DIY: Character-Themed Embellishments


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Article Courtesy by Rachel Myerson

Some of the topics that I like to scrap are the interests of my children. Although some of these interests are of a general theme, like playing soccer, many are specific, like watching Star Wars or following a particular sports team. When I scrap these specific subjects, I like to use products and embellishments to reflect the theme. For something like Star Wars, this is easy. There are plenty of Star Wars-themed products, and I know that I can always use the extra to make birthday cards for their friends.


However, as my children pass through interests such as Pokémon and Bakugan, I find that not all of these themes are available for purchase, and even if they are, my child’s interest might change after one layout. In these cases, I prefer to make my own themed embellishments. There are several ways to do this.

  1. Use the scanner – This is perfect for something with trading cards, like baseball or Pokémon. I simply scan both sides of several cards, print them onto a sheet of cardstock, and cut them out. I have a photo printer which I use; however, by printing on smooth cardstock, they look different than the photos and more like embellishments. It is also possible to cut single elements from within the cards to make unique shaped embellishments. Experiment with printing in different sizes to get the custom embellishment that works for you.

  2. Take a picture – If you don’t have a scanner or if you want a different type of image, consider a photograph. For example, scatter a bunch of Pokémon cards on the floor and take a picture which you can print out and use as patterned paper. Another way to do this is to pose the toy against an appropriate background and take a picture of it. Prior to their interest in Pokémon and Star Wars, my children were interested in trains. In this example, I scattered a bunch of tickets and took a picture to print the background paper. Now there are plenty of train-themed papers from which to choose, but back then they were hard to find.

  3. Use the actual item – This is an easy way to get an embellishment, assuming your child is willing to part with the item at hand. A simple Pokémon card or two can simply be adhered to your layout.  This also works well with flat toys, such as the lowest height of Legos or Monopoly money. Of course, these cards and toys may not be acid-free so you may want to take precautions.

  4. Copy the image from the Internet – This is a good way to obtain certain types of images not available elsewhere, such as local images. I copied the logo from the website of my son’s karate studio for a layout about his belt promotion. If you have a Windows computer, right-click or hit PrtSc to copy the image. Then paste it into your favorite photo-editing program.

If you are using registered trademarks or images, especially if you are scanning them in or copying them from the Internet, be careful of copyright laws. It is usually fine to use these images for your own purposes, but consider contacting the owner of the copyright if you plan to use them for profit.


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