Make a Quick & Easy Page, then Step It Up!

I recently challenged myself to complete a layout in 20 minutes — just to see if I could. When life gets busy and there is precious little down time, the only way I can fit in my paper crafting is to finish it quickly. And since I’m not the fastest scapbooker in the world, this was truly a challenge for me.

Today, I am sharing my 20-minute page and a few bonus details I added later that helped me step up the design.


I knew I was going to use the Echo Park Eclectic collection for this layout. I looked for a subtle print to use in the background, but couldn’t find anything that worked from this collection. Keeping my 20 minute goal in mind, instead of looking through my collection of pattern paper, I grabbed a sheet of kraft cardstock and misted the background with white Mister Huey. The mist gave me the subtle texture I was looking for.


Quick tip – when you mist a large area, put your paper in an old box and mist from 10-12 inches away from the page. The box will help to contain your spray and the distance will give you a super fine mist that coats the entire background. If you want larger splatter drops, bring the bottle closer and closer until you get the effect you want.

Giving the mist a few minutes to dry, I selected a few pattern papers and trimmed strips in various lengths and widths and inked the edges. I used full sheets of 12×12 papers because I wanted to use a specific collection, but you could also use pattern paper scraps, or even washi tape for narrower strips. I did find a small piece of grid paper paper in my scrap pile that was perfect for my journaling.


When my  paper was dry, I laid out the photos with the paper strips. Because most of the page was covered by the photos and colorful strips, I didn’t think a lot of embellishments were necessary. The pattern paper contained a hexagon motif so I pulled some wood veneer hexagon pieces and a few labels from my stash.


Once everything was arranged, I started gluing down all of the pieces. At this point, I reached my twenty minute time limit and so my page is complete.


My layout sat on my table overnight and when I came back the next day, I felt a few extra finishing touches were in order. I wanted to bring more attention to the wood veneer pieces and add some stitching.

1. I hand cut two hexagon patterns from one of the sheets of pattern paper and adhered them to the larger wood veneer pieces. I painted the remaining veneer pieces with acrylic paint in coordinating colors.

2. I wanted to add stitching lines to the top and bottom borders. If you have a sewing machine, this step takes no time at all. I do not have room to keep my sewing machine out so I tend to hand stitch on my layouts. It takes longer, but I feel it’s a finishing touch that is worth my time.


For straight lines, I like make my stitching holes with a stick pin and the Tim Holtz Design Ruler. For fancier stitches like swirls or zig zags, I like to use the We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy tool to make my stitching holes. Either method works just as well.


I also added some stitches to the smaller sticker letters in my title.

And here’s the finished stepped-up page:


The extra finishing touches took me another 30 minutes to complete, so the entire page still clocks in at under an hour.

Whether you have 20 minutes or an hour to complete a page, I hope this gives you some ideas for stepping up your own designs.


  • Bazzill cardstock (Kraft)
  • Echo Park Everyday Eclectic collection (Large Hexagon, Herringbone, Kraft Doily, Woodgrain)
  • Scenic Route grid paper scrap
  • Colorbox ink (Chestnut Roan)
  • Studio Calico Mister Huey (Calico White)
  • Studio Calico wood veneer shapes (Hexagons)
  • Papertrey Ink Label Basics stamp set and Angled Labels Die Collection
  • Jenni Bowlin inks (Stick Candy and Chewing Gum)
  • American Crafts Iguana Thickers
  • My Little Shoebox pink letter stickers
  • Bic Mark-Its Ultra Fine pen (Hot Aqua)
  • Tim Holtz Design Ruler
  • DMC embroidery floss
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Pearl Paint (Aquarium)
  • Apple Barrel acrylic paint (Pretty in Pink)

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11 Responses to Make a Quick & Easy Page, then Step It Up!

  1. jo February 22, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    it’s finally working for me …. and i love a good 20 minute page … you rocked it!

  2. Marcia February 22, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    Love this!

  3. kathyhpy February 22, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Love this layout-simple yet complete…but I know it’d take ME longer than 20 minutes to think it out. Just toss it up to “older brain cells” hahaha.

  4. Vicki February 22, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    This is such a cute layout! Glad yesterdays issues are corrected!

  5. smithdesigns February 22, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    This a great challenge for me, my layouts usually take a few days to come together 🙂

  6. S @ Snapsandsnippets February 22, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Darling page – I think a two-step process like this is very helpful.

  7. Lisa Swift February 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    Thank you for the suggestions on how to streamline and speed up my scrapping, Tammy! Your page looks wonderful!

  8. Dorina D February 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Very cute and what a great idea. Sure would help speed up layouts when you have lots of pics left to catch up. Great job,.

  9. Ashley Spiller February 22, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    Great job, I could never finish one in 20 minutes. ( too much second-guessing)

  10. Tracy February 23, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    What a great job you did! Tons of details but not overdone in a forest of embellies. Love the colors AND the stitching!!

  11. Gab March 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Wow, I just Love this page! THanks!!!

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