Scrapbooking Without Products

I’m a minimalist scrapbooker, so the words and photos have always been my main focus.

Earlier this year I paused my digital kit subscriptions, partly because of COVID and the nose-diving Australian dollar (it got as low as 58 cents to the US dollar in March) and partly because I felt like I had enough stuff for now. I also design for my own shop ( so I have plenty of supplies. (Digital scrapbooking supply hoarding is a thing – we can just hide it better).

I make these 8.5×11 pages monthly to document my 52 New Recipes in 2020 goal.

But looking through my recent pages, I’ve realized I’m using a lot less product on my pages, even for me. I am a big fan of the Coco Chanel quote “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”. When I am embellishing scrapbook pages, I usually take most of it back off . I just like it simple these days.

This digital TN page documents my working from home experience during COVID.

I know a lot of people really love filling their pages with product (and it’s the whole point of design teams really) but I’m just as happy with a photo, a title and some words. I love knowing I can still scrapbook with nothing if it came to that. If there were no longer scrapbooking supplies (the horror!) I could still make pages.

I’m not recommending we ditch all of our pretty things, but sometimes a story doesn’t need a lot of stuff to go along with it. Sometimes our mind could just do with a break and reflecting that on a page feels calming. Or sometimes we just keep taking things back off the page until we are left with the bare bones of words and photos.

I found the Barbie logo text online and used it twice in this 8.5×11 page about my collection (the ‘Play’ word is from an Ali Edwards kit)

And yes, being a digital scrapbooker and designer gives me an advantage with the ‘no-products’ thing because I can do cool things with text and photos. But most of these ideas can be translated to paper scrapping with photos and your stamp stash or by printing titles you’ve made on the computer.

I wanted to document some feelings about life in 2020 so I made this grid to make the large photo a bit more interesting.
This is an 8.5×11 page about Mothers’ Day (the word ‘Family’ is from an Ali Edwards kit)

Thanks for reading! Shannan.

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  1. “words and photos have always been my main focus” This is so, SO me. I want my photos & the story they tell to be the focus of all my pages (who, what, where, when, why). I’m a hybrid scrapper (& oh my yes, digi hoarding can be a huge problem *cough*) & do all my scrapping as grid 8.5×11 layouts using mostly photos, journaling cards, & IF I add decor, it’s things like funny memes or ephemera of some kind or vintage Christmas cards & illustrations & things like that. I want it to fill a space but also go with the story on the page. And I love, love, LOVE your pages!

  2. Okay, this is so wrong – I’m supposed to be winnowing my stash but I want about 2/3 (or more!) of your shop!! Sigh. I think I will pick things I want/need most & buy them as rewards as I winnow both my physical space (books + stuff) & my digital supplies. My goal is to go into the pandemic winter in as cozy & clean/tidy space as I can manage. I had four years of multiple freak accident injuries, all to my knees/legs/ankles, which required long healing (followed by another freak accident) & physical therapy. I’m still recovering from them. And then I got COVID March 6 & became a lucky long-hauler which is a long way of saying, the house NEEDS deep cleaning & I can really justify giving myself treats as a reward for doing so! I’m so glad I spotted your post & discovered your shop.

    1. Oh Sarah sorry to hear all that – you’ve been having a time! Thanks so much for commenting. I am a ‘reward yourself’ person too 🙂 I just can’t do clutter in real life and on my pages and once I realized that I didn’t need to add a bunch of things to my pages I liked them much better. Good luck with your cozy + clean Winter.