Getting The Most Out Of Mini Kits
Hi everyone! Welcome back to another installment on the Scrapaneers blog where we’re highlighting a few pieces of The Magic of Beginnings collaboration and sharing some tips and tricks along the way. I hope you’ve been following us this month and picking up the pieces of this mega-kit – isn’t it awesome?! You’ll see that we have so many design styles represented in the collection, so there’s something for everyone. Now, if you’re impatient like me, you want to scrap with everything as it comes out and not wait for the entire collection, but that also presents a bit of challenge: how can you stretch a mini kit (or even just a few papers) and create an entire scrapbook layout that seems full and complete? Read on and I’ll share a few of my tips getting the most out of mini kits.
From The Magic of Beginnings collection, I had the pleasure of working with a mini kit from Vicki Robinson of Scrapbookgraphics and a template from Em Straface of The Nifty Pixel:
At first glance you might be thinking that there’s no way that this kit and template would work together. The template is loaded with placeholders for elements from rosettes to brads to scatters, papers, paint … and more! The mini has some flowers, ribbon, mini scatters, a butterfly, and some brushes (in addition to the papers). Sure, I can duplicate elements, but it seems like the mini wouldn’t have enough to match the number of placeholders in the template. However, what you can’t see on the preview is that there’s actually a few more pieces to this kit. Sneaky, right? That leads me to my first tip in getting the most out of your mini kits:
Tip #1: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Previews don’t necessarily include everything that’s in a kit, so it pays to look around and see if a designer has an included a description of the kit contents.
It’s no secret that I love working with templates, so I was happy to see this pairing from our mega-collection. In regards to my comment just above about a loaded template being mixed with a mini kit, this was perfect — and here’s why:
Tip #2: Use a template to extend your kit by recoloring elements on the template to match your mini kit elements, if that works for your page design.
By adding elements from the kit, and recoloring placeholders on the template, you can blend the two to create a seamless page. As luck would have it, the sequin scatters on Em’s template were perfect as-is, with the teal color matching that of Vicki’s kit. I love happy coincidences like that! The paint splatters were also a close match to the beige/mustard elements and worked well with no changes, too. I loved the tag that was on the template, so I recolored that to the soft pink/orange. Although Vicki included several papers in her mini kit, I opted to recolor the ones in the template so they would add a bit of punch against the softer, more artsy style of the blended pages. Although the designer’s styles are very different (artsy vs. graphic), keeping the color palette similar helps make everything work together. A few of Vicki’s papers blended together served as the perfect background for my layout.
As you can see from the image above, I used the flowers, ribbon and mini scatters without changing them. So how can you stretch that mini kit even further?
Tip #3: Repurpose items in the kit.
As I continued to build my page, I found myself wanting a few more elements for the layout. However, where could I get some? I mean, a mini-kit is just that: mini! They were right in front of me: the buttons in the center of the flowers! If extractions seem scary to you, let me tell you that ones like these are quick and easy to do. Let me show you how.
Step 1: With the flower open, select the Elliptical Marquee Tool from your toolbox.
Step 2: While holding down the Shift key (on a PC), or the Command key (on a Mac), draw a selection right over the button. You will end up with a ‘marching ants’ border, and don’t worry if it’s not lined up perfectly – you can move it around to get things just right. I like to make my selection just a tiny bit inside the edge of the element, just to ensure that I get a clean extraction and don’t get any surrounding shadows included. Holding down the Shift or Command button is important, too, as that will result in the selection being a perfect circle.
Step 3: Right click inside your selection and look for Layer via Copy. This will create a new layer with just your extracted button on it, keeping the flower intact. You can also use the menu options by going to Layer > New > Layer via Copy. And there you have it, a button! I used this same method to extract the teeny pearl studs from the spine of the butterfly, too.
You may have noticed from the earlier image that I also turned the butterfly into a flair. This is an easy trick, and it works equally well with tags, too. You can also extract sections from patterned papers to create a customized flair for your page. I have a style saved in Photoshop that allows me to create a flair in just a few clicks of my mouse … but I can’t take all the credit. If you want to know how I created the flair, check out this blog post from Tiffany Tillman.
So, are you curious to see what my finished page looks like? I recolored and repurposed elements from both the mini kit and the template. I also made some changes to the template, deleting items and moving the tear from the top to the bottom of the page. Here’s how my layout finished up:
Now, I ask you, does this look like “just” a mini kit to you? I hope you’ve picked up a few tricks today that you can implement on your own pages. Just because mini kits are, by their very nature, much smaller than a full-blown digital scrapbooking kit, don’t discount them. With a little bit of creativity on your part, you can get the most out of a mini kit — and they can be awesome!
The Magic of Beginnings Giveaway
On to the next installment of the Scrapaneers December Giveaway – The Magic of Beginnings.
A big THANK YOU to all the amazing designers who contributed to this Mega Collection. The Magic of Beginnings is perfect for your holiday and December sequential projects, but it is about so much more than that. Think about plans and goals for the new year, starting a new stage of life, new relationships or simply the start of exciting new adventures. This collection is so big we could not fit it all into one preview, so here is glimpse at the collection in two parts (we couldn’t fit everything in the preview so know there’s MORE!):
Magic of Beginnings download links are no longer available.
Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday, December 28 for the next set of downloads, and a tutorial from Jen to help you speed up your scrapping process.