How to Scrapbook with Kits (Pre-Made and DIY): Crafty Ass Female EP 204

Do you scrapbook with kits? On this week’s episode of the Crafty Ass Female podcast — the only feminist scrapbooking show on the planet — we discuss how essential scrapbook kits are to how we create. Carrie and Juli join me to share their experiences and highlight the benefits of kits, such as reducing decision fatigue and inspiring creativity while emphasizing the importance of finding what works for you (as always!).

Scroll down to the bottom for the Show Notes or click on the link to jump down there!

What are Scrapbook Kits?

Scrapbook kits are curated collections of coordinated supplies specifically designed for scrapbooking projects. They typically include various items such as patterned papers, cardstock, stickers, die-cuts, stamps, embellishments, etc. Kits are curated to ensure that all the components work well together, whether that’s color schemes, themes, or design styles.

There are two main types of scrapbook kits: pre-made kits and DIY kits.

  • Pre-made Kits: These kits are created by manufacturers or independent designers and are available in physical or digital formats. Pre-made kits come with coordinated supplies, often centered around a specific theme or design concept. Because everything is packaged together in a convenient bundle, it’s easy for scrapbookers to start their projects without extensive planning or searching around your studio for matching items.

Pre-made kits are popular because they save time and effort in preparation. They eliminate the need to gather and coordinate supplies individually, as the work has already been done for you. Pre-made kits often feature exclusive or limited-edition items, adding uniqueness to your scrapbooking projects.

  • DIY Kits: as the name suggests, DIY kits are kits you create yourself by selecting and coordinating supplies from your stash or various sources. These kits can be tailored to your preferences, themes, or color schemes. DIY kits are an excellent option for those who enjoy choosing and combining their supplies and for scrapbookers who want to use their existing materials.

Creating a DIY kit gives you more control over your supplies, ensuring you use supplies that line up with your creative desires. It can be fun and creative to browse through your collection and assemble a selection of papers, embellishments, and other elements that work well together for a particular project. Making DIY kits also allows for added flexibility and customization, as you can easily adjust the contents of your kit if your creative direction changes.

Both types of kits — pre-made kits and DIY kits — have great benefits. They provide a sense of cohesion and organization to the creative process, making it easier to start and complete projects. Kits also help to alleviate decision fatigue by narrowing down the choices and providing a curated set of supplies that work well together. This can be especially helpful for scrapbookers who feel overwhelmed by the abundance of available materials (whether in your studio/creative space or for purchase). Kits are also awesome for people who want help making decisions during the process.  

Ultimately, the choice between pre-made kits and DIY kits depends on personal preference, creative style, and the desired level of control and customization. Some people will enjoy the convenience and inspiration of pre-made kits, while others may prefer the flexibility and personal touch of creating their kits.

The Appeal of Scrapbook Kits:

In the episode, we all share our love for kits, highlighting the pros and cons. Juli praises the Everyday Explorers Mini Book Kits for their focused approach, providing a defined scope for her projects. These kits come with a pre-determined number of pages, encouraging her to tell specific stories without feeling overwhelmed by an expansive project. On the other hand, Carrie appreciates the coordination and cohesion that kits offer. By having someone else curate the supplies, she can rest assured that all the elements in the kit will match, saving her time and decision fatigue.

Here are a few more reasons why scrapbook kits are great

  1. Convenience: Kits offer convenience by providing a curated selection of supplies that are already coordinated and designed to work well together. This eliminates the need to search for items that match your color, theme, or style. With kits, everything is conveniently packaged and ready to use, making it easier and quicker to start a project.
  2. Coordinated Design: Kits often feature a cohesive design concept or theme, ensuring that all the elements within the kit harmonize. This coordination creates a visually appealing and skilled look in your projects. Because the papers, embellishments, and other components in the kit are carefully chosen to complement each other, you easily achieve a polished and cohesive finished project.
  3. Inspiration and Guidance: Kits often come with sample projects, ideas, or instructions that provide inspiration and guidance for scrapbookers. These resources can spark creativity and offer suggestions on how to use the kit’s components effectively. This is particularly beneficial for beginners or those who may feel overwhelmed by the blank canvas of a scrapbook page. Kits provide a starting point and inspiration, giving you the confidence to dive into your projects.
  4. Exclusive or Limited Edition Items: Many kits feature exclusive or limited-edition items unavailable individually or in other collections. This adds a sense of exclusivity and uniqueness to scrapbooking projects. It allows us to incorporate unique elements that can’t be easily replicated. Making these creations stand out and feel more special.
  5. Reduction of Decision Fatigue: The abundance of available scrapbooking supplies can sometimes lead to decision fatigue, where many of us feel overwhelmed by many choices. Kits alleviate this fatigue by narrowing down the options and providing a curated set of supplies. This simplifies the decision-making process and allows us to focus more on the creative aspects of our projects.
  6. Value for Money: Although they can have a higher price point, kits often provide good value, especially when purchasing individual supplies separately. Buying a kit can be more cost-effective than buying each item individually, as manufacturers often offer bundled pricing or discounts. This is an excellent way for us to stretch the budget without committing to purchasing full packs or sets.

The appeal of kits in scrapbooking lies in their convenience, coordinated design, inspiration, guidance, exclusivity, and value for money. They streamline the creative process, offer a curated selection of supplies, and provide a starting point for us to embark on our scrapbook projects confidently and creatively.

Easing the Scrapbooking Process with Kits:

Using kits can significantly streamline the scrapbooking process. Juli discusses using digital kits, emphasizing the ability to organize digital supplies into specific folders, making it easier to find and utilize them for different projects. This approach allows for flexibility in color coordination and customization, providing endless possibilities for personalization. 

On the other hand, Carrie finds comfort in keeping her kits intact, storing them in labeled containers to maintain organization. Although she acknowledges the potential downside of using only some of the supplies in a kit, she appreciates their convenience and cohesiveness.

Here are a few more ways in which scrapbook kits add ease to your process:

Kits play a significant role in easing the scrapbooking process in several ways:

  1. Time-Saving: Scrapbooking kits save valuable time by eliminating the need to search for and gather individual supplies. With a kit, everything is conveniently packaged together, ready to be used. This eliminates the time-consuming process of hunting for coordinating papers, embellishments, stickers, and other materials. We can focus our energy on designing and creating their layouts rather than spending time on supply organization.
  2. Coordinated Supplies: One of the primary benefits of scrapbooking kits is that they provide coordinated supplies. The papers, embellishments, and other elements within the kit are carefully selected to complement each other in color, pattern, and theme. This coordination eliminates the guesswork in finding matching or harmonious supplies, ensuring everything works together.
  3. Design Inspiration: Kits often include design inspiration, sample layouts, or project ideas. These resources provide inspiration and guidance on how to use the kit’s contents effectively. You can find different layouts, techniques, and ways to incorporate the provided materials. This design inspiration is particularly useful for beginners or those facing a creative block, as it jumpstarts creativity and gives us a starting point for our unique creations.
  4. Streamlined Design Process: By providing a cohesive set of supplies, kits streamline the design process. We can focus on arranging and layering the materials rather than worrying about how they will coordinate. This streamlining helps make design decisions more efficient, as you’re specifically limiting your options. This allows us to spend more time on the creative aspects of our projects and less time on decision-making.
  5. Consistency Across Projects: Using scrapbooking kits can help achieve consistency across multiple projects. Since kits often feature a specific theme, color scheme, or style, scrapbookers can create a series of layouts or albums with a cohesive look and feel. This consistency can be especially beneficial when creating themed albums, such as vacation scrapbooks or baby albums, where a unified aesthetic is desired. Kits provide the necessary materials to maintain that consistency, ensuring that all the pages flow together seamlessly.
  6. Access to Specialized or Hard-to-Find Supplies: Some scrapbooking kits include specialized or hard-to-find supplies that may not be readily available (or available at all outside of the kit). This can include unique embellishments, specialty papers, or exclusive designs. Through the kit, you’ll gain access to these items without needing to search extensively or purchase them separately on a third-party retailer like eBay or Etsy. This opens up new possibilities for creativity and allows for incorporating special elements into our scrapbooks.

Scrapbook kits ease the process by saving time, providing coordinated supplies, offering design inspiration, streamlining the design process, ensuring consistency across projects, and giving access to specialized or hard-to-find supplies. By simplifying the supply gathering and decision-making processes, kits allow us to focus on the creative aspects of our projects and achieve visually appealing and cohesive results more efficiently.

Embracing Personalization and Individual Preferences:

In the episode, I emphasize the importance of finding what works best for your own personal creative process. Not all systems or approaches to scrapbooking will resonate with everyone, so it’s essential to understand and adapt to what you want, instead of what you think you should want. Trying different methods and seeking guidance, whether through online communities like the ALP or creative mentors like me (come check out FSS Office Hours for the full spectrum of how I can help), can help you identify the approaches that align with your creative style.

  1. Flexibility in Kit Usage: Scrapbooking kits can be used in various ways to accommodate individual preferences. Some scrapbookers may use the entire kit as intended, following the provided design inspiration and incorporating all the included elements. Others may prefer to selectively pick and choose elements from the kit, combining them with their existing supplies. Kits offer the flexibility to adapt to different styles and preferences, allowing scrapbookers to create layouts that truly reflect their individuality.
  2. Mix and Match: While kits come with coordinated supplies, they can also be matched with other materials. We can easily incorporate elements from different kits or combine different kits with their papers, embellishments, and photos. This blending of materials can add a personal touch to your projects, allowing for greater creativity and customization. Combining elements from multiple sources allows us to create unique, personalized designs that reflect what we like in our projects. 
  3. Adding Personal Photos and Memorabilia: One of the most significant ways we personalize our projects is by adding photos and memorabilia. Kits often provide themed papers and embellishments so that you can grab whatever photos you have and create meaningful layouts. This allows us to tell our stories, capturing and preserving memories in a personalized and heartfelt way.
  4. Customization with Journaling: Journaling is an integral part of what we do, it allows us to document thoughts, feelings, and memories alongside the photos we’ve taken. Kits often include journaling cards or tags that can be used to write personal messages or captions. We can easily use the pre-designed journaling boxes or create our own journaling elements using coordinating papers and whatever else from the kit. 
  5. Embellishment and Technique Choices: Kits provide a variety of embellishments and often feature different techniques or design elements. There might be suggestions for using these elements on social media, blogs, and the ALP community. We can also explore our own preferences and creative techniques. You can use the embellishments right out of the box, alter them, or even sub them for some of your favorites in your stash. This freedom of choice allows us to tailor the design to our liking and incorporate the styles and techniques we are interested in.
  6. Theme and Style Adaptation: Scrapbooking kits often have specific themes or styles that can be adapted to suit your preferences. For example, if a kit has a vintage theme, a scrapbooker who prefers a more modern aesthetic can still incorporate the kit’s papers and elements while adding their twist. Likewise, if you have a kit with a particular theme like travel or sports, you can adapt the papers, embellishments, and other bits to your own stories.

Kits provide a great starting point for creativity and personalization. They offer flexibility in how you use them, allow for mixing and matching with other materials, and provide space for personal photos, memorabilia, and journaling. We can customize our layouts by incorporating the embellishments, techniques, and styles, that we are interested in the most. The result is a personalized and unique scrapbooking project that reflects your own stories, memories, and creative expression.

Scrapbook Kits Summary

Scrapbooking kits provide a convenient starting point for scrapbookers while also embracing personalization and individual preferences. Kits offer flexibility allowing us to either use the entire kit or selectively choose elements to combine with our existing supplies. Mixing and matching materials makes it easy to create unique and personalized designs that reflect who we are right now.

In addition, kits encourage simple personalization with your own photos and memorabilia. By adding in your own pictures and mementos, we infuse projects with their experiences and emotions, making them more meaningful and reflective of each of our styles.

Journaling is another way we can customize layouts made with kits. Whether using the provided journaling cards or creating our own, it’s simple to document thoughts, feelings, and memories alongside the photos. Making each page that much more personal.  

Kits also offer a variety of embellishments and techniques, allowing us to choose our preferred styles and approaches. It’s simple to use the provided embellishments as is, alter them, or even substitute them with something else you’re loving right now.  This freedom of choice enables us to tailor the design to our preferences, resulting in layouts reflecting who we are right now.  

Finally, kits can be adapted to different themes and styles. While a kit may have a specific theme, you can make it your own by incorporating personal stories, photos, and found items, that match your experiences and memories. This guarantees that every project we make as scrapbookers is wholly unique. 

Scrapbooking kits are a great starting point for creativity, offering convenience and coordination. However, they also encourage us to embrace personalization, enabling them to create layouts that genuinely reflect who we are. By incorporating personal photos, memorabilia, journaling, and preferred embellishments, we infuse our kit projects with our style, preferences, and stories, resulting in heartfelt and meaningful scrapbook pages.

Show Notes:

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Juli Asks — A Beginner Series

As I’m starting to build up my scrapbooking stash, I’m trying to navigate buying supplies that I will actually use and not just accumulating a bunch of product. I want to make my photos and stories the center of my projects, but of course I still want cute embellishments. Any advice so that I don’t get caught up in buying all the things?