How To-sday Layering on Layouts

Today's How To-sday comes to you from Guest Designer Charissa Miller. Chrissa shows us some tips on layering. This technique is a great way to start using some of your paper stash!

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In the past two months, I have finally discovered my scrapping style thanks to some awesome classes and some playing. I layer – a lot. I've had requests for some tips and tricks for how to layer, so here are some of my thoughts.

Okay that’s the mental part of layering, now the practical part. Cut your patterned paper into strips and smaller squares (2-4 inch range). I try to have a couple strips and at least one square of each pattern. Before you glue, lay everything out to give yourself a chance to move things around and find what you like.


Scrapbooking How To Layering 01

Here I have everything laid out before gluing. tip: snap a photo of this before gluing to refer back. I always mat my photos when I layer – I think the photo having a specific mat that sits atop all of the other layering makes sure the photo doesn't disappear among the layers. tip: ink all edges in either brown or black ink – it helps bring definition to the layers and bring everything together. Layers do not have to be all straight and square. In fact, having them more skewed/asymmetrical, etc gives interest to the layout. I find personally though that I like my photos to be pretty square- just easier for me to look at. I like doing layers that are thin and of varying heights. It looks great and gives a lot of depth without taking up a ton of room on a layout.

Scrapbooking How To Layering 02

This layout I did lots of little narrow layers, and they are all different heights so they stand out. tip: when you start adhering, keep your adhesive in about an inch from the edge of your paper. This allows you to come back and tuck additional layers in without having to lift pieces that are already attached. If you aren't sure about your layering – is it enough, it is too much – step back and take in the whole layout. Take a picture of it on your phone – you will be amazed the perspective you will gain seeing a picture of your layout.

Scrapbooking How To Layering 05

You can also work die-cuts and other embellishments (doilies, etc) into the layers just like you would a piece of patterned paper. tip: add elements with pop dots to add more interest.

tip: Paperclips, binder clips and the like can be used to appear to be holding together several layers – even if everything is glued down and you just stuck the clip on at the end. Things to try for making layers:

Scrapbooking How To Layering 03

Here I have the interoffice envelope holding a “tag” that pulls out with my journaling. Ribbon, seam binding, twine – can go under some layers, above others, tie around the entire layered area. Dimensional embellishments – brads, gems, enamel dots, wood veneer can all be added late in the process to add the last little touch of depth. Here are some finished layouts:

Scrapbooking How To Layering Finished Layouts

Layers can look complex. tip: some “white” space helps give your eye a break – that area may be misted or have other small, subtle embellishment but it helps keep the layout from being too crazy. There are lots of options to layering, every layout, some layouts, under photos, under journaling, one area of a layout or multiple areas of layouts. Just give it a go. tip: Start with a coordinating collection of papers and embellishments. As you get more comfortable start combining things on your own.

If I have learned anything from my two layering idols – Shimelle Laine and Jen Jockisch, it’s to just do it and quit over thinking. Hope this encourages you to try out layering on your projects!

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Charissa, thank you so much for sharing your technique. What a great way to dig into your paper stash. If you have an idea that you would like to share as a How To-sday tutorial, please send your photos and directions to Have a great day and be sure to stop by tomorrow for our Mid Week Mojo sketch – Amber #7!

Posted in: How To'sday Guest Designer Layout

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