You might be asking yourself what B.Y.O.K stands for... and I have an answer for that: Build Your Own Kit! Why, yes! Now doesn't that sound like fun?

I love building scrapbook kits out of my stash. There are so many kits out there that inspire me. The kits that I create I take with me to crops (scrapbooking with others), retreats (again, scrapbooking with others, but overnight), or just plain scrapbooking at home. I know of some scrappers that build mini-kits and take them on the road even like Dear Lizzy. For me, having a kit on hand truly makes scrapbooking a bit more seamless and less stressful, especially if you feel overwhelmed by a large stash.

Like you, I have a tight scrapbook budget. Currently, I allow myself one kit subscription per month.  This helps to maintain my supply of papers and products. When my stash feels unmanageable or I'm not using up the kits that I purchase, then I cancel my sub for a time. Right now, I am subbing to Studio Calico. In the past, I've subscribed to Citrus Twist Kits, Scraptastic Club, and Gossamer Blue.

Now more about how to B.Y.O.K or build your own kit.

When I build kits, I follow a simple recipe. First I begin with an inspiration kit. This month I chose Gossamer Blue's May Main Kit. I was most attracted to the bright card stock and floral print.

I generally stick to four solid cardstock (including a neutral like white, kraft or black), eight pattern papers (including both large and small patterns),  large and small alphas, a stamp set, and embellishments (basically whatever floats my boat: doilies, stickers, sequins, buttons, brads, enamel dots).

Normally, I would start by finding a pattern paper that anchors the whole line, like the bright floral of the inspiration kit. For this kit though, I actually began with the card stock. I really loved the idea of combining teal and fuchsia, but I thought their brightness in the inspiration kit competed with each other; additionally, I didn't love the orange paper chosen for this kit. I know why it was chosen, but it really doesn't compliment the fuschia or the teal to me. For my kit, I chose a bright, chipper yellow to compliment my a lighter teal (which is more like an aqua) and bright purple based fuchsia (I actually couldn't believe that I had this purple/pink color. It's so unlike me.)
Cardstock (Bazzill, Cor'dinations)
Now that I have chosen the perfect color of cardstock, it is time to find a floral print that contains all of these colors. It was a process at first, but I settled on a beautiful print with a brown base and lots of color. Isn't it just lovely? Next, I began by looking for a strong stripe. I found a teal in a strong horizontal. A yellow gingham paper was a perfect too as well as a soft grey stripe. Next up, I wanted another paper that pulled some of the pink out without being overwhelming. Rather than choose a white based paper with a pattern like the pennant paper in the inspiration kit, I chose to go with this fun constellation paper. A neutral small print to replace the cream grid paper was next; I found this swell light taupe polka dot. Lastly, I needed something else to jazz it up and make it modern. I was looking for something white and black like the strong horizontal in the inspiration kit. I found this soft, yet masculine black and white chevron print and also these fun mopeds with a neutral base. Normally, I wouldn't add a competing patter against this strong floral, but I thought these were cute and they had all the colors to compliment the cardstock as well as the floral print, and ta-da. It comes together so nicely.
Cardstock (Bazill), Pattern Paper (My Minds Eye, Dear Lizzy, Amy Tangerine)
Stamps were next on my list because I often forget them. I wanted to make sure that I chose them before my embellishments. You see, I'm not really a stamper (or mister). I try, but it always feels so far out of my comfort zone, kind of like sewing on paper. I love how it looks, but it's been tough for me to master. Still a total beginner, but I digress.
Stamp (Amy Tangerine, Citrus Twist Kits)
When it comes to embellishments, I start by perusing through 'kit' leftovers. These are pieces from past kits that were never opened or I didn't use up all the pieces. For this kit, I found some glitter sentiments, die-cut frames, funky (boyish) stickers, a fun rub-on, small floral buttons, and other odds and ends that I had in my stash basket. And we can't forget about alphas. I am seriously obsessed with Thickers, and I have been since I bought my first pack (even paid full price) at Hobby Lobby in 2009.
Stickers (Heidi Swapp, My Minds Eye, Simple Stories), Tags (Chic Tags),
Die-Cut (Scraptastic Club), Rub-On (Jenni Bowlin), Washi Tape (Sticker Stop),
Brads (American Crafts), Poms (Basic Grey), Thickers (Amy Tangerine),
Doilies, Buttons (Melissa Frances), Label (Citrus Twist Kits)

And voila, I'm done.  Now some of you might like to include additional items in your kits, such as coordinating ink, mists, etc. I don't have very many of those, so I bring them ALL to each and every crop. They store very nicely in my little rolling tote along with my kits, so I can pick what I need in the moment. If you have too many to schlep around, then I recommend picking out a couple of inks and a mist to include in your kit for when you go to crops and retreats, that way you don't have to lug everything and the kitchen sink.
I transport my B.Y.O.Ks in lovely 2 gallon ziploc bags. Available at
Walmart; I purchased mine through a seller on Etsy for a steal.
So that is that. I create kits to use up my stash, streamline my scrapbook process, and to bring to crops and retreats. I have a lot of fun doing it. It is a very artistic and therapeutic process for me.

In other news, I was recently asked to guest blog over at the brand spankin' new Memory Lane Inn Blog. It was such an honor to be asked, so of course I jumped right on it. It was a fun experience, and I plan to share next week about how I plan, prep, and pack for an overnight retreat. They are looking for a few good bloggers, especially former/current retreat guests. Email me if you would like more details about blogging with Memory Lane Inn: tinyscrapper at yahoo dot com.

Tell me do you sub to kits? Which ones? Or do you B.Y.O.K.? Or a little of both, like me? I'd love to know. Tell me about your process; what works best for you?

1 comment:

Harry Newton said...

Building your own scrapbook kit is definitely thrifty. It also gives you the chance to be creative, with the ability to customize the theme. It's the perfect chance to control what you want to see in your scrapbook. So, thinking about it, building your own kit is actually a great idea. I'll definitely try that soon. Thanks for sharing! :)

Harry Newton @ AllScrapbookSteals.com