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Lab Exercise 24 It's Good to Have a Theme!


In many cases,a generalized scrapbook kit is perfect to document just about any story. There are times though in which the layout can benefit from a very specific themed product. The downside to buying a  themed paper kit is that often you are left with a large quantity of themed product once you have finished creating the layout. This is where hybrid scrapbooking becomes a huge benefit for you. You can choose a kit based on the theme but only print as much of that kit as you need.

Sometimes, you don’t even realize you want or need a themed kit. Such was the case with the photos I scrapped for a recent layout. I had pictures of my son trying to pet his grandmother’s cat. The cat was not quite willing to trust my son and so she decided to watch him from underneath a table filled with cacti. The prickly barrier kept my son at bay and allowed her to keep an eye on him. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to scrapbook these photos. I think I just kept passing them by because I never knew what products would best support the story. When I saw the latest kit by Traci Reed and Jady Day Studios, I knew that the cactus paper within it was the answer for me.

Lab Exercise 24I chose the cactus print as one of the main papers for the layout and printed it in 8.5 2 11 size. It just wasn’t popping enough on the white cardstock background and I wasn’t sure that using another solid color cardstock was the way to go. I chose to trim the edges of the cactus paper and matte it with an 8.5 x 11 triangle print. Using the bright paper as a matte toned down it’s wild feel while also helping the cactus paper to stand out from the canvas.



I played around with some of my standard block designs, but I really happy with the way the photos were grouped. I really wanted to break away from my typical design. I chose to add a circle in a bold orange color to contrast with the green in the photos.I wasn’t happy with the placement of the circle until I let it hang off the side of the 8.5 x 11 inch block. I felt it needed to be anchored, so I printed and cut three sets of ribbon from the digital kit. I can only print in the 8.5 x 11 size. To compensate, I cut the strips and slid them under the circle so that they look as though they span the full 12 x 12 page.





ChristySBeautificationsA Cactus Barrier by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: American Crafts; Digital Kits: All Year Round Beautifications by Traci Reed and Jady Day Studios; Other: Glossy Accents







Digital kits are available in a variety of sizes and price ranges. Consider the kit carefully before making your purchase. Are there any other papers or elements that could be used for other layouts? It can be beneficial when a themed kit comes with paper and elements that will work easily for a non-themed layout. You don’t want to pay for a whole kit just for one paper. Look to get at least 2-3 layouts from a large kit.  Smaller kits may have just the few themed items you need to make one layout and consequently, they should cost less money.


While I don’t often feel the need to theme my supplies to match my layouts, sometimes it’s nice to do exactly that. In this case, the cactus paper definitely sets the scene for the story.I don’t believe that I have ever found cactus themed paper anywhere in the paper scrapbooking realm. Choosing to go hybrid allowed me to use themed paper in small quantities. An option that is good for any budget and which will prevent you from hoarding unneeded supplies.


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Please shop your stash first, but should you find you need something, consider shopping at one of MSE’s Affiliates or Preferred Shopping Venues.


reedjds-ayr-beautifications-preview All Year Round: Beautifications by Traci Reed and Jady Day Studios











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