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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.