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Paula’s on vacation, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t hopping over here at Live.Scrap.Repeat! Miss G. was kind enough to allow me to hijack her blog for the day, sharing one of my favorite topics with you – how to scrapbook faster.
Yeah, yeah, I know. You don’t scrapbook for speed. You scrapbook for love, baby! I’m with you – but at the same time, I have three young children and five hundred loads of laundry just waiting to be done, so if I can scrapbook a little more quickly, hey, why not? In fact, I rarely spend more than 30 minutes on a layout. This layout in particular was created in 28 minutes, including an interruption from the husband to talk to the mortgage broker, an interruption from child #2 to help her on her math homework, and an interruption from child #3 for a hug and a kiss.

So here are some of my tips to make your scrapbooking more fun, fast, and fabulous:
  1. Know where you like to start. Pay attention when you scrapbook to see where you like to start. Do you typically pull a photo first? Do you like to start with a story? Or is it easier for you to start with product and then find a photo and story to match? Whatever your natural style is, if you go with it instead of fighting it, it will make life easier. With this page, I started with the photo. That drove my product choices and journaling.
  2. Choose coordinated products. I hate the matchy-matchy Garanimals look, and I love to mix and match products and manufacturers, but if speed is your main concern, stick with a single product line and then you don’t have to worry about digging up complementary colors. For my layout, I picked A Walk in the Park by Echo Park.
  3. Stick to it. SOME scrapbookers (and I’m not naming any names, but you know who you are!) fiddle around, placing, re-placing, moving and removing page elements before they finally stick something down. They’re more commitment-phobic than George Clooney! But I’ve found if I just glue something already, I’ll make it work. On my page, I stuck down the blue patterned paper in the background and worked everything else around it.
  4. Think in threes. When in doubt about how many of something (buttons, brads, flowers, etc.) to use, use three. It works.
  5. Pick one accent color. With the patterned paper I selected I could have chosen to use any number of accent colors – green, orange, blue, teal, maroon, yellow… but I wanted to speed things up and keep it easy and clean, so I went with one – orange. It makes the page look unified, and I save a lot of time not digging around for fourteen different colors of brads, or trying to decide if the title should be green or orange or brown. Repeat after me: SIM-PLI-CI-TY. J
  6. Love it and leave it. You can always second-guess your work, wondering if a different patterned paper or brad or sticker would have been better. Maybe it would have, but who knows? And who really cares? We’re not after perfection here, we’re after DONE. So move along, folks. If you want perfection, take up diamond-cutting or manuscript illumination.
Lain Ehmann is a blogger (and scrapbooker) who dedicates herself to educating and liberating scrapbookers via online inspiration, education, and fun. For a copy of her latest Scrapbooking Q&A audio, visit her at