Embellishments Gone Wild!

Audience: Beginners
Category: Basic Layout Techniques
Operating System: Windows 7
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5

We’ve all seen it. Most of us have done it. There’s even a name from the paper scrapping world for it. Sticker Sneeze. It’s kind of gross, but aptly named. It’s when, well, your page looks like you sneezed and sprayed embellishments all over it – and thankfully, nothing else! Here’s an example:

anchor embellishments before

In this digital scrapbooking layout, I have an adorable picture of my nephew in a super cute raincoat. I also found the perfect kit in the Scrap Girls Boutique. Unfortunately, the embellishments overwhelm the layout and the picture of my nephew gets lost in the confusion.

Here’s a more hygienic version (no sneezes here):

anchor embellishments after

In this layout, the embellishments have a purpose and draw the eye to the picture, rather than taking center stage themselves. Here’s a few thoughts that I had while making the second layout:

  1. Umbrellas don’t normally float around by themselves, nor does the handle typically point anywhere but down. In the first layout, it feels like the wind is blowing the world away. In the second layout, I used a grouping of umbrellas that feel a little safer and more controlled.
  2. Clouds fit the theme, but in the first layout, they’re everywhere! Yes, when it’s foggy, “clouds” can be under your feet, but that’s not really the point of the layout. In the second layout, I put the cloud in the sky and included a sun to brighten the mood.
  3. The birds are adorable, but don’t really fit the theme, so I deleted most of them from the first layout and found some word art to tie the one remaining bird into the second layout.
  4. Lastly, notice that the groupings of embellishments (called clusters) make a triangle pointing at my nephew. The eye loves odd numbers and triangles.

anchor embellishments LO

Have you sneezed all over your digital scrapbooking layout? If so, bless you! Now, take the time to clean it up with thoughtful placement of your embellishments. Then show us what you’ve made by posting in the Scrap Girls Gallery.

Digital scrapbooking products used:

(Click on the images below to be taken to their product page)

Rainy Day Collection Mini

JIF Plus: Happy Day

Rainy Day Frames Embellishment Mini

JIF 6: Watercolor Wonderful

Dynamic Brush Set: Bokeh Love 6401

ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Edge It 5001

Monica l

 Article written by Monica Lebsack 


  1. Melanie Cockshott says:

    Wonderful article, Monica! Great before and after examples of your layouts.


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