weekend creative : hand-drawn grids + repeated shapes


I like organized layouts.

I have done my fair share of a variety of different kinds of layouts (single photo, artsy, words + photos, etc), but truth be told hand-drawn grids (where the grid is drawn onto the background cardstock) are one of my most favorite ways to actually construct a page. Using a grid provides a home for all my elements: photos, words, embellishments, stamps, patterned papers, etc.

Something about working in this fashion always seems to encourage me to dig through my stash and find some of those long-lost embellishments I forgot I had purchased.

All supplies from Designer Digitals. Ali Edwards: Hand-Drawn Overlay Grid (available Sunday), Stacked Dates (available Sunday), Painterly Backgrounds No. 1, The Story Word Art, Everyday Twill; Katie Pertiet: Messy Stamped Alpha No.2, Botanist Notebook Vol.2, Clock Parts 2, Curled Journal Spots, Journaling Strip Masks, Lil Bit Tags; Pattie Knox:Absolutely Acrylic Elements; Jessie Edwards: Gloriously Paper; Andrea Victoria: Faux Bois-Woods, Pina Paper Pack; Lynn Grieveson: Flitter Kit


Layout created for a class Margie taught this past year. Click for larger image. Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill; Pen: American Crafts; Everything Else: Making Memories - felt flowers, ribbon, stickers, patterned paper.

Here's the process I go through to create a hand-drawn grid:

1. Punch out a bunch of squares with my Marvy Giga punch. Use all those squares to figure out how many I want on my layout. Most of the time I fill it up (16, 2x2 squares on a 12x12) but you could also do half a page or a single row of squares to create a smaller grid.

2. After punching I arrange them on the background cardstock and use a pen (American Crafts Precision Pens) to draw around them to create the hand-drawn boxes (use the punched pieces as templates).

3. Don't worry if there are little pen mistakes in your grid - that is part of the "look" and the "charm" of this style of grid. If you want it perfect you could create a bunch of squares on your computer and print those out onto cardstock. The digital version of my 12x12 hand-drawn grid will be available from Designer Digitals on Sunday (could easily be printed onto an 8x8 for a smaller version).

4. Add elements. Not all places within the grid "homes" need to be filled with a bunch of stuff. Sometimes just a word sticker is enough - especially on antwo-page spread. I also like to have some elements breaking out of the grid shapes (such as the larger flower on page one of the two-page spread above).

A hand-drawn grid design such as those above would be a cool base for a holiday project...hmmm...need to put that on my list for this year (similar to this one I created a couple years ago).

You may also notice that I like to do a painted background underneath the hand-drawn grid. This is as simple as dumping some paint onto the cardstock and using your brush to create a sqaure that does not touch the edges of the paper. Let it dry before drawing in your grid.

One of the biggest ideas here is this: don't reinvent the wheel design-wise each time you go to tell a story. I love grids. Hand-drawn. Computer generated. Punched. Etc. Basically any lined up repetition of shape. They are a great way for me to organize information + accents and they are a great starting point for just about any project.

Here's a couple non-hand-drawn grid/repeated shape examples from the past:


Here's one from 2005. The white on top of the green cardstock is an old transparency from Karen Russell's Narratives line. Those metal rimmed circle tags continue to be a favorite today.

Grids don't have to be hand-drawn. Grids do not have to be squares. Grab a glass from the kitchen and create a layout based on a bunch of circles or gather a bunch of chipboard circles and use those as your foundation. Think repetition of shape.


Above is my second-ever layout from back in 2002. Photos placed together to create a grid with "gutter" space in between each photo. This was before I had purchased any embellishments at all - words + photos and some vellum.

The examples from Three Things this week were also grids.

And one more I posted last weekend featuring a circle grid (good example of partial page grid):


All products from Designer Digitals: Ali Edwards: Layered Template #22, Circle Overlays + Frames, Family Hand Drawn Words; Katie Pertiet: Little Forest Friends, Krafty Ledger, Flossy Hearts; Patti Knox: Have A Heart, Absolutely Clear Acrylic Elements, Have A Heart Felt 3; Anna Victoria: Autmn Crush

And the cover page for my Week In The Life CKU album from 2007 (I have plans to do another version of this project sometime in the next month):


This one is really a bunch of square punched photos and patterned paper squares all gathered together in a nice grid format. Again, it's not rocket science. It is punching things out and lining things up and finding a way you like to do things and repeating it for different stories.

Another way to think in terms of a grid? Use divided page protectors - they essentially provide you with homes for all your elements. You can read more about working with those here.

Today's prompt is to create a layout (paper or digital or both) that incorporates a literal grid. Play around. Try creating a hand-drawn base or play around with aligning a bunch of the same shape on one or two pages.


[ weekend creative is a semi-regular feature appearing on Fridays : past projects can be located in the archives. ]

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