Scraplifting, What is It and Why do It?

What does scraplifting mean? It basically means copying others’ completed layouts in whole or in part. You might look at layouts in books, on the websites or at your friends’ scrapbooks, and decide to copy the whole “look” of it, part of the design, element or aspect of another layout for your own pages.

Fion, from Everything About Scrapbooking, wrote a great article on her blog about scraplifting.

She says, “It’s perfectly alright to scraplift for your own personal use, for your family and for your friends to enjoy in your scrapbook albums. That’s how beginners or advanced scrapbookers learn. By adopting design elements and ideas that you like and incorporating them into your own creations.

Sometimes, you’re in a creative block and it’s a great time to scraplift to lift you out of your block. These are times where you just want to follow along and scraplift another scrapbooker’s whole layout, that’s fine.

Because it’s very likely that while the overall look is similar, ultimately you’ll be using different photos, colored cardstocks, patterned papers and supplies so you’ll be creating something that has its own flavor. It’s never going to be a 100% replica, but something very close or loosely based on the original layout.

Other times, you might just want to scraplift part of the design. Then more often than not, the results you get will be very different from the other scrapbooker’s layout you’ve scraplifted from.

There’ll even be times when you might create variations on the scraplifted layouts to fit your page theme. It’s like mix and match using others’ and your own ideas. In such cases, something quite unique could be born out of it.

I scraplifted big time when I was a beginner, but usually there’s some slight variations. Scraplifting let me try out various ideas by looking and copying others’ pages for ideas. And I must say that the results are almost always pleasing to me.

In fact, I would go further to say that those layouts that I scraplifted are usually better-looking than those that I attempted on my own. Told you that I’m not very creative.

But one of the reasons that scraplifted layouts mostly look good because I chose to scraplift published layouts from magazines or books. If a layout was selected to be published, there’s usually something good about it and something to learn from.

But I must also point out that the more I scraplifted, the more I learned and the better I scrapbooked over time. I think it’s probably because I’ve been attempting various styles and ideas, and my memory bank has been collecting many good design tips. So yes, over time I’ve learned to create some satisfying layouts on my own.

Today I might still scraplift sometimes but I prefer to use scrapbook using sketches as it’s more time-saving than searching for layouts to scraplift, and I can spend more time playing around with choosing my photos, paper and embellishments while the placements of these elements are already laid out for me.”

I personally find that I scrap better when I have something to work from. I will either use a sketch or a layout to scraplift. I have found that I learn something new with every scraplift.

I personally find that I scrap better when I have something to work from.  I will either use a sketch or a layout to scraplift.  I have found that I learn something new with every scraplift.  Each month I host two scraplifting challenges on, Scraplift the Person Before You and Scraplift Your Favorites.

Why scraplift?  In the article Is Scraplifting Really Alright? the author does a great job of answering that question.

“The main reason people scraplift is to get layouts done at a more rapid pace. Often copying someone else’s ideas, can get ones own creative juices flowing and allow for extended freedom on a scrapbook layout.
Another reason for scraplifting, taken from a poll, is that some suffer from scrappers block, which is a lot like writer’s block; when you just cannot seem to come up with any ideas.

So the age old question posed, really is – is it okay to do?

Personally, I can only think of one situation, where scraplifting is most certainly not okay. When you are creating a layout for publication, or payment, it is unacceptable, to steal someone else’s work. In a case like this, a layout by another scrapbooker might better serve as inspiration for an entirely new design, but to copy a partial or whole layout, and at any time gain recognition or payment for it, is absolutely not okay.

However, if you are doing a large number of scrapbook pages, trying to crawl out of a scrappers block, or just in general admiring another scrapbooker’s layout, and you plan to only use the layout that you have partially or entirely copied in your own personal scrapbook, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Some scrapbooker believe that somewhere on the page you should include a credit to the original creator. I am not sure how I feel about that, since I don’t typically scraplift. However, as a writer, I am big on “give credit where credit is due” and it honestly makes me upset, when I see my work on someone else’s web page, with no direct link, tying me to the authorship. So I guess I actually answered my own question on how I feel about it. Instead of mucking up your scrapbook layout with a strange “credit”, you might include the information on the back of the layout.”

There are a lot of wonderful scrapper out there who’s work I admire and wish I was that talented. I love taking someone else’s layout and recreating it to fit what I am going. When I am looking for layouts to add to my favorites to eventually scraplift, I look for those layouts that would fit my pictures and convert easily from 12×12 to 8.5×11. For my sanity, my pictures are 5×7 photo collages. I usually leave them that size, but sometimes I will cut them up to make smaller pictures to fit the sketch or layout I have chosen to lift.

Here are a few of my favorite lifts that I have done.

Original from Amanda


Original from Jessie


Dogwood Canyon

Article by Karen Schwausch