Scrapbooking embellishments can be used in many different ways. You don’t need to stick just to the purpose for which they were designed.
This applies to both digital scrapbooking elements as well as traditional scrapbook embellishments. Although with digital scrapbook elements you can get lots of extra mileage because you can duplicate an element as many times as you want.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways you might use your embellishments to create different elements.
Although frames exist as scrapbooking elements in their own right, you can create your own frames by grouping other elements around your photo. This works especially well with flowers or ribbons but you can use pretty much any small sized element to do this. Digital scrapbooking makes your choice even wider as you can easily reduce the size of an element to however small you want it and then duplicate it as many times as you need to.
But if you’re a traditional paper scrapbooker try surrounding your photo with small flowers and leaves for a beautiful Spring-looking frame. Or a collection of buttons mounted around the photo makes another striking frame.
You can make borders out of pretty much any element you want to as long as you have enough of them to line up across your page. Borders made from unexpected scrapbook elements can be great for making a statement or reinforcing the theme of your scrapbook layouts. In the scrapbook layout on the right (making this layout is demonstrated in Step by Step Digital Scrapbook Advanced Tutorial 7) I’ve used a wreath element combined with a bow element to create a border which echoes the woodland theme of the scrapbook layout.
Flowers are a wonderful addition to most scrapbook layouts. And you can design your own easily by combining other elements together. Heart shaped elements positioned in a circle with their points to the centre form a terrific base for a flower design. You can layer a circle of smaller hearts on top and finish off with a fancy brad or a button. And you have a unique flower that no one else has got.
You can make photo matts out of so many things. Try collecting all your ribbon scraps and weaving them together to form a matt for your photo or for your journaling tag. You can do the same with left over strips of cardstock and patterned paper.
Old CDs can make very cool photo matts for teen scrapbook layouts. Even a torn sheet of lined notepaper can look good as a matt for your photo. Just remember that most lined notepaper is not acid free and over time it may degrade your photo so be a bit careful if you choose this or use a protective spray.
Why not try making your own backgrounds? Something I like to do is to blow up a photo and print it in black and white or sepia on a large sheet of paper. use that as your background and place smaller photos on top. I use this technique both with digital scrapbook layouts and also with paper ones.
And another very good look is to stick several strips of the same ribbon across plain or lightly patterned paper to make a textured stripy background.
There are heaps of different things you use to make photo corners. A couple of short strips of ribbon across one or two corners of your photo can make a very effective accent. Even the humble strip of masking tape can be a great grungy looking photo corner. Just watch out for the acid free thing again here.
Groups of three brads or buttons in a corner of the photo make a simple but striking photo corner accent.
Once you get started combining your scrapbook elements in different ways you’ll come up with lots of ideas of your own which will help you get even more use out of them. And it’s fun to create something that looks so good and that someone else hasn’t done exactly that way before.
Making your own scrapbook elements is very satisfying. Plus I find that this can be a good way to kick start my mojo if I’m feeling a bit creatively sluggish. Developing an idea for creating a new scrapbook layout element can lead me onto designing the layout based on that idea.
So how about you? Do you have any favourite ideas for using scrapbook elements in a ‘non-standard’ way. Please share in the comments below. Like everyone else I’m always eager to hear new ideas.