Basic Kit Must Haves?

59 posts / 0 new
Last post
Basic Kit Must Haves?

I'm curious about what items you all consider to be "must haves" in a kit? Obviously, some kits will have more themed items, but what are the things you absolutely have to have to scrap a page?

(I know it's personal preference. That's what I'm looking for.)

I design, but I don't really scrap myself, so I will be interested to see the responses to Rose's question, too!

Robyn, me too, that's why I ask. I do a bit of art journaling, but I have no family close and no reason to scrap.

photomasks or frames, buttons, stitching

I think I don't scrap the way the most members here scrap. I have several pictures on each page and like my designs more clean and simple. I use normally borders, frames, brads, ribbons, journalcards, wordart and small elements like little stars, sequins, confetti etc. (but not all on one page, only a few elements on every page) - and of course papers.

I love to have all kinds of papers in a kit - with different pattern, solid, ombre etc. (so I can also use them to make a frame, border or even my own brad).

Gonda, I think I'm similar. I'd often rather just have papers and make my own embellishments from them.

Thanks, Patricia!

After looking through my gallery to see my own trends because I never really think of this kind of thing, I have decided I must have photo frames. Most of my layouts house the photos within some kind of frame. Next up would probably be word art/word snippets. I seem to make use of those quite a bit as well.

Thanks, Jessica!

Stitching, funky interesting pieces like tassels, wooden objects, lace-anything to layer with, I love having a white, black, or kraft paper in the kit, one with a soft amount of texture and no design or pattern...I also love scatters of any type and paint splashes or brush strokes. I'm very much more drawn to extracted items or VERY realistic photoshop elements...anything that doesn't look like I could go buy it in a craft store or make it myself at home with craft items, just isn't my style at all. That is after all what drew me to digital scrapbooking-the fact that I had items that never ran out and looked just like paper scrapping.

Papers: several solids, including a neutral or two, plus an assortment of patterns in small and large scales (I like to have at least a dot, a square or triangle, a stripe, and something more ornate like a scroll or damask, plus 2-3 themed patterns)

Elements: one basic and one fancy frame minimum, 2-3 realistic flowers, a couple of realistic leaves/branches, some paint, a journal card or two, a couple of fastener elements (staple, clip, brad, button, stitching, etc.), a string, a couple of ribbons and matching bows (perhaps one solid/one patterned?), a bit of lace, maybe a matte or doily...

Thanks, Holly and Rachel! I'm gonna be honest and say I don't go much for "realistic" things. To me the whole point of digital is having cool stuff that doesn't look like it came from the real world. I also don't even like flowers, so maybe I'm just a weirdo. I'm trying to learn to tailor my designs more to what people want, though, so this is helpful.

Holly, it's really interesting to me that you say you always look for basic patterned paper. Is that a convenience thing? I only have a few kits right now, but I hesitate to include stuff like dots/squares/triangles because it seems to me everyone must have a million of those. Do you just want to make sure that you can get coordinating papers without having to recolor?

I have a basic pattern pack that I made years ago and I use that a lot, but I'm guessing it's quicker if everything is in the kit already?

i like staples and stitching and always use them when they are in a kit

Thanks, Marlyn!

I've been designing for maybe close to 18 months now but I still have no idea what I'm doing smiley

More recently I've started to keep my minis to specifically 5 patterned papers, 5 solid papers, and 20 elements. Among those elements I always include at least a couple journal/pocket cards and stitching of some sort whether it's a straight line of stitches or a set of stitches in a specific shape (like a heart for example). Brads and word strips would be next on the popular list, followed by bows. Otherwise, it's just random pieces like scatters, ribbons, random basic shapes like chevron arrows or bookmark-like tags.

LOL, Kayl!

Well, I just bought some stitch brushes and a photoshop action, so I'm going to work on stitching, because that seems to be popular. (I don't know how to make it myself, shh...)

That's why people sell actions, styles, templates, and so much more! smiley It's all one giant learning process smiley

I'm a hybrid scrapper. I do the layout, captions, & journaling on the computer, then print it all to matte &/or glossy photo paper & then glue it down onto cardstock or into an album. I mention this because it colors what I use. I am also different in that I break up kits. I never keep them together* & I often use things over & over.

First the things I don't use - I don't use anything 3D (ribbon, string, branches, flowers-which I loathe - sorry, embossed or heavily textured papers) because it doesn't print well if at all. If I want any dimension to my pages, which I usually don't, I'll add it IRL myself.

Now the things I love. I adore journal cards - versatile ones with lots of space for actual story telling. I love filler cards but I almost never use them except in my December Daily albums so if there's a choice, give me (actual) journal cards!

I love word art - simple png files I can tweak & recolor or use as a header for a journal card or to make a filler card.

I love paper but I really love paper that fits the theme of the kit (christmas, easter, fall, etc). I have SO MUCH basic paper (dots, stripes, chevron, etc) that I don't need more of that (though if I like it, I always keep it). I do need more themed paper.

I love illustrations & spot art but only if it's flat (it's the whole 'how does it look printed at home' thing)

I love mid-century things - the art, the deckled photo frames, the lovely typography.

I love labels - all sizes, shapes, & colors.

I love flairs - but only if they're offered as a flat version (though I've gotten really good at flattening the 3D ones I have)

And I love themed kits with most of the items in it about/belonging to the theme.

*I categorize (then sub-categorize) my supplies - cards, brushes, paper, word art, labels, illustrations/spot art as well as by theme as in the seasons, holidays, gardening, architecture, etc.

Thanks, Sarah! I wonder if it would be a good idea to keep most of the basic papers as an add-on. That way people who want coordinating basic ones could have them, but the "Main" kit file size and price could be lower.

I do always texture my papers, because it's another example where I felt like the basic/non-textured ones were commonplace and not really adding anything to the kit, but now I have something to think about.

PS I also loathe flowers!! (But I make them because everyone seems to love them so much.)

That's how I look at it too. smiley

I didn't say they had to be basic, Rose... that dot might be a multicolor dot pattern that matches, or the squares might be black and white on one of the kit's main colors. I look for at least a couple of multicolored "basic" patterns, plus 1-2 "generic" patterns that are white or black and a kit color, because those are the extra contrast between the solids and the themed patterns that become necessary in pages with a lot of paper pieces like a ribbon flag border or a shaped matte made of lots of little strips...

I don't use a ton of flowers, but I do use them often enough that having a couple in a kit is essential...and since I do full digital rather than hybrid, the more realistic they look, the better my page looks. (My reason for doing full digital is that with my chronic illnesses, fatigue is a factor, and I just don't have the energy to dig physical stuff out every time I want to scrap a page, then have to put it back because I share an apartment and there's no space for a dedicated craft room... it's MUCH easier to do digital rather than paper scrapping for me! I realize that's not a consideration for some people, but it's what got me back into scrapping after I got sick.)

Thanks, Holly. I also have a disability and use a wheelchair so I understand where you are coming from on energy conservation. I grew up disabled and on the cusp of the digital age, though, so everything in my life has always been technology-based, and the consideration of things needing to look realistic is a bit foreign to me, but I hear that from a lot of scrappers, so I'm shifting my designs accordingly.

I just meant "basic" in the sense of it being dot, square, etc. I also didn't mean it as a negative, the way the word basic has come to mean "boring." I assumed that you were kind of talking about variations on the shape. I meant like, I have a princess kit with about a million papers, but most of them are either themed patterns or solids because I assumed those would be more valuable to a scrapper. From what you're saying, it seems that I might do better to also include more of the shape-based based.

In any case, your comments have been very informative and helpful, and I appreciate you taking the time to discuss this with me.

There are quite a few designers in the big shops who do less-realistic styles, so don't feel you HAVE to change what you create based on that.

It doesn't take a lot of the basic patterns to make a kit work well--2-3 of them in a kit is decent if it's one light background, one dark, and one mid-tone. Themed papers and unique elements are still the biggest selling point of a kit to me, besides themed word art; I've got lots of frames and ribbons and brads and flowers, and recoloring them is easy enough, but it's nice to have them already coordinated.

Yeah, it seems simple enough to make and include the ribbons and brads or at least have them as an add-on. I think frames are fun and they're actually one of the first things I learned to make, back around 02 when I was starting out with PSP. I guess the ones I had then would be considered tagger sized now. I'm still feeling my way into scrapbook design and deciding what works for me and what doesn't. I'm always interested in learning.

Rose (love your name!) - there are a couple of designers at The Digital Press who would offer kits of additional paper to the themed kits & I often bought just the additional papers because they were basic, gorgeous, & useful so it is a possibility, at least for some kits. And Allison Pennington at The Lilypad often offers kits of basic papers that don't go with any particular kit, so there is a market for that sort of thing, though not many designers do it so perhaps it's not much of a market!

When I talk about texture on paper, I'm specifically referring to 3D textures - cardstock, embossing, & other techniques that make the paper look as though you could touch the texture. These really don't print well. I have no problem with printing non-3D textures - speckles, worn bits, dirty edges, things like that (though, true confessions, while I love lightly speckled papers, I won't use worn, torn, or dirty ones - I'd never use ripped or dirty paper in a hard copy paper scrapbook so I definitely wouldn't use digital paper that looks old & dirty - but that's just my personal preference).

I hear you on the flowers! I garden & have several large perennial beds so it's not as though I don't love flowers & I love scrapping what I do in them but I guess I don't get using flowers in layouts, especially on ones that have nothing to do with flowers in any way (again, just my personal preference - & until you asked this question, I had no idea I was quite so opinionated about so many aspects of digital scrapping supplies!!). And my, that was one looooooong sentence!

Good luck with your designing - I'm looking forward to seeing what you do & how your style evolves!

My preferences:

Papers: For me, a great full kit must have solids with different textures, because if you stack solids with the same texture they look weird. I also like patterned paper (polka dots, chevron and stripes are my favorite. I don´t like plaid) and notebook/ledger paper. If a kit has a good notebook/ledger, or at least journalling tags/cards with these patterns, it will possibly win me!

Elements: Flowers, leaves and buttons that are NOT stacked and CAN Be stacked. Two-dimensional flowers are hard as hell to cluset, though they are so cute, so they can be included but it must have things to cluster as well. I also love tags, and ribbons/bows that look like it was possible to glue them on the page. The curled ones several times look too 3d. And of course theme elements!

Thank you!

I have a (very small at the moment) shop and I normally bundle my papers separately so people can buy just those if they want to. It wouldn't be much trouble to add.

But yeah, I tend to use textures like this

so I'm not sure how they would print. It never occurred to me that there could be trouble printing because I never print anything. I live in a very small apartment so everything is digital, basically.

I'm severely allergic to flowers IRL so I just avoid them, and except for some retro 70s style stuff I have been quite surprised at how common they are in scrapbook kits. I make greeting cards and notebooks more than scrapbook pages, as I have no close family or anything.

Oh, I never knew that about the solids with different textures. My kit I'm working on now has 3 different solids and I worried it would be too much, so now I'm happy. Thanks!

LO-VE your textures. That´s the way I like them smiley

I don´t usually print the pages I make too. Here in Brasil the photobooks never really took off, so it´s hard and too expensive print digital scrapbook pages. People use to print stuff made for digiscrap here to make party stuff...

Thank you! Textures are my first love in design--been creating them about 12 years now!

Pages