After you have taken the pictures and you have chosen the layouts for those pictures, the next step in getting your baby’s first year pictures onto pages is picking the papers and embellishments. I don’t know about you, but I have quite a stash of scrapbooking papers and embellishments. “Stash” is probably an understatement for the grotesque amount of supplies spilling out of my craft area. There are so many cute options out there, and every time I step into a scrapbook store, I always seem to walk out with something I didn’t intend to buy, but just know I will use someday!
As easy as it is to find papers when I’m not looking, I have great difficulty finding just the right papers for very special projects, like baby books and my wedding album. It’s like I freeze up!
I have learned a trick or two when it comes to picking out papers for big projects. Hopefully this will save you some headaches!
Buy Coordinating Packs:
I was very lucky a couple of years ago and found this Debbie Mumm pack at JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store. It had a lot of coordinating papers in bright, fun colors. The great thing about buying a paper stack is that the coordinating is done for you. Each of these pages are unique yet they all match, giving the pages the Baby Book feel I was looking for.
Buy the coordinating embellishments:
Hanging above this pack at the store were packages of embellishments to match. I know that matching embellishments can be pricey, but even the smallest ones add so much to your page. In the above picture I used two small 3D stickers along with a circle denoting her month. Using them this way took something small and gave it a larger presence. Plus, it took these papers that, although they coordinated, did not have any bugs or butterflies on them and made them feel more cohesive. The pre-made embellishments are cute and save you a lot of time, so invest a little money on them.
Buy Solids to Match the Pack:
A coordinated pack of patterned paper alone will not be enough to complete your pages. You will also need solid papers that match to use as either the base paper or to matte your pictures. So, when purchasing your papers, but LOTS of coordinating solids. In my opinion, you can’t buy too many solid colors, because even if you don’t use them in this project, you will in a future one.
Although I did my best to stretch this pack out, I still found myself scrambling for papers to match. Luckily, I had purchased a number of solid papers to use with this pack that helped me make all the pages work. But as you can see from the page above, I had one layout that really didn’t match. I was out of patterned paper…and ideas! I had already chosen the layout and printed the pictures, and since I printed the pictures in Sepia, I really liked how they looked with this brown polka dot paper. So, I broke my own rules and created this layout without the matching papers or embellishments. (The background paper did coordinate, so I didn’t give up completely!) It is one of my favorites from the whole project…partially due to the pictures! Daddy didn’t realize he had put her older sister’s pajamas on her until she was basically walking out of them! Too cute!
Make Your Own Embellishments:
Here is one of my favorite tricks…Fake Chipboard! I love chipboard as much as the next person, but adding paper to it is a little time consuming, and when you are trying to bang out 12 pages, who has time for that? So here is my little trick. Using a machine like a Cricut, cut out your letters, like I did in the picture below – 10 (I also used this trick on her 5 Months page that you can see HERE.) Now repeat the cutting process several times cutting out the same letters. Glue and stack them until you get thick letters resembling chipboard. I tied a piece of ribbon around the zero to really show the 3D effect.
There are lots of self-made embellishments that you can make to spice up your pages. Use your Cricut to cut out flowers, layer them and add ribbon or a brad, like I did on the 4 Months page. Or cut a rectangle, round the corners, add a foam square underneath and some polka dots with a marker and you have a bandage embellishment.
Buy Ribbon and Buttons to Match:
When purchasing your papers, don’t forget ribbon. Buy lots and lots of ribbon! I try to find solid ribbon to match the solid papers, so that it looks like they came together. I do the same with buttons, brads and other embellishments. Ribbon can be used in so many different ways and add little touches that can make a huge impact. Tie bows, weave between buttons, or use as a divider between papers. You can adhere it down straight, or ruffle it like I did below.
This ruffle effect was made with adhesive backed ribbon (though you could use normal ribbon and glue dots.) Pinch the ribbon every couple of inches, then lay it down in one direction when you place it in the protective sleeve.
I hope this three part series has helped to motivate you to get your baby’s pictures onto paper! If you missed the previous posts , you can find Part One: Taking the Pictures HERE and Part Two: Choosing Layouts HERE. Please leave me any questions or comments below and I will be sure to answer them. Happy Scrapping!