Scrapbook Ideas for Thinking OUTSIDE of the Canvas | Get It ScrappedThe Gestalt principle of closure suggests that when people see incomplete objects–like shapes, letters, or pictures, their brains fill in the gaps.

You can take advantage of this principle to create interest and even tension on your page, perhaps bleeding an item off the canvas leaving part of it incomplete giving a photo an unexpected photo crop, cutting away part of the image.

This means, that, as a scrapbooker, you aren’t just limited to working within your canvas.  You could bleed an image off the edge and your viewer will perceive that your composition and even your story extends beyond the confines of that canvas. See how our Creative Team has used this approach on their own pages.


Sian Fair says, “When we go on a road trip, my husband drives, and I read the map (because I was a Girl Guide and maps are more fun than Sat Navs). But he doesn’t always trust my navigation, and maybe he’s right.”

“I stitched a big speech bubble which bleeds off the side of the page because it hints that our conversation might have turned into an unreportable frank exchange of views.”

“Actually, it didn’t: but where would the fun be in that? Obviously the photo and layered elements are cut off, too. I trimmed a little piece of sea from the original photo to give the idea that we had to turn the page in the road atlas to find it. To balance that up, I added a little shorn off yacht on the other side of my canvas. I think it adds movement and shows that we only made a short stop.”

Scrapbook Ideas for Thinking OUTSIDE of the Canvas | Sian Fair | Get It Scrapped

Sea Overleaf by Sian Fair | Supplies: Patterned Paper: Cocoa Daisy; Alpha: Felicity Jane; Wood Veneer: Gossamer Blue


Lynn Grieveson says, “The lawn bowls green at my parents’ retirement community had just opened before Christmas, so on Christmas Eve, when we were visiting, we all had a go at bowling.”

“I allowed the paint transfer and the text brush to bleed off the page. The glass button (which lands where my daughter’s eyeline leads) is also bleeding off the canvas. We spent the whole time shielding our eyes from the sun and gazing off after the bowls (without much hope of success as we were mostly hopeless!) and the design reinforces this.”

Scrapbook Ideas for Thinking OUTSIDE of the Canvas | Lynn Grieveson | Get It Scrapped

Bowls by Lynn Grieveson | Supplies: Bee Curious Kit, Glitz Girl Kit, Really Useful Vintage Text and This Life Here Kit from The Lilypad. Font is Jellyka Gare du Chambord.


Shanna Hystad says, “The story of this page is of my daughter and my sister-in-law heading into the water to take a surf lesson.  We were on vacation in Southern California.  This is the first time my daughter had surfed and she was a little nervous.”

“The large photo was taken with both surfboards off of the page.  I also like how the boardwalk in the background extends beyond the page.  You can just imagine that it goes on forever.  I added digital elements including words and arrows at the top that extend off both sides of the page.  Lastly, I extended one of my smaller photos off of the page by cutting the corner off.”

“I wanted to convey the massive sky and ocean which go on forever and how my daughter felt so small as she headed into the water.”

Scrapbook Ideas for Thinking OUTSIDE of the Canvas | Shanna Hystad | Get It Scrapped

Surf Rider by Shanna Hystad | Supplies: Paper-Websters Pages-Summer Fun, Digital Arrows-Ali Edwards, Title Text-Rough Notes Sample, Circle (surf rider) cut from journal card.


Stefanie Semple says, “This is the story of our Valentine’s Day this year. I have papers and a calendar card bleeding off the left hand side of the page and then photos off the bottom and right edge of the layout. I love using papers to lead the eye into the design of the page. The vertical papers draw the eye to the calendar card, which gives you the date and the occasion.”

“This layout will be sandwiched in my album, between pocket style project life type layouts, so the papers from the left introduce that this is different from the rest and give a sense of peeping into the day through my eyes. The photos of Josh bleeding off show that he is a part of the family still and with us, but also not with us. He celebrated the evening with his girlfriend. I included his card and  the homemade cookies from her.”

Scrapbook Ideas for Thinking OUTSIDE of the Canvas | Stefanie Semple | Get It Scrapped

Our Love Story: Stefanie Semple. Juno Designs: This Feb Journal Cards, Love is all Papers and Elements


Kelly Sroka says, “My two oldest children now have their driver’s licenses. That puts my husband and I now in the passenger seat. We are watching our kids grow up and move out into the world. This photograph shows my son literally in the driver’s seat and figuratively heading off towards becoming an adult.”

“To represent this theme of moving forward, I used elements on this layout to give a sense of the story extending beyond the 12″ x 12″ page. I placed the picture on the right side of the canvas so that the subjects are looking up and out of the page. Two of the patterned papers I used have arrows pointing up. I placed an embellishment towards the bottom of the page to move the eye up to the title, to the photograph, to the journaling and then off the page with embellishment cluster at the top left of the page. The photograph only shows a small piece of the road ahead, but the elements on the page allow the reader to imagine what may lie ahead.”

Scrapbook Ideas for Thinking OUTSIDE of the Canvas | Kelly Sroka | Get It Scrapped

Passenger Seat by Kelly Sroka | Cardstock: American Crafts; Patterned Paper: Crate Paper, Citrus Twist Kits; Puffy Sticker: Citrus Twist Kits; Cork Stickers: Citrus Twist Kits and PInk Paislee; Letter Stickers: American Crafts


Jana Oliveira says, “This page has a picture of my son waiting for the bus to school in our new city and house. It reflects to me a sense of new beginnings. That time is going fast and new adventures are starting for us.”

“In digital scrapbooking, ‘out of the box’ frames are really trendy right now. This refers to allowing the picture to go outside the normal frame structure. I also repeated the same picture in a word art saying You and blended beside the frame to continue the eye to him. I worked also with complementary and similar colors of his picture.”

Scrapbook Ideas for Thinking OUTSIDE of the Canvas | Jana Oliveira | Get It Scrapped

You by Jana Oliveira | Supplies: NBK Design: Dear diary out of the box frames,winter blues solid paper,winter blues painting styles, dear diary brush tool; Anna aspens: color blend 6, right now word art, anna aspnes beaded thread 1, multimedia hearts 3,blended words