When I first started scrapbooking in 2001, I didn't even know about die-cut machines. In fact, it wasn't until 2004 that I bought my first Sizzix machine - the original one that weighs about a ton! Back then, I relied on templates for all of my lettering and shapes. Some of my favorite templates were, and still are, the ones from The Crafter's Workshop. In this article, I will focus on some of my favorite doodling templates.
The first template I used was Dots & Circles. In this Easter layout, I colored in the dots using a white gel pen to add a fun, playful element to my pages about my children decorating Easter eggs. Then I used a purple gel pen to create a smaller circle of dots around the egg that I had quilled. The dots also coordinated perfectly with the dots that were already on the patterned paper, which added cohesiveness to the overall design.
I guess I really like dots for my Easter pages, because I used this same template for another Easter layout. Here I used the larger circle again, but this time I used a black journaling pen to fill in the circles. You do have to be careful when choosing a pen or marker to use with these templates, because some will bleed under the template. I recommend testing them on scrap paper first. Another alternative is to trace the circles with a pencil, and then fill them in with a pen or marker.
This time I used the template to create an element that connects my photos and creates movement on my layout. Adding a few rhinestones kept the mood playful and added a little sparkle. As you can see, you don't have to use the entire template or shape either. Since I added the circle after I had adhered the pictures, I didn't have to use the whole shape. Another option for this template is to use it as a guide for perfect placement of eyelets and brads, which I easily could have substituted for my rhinestones.
Circle Circle Dot Dot is another of my favorite doodling templates by The Crafter's Workshop. This template has half-circles, a dot border, a flower-burst design, and journaling lines, making it one of the most versatile of all the templates this company makes. In the Disney World layout below, I used the template to mimic the Magic Kingdom sign in the photo. I used a pencil first to trace the dots and flower bursts. Then I filled them in with a glue pen and added glitter one color at a time.
Although I now have two die-cut machines, I still like the portability and flexibility of TCW templates. The Doodle Flower template is several templates in one. It is, obviously, a large flower that can be traced and cut out. Within the flower, however, there are lots of little designs that can be traced to use either with or without the outer flower. In this layout about the many facets of my daughter's personality, I traced and cut out two flowers and then cut each of them in half. I followed that with some doodling inside the flowers and on the page itself. A few metal flowers were all I needed to add to make this one of my favorite layouts to this day.
These are only a few of the many doodling and shape templates made by The Crafter's Workshop. There is probably one that's perfect for the layout that you're working on right now. Even if you have one of those sophisticated die-cutting machines that are currently on the market, it's still easy, fun, and very convenient to use templates to add that special something to your layouts.