Article Courtesy Scrapjazz.com: by Jeanette Giancaspro

Product Name:  Scrapbook Generation's Sketches for Scrapbooking

Price:  $15.99

IMAGE1Product Description:

Sketches for Scrapbooking is a series of eight volumes of sketches created specifically for scrapbook layouts.  Written and designed by Debbie Sanders and Allison Davis, each volume contains 30 two-page sketches that incorporate multiple photos.  The 12" x 12" sketches are arranged according to the number of photos that are used, beginning with five and ending with ten.  At the bottom of each page, there are details that give specific measurements for placement of photos, papers, journaling, and embellishments.  There is even a key to indicate which types of paper to use:  accent cardstock, large and small patterns, stripes, etc.

The soft-cover book is spiral-bound with a plastic binding coil and has heavy cardstock covers on the front and back.  The inner pages are formatted in a landscape layout, and both pages of the sketch are on the same page of the book.  The sketches are printed on one side of the paper, and the back side is blank.

In Use:

I am a big fan of sketches and, although I've never followed a sketch exactly, I find them very helpful in the overall design of my layouts.  The sketches in Scrapbook Generation's books are very easy to adapt for my photos and papers.  It isn't difficult at all to move things around and adjust photo sizes and other elements in the layout.  The measurements provided at the bottom of each page are extremely helpful.  There's no more guessing about where to place my borders, mats, or journaling.  I know what size to make my accent papers and strips so that everything will fit together nicely, and the layout will look balanced and pleasing to the eye.

There are a few things that need some improvement, though.  For instance, I think the price ($18 retail) is pretty high for a soft-cover, spiral-bound book with only 30 pages of black-and-white sketches.  (Scrapbook.com has these books for $15.99, which is a little better.)  I would also like to see an actual layout or two (in color) for each sketch. 

I've enjoyed using the sketches in Volume 1 so much that I'm planning to buy additional volumes and try their Sketches for Cardmaking too.

Tips and Techniques:

  • Adapt the sketch for your photo sizes.  For example, use a 4" x 6" photo in place of two 4" x 3" photos, or use two 4" x 6" photos instead of one 5" x 7".
  • Turn the sketch around 90 degrees, or even 180 degrees.  Interchange the left page and the right page.
  • Use additional embellishments or different styles of journaling.
  • Place the title in a different area on the layout.

Project Ideas and Examples:


The original sketch for this layout had more photos on the left side, and they were smaller than the 4" x 6" photos that I wanted to use.  I was able to adjust the size and move the photos without any trouble at all.  Although the original sketch had no borders, I simply substituted my wavy borders for the striped paper strips that they had on the bottom of each page.

For this layout, I turned the same sketch on its side so that the photos and title were arranged vertically instead of horizontally.  Instead of journaling strips on one page of the layout, I used journaling blocks on both pages.  I also replaced the large photo mat in the original with a large die-cut circle that I cut in half and placed on either end of my layout.