I got “Easy Patterns for Scrapbooking” by Brenda Arnall after hearing so many people rave about it. It costs $14.95 on the Creating Keepsakes magazine website. I purchased mine at Michael’s using a 40% off coupon. I used this book for the first time last weekend and just wanted to share my thoughts.

First let me say, I was really in a rut. I felt like all my pages looked the same. You know, cardstock background, patterned paper accents (usually just one pattern, too scared to try more), some rub ons, a journaling box….blah! I’m a pretty basic scrapper, nothing too fancy, with my goal being lots of photos per page. But how to do that in a better way and change up my style a bit? Time for an idea book!

Here is how the Easy Patterns work: You choose a pattern, pick the designated supplies (e.g. 4 sheets of cardstock, 2 patterned papers, and ribbon tape), choose photos, and cut everything to the measurements provided in the instructions. Then you assemble the basic page, adding embellishments like the one’s used or choose your own. You end up with a variety of projects, say (2) 12×12 2-page layouts, 3 cards and a mini-book. A big bonus to me: You have hardly any scraps when you’re done.

Well, because of this book, I’m officially out of my rut! It became easy to try something new. The layouts are not complicated but you can jazz them up to your own liking. I actually mixed…gasp!…three patterned papers on ONE layout. Oh…my…gosh! After seeing several of my Easy Patterns layouts, both my mom and my friend ran right over to Mike’s and bought a copy! I liked how I didn’t really have to think, or overthink, about what I was doing. This is especially nice because I’m often so tired when the house is finally quiet and I have time to scrap. The only challenge was being careful to pick PPs that will work the same way as they do in the sample layouts. Like if a PP had flowers you cut out, yours should have some design you can cut out. And please follow the directions that say to write the letter in pencil on the back of each piece after you cut it.

I have two negative comments: 1) I wish there weren’t so many 8.5×11 layouts. The number of such layouts did not seem proportionate to the number of 8.5×11 (vs. 12×12) scrappers out there. In an ideal world, there would be an entire Easy Patterns book for 8.5×11 and another book for strictly 12×12. 2) For fancy scrappers who like to use lots of techniques or individual style, you might not like this book. But I think you should give it a chance…just put your own spin on em and embellish to your hearts content. I do recommend this book to any scrapper. If you want to try it out before you buy the book, an Easy Pattern is published each month in Creating Keepsakes magazine and there are many on their website that you can try for free.

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  1. avatar

    I’m reading the words but I’m not seeing the layouts Erika. C’mon girl. Let’s see ’em.

  2. avatar

    Hey Erika,

    Your review of the books is great! Maybe I’ll buy it someday too! It does sound wonderful.

    I have to agree with Karen, though. I’d love to see your layouts!

  3. avatar

    Karen & Ilse – Thanks for commenting on the book review. I hope you try Easy Patterns and like it. There are several reasons I haven’t posted layouts but, just for you two, I will try my best to overcome them :) In the meantime, if you want to see layouts made from Easy Patterns, check this link: https://www.creatingkeepsakes.com/mag/article.ihtml?index_field=1872. There are even layouts made by Lisa Bearnson.

  4. avatar
    Mellan says:

    Thank you! I don’t drive for health reasons (mine and everyone else’s LOL), but am going to Michael’s on Thursday. I sure hope they have one of these books left. As a new scrapbooker (tho an older lady), it sounds perfect for me!
    Mellan :)

  5. avatar

    I have this book as well and was disappointed for these same reasons. I really hope that they will come out with one geared towards just 12 x 12 patterns.

  6. avatar
    cutie says:

    where are the pictures? I need an example….

  7. avatar
    Seane Smith says:

    I just found this blog post while searching for more easy patterns to use. I have been a huge fan of easy patterns for a few years now and have saved them all from the magazine issues as well as the special publication you used.
    I have to say that I am an 8.5×11 scrapper and I am glad there were so many in there. It would not have been worth it for me to buy it otherwise. I do wish there were more of them, and a whole issue dedicated to my size would be wonderful.
    I have them all organized in a binder by size, each pattern set in it’s own page protector. That way I can have them all together, and if I ever switch back to 12×12 I still have the patterns.

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