AZZA Scrapbooking

Have you heard of AZZA Scrapbooking?

Well I hadn’t until a few months ago when my friend Marla (who isn’t even a scrapbooker) worded me up about it.

Seems AZZA is a European style of scrapbooking. The AZZA heartland seems to be France and Belgium. And its focus is all about the photos and less about the embellishments.

Typically AZZA scrapbook layouts use multiple photos which are cut into shapes that fit into each other neatly. Often special templates are used to create the shapes needed for a pleasing design.

Usually there isn’t any embellishment other than a border which is mostly drawn with a pen or paintbrush. Simplicity is the key and all attention is given to the photos. And the photos themselves become the design of the layout.

It’s an interesting style and makes quite a contrast from the American style of scrapbooking which most of us practice. And I do confess that whilst I’m not a heavy collage scrapbooker, I do like my embellishments and accents.

But I was intrigued by the AZZA scrapbooking style and thought I’d like to give it a try. I wasn’t all that keen on all the photo cutting (I knew from the outset that that way there be dragons). And I wasn’t keen on the expense of buying the special templates.

So the obvious choice was . . .

Digital AZZA Scrapbooking!

One of the joys of digital for me is that you can replicate pretty much anything that you can create in paper scrapbooking at little or no cost. And mistakes are fixed by just a click of the reverse button.

So I decided to give digital AZZA a try and use it to create my album for the trip I took last November, cruising across Europe by river.


Click on the layout to download the PSD template

Click on the layout to download the PSD template

I made some digital templates in Photoshop Elements and dragged my photos on, positioned and resized them and then used the clipping mask layer to crop them to the size of the template.

I made the borders by choosing a shape from the cookie cutter and then Ctrl-Click to select the layer and doing Edit>Stroke Outline on a new layer. Simply delete the original shape layer and you’re left with the outline border which you can resize and manipulate however you want.

The templates were quite easy to make using the Cookie Cutter shapes and the Marquee Tool for the more geometric shapes. And the spaces between were created using the same Edit>Stroke Outline technique around the photos, Selecting the border layer  and pressing the Delete key on the relevant layers to create the space.

I then just added a small shadow to the photos so they look like they’re stuck on the page; a low key title, some journaling and we’re done.

I quite like how they’re turning out. And best of all, it cost me nothing!

So I think I’ll be doing more of this Digital AZZA Scrapbooking, although I can’t see me becoming a total convert. I couldn’t bear to give up my flowers and brads… both digital and real.

How about you? Have you tried AZZA Scrapbooking before using traditional paper techniques? How do you like it?

And what do you think of digital AZZA scrapbooking? Is it something you ‘d like to try?

You can download the template I made for the layout above by clicking on the layout above. The template is in PSD format.

Let me know how you go.


, , ,

26 Responses to AZZA Scrapbooking

  1. Antoinette March 10, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Ooo never heard of it and Belgium is just ‘next door’. Will definitely give it a try, but have to get in the DS mood first.
    I love the layout Karen, ánd the green of the bg which beautifully matches the green of the buildings in the pics. Awesome!

  2. karooch March 11, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Thanks Antoinette. This AZZA stuff is actually quite a fun approach. Not using embellishments makes you think differently in designing your layout. You probably haven’t heard of it because it’s a paper scrapbooking style. I just decided to make it a digital scrapbooking style too. The Cookie Cutter is your friend!

  3. Sydney Bookkeeper March 15, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Very creative. It would make a lovely gift.

  4. Judy March 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    WOW! Thanks so much for the idea…you are awesome! Judy-USA

    • karooch March 16, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

      Thanks Judy. I’m a bit pleased with the way the album is shaping up using this idea.

  5. Jackson April 13, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    i need to get my mom into this! thanks!

  6. Marlene Lehman April 20, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

    I love collages! I had never heard of AZZA but your example caught my eye…..beautiful. Thank you for the tmeplate as I can hardly wait to try using it.

  7. Kenny Hayslett May 1, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    I love collages as well…ASSA is beautiful.


  8. Lynne May 5, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    I have been doing Azza Scrapping for nearly 2 years now, it is fantastic. Melbourne Australia is the place to find everything new!! Lynne

    • Merrill Hawkins March 2, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      Hi Lynne

      I live in country Vic and would like to know whereabouts in Melb I can get stencils etc to try this yummy idea. I am more interested in abstract/modern layouts rather than pretty /floral types with lots of decorating etc. your advice would be appreciated. Merrill

  9. Janice Dugas May 26, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    That is really a unique way of scrap booking. You can use shapes and angles really well in this style of doing a scrap book! You almost turn it into art.

  10. Air Conditioning June 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    I have never heard of AZZA Scrapbooking before reading this beautiful post about AZZA .The information you have shared is totally new to me.

  11. Camille Tan June 23, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Everything is really new to me too. The ideas shared are really simple, just make simple layouts and let your photos be the design in your scrapbook which is totally beautiful.

  12. Dianne June 15, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    I have a ton of flower photos I’ve been taking and I think this would be a great way to show them off in a more interesting way. Good ideas!

  13. karooch June 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Great idea Dianne. This is an excellent style to show off lots of photos.

  14. Janice September 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Great idea but after you’ve made this beautiful page/s what do you do with them? Do you take them to a photo developer and have a 12×12 page printed off or do you send away and get a book made out of them? To print them from your home computer would cost a fortune in ink, plus my printer is only A4. Curious to know what people do with them after they have made these delightful digital pages.

    • karooch September 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

      Hi Janice. There are several things you can do with your digital scrapbook pages. You can share them on line in various galleries and social media sites such as Facebook. You can email them to friends and family members.

      Printing them is also an option. Some people send their files to commercial photo printer such as Costco and Officeworks and get 12×12 print outs. I prefer to resize my layouts and print them on my home printer in 8×8 format. The cost of paper and ink is more than offset by the savings that I make in using digital elements rather than buying traditional scrapbook supplies.

      But the main thing that I would highlight is that this is a hobby. We do this for the pleasure of the creative process as much as for the pleasure in the finished creation.

  15. Robyn Oxley October 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Thanks so much for showing digital Azza. I have just started getting into Azza and love it. I wiold love to see more PSD pages that you have created. Well done.

    • karooch October 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

      Hi Robyn. Thanks a lot. I love the AZZA style for digital scrapbooking too. If you join The Garden Party you’ll be able to see a digital AZZA album that I designed and have the opportunity to get all the templates yourself. Hope to see you at The Garden Party.

  16. Elizabeth May 6, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    Interesting! When I first started scrapbooking here in America in 1997, we used tons of templates to cut our pictures into shapes. There were very few embellishments but a lot of cutsey stickers. I look back at the albums I made them and see a lot of pictures cut in the shape of stars, suns, fish, balloons, etc. Everything evolves!

    • karooch May 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

      So true Elizabeth. Just like with clothes scrapbooking stye fashions change with the times. My scrapbooking days don’t go as far back as yours but there’s still a big difference in how I scrapbooked six years ago to how I do it now. But I think it’s good for things to change. It keeps the craft fresh.

  17. Denise June 6, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    I have been trying to reproduce a similar template in Photoshop Elements 9. I can’t seem to figure out how to use the cookie cutter tool to make the shapes like yours. Which of your tutorials will teach me how to use the tool to like you did for the template?

  18. Karen Neil May 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    I would like to know where I can but londres Azza templates, I am in Australia.

    • karooch May 10, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      Hi Karen. Sorry I can’t help you here. I only do “azza” style scrapbooking digitally. So I make my own digital templates. Have you tried googline Azza suppliers in Australia?


  1. How to Make an AZZA Scrapbook template — Scraps Of Mind - June 14, 2011

    […] written before about AZZA scrapbooking. You might remember it’s a European style of scrapbooking which uses very few embellishments. The […]