No Excuses

Lately I have been lamenting my lack of creativity. The lazy days of summer have bled into my layouts. Not only are my page designs uninspired, but they also seem static and boring. In talking to my friend about a less than stellar layout I made featuring photos I took on the Fourth of July, I blamed my stale layouts on my lack of money. I went on and on about how my pages could look so much better if I only had more cash to purchase fancy embellishments and paper.

Guess what? She wasn’t having any of it.

Rather, she called me out on my laziness and reminded me of all the ways you can create amazing looking layouts without breaking the bank. For example, if you have leftover acrylic paint from other craft projects, use it to spice up other scrapbook supplies, such as eyelets. You can make a beautiful layout with a border of painted eyelets. In addition, paint comes in handy if you run out of matching stickers. There’s no need to run out to the store to purchase a set of matching letter stickers. Rather, paint a bunch of mismatched letter stickers the same color with your leftover acrylic craft paint.

Another way to repurpose your existing supplies is to learn the art of distressing. The technique is particularly popular with shabby chic pages. You can give your layouts a vintage look by crumpling paper, and then flattening it out under a stack of heavy books or bricks. Another option is to round-up leftover textured cardstock and sand it to reveal the white base underneath. Finally, one of the easiest ways to add distressed touches to a layout is to slightly tear the edges of a sheet of patterned paper, then with very light strokes, apply a small amount of brown or black ink to the exposed areas.

If you have paper scraps from previous layouts or if you acquire them from any of the aforementioned projects, don’t trash them; instead put them to use in a collage. Simply cut your paper scraps into strips or squares and glue them to solid cardstock background to make your own customized patterned paper. If you are not found of hodgepodge prints, then sort your scrap paper into color coordinating piles and weave them together or create a grid pattern with them. Finally, to add a finishing touch to the background piece, add glitter, beads, or flocking to make it pop.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.