Monday, April 19, 2010
Got Scrapper's Block? 20 Tips to Get Through It
Everyone gets it at one point or another. Sometimes it lasts a week or two. Sometimes it lasts for months. You sit down to scrap a page and bam! No ideas. No motivation. Not a single creative thought is running through your brain.
What to do?
I went over to the Scrapbook.com community forums and asked for ideas on dealing with this affliction. I got a ton of great tips that I'm sharing with you now.
1. Scroll through online galleries. There are literally hundreds (thousands?) of scrapbooking websites. Just google "scrapbooking" and you'll see what I mean.
2. Print out some sketches. You can buy sketch magazines at a craft store or find them free online. My blog has a Fabulous Friday Sketch every week. You can also click through the long list of free sketch sites on my side bar.
3. Flip through scrapbooking magazines. Old or new, they're full of inspiration and layout ideas.
4. Flip through a non-scrapbooking magazine. Look at the ads for layout inspiration. Look at how the stories are set up. You can get inspiration just by thinking outside the box.
5. Visit scrapbooking blogs. Most bloggers post a link to their blog in their signature on scrapbooking forums. Another way to find them is to go to Google Blog Search and type 'scrapbooking' in the search box. Voila!
6. Visit YouTube for videos featuring ideas, techniques and tutorials.
7. Start an idea journal. Keep a notebook in your purse to write down ideas and inspiration when it hits. Draw sketches, doodle and jot down your journaling ideas.
8. Organize your scrap area. I mean really purge. If you haven't used that paper or stickers you bought in 2004, you probably never will. Sell it on ebay, Etsy, Craigslist, plan a yard sale or donate it. Whenever I organize my area I always stumble on treasures I forgot I had. Challenge yourself to use a forgotten embellishment on your next layout.
9. Shop. Give yourself a budget so you only buy a few small items. Buy a pack of flowers, a couple of bottles of Stickles or a versatile border punch. Pick up something you can use on more than one project.
10. Take a class. Learn a new technique or get someone else's take on an old technique. Make a project just for the heck of it.
11. Make a card or paper piecing. RAK a friend with your newest creation. Don't know how to paper piece? See my Paper Piecing Tutorial.
12. Join an online challenge. Just about every scrapbooking website I've visited has a challenge forum. Some challenges are easier than others. Choose the one that fits your style and inspires you to try something new.
13. Scrap a photo you don't like. Go through your collection of photos and choose something that you've skipped over in the past. Take your time and be creative. If the photo is less than perfect, have some fun with the special effects available in your photo imaging program and turn it into something unusual.
14. Create a smaller layout. Make a mini album using 6x6 or 8x8 pages. A few fast and easy layouts should get your creative juices flowing in no time.
15. Walk away from your layout. If you're stuck, start another project or head to bed. Come back to your layout in a day or two after you've given your brain a rest.
16. Plan a layout before you take your photos. Then go forth and photograph!
17. Scrap from a kit that includes everything you need - paper, embellishments, alpha stickers and an idea sheet. All you have to do is add your photos - no thinking involved.
18. Head to a crop. Put together a few page kits that include a variety of papers and embellishments that match your photos. Pack your basic tools and a few favorites (such as punches, eyelet setter, etc). Challenge yourself to use only what you brought.
19. Scrap a layout without photos. Journal in your own handwriting.
20. If all else fails, take a much needed break. Put your supplies away. Concentrate on another hobby, sign up for a non-scrapbooking class, spend more time with your husband/boyfriend, the kids and your friends. There's nothing wrong with saying "I need a break." You'll know when you're ready to scrap again.