Beginner Basics

25 Paper Techniques to Try

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cardstock and patterned paper are go-to supplies for scrapbooking. I love creating layouts just using paper. It's definitely not boring...and there are lots of creative options. Try these ideas:

  1. Create a border: Cut a strip approximately 1.5 to 2 inches wide out of cardstock or patterned paper. Layer a smaller piece of coordinating paper on top to add visual interest.
  2. Create a photo matte: Cut a piece of cardstock patterned paper that coordinates with your photo 1/2 inch larger than the dimensions of the photo itself. (ie: For a 4 x 6 photo cut a 4.5 x 6.5 matte. This will provide a 1/4 inch matte around all four sides.)
  3. Make a journaling box instead of writing directly on your page. You can draw lines on the box as writing guidelines, or place a piece of paper you have printed from your computer. Try a circle, oval, star or heart shape instead of a rectangle to add variety.
  4. Use a punch tool to punch out shapes — square, circle, flower, start, heart and 100’s more - from coordinating papers. Use them as-is for decorative page elements.
  5. Layer two or more punches on top of each other to create a custom element (ie: layer a small flower over a large one).
  6. Combine punched shapes to create cute icons or pictures, ie:bugs, animals, floral bunches.
  7. Line up basic punched shapes (square, circle) and add letter stickers to each shape to create a unique title.
  8. Use stencils to trace and cut out letters for your pages, or use a die-cut machine if you have access to one.
  9. Print your letters onto cardstock using your computer/printer. Cut out. Think of the fonts and sizes you';ll have access to!
  10. Draw your letters freehand onto solid or patterned paper and cut them out.
  11. Rip or tear the edges of cardstock or patterned paper to create texture and movement on your page.
  12. Try sanding cardstock for a distressed finish or aged-looking texture. This is especially effective with cardstock that has a different color “core”, as the sanding will reveal a different color.
  13. Make a tag: Cut out a rectangle. Trim the corners off on an angle (or use a corner rounder). Punch a hole in the top edge and thread a ribbon or string through it. Use for embellishments, photos or journaling.
  14. Run cardstock through computer to print journaling or clip art embellishments. Trim and add to your page.
  15. Cut a full piece of cardstock in half or into 2/3 – 1/3. Place one piece on each side of a two page layout to provide a simple background with repetition and continuity.
  16. Layer cut or ripped strips of cardstock to create a unique background.
  17. Use a full size sheet of patterned paper as a background page.
  18. Cut two or three coordinating patterned papers into shapes that will cover the entire page.
  19. Cut a skinny strip of patterned paper to cover the joint of two other papers– think of it as a paper ribbon.
  20. Cut out individual embellishments from a scrap of patterned paper (ie: a flower or shape) and use them repeatedly throughout your page.
  21. If your patterned paper has words on it, cut out individual words to use as titles, captions or accents.
  22. Make a patchwork background out of same-sized squares of coordinating patterend paper.
  23. Ink or paint edges of pages or mattes to create an aged look.
  24. Crumple a piece of paper, then flatten it out and adhere to page.This look can be enhanced even more by lightly sanding over the surface.
  25. Roll edges of torn paper over a bamboo dowel to get curled, aged look.
Get out that pile of paper and scraps and put them to good use!

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