Do you have albums you’ve started but never finished, or some you’ve never started but still would like to complete? Want to finish them this month?
Wouldn’t that be AMAZING!?
You can do it, if you employ a speed technique called Power Layouts.
I first tried this method when I had a toddler who took 90-minute naps. I hadn’t been creating scrapbooks very long, and I was S-L-O-W.
The first day during my son’s naptime, I used the Power Layouts system to lay out 15 pages. When he awakened, I stacked them in order, ready for the next block of time to work. The next day, I was so excited about the progress I had made already that I could hardly wait for my son to fall asleep. During that nap, I stuck the photos and memorabilia to the pages and wrote down the stories that went along with the photos.
I had completed 15 pages, start to finish. Now we were getting somewhere!
Soon, I was cranking out albums. Then, I started teaching others who were ready to make some strides with their albums.
The Power Layouts concept batches page-assembly activities together. First we start with photos. Next we deal with paper. Third we find our embellishments. Then we stick it down and add journaling.
Let’s go through it step-by-step.
You can set up your work space with blank album pages, cardboard inserts or anything else that mimics a page the size you plan to use. I generally take blank pages out of my 12×12 album and work on top of those. I lay them on the table, grouping two of them so they touch along the inside edges. I also put my trimmer, adhesive and pen on the table nearby. The idea is to work through the process quickly, and you need everything within easy reach.
1. Collect all of the photos you think you want to use. Which of them do you want to put on the first and second pages? Toss those on the table together. Make another pile for the third and fourth pages. Go ahead, put those on the pages that are space-holders for pages 3 and 4. Repeat for each subsequent set of pages that you have laid out on the table.
2. Go back to the first pages and crop (cut) your photos into shapes that enhance the photos. Got an extra inch of background or nonessential space that you can lop off and make more room on the page? Use your straight trimmer to make the cuts. Trim the rest of the photos that need it. Work quickly.
3. Go back to the first pages again, and this time, see if any photos need to be moved to a different page or space. Move them around until you’re content with the layout and number of photos per page. Repeat for the remainder of the pages. Be sure to allot some space for you to write captions and stories under the photos or somewhere on the page later.
4. Now, assess your project as it’s laid out in front of you, as a whole. Take a look at the photo mounting paper you have on hand. What fits your project? Select colors and designs that enhance the photos on the page. Starting with the first page, select a sheet and slide it under the photos you already have resting on the pages. Move ahead to the next page, and the next. You can use borders or smaller pieces of paper if you don’t want to use full sheets on each page. It’s up to you! The goal, however, is not to get bogged down in decisions. Make one, and move on.
5. Do you want to use any embellishments, such as stickers? If so, this is the time to decide which of those to use. Again, begin with the first pair of pages, and move through the whole project in order, selecting embellishments and dropping them on the pages. Don’t adhere them, just lay them on the page loosely.
6. Once you’re satisfied with these steps, it’s time to bring out the adhesive. Stick down one element at a time. Once you’ve adhered a page that will be on the right side of your album, remember to flip the page over and transfer the loose elements lying on the next page to the BACK side of that completed page. Otherwise you’ll have gaps.
7. It’s time to journal. This often is what stumps people. It’s also what gives the book its meaning. The stories need to be told. So to get started, think of it this way – if you were holding these pictures in your hands and telling me what was going on, what would you say? Write that down.
These steps revolutionized my album making. I think I would have given up on scrapbooking if someone hadn’t shown me this technique so that I could complete pages faster. I even use the concept with my digital books sometimes, too – starting with blank pages, dragging photos to each one, then placing paper behind them all, and adding embellishments and journaling.
Which album would you like to have done when you wake up tomorrow? Start using this method today, and see how much you can accomplish. I look forward to hearing how it works for you!
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