Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Easy Paper Piecings

Have you noticed what's old is new again? Die cuts and paper piecings have made a big comeback in the scrapbooking world. In the past, I never was a fan of the die cut machine. But lately, I find myself creating large embellishments as accents and backgrounds more and more.

With all the personal die cutting machines out there, it's easy to cut a variety of designs in all different sizes. But what if you don't have access to one? Well, here's one solution...use your scanner!

I wanted to make a bowling layout for a class I was teaching and was inspired by a small sheet of Pebbles stickers. I scanned the stickers and enlarged a portion of them to make a pattern for the bowling pin and starburst. I cut the bowling ball with my circle cutter and made the finger holes with a circle punch. What an easy paper piecing!

In this example, I scanned a flower-shaped sanding block and used it as a pattern for my title block. Fast and easy! (If you don't have a scanner, try using a copy machine).

Another solution to easy paper piecing is to use clip art for a pattern. The internet provides us with literally thousands of free images to use.

I created this baseball layout for a scraplift challenge last year. The pattern for the ball came from Microsoft Word Clip Art. I handstitched the threads in the ball with red floss and extended it off the top of the page. It makes a big a glance, you know what this page is about.

Digital elements and printables are another way to make custom embellishments for a hybrid layout. Because you can change the color and size of the item before printing, the possibilities are endless. A great website to visit is Jen Wilson Designs. She has taken some of the embellishments from the Laundry Line and other paper collections she has designed, and turned them into digital images. You can purchase these accessories for a small price to use over and over again. These journaling dials are some of my favorites:

So the next time you are in need of some inspiration, look around you! Perhaps you can enlarge your favorite flower embellishment that is too small or turn to your old tole painting books for ideas. If you have some creative ways to make inexpensive accessories, please post it here!

Happy Scrapping!

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