Monday, September 28, 2009

One Sketch. Five Layouts

I did this as a demo at the last Scrap-a-palooza and thought I would share it with my blog readers too! :) If you've never been to a Scrap-a-palooza event you wouldn't believe the demo production. I stand at a table in front of a camera and the whole demo is shown on a huge screen, and by huge I mean like movie screen huge. No one has to get up from their seats or fight for a good spot to see the action. It's a pretty cool little production.

Moving on...I tend to ramble.

I believe that sketches are one of the best tools a scrapbooker can have in their stash. Not only are they great for beginners as a good starting point for diving into this hobby but they are also very useful for the advanced scrapbooker as well. I know I've had those days when my creative flow is borderline drought. We all get stuck from time to time and sketches can be a great jump start to get those wheels a turnin'. A believe me, just because you use sketches doesn't mean you aren't creative!

What I'm going to show you in this post is how to get the most out of each sketch you use. I took one sketch and created five, yup I said five, completely different layouts.

This is the sketch that I'm using as the base, the starting point and my inspiration for each layout.
• Found in Sketches for Scrapbooking, Volume 4 by Debbie Sanders a.k.a. Mom and Allison Davis a.k.a me.

Our sketches differ from ones you might see in magazines because we include the photo sizes and the measurements of the papers. There is also a key along the bottom for help when it comes to picking what papers to use. Like stripe, large pattern, small pattern, accent cardstock, etc.

Sketch Variation #1 - Direct copy
"Me and My Boys"

On this layout I followed the sketch exactly as it is seen. All the pictures, the papers, the flowers, the title, and the journaling are placed exactly as they are on the sketch and I used the same measurements for everything just as they are on the sketch. The only extra I added were a few butterflies.

Sketch Variation #2 - Altering a sketch to fit a theme
"Front Yard Splashin'"

Now let's say that you really like the photo placement and the paper design of a sketch but you don't like the flowers. On this layout I easily adapted the sketch to fit the theme of my layout by substituting the large water splashes in place of the flowers.

Another thing to note is that instead of using the suggested torn strip across the bottom of the page I opted for a funky scallop strip. I also had a lot more journaling on this page so I used a bigger journaling block in place of the 3 x 3 block suggested on the sketch.

Sketch Variation #3 - Using different photo sizes.
"Junior Guitar Hero"

For this one, let's pretend that you don't have the right photo sizes or the pictures you have doesn't allow for cropping. Don't worry, you can still use the same sketch! I didn't want to crop my pictures down to 3 x 3 because I would have been cropping off most of the guitar (which is the whole theme of the layout). Instead I left the picture on the left page as a 4 x 6 and then cropped the two on the right page down to 3 x 6. I still have a 6 x 6 photo block on the right page, they are just cropped differently. I also added a 3 x 3 picture on the left page.

As far as the design, I again adapted this to fit my theme and instead of using flowers I created flames with paper and added some guitars and stitching. For the journaling this time I used strips instead of a block. It's little variations like that that can completely change the look!

Sketch Variation #4 - Flipping the sketch
"Celebrating Four"

For a completely different look you can always try flipping the sketch around. On my layout I switched sides and created a layout that is a mirror image of the original sketch. I also added in more photos. I kept the 3 x 3 block of photos the same but on the other page I used two horizontal 3 x 6 photos.

Along the strip on the bottom I used half circles to create a big scallop edge. Instead of flowers I made balloons with three different sized circles layered and pop dotted for dimension.

Sketch Variation #5 - Turning the sketch upside down.
"Too Cute to Spook"

On the last layout I flipped the sketch upside down. Again I added more pictures and used different sizes. I kept the same 3 x 3 photo block on one page and then on the other used two vertical 3 x 6 photos and "stretched" the papers to fit.

For the strip across the top I cut the cute little squares out of patterned paper and then pop dotted some for dimension. There is no way flowers would work on this layout so I opted for spiders dropping down from the top of the page. (This would also work great for a Christmas layout with ornaments hanging down.)

Trust me, any sketch can be switched, flipped and altered to fit your own taste or theme. It's just about adding your own style. I made each of these from the same sketch yet none of them look the same. Neither has the same theme nor do they even follow the sketch exactly (aside from the first one.) 

Here's a little guide for making a sketch fit you:
• Instead of using a large photo suggested on a sketch, crop several photos down and create a photo block. Example: Say the sketch says to use a 5 x 7. Try using a four 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 photos or two 2 1/2 x 7 photos.
• You can always add more photos by "stretching" the sketch. Extend the papers and move the embellishments over to create more room for more photos.
• Switch up the journaling "blocks". Try journaling strips, a pre-made journaling block, a stamped journaling block, etc.
• Change the look by adding scallops, torn edged paper, or blocks of paper instead of a solid strip.
• Don't be afraid to use a girly themed sketch for a boy. Those flowers can always be changed into stars or frogs or whatever you want them to be.

Hopefully now you'll look at a sketch and see endless possibilities! :)


Allison said...

These are great! THanks! Love that little hat in the top layout. Crazy cute.

Sharon said...

Allison, I have been singing the praises far and wide for your sketch books. I just got back from a girls scrapping weekend and I used your sketches. I turned out more pages than anyone and they were all asking for my "secret"!! i love using the same sketch multiple times too - nobody even realizes it even if they look at the pages together.

Gloria Hill said...

I have and use your Sketch Books (the Card Sketches by Stacey, too). Since I am a very "visual learner", this blog entry was made-to-order for me! Thanks so much for sharing the 5 layout options - each of them are great!

And your boys make really cute subject matter. :o)

Tasha said...

Love this post! I do this all the time with sketches. TFS!

Kim M said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, I am definitely going to use it for my October month in review layout. I just love it. Gotta order that sketch book, it looks fab!

Anonymous said...

Yea!!! 5 layouts. I have anxiously awaited more layouts from you. I know you are sooooooo busy. Thanks!

Linda from KS

Anonymous said...

Your pages and sketches are so amazing! I love how organized, creative, and clean-looking they are. The pictures are always the main focus. Thanks for sharing!

Luv2talk said...

TOTALLY AWESOME! I want the book! :)

dawn said...


Hello, YEAH!! New layouts that are GREAT! I love all these ideas especially the balloons. I'm going to use this idea at my next crop. All your pages look so simple yet tell the whole story. Thanks for sharing during this busy time. Thanks for answering my last question about Drew going to Pre-K. Have a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

Allison, I love love love your sketch books! I bought #3 at the CK convention in Tulsa. And I took all 3 books to a scrapbook retreat this past weekend. I used several sketches. Now all I need is #4. I do believe it will be on my Christmas list! I really appreciate all your hard work. Thanks for making it so easy for the rest of us.


Nicole Renee said...

Love all these great layouts, they are stunning. Now I want to scrap!