Friday, April 15, 2011

Using digital scrapbooking kits to design birth announcements

Our daughter is expecting a baby in about 2 weeks! 
(update: baby Eli Thomas was born on April 18th 2011, and what a cutie he is!
Click here to see him!) 

We are excited to be grandparents for the second time, no doubt about that!

A while ago she asked me to design a birth announcement for her. She wanted one that was gender neutral, and that she could send as an e-card, after her new-born photo shoot. She'll be getting professional photographs done, and they will be perfect for a birth announcement!
I hadn't really thought about designing birth announcements before, but this got me thinking.
It's not that different from designing a scrapbook page layout. The same principals for design apply. However, what's great about a smaller overall size, is it's a little more focused, with fewer embellishments.
It's not necessary to overload the page with elements, for the focal point should be the baby's picture!

I started off by designing one in brown and green.

And then another one. This one more green than brown.

I just love the bright colours in this one, and my DD did too! She chose this one, but not for a birth announcement, but as a promo card for her Etsy shop, Koole Knits.

These I started from scratch, making the "paper", scanning some ribbon, extracting parts from the ribbon, and so one. (except for the "flower", I had that one already)

Then I thought that I should use one of my favourite kits that I designed, "Snow Day" as the starting point. The colours are very appealing to me. I didn't have to use all the "snowy" elements or paper, some of the plain papers would look great. This kit has some fun elements, flowers and a tag I thought could be useful here.

So this is what I came up with.

If you've resisted purchasing themed, or holiday specific digital scrapbooking kits, because you want them to be more useful for everyday projects, there is a way to stretch their usefulness. Many of the elements or papers can be used over and over again in your everyday layouts, or projects.

This fits into the category of "thinking outside the box"!

4 things to look for:

1.   colour: Sometimes I'm attracted to a certain colour palette in a kit. This is a great place to start. It's not necessary to overlook the entire kit because of it's theme, if the colours are appealing to you.

2.    basic elements that can be used for many different layouts, like corners, stitches, buttons, staples. Really, anything in the kit that's not completely specific to a theme or holiday. In my "Snow Day" kit, I have several elements that don't have snow on them, journaling blocks, buttons, stitches, frames. They match the colour scheme, so they can be used in all kinds of layouts, especially if the colours are appealing to you. I used a few of them in designing some of my birth announcements

3.   plain or patterned paper: A lot of digital scrapbooking kits will usually have some solid papers, and patterns that would look great in any project. Depending on the palette you are working with for your own project, adding a complimentary, or analogous colour from another digital scrapbooking kit can look fabulous, and add visual interest.

4.   elements that can add some interest, they don't even have to "match", but just add a punch of colour, or a sense of "hmmm, that's interesting" Using elements in a new way, something that would be out of place normally, but may have a dual meaning to it.

Update: I have created a digital card making kit that has been quite popular.

Use your creativity, I'd love to hear about some of the ways my fellow scrapbookers have used their digital scrapbooking kits in different ways, and for different projects besides a scrapbook!

Thanks for stopping by,
Happy Scrapping!

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