Hi there! Welcome to day two of easy summer scrapbooking! Today I want to share a topic with you that is near and dear to me: sketches. It might sound funny to read that, but it's true. I absolutely love sketches. In fact, one of the first items I purchased when I started scrapbooking was a graph paper notebook. I have had that same notebook for almost four years now and it is filled to the brim with sketches and layout ideas (so much so that last year I had to buy a new notebook). I need to visualize my layouts before I get started and sketches help me do that by giving me an idea of where I will place my photos, title and journaling before I start cutting-up paper. After the basic foundation of the design is laid out, I let the photos and the story be my guide when choosing papers, embellishments and their placement.
Now, I realize that not everyone’s brain works the way mine does. Maybe you don't need to "see" a layout in your mind before you get started. But even if you don’t use a sketch for every layout, I do think there are times when sketches can be a helpful time-saving tool. If you don’t typically use sketches when scrapbooking consider some ways that sketches might be useful to you.
- Save time by pre-determining your layout design.
- Take the guesswork out of designing mini-albums or cards (or any project where you have lots of pages or items to produce).
- Help you if you are in a creative slump or need motivation.
- Help you to break out of a creative rut; try using a sketch that is different from your normal style to push your creativity.
Before we go any further, I want you to keep this in mind too: sketches are not meant to limit your creativity. Using a sketch does not mean that you are not being creative! You don’t have to stick to a sketch exactly - unless you want to. Finally, you can always alter a sketch to suit your needs and style. You’ll notice as you read this post, that all of my sketches are very basic. They include only the photos, title and journaling; it is a completely subjective preference on my part. The reason I prefer basic sketches is that they allow me a lot of freedom to be creative later on while making my layout. Remember, sketches simply help to kick-start your creativity or lay a foundation for you. The rest is up to you!
For today’s post I created three sketches to share with you. As I said above, I still sketch my designs in a graph paper notebook so fellow WCS team member Celeste Smith kindly volunteered to convert my sketches both into the digital versions you’ll see below and into digital templates for you to download. Thank you Celeste!
The first sketch is for an 8.5x11 layout. It features one large 5x7 photo with two smaller detail photos:
Here is the layout that Celeste made using this sketch:
Digital Kit: The Reason Why by Kristin Cronin Barrow & Meghan Mullens (Sweet Shoppe Designs)
Isn’t that layout adorable? I love the colors and it makes me long for fall’s cooler weather.
Next in line is this 12x12 sketch:
And here is the layout I made:
Notice that I rotated one of the 3x4 photos. I also very slightly shifted the design upwards to make room for my patterned paper strips. Minor changes I’ll admit, but they are small examples of how to alter a sketch to suit your needs for a given layout.
Last up is an 8.5x11 spread made by Erin Sweeney. Erin found using a sketch, particularly for this two-page spread, very helpful since she admitted that she often has a hard time coming up with designs that include a lot of photos:
Here is the sketch she worked from:
You can download the digital templates for each sketch below:
To end today, I want to remind you of part of the WCS philosophy that there is no right way to scrapbook. I don’t think that everyone should use sketches, even if I happen to love them. I also don’t think that scrapbooking your memories has to be difficult or take a lot of time. Let sketches do a little of the work for you by taking the guesswork out of the design process so that you can spend more time enjoying these last few days of summer. After all, they’ll be gone before we know it!
If you make a layout using the sketches I’ve shared today add it to the WCS Flickr Gallery for all to enjoy, we’d love to see what you create!