Sian Fair has been making scrapbook layouts with charming details as far back as she can remember, perhaps without even thinking about it, but today she’ll share more about why and how she incorporates charm on her pages. 

Sian enjoys making sure each of her pages have special details that capture the viewer’s attention. She says, “The fun comes in imagining the viewer discovering each little detail.”

When you come upon a new technique, product, story approach, design challenge or just SOMETHING that gets you excited, you often find that the the creating comes easier and faster. You start using this new “cool thing” again and again because it results in great looking pages, treasured stories recorded, or just more joy in the work. Find out what “cool thing” has Sian Fair excited to create currently and check out more ideas in our Motivated to Scrapbook Series.

Sians’s cool thing right now is adding charming details to her scrapbook pages.  

Sian says, “I have always genuinely loved to cut up and play with paper–and that usually results in a pile of leftover little bits and pieces and hand-cut details. So I guess this started as a way for me to use up these bits and pieces on my pages.  And then I read something Debbie Hodge wrote about scrapbooking, about making sure each page had charm–‘one special detail  to catch the eye’–and I realized she had put into words what I had been trying to achieve all along.”

“I want each page to have an ‘Ooh, look at that’  feature.”

“‘They’ve Always Been Our Friends’ is about a bee sting I remember a friend suffering when we were children. The story has ended up on the back of the layout because I got carried away with the details. There are hand-cut flowers and die-cut insects. Hand stitching adds texture and movement. Many of my pages about childhood end up with ruffled edges: I think this conveys the passage of time.”

They’ve Always Been Our Friends | Supplies: Patterned paper: Crate paper and Echo Park; Alpha Stickers: Studio Calico; bird notecard: Quirky Kits; Chipboard: Crate Paper; Stamp: Studio Calico

Adding charming details gives viewers a reason to really study your pages. 

“When anyone says ‘scrapbook’ to me,” Sian says “I still think of an old-style album, left on a shelf for someone to pull down and pore through on a wet afternoon. That’s why I like to add lots of my own original touches, so  it takes time to absorb and enjoy each page.  I like to make you think! I try to engage you by connecting the colors and themes and materials in a way that gradually reveals itself as you move your eye round the page.  Of course, that means I can get into trouble if I try to add too much and don’t leave enough room for my journaling–which sometimes ends up on the back, but I think I’m getting better at keeping it where you can see it!”

“Every time I visit my Mum, it seems, she has a “find” or three – things from my childhood-  for me. If she doesn’t give it to me, she’ll throw it away, so of course I bring my treasure home. On this page, the four photos show one random haul and I have surrounded the cluster with a junk shop feel: lots of little bits and pieces left over from other projects and some ‘jewels’ in the form of sequins to bring us back to the idea of treasure.”

Another Man’s Treasure by Sian Fair | Supplies: Supplies: Cardstock: bazzill; patterned paper: scraps from stash; Alpha Stickers and Wood Veneers: Studio Calico; stamp: Citrus Twist

Chances are you have what you need to start adding charming details to your pages in your very own stash.

Sian says “I’m a huge collector of printed ephemera, as well as an unstoppable haberdashery hoarder, and I already had a stash of ribbons and buttons from my sewing days. As a result, I’m never lost for an extra something to add to my pages.”

“I’m just about to start a big reorganization project – grouping all my embellishments by color – because I’ve realized that’s how I usually choose. I’m more likely to look for something blue, than to look specifically for a button. Although I love Pinterest I’m an even bigger fan of magazines. I like that with magazines, I can actually tear out a page and pin it on my noticeboard  or put it in my album. Yes, I have a scrapbook..for scrapbooking inspiration!”

“I made ‘Our Turf’ after my daughter came back from camp. She had lots of questions about my own time in the Girl Guides. I showed her I still had my uniform, and she slipped it on, and we took photos.”

“I told her a story about how we practiced making campfires, and I made a page about it. I started thinking about the details for this one when I found a sheet of October Afternoon Campfire chipboard in my stash. But I was also interested by playing with the deep blues and greens in the photos. I chose embellishments to enhance those colors, and I held back on using too many themed products–apart from the campfire, of course, I couldn’t resist that!”

Our Turf by Sian Fair | Supplies: Supplies: Patterned Paper: Crate Paper; Alpha stickers: Echo Park; Label Stickers: October Afternoon and Jenni Bowlin; Diecut butterfly: Crate Paper; Chipboard: October Afternoon; Clippings from a Plundered Pages pack by Julie Kirk’s Etsy shop.



Sian Fair

Blog | Pinterest

Sian lives in the UK with her husband and two teenage children. She has been making things since she first learned how to thread a needle; her first favourite cutting out project was her collection of paper dolls. Her passion for scrapbooking took hold in 2008 with the help of some of the very first classes at Get It Scrapped. Now she enjoys bringing elements of all the crafts she loves to her scrapbook pages.

Sian is a History graduate who is always happy to delve into the past and pull out a good story or two. When she isn’t scrapbooking, she can be found blogging, sewing, knitting or taking photographs. She has designed for several kit clubs and currently contributes to the UK magazine Scrap365.