How to make good clusters?

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Impressive Cathy! By the way, your first cluster is in this topic.

I made this one after re-reading the stuff on this topic:

You ladies are so talented with you clustering expertise! I think I will just have to keep downloading free cluster gifts since this seems to remain a challenge to me in digital form. Now in paper scrapping I can cluster until the cows come home (well if I had any cows!). smiley LoL

Those were good tutorials.

I think my only problem with clusters is keeping the photo in the focus. If the cluster overwhelms the photo, then the point of the page is lost. Sometimes I get so busy making clusters around my photos that I don't realize until later that I can't even tell what the photo is about. So I have to go back and undo a few things and reorganize the cluster to make the photo pop, not the elements.

Thanks for sharing these tips and tricks!

Well done Cathy

Lorien I like your nice simple cluster.

I, too, struggle with clusters. My focus is more on the photos and the story, and I don't want to overwhelm those elements. Plus I don't have the patience to cluster! Ha-Ha! However, thank you ladies for the links to the tutorials. I will check them out to overcome my *fear*. smiley

btt for newbies

A really beautiful cluster, Janet! I downloaded it ...thank you!

That is awesome!

My suggestions on cluster making;

Choose a flower to begin with, add a smaller flower, use the same flowers again but change their direction, don't use them sitting in all the same positions and sizes. add leaves and vines, shadow correctly, constantly moving around to get best angle.

That's about it smiley

I went on youtube. There's some really great videos. I'm a total beginner at this point, having only made one so far. I love the clusters the pros on this site make! I think, as with all things, it takes practice, practice, practice. I'm sure it'll be the same as when I first started digital scrapbooking compared to now. My old stuff looks so amateurish smiley

There are some great tips! Thank you ladies!

I do pretty well with clustering when I choose to; the advice I have to add is that, like getting good at anything else, it takes practice and patience, and the ability to critique yourself and figure out what works or doesn't in a given cluster. Study composition in art; it's an important bit of knowledge for clustering.

Cluster templates are a fantastic help, provided you have the elements the template calls for; I try to build templates that don't require a huge number of flowers or other elements so they're usable with even a minikit rather than only with a full kit. 2-3 flowers, a leaf or two, a twig or leafy branch, maybe a bow or string, and a couple of pieces of paper will make nice-looking cluster templates that you can reuse over and over.

Don't be afraid to get in there and try your own; the worst that can happen is you waste a couple of hours and it just doesn't come together. Start small at first, like a label with a flower and a leaf, and remember that "Undo" is your friend.

I'll usually start with a focal flower, then arrange a couple of long pieces (paper, string, leafy branch, etc.) in the directions I want the cluster to go from that focal point; they might take off in opposite directions, or they might make a curve, or might leave at right angles for a corner cluster. Then I add a couple more flowers, using at least one other flower, until the flowers cover nearly half the space. I finish up by adding leaves and ribbons.

Themed clusters are made similarly--just start with a themed element or two as your focal point, then continue on with the directional pieces, additional flowers, leaves, and ribbons.

Great tip!!!

This is a great thread! I love clusters and usually get my inspiration from other designers who's layouts/clusters appeal to me. I love making designs and clusters, but without the benefit of inspiration from others (scraplifting), my efforts fall short. Most of what I post in the commons you will see me crediting the original designer. smiley