Have you found yourself surrounded by stacks of paper that are taller than your desk? How about bins full of embellishments, stickers, and washi tape? Or maybe you have more boxes of Project Life cards than you can count. “But it’s an organized mess..” you say, “..or maybe just an organized hot mess!” You have so many supplies and you just want to use up your scrapbooking stash, but don’t know where to begin!
When you sit down to scrapbook, you likely have NO idea what you have or where anything is. And you probably have major Scrapbooking Overwhelm (it’s a real problem people.) But I’ve discovered a way to best combat those feelings – by creating your own Scrapbook Kits!
The simple method of curating your own scrapbook kits lets you sort through your products, give them a purpose, and keep them together for easy use. Simple, right?! It is a game changer, especially if you have too much product or simply don’t remember what’s in your stash. I’m going to break down how to use up your products through scrapbook kitting in 3 easy and simple steps.
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1. Sort Your Product & Supplies
Sorting your product has to be the first thing you need to do before you can create a kit. For some, this may be one or two tables worth of supplies. For others, it may be an entire room. Let’s not get too crazy though, regardless of the size of your stash, start small. We aren’t trying to begin the Great Organization of the Year.
Sort Your Most Recent Purchases
Try to start with the most recent products you bought. Then gather up any other paper, embellishments, stickers, and other supplies you normally use. Think about how you normally work on projects. Do you tend to use a couple sheets of cardstock and one piece of designer paper? Maybe you like to use wood veneers on your layouts. Do you make everything in Project Life page protectors? Maybe there is a product you bought with a specific purpose or you want to try a new technique. These are things you want to keep in mind while you are creating your scrapbook kits.
Sort Your Supplies by Designer or Product Line
Now that you have gathered some supplies, try sorting your products by designer or scrapbook line. The companies spent time curating their products to coordinate and that’s likely the reason you bought them, so why not keep them together. Doing this will help to get your creative juices flowing. You can then start to add on other papers and embellishments that coordinate.
Sort Your Supplies by Theme, Color, or Occasion
Another option is to sort by theme, color, or special occasion. You bought products specifically for Christmas, a baseball game, or your daughter’s swimming lessons. Separate out those products first before you start adding in embellishments and other supplies.
You don’t have to sort out and organize every single product you pull in this process. The point is that you want to start to find a common theme in the supplies you’ve just organized.
2. Give Your Scrapbook Kits a Purpose
Now that you have started to sort out your products, you want to give your scrapbook kits a purpose. This goes back to the thought process of “Begin with the end in mind.”
Take a look at the products you’ve started to gather and how they inspire you. On a scratch piece of paper, write down or sketch your ideas for the kit. You can also use the Project Sketch page that I created to help track your kit ideas. (You can get it at the end of this post.) Your project plan can include journaling prompts, a vision of the final layout, any notes about a scrapbooking technique you want to try, or even the photos you have in mind for the layout.
Your notes can be simple and anything you want! Think of it as a little golden nugget of inspiration that you are going to store away. You are not only creating your own scrapbook kit, you are likely creating your own mini scrapbooking challenge!
Creating a Scrapbook Kit in Action
On a recent project for Day in the Life, I took all my photos, but wasn’t sure how I would scrapbook them. Then as I was sorting through my supplies, I found a great stack of notecards that I wanted to use and the idea hit me. So I sketched out what I wanted to do. I put the sketch with the products I wanted to use. And guess what? That project was ready for me to scrapbook and I was excited to finish it. As soon as I printed my photos, everything fell right into place and I easily finished 3 scrapbook pages for this project.
3. Keep Your Scrapbook Kits Together
This last step is easy peasy! But first, I want you to take one last look at the supplies you’ve sorted into possible kits. Do you have enough or too much? The last thing you want to do is overwhelm yourself with a kit that has too many supplies. Less is more with scrapbook kits, so go through them one last time.
After you’ve finished reviewing the supplies, it’s time to store those kits in one location. I like to use 12×12 plastic paper file folders and label the kits. You can also use plastic 12×12 cases if you are sorting for a bigger project. Here are some of my favorite products that I use for storing kits and projects.
I also used one of the IKEA Antonius bins to organize supplies for my December Daily project. Since it was a larger project, I needed more space to give myself some supplies to work with. (Check out the pic below for an example.)
Also, when you keep your products together you need to store them somewhere you will easily look for them. Imagine when you sit down to scrapbook, you pull out a few of the files and look at your golden nugget of inspiration to get started.
A Quick Tip for Larger Projects
If you plan to work on a specific project, put together your scrapbook kit ahead of time. Go through your supplies and pull everything that you think you might use. Then, sit down with those supplies and go through the 3 simple steps above.
Organize the supplies and start to look for the products that coordinate. Then give your supplies a purpose – you are pretty much done with that step since you already have the purpose of the project. If it’s a big project think about limiting some of your supplies further or creating separate mini kits for certain pages to help avoid feeling overwhelmed. Last, you want to keep it all together. Find a bin, folder, or case to hold all of your supplies so it’s easy to find and use when you start scrapbooking.
This method is exactly what I did with my December Daily 2017 project. I pulled all my Christmas supplies. I looked through the products I had and started to take out the items I didn’t think I would use. For example, I had three sets of Project Life value kits and each had double cards and die-cuts. I laid them all out and pulled out the ones I liked and added them to my December Daily bin to use for the project. Then I put the kit together in my IKEA Antonius bin, stored it in a place near where I always sit, and it was ready to use.
Time to Use Up Your Scrapbook Supplies Stash
There’s one final thing I want you to remember. You’ve got to actually scrapbook! Don’t create these kits and leave them on the shelf – you’ve got to use them! Creating your own kits will be a way for you to turn your beautiful supplies into finished projects. If you need some tips and help on how to make a Quick Scrapbook Layout, check out these 4 steps on how was able to make a 12×12 layout quickly.
Please do not let making scrapbook kits turn you into a supply sorter instead of a project maker. Do what works best for you and do a little at a time. Remind yourself why you are sorting the product by giving it a purpose and keeping it together. It’s all so you can easily sit down and work on a project and finish it.
Don’t forget, you can also use the Scrapbook Layout Sketch & Planning worksheet anytime. It’s available in my FREE Resource Library that I create for subscribers to my newsletter.
I hope you give it a try and create your own scrapbook kits. Let me know in the comments what you think!
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And don’t forget, lead your best creative life today 🙂
That picture looks like some piles in my room right now!
Those piles are so intimidating! But imagine what you will find in them?? Probably a lot of things you can’t wait to scrapbook baby Luke! You should start sorting now before the trip.
Kathy Kirby says
I have been doing this for years…I have books (in progress) for each of my grandchildren, a dance album for my granddaughter, travel albums for myself and a family heritage album…each has a plastic bin into which I put specific papers and memorabilia… in addition I separate the year into seasons, with each having its own bin…all other papers are stored by color…it makes getting ready for my
bi-annual scraps a snap….
Am wanting to start an ongoing album for each of my granddaughters and I see you are doing that. How do you work it? Do you do a page per year or similar or just whenever you get a photo that you love?
I hope you don’t mind me asking, I’m fairly new at scrapbooking and am looking for ideas!
Juanita Nelson says
Thanks this information was very helpful. I can’t wait to go home and create my kits 🙂
Mary Jo says
I worked on 1600 photos by the time our state was open after Covid19. ( 9 albums)
I had over 150 layouts ready to use
Of course, my husband was at our cabin in Northern Michigan
Crafty Julie says
This is amazing! I’m so glad you were able to accomplish so much!
This is exactly the project that I was workibg on before life got so crazy! I have a bunch of packets made – some in zip-lock bags and some in an accordian folder. This sure makes scrapbooking so many pictures not so daunting of a task!
Thank you for reminding me to get back at it!
Thank you for the ideas, these are very smart. I am a newbie and have purchased a bit, but actually crafting or scrapping? Not so much LOL This is an easy way to start without any overwhelm.
Anne Andrew says
Thanks for the tips Julie. This made me want to figure out a few projects to put together and work my way through my stacks of paper!
I’m on it this afternoon….thanks!!!!