August 2014 Blog Posts

Hello Simple Stories fans, Layle here with you today :)

I'm excited to introduce you to our September Guest Designer Megan Hoeppner -

Megan has put together an amazing SN@P! Binder documenting her daughter's first year and has shared some great techniques, so here we go!

Documenting an entire year feels like a jumbo task. Especially if it’s that all important first year. But, guess what! It isn’t! Thanks to the amazing SN@P! line of products by Simple Stories.

Megan Hoeppner here, and I’m so excited to share an extra special project I’ve been working on with you. It’s my baby girl’s first year baby book. I knew I wanted to do one for her, but she’s now two, and I already felt like I didn’t know where to begin... Until Layle sent me a sample of last year’s Simple Stories Baby Girl SN@P! Set to play with. 

The journaling prompts on these cute cards combine with the pockets in the album she sent was just enough to get my creative wheels turning. And, believe it or not, I managed to get 75% of the book done in a single weekend. Isn’t that incredible? And so fun!

Then, like most matters with my life, other things came along that required more attention, and I put the book aside. In the meantime, Simple Stories introduced the Hello Baby collection. No worries! It complements the Baby Girl SN@P! Set beautifully. The colors work so well together, allowing me to blend the two lines for a happy and cohesive finished product. (Because you know I had to get my hands on the STUNNING Hello Baby business.)

If you know me, you know I’m a technique geek. Live for trying new things and playing with my stash in unexpected ways. Just because you’re using SN@P! does not mean you simply have to drop in and go. But you can. That’s the beauty. Or you can add a few tricks to the mix where you feel there’s a natural fit. Here are a few of the techniques featured in my book:

Technique #1: The Cover, Embroidery and Iron-ons

As soon as I got my hands on this beautiful teal burlap SN@P! album, I knew I wanted to personalize it using fabric. You know, since it is also fabric. So I die-cut my daughter’s initials from fabric treated with fusible webbing on the back.

I also ironed iron-on webbing to the back of the pink fabric and the flourishes. But before I ironed anything on, I embroidered “year 1” into the pink fabric.

Then it was easy as grabbing my iron and adding the different layers on.

The spine of the album has a cute bookplate on it, so I grabbed Maggie’s tiny hospital bracelet and stuck it in. It was a perfect fit!

Technique #2: The Inside Cover, Pocket Alteration

Wanting to create a title page, or teaser of sorts, I used the little 2x2 divided pocket page to insert a photo of Maggie taken at each month. I made little numbered onesies for her first year of life, which worked perfectly here. (WARNING—Shameless plug: I also sell these onesies. Please see my site or message me on Facebook if you’d like more info. Thanks!)

For the pocket page to fit, I simply removed the hole binding area using my trimmer. I then glued the page down using large adhesive dots behind my corner and center photos.

Technique #3: My Title Page, Eraser Stamping

I love the see-through aspect of pocket scrapbooking, so I wanted to play that up with my lead page. For starters, I stamped the pocket using a Staz-on ink pad and a pencil eraser.

Once the ink was dry, I adhered chipboard letter stickers inside the long pocket spelling my daughter’s name, added a strip of washi tape down the length of the seam, and stitched the whole business shut using my sewing machine.

Technique #4: Journaling Card Inserts

Wanting to add more layer and interactive elements to my book, I turned some of the 4X6 and 6x4 journaling cards into inserts by punching them using a hole punch and reinforcing those holes with hole reinforcers (go figure) that I picked up at the dollar store. You probably don’t need to reinforce, but it does kind of make it feel more official or something. And you know me; I’m all about being official. ;)

CAPTION: Since the 6x4 cards won’t reach the rings in the binding, I mounted them to 4x6 cards, adding interest, making the reach, and offering more room to write and add photos. This is the front and back of the same card.

Technique #5: Photo Flips

I wanted the same type of interactive inserts for a few of my photos, simply so I’d have room to add a few more. So I took the same approach, punching and reinforcing, and then binding them in.

More like tags, these two 6x4 photos each have a single hole punched in them. They are a bit flopsy this way, but I don’t mind. I like the character it adds.

I stitched two photos back to back here, adding a ticket for a tab

This is your combo meal—the front is a photo, while the back is a journaling card. I also included a doily and some washi tape for added flava.

Technique #6: Photo/Journaling Card Mini Book

This little guy opens like a book. To create this effect, I placed a photo over a journaling card, put tape down a portion of the seam (inside and out), scored a line about 1/4” in from the seam edge of each card (so the “book” would open easier), and then machine stitched using a zigzag stitch for added reinforcement. Now, this little insert opens up, almost like a book within a book.

Technique #7: Shake, Shake, Shake Señora

Naturally, I couldn’t do a pocket album without a shaker pocket or two. For my...innards (?), I used sequins and a few wood veneer pieces. I then stitched the pocket shut. NOTE: See the “April” insert for how this stitching works on the back to create a flap.

Technique #8: Brush Script on Glassine

One of my favorite techniques to do right now is brush words and doodles onto glassine bags using a paintbrush and either india ink/calligraphy ink or plain spray ink. On this one, I used a teal Mister Huey’s spray ink. Don’t forget to add a few splatters by tapping your wet brush over your area using your finger. It makes it feel a bit more artsy.

Technique #9: Tag Flap

Even the smallest of pockets can have some technique time. For this 2x2 friend, I inserted one of the DIY Shoppe tags. For the portion that sticks out above the pocket, I scored a line and folded it over. I then inserted a brad into the sleeve (using a paper piercer) and tied the tag down to create a flap/closure. This is a nice trick if you have areas of journaling you want left a bit more private, though that isn’t the case with this little tale.

Technique #10: Photo Flap

With nothing more than a strip of cute tape, you can create a flap on your pocket. I first adhered a small (2x2”) image to a frame I fussy cut from a sheet of the Hello World paper. I added my photo and a strip of tape, and just like that you have a flap. Great when you want to add more journaling or images.


Wanting to separate each month in a creative way, I added the following dividers, starting with June, which is when my love entered our lives.


Tracing paper and a gel pen. I punched the paper with a small heart punch and pinned it to the page.


Punched journaling card (holes for binding), a few strips of washi tape, and letter stickers.

August & September

I altered the “A—Adorable” pre-made card to read “A—August” using letter stickers. I then added some pen stitching around the large A.  Same technique for September.


I added stickers to the outside of the pocket, traced around the stickers using a permanent marker, and removed the stickers, leaving me with open letters that allow the pattern beneath to show through.


Super simple. Just spelled out November across the bottom of my photo using letter stickers.


Possibly my favorite divider, this is just a strip of cardstock paired with a shipping tag, a piece of tracing paper, and a few chipboard embellishments.


Jan. stickers added to strips of washi. Another fast and easy trick.


I punched a heart in a ticket, wrote “February” and stapled the ticket to the sleeve.


I used white india ink to brush the word “March” on the journaling card. I also wrote “9 mo.” and added some splatter. NOTE: This does require a few coats when using white ink.


Maybe the most involved of the bunch, I first scored the line between the “10 months” area of the card and the rest of the 6x4 journaling card, creating a flap. To help indicate the flap aspect, I then punched a half circle out from the cards “10 months” end. I slid the photo portion of the card inside the pocket and left the “10 months” flap out. To make sure it all stays in place, I then stitched along the seam between the two areas. Now, when you lift the flap, you’ll see the month and some journaling about that month.


I cut the arrow insert from a sheet of 12x12 Hello World patterned paper and added letter stickers to spell the month.


I cut one row from the the 2x2 square page (the row with the holes for the ring binding). I then inserted the cards spelling “June.”


Beyond the monthly highlights, I wanted to include a few additional items in Maggie’s book, including the following:

12 Months Scrapbook Page

Just a few thoughts from Maggie’s daddy and me about how much this first year of her life has meant to us.

Bracelet Pocket

The pre-made SN@P! pockets made it super easy to include some memorabilia in my book!


A look at some of the delightful friends Maggie made during her first year of life.

Made with Love

A couple of messages from me about the love that went into this book and how it all stems from the immense love I have for my girl. I want her to always know what a positive an amazing addition she is to our family, even when she’s raising a family of her own one day.

I wrote this on the back of her 12-month layout. The paper was already lined, making it so easy.

Just like the library books of yesteryear, this book has a pocket added to its back inside cover, where I placed a few additional love notes for my girl.

The End

Wanting to add my own “Gold Crown” mark, I concluded my project with a little iron-on heart. Before ironing it on, I embroidered her birthday. I also added a second, felt heart for some additional texture.

!!  You know I couldn’t stop here. I also wanted to create a 12x12 layout for my own scrapbook album. See how unbelievably easy this was to do (seriously took no more than 30 minutes) using a sheet of paper from the Hello Baby collection. I’m sharing it on my blog, along with a mini book for Grandma about Maggie’s first year, which also came together remarkably fast.

Hope you’ll come by. I’m now at Simply click “blog,” and then “view blog” to see my post.

Whew! Thanks for hanging in there with me on this one. I know it’s a tad... lengthy. ;) I realize you may not incorporate each of these ideas into your own album, but I hope you’ve found at least one take-away that you can’t wait to try. If so, I’d love it if you’d share with me. Thanks a bunch! All the best to you as you tell your own stories. Remember to enjoy your creative journey.

I’ll leave you with a little video tour below of my finished book or you watch it here.

Cheers! Megan


Howdy friends!  Layle here with you today!

Do you love mini albums, but are tired of the same old techniques?  Are you stumped when it comes to creating with our 6x8 SN@P! Binders, not sure where to start?!! 

If you're raising your hand, you're in luck!  I'll be tackling this VERY subject for True Scrap 6 - an online, LIVE virtual scrapbooking event October 17th and 18th, with inspiration and education from 9 A-list instructors including Nichol Magouirk, Jennifer Gallacher, Donna Salazar and more!











Click here to learn more about this great virtual event, including the list of instructors, their class descriptions, more about my class (I'll be covering more than 10 different innovative and interactive, techniques for taking your mini books and SN@P! Binders from blah to ahhhh!) and to register.

Here's a little more about my class -

Flip It, Score It, Make It, Shake It!:  Innovative, Interactive Mini Book Techniques With Layle Koncar

From flips that lift and tabs that pull to peek-a-boos & see throughs, mini books can open up a whole new world when it comes to innovative elements for your reader to interact with.  Join Layle Koncar in this "Flip It, Score It, Make It, Shake It!:  Innovative, Interactive Mini Book Techniques" class as she shares 12 of her favorite interactive techniques for spicing up your mini books, many of which can also be incorporated into your traditional and Pocket Page scrapbooking projects!

Click here for all the details!

Hope to (virtually) see you there!

Hi there, Layle with you today for another round of Pick a Card, Any Card!

Each month, 5 of our design team members and I will be picking one of our favorite Simple Stories or SN@P! 3x4 or 4x6 cards and sharing them with you - in more ways than one!  We've introduced so many GREAT cards over the last few years that I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite cards each month, tell you why they're our favorites and then give you a chance to win not only the specific cards that we picked, but the other cards they're paired up with as part of the set (more on that fun giveaway at the end of this post)!

If you missed last month's picks, you can see them here.

To kick off this month's version of Pick a Card, Any Card, here's one of my favorites -

This card is one of the 3x4 Cards from our new School SN@P! Set.  I just love the 'HELLO' on the display - it reminds me of being a kid and trying to make up words on the calculator!

Next up is Rebecca Keppel with this 4x6 card from our Good Day Sunshine SN@P! Cards -

When I asked Rebecca why she choose this particular card, she said -

My kids are in their 3rd week of school already, so I am missing and remembering our summer and this card says it all! Plus I love the rainbow gradient from the Good Day Sunshine collection that is featured as the background of this card. And the flip side? Diagonal stripes in teal, my favorite color. This card has it all for me :)

Shellye McDaniel chose this 4x6 card from the Cozy Christmas 4x6 Horiztonal Elements -

When I asked Shellye why she chose this card, she said -

I love the mix of simple, real-life elements mixed in with graphic design; you will see this a lot throughout the newest Simple Stories Collections!  This particular card really stood out to me:  I love the pop of red from the ornament, that little bit of tree branch poking out, the muted background and the various fun truly looks like an old photo made new again with a few words sprinkled over the top!  And the sentiment is perfect for a card, which makes it perfect for my crafting.

Teri Anderson selected this 3x4 card from the Cat SN@P! Set -

According to Teri -

Ever see something and just spontaneously start giggling? Yep. That's this card for me. That sweet yet devilish cat is just the best. And even though I don't even have a cat, I totally plan on using this card on a page to document my dog's love/hate relationship with the neighborhood kitties.

Next up is Vicki Boutin with this 3x4 card from our new Seasons SN@P! Set -

When I asked Vicki why she selected this card, she said -

This card is a fav because I love color palette and the look on that little snowman's face is too cute.  I can see myself using this card for so many different things! 

Last up this month is Wendy Antenucci with this 4x6 card from the Legacy SN@P! Cards -

According to Wendy -

I LOVE the cards from the Legacy collection!  The sayings on these cards are why I scrapbook.  How about the card, Celebrate your Life honor those that made it possible?  or this one, this is what matters most?  The Legacy collection is the collection that will really make pages that are lasting and will impact the future generation.  These cards will not only tell who you are, but who your family is and what you stand for.

So, what do you think?  How about those picks - pretty fun, right?!

OK, now to more good stuff.  At the beginning of this post I mentioned something about a giveaway!  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below by end of day Saturday, September 6th telling me which of our 6 cards is your favorite and why.  On Sunday the 14th I'll draw one random lucky winner to win not only the cards we selected, but the rest of the cards that are included with each package the cards are from  - that's 198 fabulous Simple Stories cards; you can see all of the cards one random lucky will win under the Supplies section below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


Hello again, Simple Stories fans! Teri here today, and I'm here with another Life Documented project. I'm excited to share with you a couple more  pages made with the Good Day Sunshine collection. 

I just love the bright, happy colors of this collection. I think it just screams Summer so I thought it would be perfect to use to document a late-Summer trip to the fair. I had signed up to take part in a 5K race at the fair and then got enjoy the fair's sights and sounds afterwards. It was such a fun day and totally worth remembering!

One of my favorite elements of these pages are the pockets along the top of this page. I took some of the SN@P! Cuts and then added layers of twine and paper to them. One of the things I really love about Simple Stories' products is you can use them as they come or you customize them by adding embellishments, paper and stickers to them and really make them your own. That's so cool! 

If you look really close here, you'll see one of the Good Day Sunshine SN@P! pockets. I typed some thoughts about the day on a journaling card and just slid them into the pocket. To make the pocket a little more customized, I added a die-cut and a little twine to it. 

I sure had a fun time putting together the second page of my spread. Believe it or not, I made my own decorative tape with some Good Day Sunshine patterned paper! 

It was so easy! I cut strips of patterned paper and then applied two-way tape to it. When it came time to use it, I just tore off a little bit of paper... just like real tape.

One other fun thing about the right page is that top right pocket. I had a bunch of different die-cuts, stickers and brads from Good Day Sunshine collection that were left-over from other projects I worked on and I thought, "What if I mix them up?" Sure enough. That's what I did. I went to town, mixing them randomly together to make the card for the pocket. I think it turned out pretty cool!

I also used one of Simple Stories' Photo Flips on my page so I that I could add another picture to the mix.

By the way, are you guys familiar with the Photo Flips? They are amazing! Here's why: They are like little pockets. You fill them up with photos, SN@P! Cards or anything your heart desires. Then you adhere the Photo Flips (which have adhesive on them) to your page. 

And one more thing I should mention. After I completed my pages, I still had my race bib to scrap. So what did I do? Easy! I grabbed a 6x8 Pocket Page and slapped it in it and added it right to the spread. If you run or know someone who runs and want to scrapbook those bibs, I've found those pocket pages fit many of the race bibs out there. 

So before I go, let's talk about albums. I'm using a 12x12 SN@P! faux leather album in red to document all of my 2014 adventures in. I often scrapbook out of order so it's really nice that the album's ring binding allows me to do that. I used the SN@P! Pocket Pages Design 3 for these pages. I also used one of the 6x8 Pocket Pages.  It's cool that Simple Stories offers so many different styles of pages. I dig being able to mix them together. I think it helps keeps my pages interesting!

See you again,



Howdy friends, Layle here :) 

Great news, the Legacy Simple Inspiration eBook is now available for download! 

Simple Inspiration eBooks include beautiful photography, project ideas, design tips and inspiration on how you can create with our fabulous Simple Stories collections!  The new Simple Inspiration eBooks include a little something for everyone - layouts, SN@P! Binders, pocket page spreads, home decor items and cards.

Simply click on the link below for your free download & enjoy! -

Legacy Simple Inspiration eBook Free Download

Visit the Project Downloads section of our website to download Simple Inspiration eBooks and Project Idea Sheets from our past collections.

Hi everyone, Marie here to share a 6x8 Sn@p! album using the new Legacy collection.  I've been researching our family's genealogy for the past couple of years, and I'm finally getting all of those stories and photos organized into an album. 



I have to admit the Legacy collection made putting this album together a breeze.  There were blank genealogy cards and charts included, so all I had to do was add our family's information.  I was also a big fan of the colors in this collection. The muted red, aqua, and yellow colors really make a pretty backdrop for black and white photos.


DSC_5247 copy

I added in memorabilia in Sn@p! Pockets througout the album. I even have a copy of my grandfather's high school report card in there.  I also used vellum to print out several photos and letters in this album.  I think it adds a nice vintage touch.



The 2x2 Insta-Pocket Pages are still my favorite way to add in a lot of pictures in a small space.  I love that Simple Stories has a variety of Pocket Pages to choose from. 

For this album I used a 6x8 SNAP! Faux Leather Album in brown.  It was the perfect size and color for this project!     


Hi everyone!  It's Emily with you today.  I've recently discovered hiking.... ok, I'm a little late to the party, but I have been out of shape for years and never thought that I would be able to "take a hike" per say. A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to go hike some trails that were located by a lake, really scenic and very beautiful! So we took a few photos. Of course, I HAD to make a layout! 

The "Under the Stars" collection isn't just for camping. This collection was perfect for my hiking photos! I love that the collection is small, so I have no problem using it all up with these photos. I'm not a campy type person, but I do love being outdoors. This collection is a must have if you are outdoorsy! 

I used some templates from Kiwi Lane Designs to add a little extra to my layout. I wanted to layer the papers in this collection because they are all such beautiful papers and need to be seen! 

Thanks for joining me today! 


Hey everyone!  Andrea here with you today, and I’m super excited to share a cute Halloween tree I made using the new Frankie and Friends collection.  I LOVE THIS COLLECTION!  Halloween is my most favorite holiday, and I’ve been waiting for Simple Stories to make a collection specific to it for a long time - and I’m so glad they did!

Here it is:

I found a black urn and branches at my local craft store and that became the “canvas” to work with.  Think of decorating your Christmas tree; that’s exactly how I tackled this, except that I wanted to include photos of my family in their Halloween costumes from years past.

I decorated pieces of chipboard with papers from the collection and photos, and jazzed them up with the embellishments.

I strung them with ribbon and tied them to the branches.

This will sit on a table in the corner of my living room, and I’ll be able to add photos to it each year.  I had a blast doing this, and I hope it inspires you to use your scrapbook supplies to capture your memories in a fun, different way.

Thanks for joining me!