper pieces. Repetitions of color and the flower motif reinforce the eye’s tendency to move around the elements, ending up at the title and then circling around again.


DIY Fun by Kathleen Summers

That wraps up the 6th design principle in this series. Challenge yourself to try each of these flow patterns and be conscious about how you apply the other 5 principles as you do this. If you want to learn more about design principles and their application to the specific parts of a scrapbook page (i.e., photos, journaling, title, embellishments, and canvas), check out the page design articles at Get It Scrapped! as well as my free 12-lesson e-class, “Where Scrapbook Ideas Come From.” You’ll get a lesson delivered to your email inbox every few days.


Debbie Hodge shares scrapbook pages ideas, resources, and tutorials at her website Get It Scrapped! Her passion is showing you how to organize your memories and photos to make great-looking scrapbook pages that tell awesome (and meaningful) stories. She’s got an MBA with a concentration in operations management and has studied and practiced creative writing for two decades—even publishing a few short stories before publishing LOTS of scrapbook pages, articles, and even a book called Get It Scrapped!

PHOTOS + WORDS = Scrapbook Page


Layout by Katie. Font unknown.

When you get down to the very basics of what scrapbooking is, you could say that it is simply a photo(s) with words to go along with it. That definition is extremely basic, but also fitting. Of course, we can add as many details and embellishments as we want to the photos and words. It’s also perfectly ok to just use the essentials.

Have you ever thought about paring down your scrapbook pages? Even if you are not a minimalist at heart, there are times you might want to consider using this approach. I (Katie) have created some of my favorite layouts using nothing more than a picture and some words.


  • Use a stunning photo that you really want to call attention to in your album. Think of this like you would when picking a special picture to frame for your home. Did you get that close-up of your child? Was the lighting just right on a scenic lake? Is there a particular scene that captures a memory perfectly? Use that ONE photo and fill the entire page with it.


Layout by Katie. 28 Days Later font.


  • Fill in the opposing page space for layouts you have already done. When I listened to episode 2 of the Paperclipping Digi Show (Conquer the Photobook) I had an “AHA!” moment. Liz Tamanaha of Paislee Press explained how she gathered up all her random layouts that she had put together and put them in an album. Instead of making an opposing page for each layout, she simply used a big photo to complement the scrapbook page on the other side. I have done this before, but I never really realized what a powerful way this is to help me finish off an album!

Here’s a layout I did about a photo shoot with my daughter’s funky socks:


Layout by Katie. Template by Hilary Heidelberg Word art, border, and gray paper by Weeds n Wildflowers Life 365 collection

I didn’t really have anything else to say on the opposing page, but I did want to share my favorite photo from that day:


I just added a piece of word art from the same kit I used on the other layout and then I was done. Easiest layout ever!


  • Think beyond just using a photograph. Use this technique for a scanned document, or work of art. I made this layout about our homeschool art program:


Layout by Katie. Cinnamon Designs Crafty Madness kit Template by Janet Phillips (collection 18) fonts are Calibri and Fontologie Messy Bessy

What could go better with this page than an actual scanned piece of art created by one of my children? All I did was add my son’s name and date at the bottom. I could have also had him actually sign the piece (which never dawned on me at the time).


That’s a scrapbook page! It will be very meaningful for my son to have this piece of art saved in his own album.


  • Make a photo collage of favorite pictures in the size of a scrapbook page. You can even print out an extra one to frame for your home, office, or to give as a gift! Don’t feel like you have to only use a single photo to pull of this style. Several pictures together with or without some journaling can make a wonderful scrapbook layout!

You can use a template to make a collage or just open up your photo-editing software and use the included tools. I’m using Photoshop Elements 8.


Click on the “create” tab and select the “photo collage” option.


I chose the page size of 12×12 with No Theme. I selected the 16 photo layout and also marked the box to “Auto Fill with Project Bin Photos”.


Then I opened 16 different photos within PSE so they were available in my project bin. After I clicked the “Done” button, I ended up with a simple collage. I added some title work with the Fontologie Empty Wrapper font and here’s the result:


Nothing fancy, but it is a finished page! I could certainly add more to jazz it up a bit, but I’m ok with letting the photos and the words do the talking here. With all the pictures I have to scrapbook, it’s ok to keep it simple sometimes. I love to have tricks like this in my arsenal to help me complete more albums, and to add variety to the process of documenting my memories in scrapbook form.

Remember that photos + words = a scrapbook page!


P.S. Ruth is the random winner from yesterday’s comments. She said “Thanks for introducing us to Ami. I liked her tips about the pictures as well. My favorite items in her store are the “Funky Kitchen” and also the “Play on Time”. Thanks for sharing with us!” Thanks so much for your comment Ruth 🙂 Watch your inbox for your $10 gift to Dysfunctional Designs’ store!

Let The Games Begin!


The Daily Digi Playbook is brought to you by the readers who purchase THE DIGI FILES each month!  THANKS for making this possible!!


Well, all of the products that are included in THE DIGI FILES this month have been revealed, so we thought we would share our secrets with you again!  We are very excited to release the second Daily Digi Playbook as a FREE gift to you!  The Playbook is where we give you the play-by-play for many of the layouts that were featured on the site during July.  There are tutorials with screen shots for many of the techniques that were used, links to even more tutorials and resources, as well as instructions for a hybrid project and hybrid layout!  There are even some links to a couple of free gifts for you as well!

From the beginner digi scrapper all the way through advanced, there is something for everyone in the Playbook!  If you are newer and come across a play that is overwhelming, then just skip it and move on.  Chances are that down the road, as you get more practice, those more difficult techniques will become less intimidating!

In this playbook, we also included a tutorial (including screenshots) for using Emily Powers’ Photology overlays that are included in THE DIGI FILES this month.

Go ahead and download July’s Playbook, grab THE DIGI FILES,  and LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!

P.S. Shannon was the random winner selected from yesterday’s comments, here’s what she said: I really like the look of the Expectantly Yours line. And Everyday Celebrations is probably my most used kit.

Check your email Shannon, you just won $10 in product from AUDacious Designs! 🙂

My Favorite Title Trick


Supplies: Kristin Cronin-Barrow’s Tropical Hideaway

My favorite way to create titles is by using a great font and making it look like an alpha.  Sometimes, I’m just too lazy to arrange letters one-by-one 😉 .  Below, I share a play-by-play of how this title was created.

I typed my title word using Clementine Sketch.  With this font, you must start each word with a capital letter and end it with ^ so that you get a fully closed word.  Since the v does not connect with the other letters, I typed the title like this VAcations^ which gave me a completely closed word.

Next I selected the magic wand:


I clicked outside of the word ‘vacations’ (the settings at the top are shown for your convenience):


You will get marching ants on your page that look like this:


Next, you need to invert the selection by going to shft+ctrl+i or select>inverse.  Now, your selection will look like this:


If you look closely, there are some parts that we need to subtract from the selection (the inside of the o and s).  To do this select ‘subtract from selection’ (as shown below) or hold down the alt key while clicking inside the o and s.  You might want to zoom in to help with accuracy.


After clicking and subtracting those areas, they should look like this:


Create a new layer by clicking on the new layer icon:

image Make sure that the new layer is below the title layer like this:


Select the eyedropper tool:

image Click on a color you want the inside of your text to be, I’m choosing the lighter blue in these papers:


Make sure the desired color is the foreground color:

image Now select the paint bucket tool:

image With the paint bucket tool, click inside the selection of your title and your selection will be filled with the desired color:


I decided that I wanted my outline to be brown and then add a sticker border.  So, I will select the type layer again in the layers palette:

image Now, select the type tool by clicking on it in the tool bar OR use the keyboard shortcut ‘t’.  Click on the color in type toolbar at the top of the window:

image Now, I’m going to click on the brown paper and the outline of the title will turn brown:


Now, go to select>modify>expand and below is the settings I chose, feel free to experiment with different numbers:


Create a new layer as we did above and make sure that the new layer is below the text and below the color, like this:


With that new layer selected, choose a white color and then with the paint bucket tool, click inside the selection (just like we did for the blue above):


Now, lets get rid of those marching ants by using the keyboard shortcut, ctrl+d and we have the completed title:


Living on the edge

Layout by Katie. Taking Chances by Megan Mullins (Wild Dandelions) from The Digi Files 10 font is LD Elementary. Template unknown.

Have you ever paid attention to the edges of your layouts? I (Katie) had not really put a lot of thought into it until last year. I put together this page and thought I was finished.

Layout by Katie. Credits: Stephanie 2 Whirligig Kit Kaye Winiecki template 6 (modified).

After I saw it posted online a few days later, I just knew something was “wrong”, but I couldn’t figure it out. Soon afterward, I read this post about Janet’s most used scrapping trick of adding a border to a layout. There was my answer! I needed something around the edge to reign my eye in and keep the attention on the photo and story.

I followed Janet’s advice and added a simple dotted border. What a difference that made!


Ever since that time, I’ve kept a lookout for how great scrappers use the edges of the page to contribute to the overall layout design. It’s something that I’ve noticed that our creative team here at The Daily Digi is very good at, so I asked them for their tips and examples to help us all “live on the edge” a little more comfortably.

As you will see, edge treatments can range from minimalistic and simple to all out bursting with oodles of layers and creativity! We are excited to show you several different ways to utilize the edges of your layouts. Here are our very favorite edging ideas:


Hands down, this is the method we use the most! Adding a simple framed edge of stitching, doodles, or even a straight line, seems to be the perfect finishing touch for many different types of pages.

Here are a few resources for this type of border effect:

Plenty of page examples from the team:

Layout by Katie. Template by Debbie Hodge. Hello Sunshine by Kelley Mickus.

Layout by Melissa L. Dani Mogstad Take Me Away kit Gina Miller Simple Singles Template: Roundabout 3 Gina Miller border stitching Font is DJB Smarty Pants

Layout by Katie. Credits: Shabby Princess Word Whimsy Shabby Princess Blossom
Kitty Designs template (modified) Traveling typewriter font

Layout by Jenny B. Credits: Template: Tiffany Tillman Background Paper, Yellow Checkerboard Paper (masked over elements): Girls Are Yucky Kit by Lili (TDF #8) Paint Swash, Doodle Border, 2010 Punch Label: Altered 365 Kit by Something Blue Studios (TDF 11) Yellow Paper (masked over paint swash): Sunshine Kit by Suzy Q Scraps (TDF 12) Alpha, Button, and Papers: Upside Down Kit by Dunia (TDF 16) Arrows: Sketchy Elements Kit by Spencer at Design House Digital Staples: Wonderful Kit by Shabby Princess Drop Shadow Layer Styles by Megan Turnidge Fonts: CK Stenography and LD Shelly Print

Layout by Melissa L Lauren Reid 365 Remembered May papers, elements, and template Lauren Reid You’re Moody kraft paper Lauren Reid Lift Me Up border Ali Edwards Remember word art Font is Pea Devon

Layout by Katie. Credits: Anne Made Chromophobia papers and Heart Paper Trails
Template by Janet Phillips. fonts are CK footnote and Fontologie Weathered Low Fat

Layout by Melissa L Daydreamer kit by Leora Sanford Simple Solutions Set 3 by Leora Sanford Font is DJB Renee

Layout by Dúnia Basic Neutrals Paper Pack by Dúnia Whole Lotta Love by Dúnia Doodling Page Frames by Annick Philibert Crazy Squares Template by Gina Miller

Layout by Dúnia Spacey Templates Mini Vol.7 by Amy Martin Pure Love Kit by Jenna Desai Sugar Plum Alpha by Amy Wolff Font: 2Peas Just Plain Little


This is another subtle way to create a border within a page. By using rounded corners in the design, you automatically end up with and interesting and classic edge treatment. Be sure to read our tutorial on How to create rounded corners. You can also use purchased background masks with rounded corners from several digital designers.

Here are a few examples of borders using rounded corners:

Layout by Katie. Credits: Layout made with Wendyzine action from The Digi Files 15 (March 2010) Impressions of Friendship kit by Scrapbook Graphic designers. Font is Pea Jiawei

Layout by Karen. CREDITS: Lauren Reid Wonky Templates 5, Journal Mates, Second Spring kit, You and Me Elements; Font is Pea Muggy’s Girl

Layout by Katie. Credits: Michelle Coleman Wonderful Kit Ali Edwards template no. 3 from Designer Digitals CK Ali’s writing font and CK Ali Circles font for dingbats


My most used scrapping trick is adding another layer of paper to the back of my layout or template to create the look of matted paper. I guess I bring this one with me from my paper scrapping days because I used to love to trim just a small edge off of each side of my paper and then mount it on a full 12×12 piece of cardstock. Now I do this digitally, by simply resizing the first layer of background paper to be just a bit smaller. Then I add another papers as a background layer. I love this trick! Looks like several of our team members use this technique as well.

Layout by Katie. Cheeky Monkey A Happy Heart kit from The Digi Files 12 (February 2010) Template by Sine Journaling font is traveling typewriter

Layout by Jen. Credits: Good Day Sunshine by Megan Turnidge Going Postal Date Stamps by Man In The Moon Designs Makin’ Me Happy alpha by Stolen Moments Tuesday Template by Canadian Mommy Font: Pea Walker

Layout by Karen. CREDITS: Free to Be by Tracie Stroud

Layout by Karen. CREDITS: Leora Sanford Just Like You

There’s no reason this type of layering has to be done in a straight line. How about tilting some background layers? It’s makes the layout even more fun, and it’s a great way to use several different papers without overwhelming the page design.

Layout by Katie. Blessed by Nancie Rowe Scrap Artist. font is CK constitutional. Template unknown.

Layout by Katie. Credits: The Digi Chick kit from The Digi Files 8 (every life has a story)
flowers from Weeds n Wildflowers journaling font is Darcy Baldwin Tracy Script Template by Natasha Nast


Border treatments don’t have to be on the very edge of a page. You can create a bordered space by using a frame or lines to frame a smaller portion of the layout.

Layout by Katie. Credits: Pamela Donnis school kit from Digi Files 7 at The Daily Digi
template by Janet Phillips collection 14 (also from The Digi Files 7) fonts are CK footnote and Fontologie Messy Bessy.

Layout by Jen. Credits: Cara Copycat Template by Man In The Moon Designs What’s Cookin’ by Man In The Moon Designs Superstar by Bisontine Everyday Scatters 2 by MickeyB Designs Hello Sunshine alpha by Kelley Mickus Stamp ABC by Brittish Designs Font: mtf Sketchie

Layout by Jenn. Credits: Vaca Templates by Purple Tulip Designs Queen of Scrap by Scrap Matters Designers Polka Dot Vellum alpha by Man In The Moon Designs Detention alpha by Krystal Hartley Vintage Linens by Shabby Miss Jenn Font: Designer Notes

Layout by Katie. Credits: Everything from the Digi Files 15 (March 2010) for the -From the Files challenge. Template by Jen Caputo.


Creative team member Jenn loves to blend papers to create a subtle edged effect. She says “ I’ve got a few tricks that tend to use over and over with my LO’s. One is to create a “new” background paper from two other ones. I’ll choose two that I want to combine, then erase the center portion of the top one with a large grunge brush, or a large soft round brush. Then I play around with the blend modes until I get the desired effect.”

Layout by Jenn. Credits: Moi – A Magic Autumn Lily Designs – Fall Freebie stamp frame – JenLin Designs New Life Dreams – Indian Summer Font: Perpetua

Layout by Jenn Credits: Template No. 7 by Victoria Greenlees (Studio Saturday) Winter Morning Paper Pack by Victoria Greenlees (Studio Saturday) Playtime collab by Sahlin Studios and DeCrow Designs Squishy Dots by Karah Fredricks Midnight Kiss by Bren Boone A New Beginning by Digital Crea Design Team Comfort and Joy alpha by Brittish Designs (recolored) Fonts: Pea Devon Caps, Pea Jane


This is just a simple little way to do something fun around the edge of your layout. It’s an extra bonus that you can fit in your journaling as well!

Layout by Dúnia Are We There Yet? by Kate Hadfield Going Places by Kate Hadfield Road Works Alpha by Kate Hadfield Shmootzy Alpha by Nancie Rowe Janitz Font: Go Boom!

Layout by Katie. Credits: quick page album template by Ali Edwards. Fall paper pack by Katie the Scrapbook Lady. Fontologie giggles font and CK classical font.


Some designers do the work for you. I love papers with natural bordered designs. They make the page interesting and beautiful.

Layout by Katie. Credits: Purple Phase by Vinnie Pearce Template by Hillary Heidelberg
font is Susie’s hand

Layout by Katie. Credits: Happyness paper pack by Nancie Rowe Janitz. fonts are CK constitutional and Fontologie weathered in-between.


Feel free to have fun with your edges! It’s a great place to layer embellishments and page curls without cluttering up big portions of the layout. Some designers put together pre-clustered page edges to make this even easier! (see enabling portion of this post)

Layout by Dúnia Credits: Peekaboo Cardboard by Tracy Ann Take Two Photo Mats by Tracy Ann Overlay from State the Date 2 by Tracy Ann Ribbon from Lemon Drops by Holly Designs Torn Paper, String, Star from About a Boy by Jenna Desai Itty Bitty Epoxy Alpha by Emily Powers Bakward Staples by Jenn Patrick Stretchy Glue Blobs by Jenn Patrick Boys Dressed Denin by Natalie Braxton Font: AL Sandra


Of course we want to make it easier for you to find great digital products to give you more time for scrapping. That is part of our mission here at The Daily Digi! So here are some designs that we love.

(All images are linked)

The Outer Limits Doodled Borders 2



Barely There Paper Pack #3


So are you ready to live on the edge now? I bet you will find one of these techniques to be your most used scrapping trick as well!


P.S. The font used on the blue title blocks in this post is Fontologie Printing Primer.