Scrapbook Ideas for the Art of Cropping.

Here are a few scrapbook ideas about cropping. Scrapbooking is an industry that is booming with magazines, idea books, etc. Many scrapbookers find themselves wondering what to do with all of them. Should you keep them all intact or should you cut them up? That is the question. After spending all the money on subscriptions and idea books, wouldn't you like to get the most out of your money and find a way to make the most of all those piles of magazines? After all, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips, but if your idea books are scattered all over your house or piling up a stacks, how can you use them effectively?

Three camps emerge when this discussion comes up: those who believes you should keep them intact, those who cut them up and file them away, and the third camp (where my office seems to be at the moment) those who pile them up, because they had to have it, but haven't found time to read it or do anything with it.

Camp Keep Them Intact

The first camp is the purist camp and likes to keep their magazines intact. There are many reasons for doing this. Perhaps they like all the complete magazines all lined up or perhaps they feel that their tastes might change over time.

So, if you decide Camp Keep Them Intact is for you, well then, how do you find all the neat ideas that you have seen in the magazines over the years? There are about as many methods to organize as there are magazines out there.

ORGANIZE: First gather all your magazines by title and then sort them into years by the publication. Place them into magazine holders. I can usually fit 10 issues or so in one holder. You could then make labels for each magazine on the front of the holder for quick viewing.

What about annual magazines/books and miscellaneous idea books? Those can be further grouped together. For example, I usually put all my Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fames together. You could also put all your idea books by author together in one holder.

Many of the magazines even offer cool binders that you can hook all your complete magazines into that show their logo and the year or publication. Or, if you like the look of binders over magazine holders, there are many places (like Wall-Mart and office supply stores) that carry plastic magazine hooks that you place through the center of your magazine that are three ring punched for you to store whole magazines in binders.

CATEGORIZE: So, now you have them all organized into magazine holders, but how do you find that adorable Valentine's spread you saw months ago with the cool tag? Here are a few methods:

POST-IT METHOD: Purchase those small flag Post-Its in bright colors and flag pages in your magazine with layouts you want to return to while you're reading it. I like to additionally jot a small identifying note on the flag so I can glance across the top of the magazine for what I want. Since the little flags come in many colors, you could go so far as to assign each color a generic theme, such as tags being green, techniques being red, photo ideas being yellow, and lettering are purple. Then when you went back for the Valentine's spread with a cute tag idea you could glance over all the green Post-Its.

INDEX METHOD: Another method is to create a list of layouts, articles, techniques within the magazine you want to refer to later as you read along and write the page number down on a piece of paper with a title and maybe a short description. Then either clip it to the front of that issue or inside the cover of the magazine. You could also make these notations in a notebook designated just for this purpose. Magazines also offer end of the year indexes which you could place with your lists to have a more extensive index of where things are in the magazines. You could make indexes by magazine title in your notebook, or you could make categories and jot down all the layouts/articles you see that fit into those categories into your notebooks as you read the magazine.


Then there is the camp that cuts their magazines up. The reason for this is usually a space issue. If you decide this is the camp for you, as your magazines are taking up more square footage than your scrap space, then the first thing you need to decide is how you are going to store all your cut up pages. Will you place them in plastic sleeves in folders, glue into a book, or another method?

Let's start with ways to keep your archive of scrapping magazine clippings organized.


PLASTIC SLEEVE METHOD: Archival page protectors are a mainstay in scrapbooking stashes and a good way to store whole pages clipped from magazines, as well as partial pages glue to another sheet of paper. The positives for this method include: you can see both sides of the page, you can take out only the page you need to a crop and use it, you can easily throw away clippings when they are no longer your style, and you can move them into other categories if you don't like your original method.

The only negative for this method really comes from the cost of purchasing all those sheet protectors.

GLUE THEM DOWN IN BOOKS: I love black hard bound books. You know, the ones used as journals or by artists. Something about bound black books all lined up just makes me feel so organized. I go so far as to attach little index tabs to sections in the books and glue my layout designs in categories. You can also jot yourself notes or draw layout sketches in the book next to your clippings. I also like doing these by year as styles change so quickly and with this method I always have the freshest, up to date layouts grouped together.

The negative is it is only one-sided. If you have a two sided clipping you can either stable the corner into the book or glue down just one side so you can still flip the page. Also, clippings are permanently affixed where you place them first, so no reorganizing or tossing out old styles is possible. You also have to take the whole book with you to crops.

FILE CARD METHOD: Like recipe cards we use for our favorite recipes to find them quick, many scrappers have used the same system for page layout ideas. Just cut out the layout or scrapbook idea and glue it to the card and file according to your system. A cool thing with this method is you can actually pull the idea card out and store it with your pictures until you scrap them. You could also do this method with a large Filofax and place each layout on a card. Filofaxes have index tabs you could use to distinguish your categories.

The negatives would be the size limitations as you could only use this method for small layout clippings. Also, spilling the box or Filofax would mean a lot of reorganizing.

CD ROM/HARD DRIVE METHOD: This is for the futuristic scrapper with space issues. This method would involve scanning them onto your computer and storing on CD-Roms. If you really want no paper trails, this is the one for you. Just like the way your organize the online ideas you collect , this method would be along the same lines. Subfolders can be made for categories on each CD. Rewritable CD's would allow you to add ideas until you fill a whole CD.

The negatives include a lot of time scanning and potential loss of data from computer crash or CD malfunction, i.e. scratched CD roms that will no longer play. This method, though saving a lot of paper, would require a lot of backing up on multiple mediums (hard drive and disks).

The next thing you will have to decide is how you are going to categorize the ideas.

Once you have picked your method of storing your clippings, now how will you categorize them? There are so many ways to categorize, but through trial and error you will find which one allows you the fastest/best access to ideas you have saved. Here are some subcategories:

TOPIC METHOD: Here you could sort by season, holiday, children, adult, birthday, or beach: general categories you see most layouts organized into on online scrapping sites. In fact, using those lists provided by the sites might be a good starting place for you.

TECHNIQUE/EMBELLISHMENT METHOD: This method would have you putting all the clippings (regardless of season or topic) into one section by embellishment or technique. Again, you can look at subsections on scrapping sites to get a feel for these categories. Examples would be tags, eyelets, fibers, paper tearing, or funkier techniques like shrink dinks.

PICTURES PER LAYOUT: Another subcategory could be by the amount of pictures on a layout. This would be similar to Becky Higgins' book, Creative Sketches, where you would place all layouts with 3, 4 , 5 or 10 pictures in a section, regardless of the theme or technique.

MANUFACTURER: Another way to categorize could be by manufacturer. This is a great place to put all the ads that companies place in the magazines using their products. I find that I see a lot of layouts with a product style and want to be able to reference them when I buy that product.

COLUMNS/ARTICLES: Layouts are not the only thing in articles -- consider also articles on techniques, journaling topics, and recurring columns in magazines, such as 3 layouts, 1 sketch, or the theme albums in Simple Scrapbooks. I like to make these a book of their own. If you have certain column you love, make a tab in your method for each column. Then as you read each magazine, you can cut it out and place it with the rest of the clippings from that column. It is really neat to have all those similar columns together for quick reference. You can also have sections for journaling ideas, theme books, and techniques (like metal embossing).

AD METHOD: Another thing you might not want to overlook is the ads. Many times I see an ad for an upcoming product, a new line, or just something I want to buy and then time goes by and you forget all about it. Try making a section in your method for products you want to purchase or new product releases to look for. Another thing I like to do is collect various web site information from articles and keep them all located in an area for reference.

BEYOND THE SCRAPPING MAGAZINE: As a final note, don't forget to look at your home decorating magazines and other magazines in terms of scrapbooking as well. Advertisers pay lots of money to professional graphic designers to have slick layouts made for their products, which can be easily scraplifted for your layouts. Be on the look out for picture placement, cool title ideas, color combos, quotes, and placement of embellishments. I add these clippings into my above categories just like my scrapping page ideas. Ideas can come from anywhere, not just scrapping magazines.

CAMP PILE THEM UP: (We won't go there.)

Whatever method you use, I think we all agree that unless you have some system, you may never look at some of your magazines twice. In today's society with all we already have on our minds, trying to remember where you saw something is stressful and frustrating. Creative juices can flow much more freely if you aren't stressed about trying to find a layout you remember seeing or article on how to use your latest toy. Try these scrapbook ideas to organize your cropping.
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