Think Inside the Box

think inside the box

“Thinking outside the box” means being more creative, right? Thinking beyond what is expected… a new way… a different perspective… no limits…

Well, it’s scary outside of that box.

There are so many choices, techniques and styles. Starting a scrapbooking project can be overwhelming, and thinking about the limitless options actually stops me from being creative. I just don’t know where to start.

I work better when I have parameters – like a school assignment where there are guidelines to follow and a deadline to meet. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, but I get more creative when I think inside the box. I no longer feel that “pressure” to think of something new and different, and I have a starting point. I like my box! :)

So for all you fellow scrapbookers (introverts?) out there who get overwhelmed when starting a page or album, try limiting your choices. Either take away something from the equation or pick one thing for the primary focus. Then see how creative you can get within those parameters.

Some suggestions:



Paper: Use all white cardstock for your backgrounds.

Fonts: Pick only two or three fonts to use throughout the album. See The Art of Combining Fonts and 10 Great Typeface Pairings for great ideas.

Embellishments: Focus on a specific product or type of product – stamps, washi tape, letter stickers, wood, glitter, etc.



Sketches: Pick three or four of your favorite sketches and use those throughout the album. Life on Lee Avenue’s Week in the Life album is a fantastic example of this.

Elements: Pick one design element – photo, story, a technique – and focus on it. Got an amazing photo? Enlarge it and use it as the focal point. Is your story the amazing part? Focus on typography. Want to try a new technique? Think of the page as an art journal.

Shapes & Colors: Focus on a particular shape or a particular color.

Inspiration: Find something to use as inspiration – a poster, an object, a magazine layout, etc. I have a Pinterest board for gathering things that inspire me.



Challenges: Scrapbooking message boards and kit clubs often have a variety of challenges posted. Studio Calico has a weekly challenge on their blog, and has a forum for challenges.

Project Runway: Project Runway (and Under the Gunn) has some interesting challenges. Yes, it’s a show about fashion design, but some of those can be translated into scrapbooking. Examples: steampunk, unconventional materials (candy, grocery store, florist), art museum.

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the choices, or want to be more creative and unique but can’t get started, try thinking inside the box!

  • nickledavey

    I’m finding using pocket page cards does this for me. I am usually a lot more creative but it’s freeing to mix it up and use some pocket pages mixed in with my normal layouts. :-)

    Also have you recently changed your blog’s masthead & layout?

    It’s really lovely!

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Yes, thank you! :)

      And I like the pocket pages, too. They are lots of fun!