Sunday, September 23

8 ways to add texture to your layouts

The challenge this week at Anything but a Card is to add texture to your projects.  Since gussying up scrapbook layouts is something I struggle with, I thought I would tackle that!  I'm always scared to add more and distracting away from my photos, but when I'm oogling the fantastic creations in the magazines, blogdom and on pinterest I almost always gravitate towards the ones that have a ton of little touches that jump off the page.

I started by making a list of 8 things that can add texture to your layouts (or any off the page project as well!) and then I tried to incorporate them into this project.  Wish me luck....

Layer, Layer, Layer: The first step to adding texture to your projects is to layer.  It may seem like you are using an awful lot of papers and even wasting some by cropping down perfectly useful 12x12 sheets, but adding varying layers to your background helps add depth to the basic layout.

Embossing: Whether you are busting out your heat gun, or running some of your elements through your trusty Big Shot (or Cuttlebug), embossing on your project instantly adds texture to any piece you incorporate. 
I used a Tim Holtz gears embossing folder on a tag.
I also embossed and cut out an acetate shape in my cluster.

Stitching: Stitching is something I avoided in crafting for years.  To say I'm inept with a needle and thread is an understatement.  I once attempted to sew a button back on a shirt for my hubby and managed to SEW THE SHIRT CLOSED?!?!?!  Oh yes I did!  But after a few bloody thumbs and tears I realized that stitching is a way to add another pattern to your layout without actually adding to the busyness.
Stiching a grid  was my favorite touch.

Varying Mediums: Yes, this may sound crazy coming from a self proclaimed paper hoarder, but if you create a layout with nothing but cardstock and patterned paper you are missing out on a world of possibility.  It's hard to look beyond that for me because pinterest is filled with 1001 things you can make from paper with a snip of your scissors or crease of your scorpal, but when your embellishing ventures out into ribbons, burlap, cork, corrugated cardboard, etc you will create a visual appeal that you just can't seem to master with paper alone.  ---see pic below---

Glitter: Glitter, sand, or any other kind of literal texture is a no brainer.  Take a basic embellishment or even  lettering and add a coat of glue and glitter and it instantly takes it up a level.  ---see pic below---

Add Dimension: The last suggestion (well, almost) I have is to not stop your layering at the photograph.  After your carefully cropped and matted photos have been secured make sure you add another layer of fun embellishments.  Flowers, buttons, brads, gems, whatever floats your boat....
I used several different mediums, a burlap heart, pearls, ribbon,
glitter, flowers, acetate, flower soft on the leaves, and organza.

Rough It Up: There are so many shabby chic and steam punk layouts in the blogosphere that can show you how to do this right and make it look stunning, but even if you just add a touch of this technique it can add texture to any scrappy style.  Tear your paper, crumple and then flatten it out, distress the edges...just get a little gritty with your supplies.  :)
I distressed the edges of all my paper elements.

Faking It: Now sometimes having a ton of padding on a layout just won't do.  It can make the project a little bulky for an album and definitely can start adding up the $$$ which isn't something you may want to do for every project.  A way to 'fake' a look of added texture is through stamping.  The best kind for this in my opinion is the Tim Holtz-esque looks you can get from taking things you wouldn't consider scrappy materials, inking them up and then pressing them down haphazardly around your project.  
I used distress ink to stamp with bubble wrap for a subtle look.
To make yours stand out more you can use paint even!

I hope some of these tips helped give you new things to try.  It certainly pushed me to create a project that I love by trying things I NEVER would have thought to do if I hadn't made my list of things I was challenging myself to incorporate.  A few other challenge blogs helped me come up with ideas of things to add texture to this project and with our DT leader's okay, I'm going to share this layout there as well.  :) :)

Shopping Our Stash - Embossing (these embellishments are years old except the bling)
Divas by Design - Layering (I used 4 layers of patterned paper on top of my base.)
Southern Girls - Bling (my flower centers and pearl strip)


  1. Beautiful lo!!!!! I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee how you added texture to you lo's and LOVING the tips!!!!

  2. Fabulous texture ideas and mini-tutorials, thanks so much for that, and your finished layout looks great!
    Alison x

  3. Love your ideas for adding texture! So helpful. I love your layout too- such a cute pic and the book they are reading I remember carrying around with me- just loved it!

  4. Great layout, thanks dor joining us at Southern Girls Challenges!!

  5. Hi Christy, your layout is just fabulous! Great texture ideas and it's all come together perfectly.

    Thanks for joining in with us this week at Divas by Design.


  6. Some great ideas there!! Thanks for sharing them with us :)

  7. First off what a great LO!!! But I really love how you dissected and shared your ideas and techniques!!! How wonderful!!!

  8. Awe... what a cute picture and layout!
    Thanks for joining the Diva's this week...

  9. Great job showing the different layers that you can add to a LO, personally I stink at sewing hems and buttons on clothes but loce to sew on my projects, lol, go figure! Thanks for your nice comment on my blog, you made my day!! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

  10. Love the stitching, alphas, title, fab details, and cutie-poatooty picture :)

  11. What an incredible tutorial Christy! Love all the great ideas. Layering is always a little tough for me. You did it beautifully :)

  12. Sorry I've only just got here now! Love how you've given this list of hints and I'm not even a scrapper - they'd be good for any crafter in my opinion! Love that you've been stamping with 'trash' items too - such fun. I need lessons on using papers - how's that for a turn around!
    Have a great weekend.


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