Whether you are going to a scrapbooking crop for a few hours or you are going for a whole weekend, planning ahead is the key for a fun-filled and productive crop. The principles in this article work for whatever length crop you are going to. It doesn’t matter if it is a day crop or a full weekend retreat, this step by step check list will ensure you will have everything you need to have a productive time crafting!

Going to a crop or scrapbooking getaway gives you the opportunity to catch up on your scrapbooking and paper crafting backlog or try some techniques you haven’t had the chance to try at home while hanging out with other paper crafters.

Step 1: about 6 weeks from the crop date: create a cropping “to-do” list

This list is a rough draft list of projects, scrapbook layouts, cards, etc you want to do based criteria such as:

  • techniques to try
  • products or gadgets to use
  • Scrapbooking layouts to complete and/or catch up with
  • Gifts and/or cards you need to make

This list is fluid which means you will be adding to this list over the next couple of weeks. As you think of projects you want to work on, just add them to the list. Please note the list is in no particular order. As you think of things just write them down. Don’t worry about how long or short the list is.

Step 2: about 4 weeks from crop date: narrow down your project list

Most likely the “to do” list you have been working on over the last 2 weeks is pretty long and most likely you won’t be able to realistically get it all done while at your scrapbooking retreat. Therefore you will need to narrow down the list and make it more manageable. You will want to consider some of the following criteria when narrowing down your list:

  • How many hours you plan on crafting while at the retreat
  • How long it typically takes you to complete a project
  • Upcoming events (birthday parties, graduations, holidays, etc)
  • New products you really want to use
  • Techniques you would like to try
  • Pictures you really want to scrap
  • Projects that you have started and would like to complete

Step 3: about 3-4 weeks from crop date: start planning out your projects

This step may be the most difficult part because it requires that you don’t physically craft however by planning out your projects now, you will be able to scrapbook and craft more efficiently while at the scrapbooking crop event. Take your time over a week and think about the projects on your “to do” list from step 2. Sketch out your projects. Think about the papers, photos, and embellishments you would like to use. Consider if you will type or handwrite your journaling. Once you have a rough game plan for your projects then:

  • Order any reprints or enlargements that you may need
  • Order/purchase any supplies that you need such as paper, embellishments, extra adhesive, etc

Step 4: about 10 days from crop date: create project kits

After planning all of the projects on the “to do” list and purchasing any supplies that you need the next step is to create a project kit for each item on your “to do” list. Gather all of the items needed for a given project (paper, photos, and embellishments) and put them together. A 13×13 project folder works well for scrapbook layouts. The advantage to creating projects kits are:

  • Everything you need for a given project is all together in one place
  • Everything coordinates so you are not searching for that 1 item to complete the project
  • You don’t end up packing everything in your scrapping area to take with you to the scrapbooking retreat. You are only taking what you need. By taking only what you need, then you end up getting more done at the crop. That being said, you may take extra supplies with you but by following these steps you won’t end up taking everything in your crafting space.

Step 5: the days leading up to the crop date: the finishing touches

Your game plan for the 10 days leading up to the crop date includes all of the finishing touches so to speak. These steps are like the icing on the cake, which will help you be more productive at the crop.

  • Continue to work on creating project kits
  • For those layouts that will include typed journaling, type and print the journaling and then include it in your project kit
  • Coordinate with your friends so everyone is not bringing the same tools – share big items if possible such as die cutting machine
  • Confirm which items are at the help desk. At many scrapbooking crops a tool station is included with all sorts of tools you can use such as punches and ink pads
  • Make sure you have enough adhesive. Over estimate and bring more than you think you will need

Step 6: the day before the crop: packing

Use your “to do” list as your packing list as well. However in addition to your project kits, paper, embellishments and adhesive you will want to bring the following items to the crop as well:

  • light and extension cord (often times the lighting isn’t the best at crops)
  • cutting mat
  • paper trimmer and scissors
  • mini garbage can that folds flat for easy storage and transport
  • cup holder that attaches to the table so your cup isn’t on the work surface
  • your “go to” tools and supplies

By following the check list in this article and planning ahead you are sure to have a productive, fun-filled time at your upcoming scrapbooking crop retreat!


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