Monday, March 25, 2013

Didn't your mama teach you to make do with what you have?

So I was working on a layout yesterday for an awesome weekly "case file" challenge to share with the lovelies over at the ever so awesome CSI lab and suddenly something occurred to me.

I have a blog.  And it's pathetically empty at the moment. Soooooo...

Tutorial time! 

First, a little background on CSI.  Color. Stories. Inspiration.  This site is a clever little take on cracking cases...CSI style.  Each week you are given a case to crack.  You are given a "scheme" for inspiration - a scene containing a color palette that you must adhere to, a list of "evidence" that you must choose from (various techniques and embellies), and "testimony," words, phrases and ideas to inspire your journaling.  I'm obsessed.  This group puts out the most fabulous challenges that kick me right out of my comfort zone and make my brain think outside of the box. You should definitely check them out. 

So back to this tutorial.  Here's my layout. 

And here's how I did it.

Once I had a general idea of what I wanted to scrap I needed to pick a sketch.  I had an idea of what kind of design I wanted to use but I pulled up my trusty Pinterest album of sketches and chose one that I could build off of.

This is my sketch.

And this is where I literally started making do with what I had.  I actually used a piece of cardboard for my background paper for this layout.  I love neutral colored backgrounds and I was all out of neutral toned cardstock.  But I had cardboard!

Since I didn't have all that many embellies that fit the color scheme (lime green, medium green, yellow and black) I pulled in color through paint misting, masking, stamping and inks.  You can get fancy scrapbook paint misters if you want...or you can do it my way.  Grab some empty spray bottles, a few drops of acrylic paint (I added a few drops of alcohol ink to the green too), add a bit of water and shake.  Voila.  Misting paints on a budget.

PS.  The misting on patterned paper didn't make the cut.  But I threw it in here anyway. 

Another cool thing you can do to add texture to your background is to incorporate materials traditionally used in canvas art.  Here I used gesso and mod podge and acrylic paint.  Then I started looking around the house for things that had textured patterns I could pull in.  An old dishtowel with a cool honeycomb pattern worked wonderfully. 

And it was free.

Mod Podge is cool to use because you can stamp or emboss in it and it dries clear.  I used the gesso as a base, covered it with mod podge, and stamped some words into the mod.

After that it was just a matter of framing the photo, adding some paper layers, a stamp here and there, some rub-ons, and some doodling details. 

And that is when the well ran dry. 

It needed something to tie it all together but I couldn't think of anything.  The stores were closed because it was a Sunday evening and besides, I was trying to make this thing work with what I had handy around the house. 

Lightbulb moment.  I had magazines.  Flashback to my teen posterboard collages...circa 2004.

(Okay so it was more like 1994...)

And here's the final product.  This was a blast to make and it will be fun to look back on to see where I was at in my 20s...

(Okay 30s...shhhh!)


  1. Loving your work;creative
    and FABULOUS :)

  2. Your blog is fantastic. It makes the prospect of scrapbooking a lot less intimidating to me! :-)

  3. Fantastic page, Shawna! So happy to have you at CSI! I love how you're sharing how you made your page!

    1. Thanks Deb! Happy to be on CSI and loving all of the challenges!!