Why I quit making layouts

I’ve been wondering about writing this post for a while, but I kept wondering whether I really had quit making 12×12’s or whether I was just on a long break!

But I think enough time has passed for me to decide that those shabby little 6×8 books have won my heart for good!

Here’s why I stopped making on a larger, squarer scale…

Each page felt intimidating

I don’t know quite what’s so scary about a big blank square of paper, but for some reason, it was! There was just too much room for comfort.

And fear is just one of those feelings that robs you of the joy of creating, you know?

I had started making for the likes

When you’re starting each process with the thought of, “What will be popular online and get me lots of love?”, alarm bells really should start to ring.

I wanted to get back to making for me, for the creative joy and not to feed my following or boost any popularity.

I’d found a style that worked for me and done it to death

I know lots of scrapbookers enjoy trying different page designs and techniques, but I never really did. 

I knew which layout design I liked, which techniques, colours and materials I favoured and pretty much stuck to that same recipe each time.

I think to keep a pursuit exciting, it needs to stay experimental and I had no interest in taking creative risks – especially public ones!

My pages weren’t saying anything especially meaningful

Okay, I could have written more in-depth feelings-y stuff, but it didn’t feel quite the right place.

So the journalling on each of my pages was very similar:
“I love you, kid/hubby/cat/scrapbooking/coffee/pyjamas”.

Which is lovely, but didn’t really help me process my daily struggles.

My daughter had reached an age where I wanted to stop making her face quite so public

It’s not that I don’t feature pics of Kitty in my scraptherapy books or online, I just reached a point where it felt a little odd for me to be broadcasting her development quite so openly.

Obviously that’s my personal view and I would never criticise anyone who makes other choices!

Making each page took too much product

I know, I harp on like a broken record about the budget thing, but it’s true: with the amount of layering I was doing on each page – not to mention the amount of pages I was making – I was just ripping through too much stuff.

Outside of Design Teams, it was all just getting too pricey.

I’d become competitive

Let me share with you a tell-tale sign that you need to stop scrapbooking ‘out there’: when you start to feel grumpy each time you’re scraplifted!

Seriously: this making thing needed to stay a happy place for me and I was starting to hold on too tightly to it all and was becoming a proper grump in the process!

Other creatives’ work should always bring us joy; so when jealousy gets in there and starts to mess things up… well, for me, it was time to go play a different game.

I can get the same creative buzz on a much smaller scale

I can still create mini pages, but they use way less product… and I can even create with genuine rubbish.

I still layer to my heart’s content and make my little clusters on paint-y backgrounds – but it all takes place on a friendly little canvas that won’t impress a soul.

There was a simpler way of working that was calling my name

You may have noticed that I’m quite the evangelist when it comes to scraptherapy!

That’s because anyone can do it, whatever their skill level and whatever their income level… and those two things – perhaps especially the latter – are incredibly important to me.

And of course, I love scraptherapy because it works – it’s a real, tangible mental health boost for me and helps me sort out the jumble that is my head at the end of each day.

So showing folks how to make little books started to feel a lot more ‘me’ than making ‘mini works of art’ ever did. 

Never say never, of course, but I don’t think that I’ll ever go back!

10 thoughts on “Why I quit making layouts

  1. Like you, I do not make any more layout because it is not suitable, I do not see any interest and it is difficult to store (I make layouts since 2001!). I love small albums that match me more, I know that my albums are not really scraptherapy because I do not write much, but to put photos and memories inside is very important for me, I love that! They will be my memory when I am an elderly grandmother LOL !!

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  2. I have always enjoyed your layouts, but smaller is better for me now, too. Even at 12 x 12 size, I would work a grid, breaking it down into smaller segments. I really like 8 x 8, 6 x 8 and 5.5 x 8.5 (American half page sized). Or, whatever I stick on a ring! Even as a child, I enjoyed everything miniature. One of my favorite travel scrapbooks fits in a matchbox. Decorated with scrappy papers, of course, lol!

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  3. Suse Fish

    Oh gosh yes! I always loved miniatures too, so I wonder if that’s why I’m enjoying these little books so much? I must admit that I used to think my layouts looked much nicer on Instagram than they did in the flesh. I’d look through my album and think, “Wow, that’s huge!”

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  4. 12×12 layouts are intimidating! That’s the main reason it took me so long to actually make one and even now, it’s not something I gravitate towards making. I prefer 6×8 or smaller minibooks or pocket pages cause they are more easily managable and less scary. I love your layout though. I thought they always looked fab! but I totally get it.

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  5. Suse Fish

    They are! And while I did enjoy making them, they always felt like a challenge… smaller projects feel a lot more comfortable; like there’s nothing to prove 🙂 xx


  6. Anastasia Anastasiadi

    Your big LOs are beautiful! small too.
    I was soooo intimidated by the big “full” size paper sheets and was so afraid to cut them that I started with 6×8 size pages – if it’s comfortable and I can fit everything in, why bothering about “traditional” size? Fortunately now there are many sizes and types of pages to chose from (big, small, pocket, Travelers notebookes, pocket TNs etc). And smaller albums are so much easier to store too:)

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  7. Suse Fish

    So so true… I think it’s all about finding a format or way of working that works for you and just enjoying it! I think because I like to make something everyday, the smaller format is really the only way I can go and still stay within my budget.
    And as you say, there’s less to store! Though I am looking out for some sort of pretty vintage suitcase to stash my growing little book collection in 😉


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