Scrapbook Organization Tips: Interview with Debbie Hodge

Get It Scrapped!
Get It Scrapped!

Keeping organized as a scrapbooker can feel overwhelming when you consider the sheer number of papers, embellishments and tools you have to keep track of. In this exclusive interview with author and scrapbook artist Debbie Hodge, learn some tips and tricks to help get your materials under control.

Scrapbook Organization Tips: Getting More Done in Less Time

Get it Scrapped! is a great new guide to scrapbooking by Debbie Hodge that gives you a simple approach to organize, visualize and create your pages. An accomplished scrapbook artist, Debbie uses her book to outline an easy-to-follow system for keeping digital photos under control.

  • Shoot, cull and store
  • Identify, flag and stage
  • Scrap

Since part of creating successful scrapbook layouts involves tailoring your approach to the subject, Get It Scrapped! also offers tips for the following types of projects:

  • Events: Birthday parties, holidays, family vacations, etc.
  • Moments: Sweet, funny, or sentimental photos that bring back special emotions
  • Yourself: Pages about your personality, perceptions, experiences, etc.
  • Everyday life: Family routines, rituals with friends, or activities you enjoy
  • Your world: Pages about how you relate to the world around you, whether it's your childhood home, your high school or the special objects you've used to decorate your home
  • Collections: Photos from different times with a consistent theme, such as a "month in review" or "baby's first year"

Interview with Debbie Hodge

Debbie Hodge took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for the readers of LoveToKnow Scrapbooking.

LovetoKnow (LTK): What made you decide to write a book about helping scrappers to get organized, as opposed to another volume full of pretty new techniques to try on your pages?

Debbie Hodge (DH): As I watched my friends get digital cameras, I saw them become overwhelmed by the quantity of the photos they now had-to the point that they stopped putting them into the photo albums they'd once kept.

I love process (I have an MBA with a concentration in Operations Management) and I love scrapbooking. I felt like if people just had a "method to the madness" they'd see it was doable - and then they'd get to enjoy the actual making of scrapbook pages.

LTK: How did you come up with the organizational system described in your book?

DH: It's how I do things! I found that the transition from prints to digital especially required greater organization. For about one year, I was taking print and digital photos. Having photos from overlapping times in different places bothered me, and it was during that period that I really got my "system" going.

Debbie's Scrapbooking Style

LTK: How would you describe your personal scrapbooking style? What process do you typically use when creating a layout?

DH: My pages almost always have multiple photos. I usually include a good chunk of journaling, and I like to have strong titles. Thus, my process begins with figuring out how these three elements (photos, journaling and title) are going to fit and sit on the page in a way that tells the story and looks good.

I begin with sizing the photos in Photoshop and arranging them on a 12-inch x 12-inch (or 24-inch x 12-inch) canvas. I scrap both digital and paper pages. For paper pages, I often print a group of smaller photos all in one piece (sometimes with digital frames) that I can put onto my page as one. Once I have the photos printed, I play with the rest of the elements until I like what I have and can glue it down.

Style wise, I really like layers and ephemera and a bit of an old-fashioned look, but that can take more time than I have, and it's not always best with my already full pages. Once I began digital scrapbooking, I found this to be a great way to get that kind of shabby look since I could control size and color with ease and make sure my photos were still most important on the page. My paper pages have become simpler.

An Abundance of Photos

LTK: What is your advice for the scrapbooker who can't get past feeling like she has to scrap every single photo she takes in perfect chronological order?

DH: Get D-ring albums so that even if you don't scrap photos in chronological order you can put them in albums that way. Use photo-pocket pages or small flip-books right on the album page to include more photos. Another thing that I really like to do so that I don't worry about having missed some photos is to blog regularly. If I include a few photos from an outing or just from everyday and if I write the details while it's fresh, I've got the material for a scrapbook page when I feel like getting to it.

While I've skipped around scrapping all over the place timewise the last few years, I am finding that I wish I had totally scrapped an event (vacation, trip, party) all at one time. It's harder to go get back in the mood when you've already done part of the event.

LTK: Are you as organized in other areas of your life as you are in scrapbooking?

DH: I am always a little overextended, and our really long kitchen table usually has a few piles of papers I need to get to. I do get everything done in time and usually well, but not always without some hunting around and general stress.

Get Organized

An organized scrapbooker is a productive scrapbooker. Start getting organized to get more out of your scrapbooking time. Many thanks to Debbie Hodge for her advice. You can get more info from Debbie at her site Get It Scrapped, or find her book at Amazon.

Layouts by Debbie Hodge


~A review copy of Get it Scrapped! was provided by the publisher for this article.

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Scrapbook Organization Tips: Interview with Debbie Hodge