Audrey Neal's picture

Personalizing your Facebook cover photo

Social media programs like Twitter and Pinterest are constantly being updated, and while I'm on the fence about some of the improvements, one change that I really love is Facebook's cover photo and timeline layout. The cover photo -- which reminds me a lot of a blog header -- is a great way to share your favorite scrapbooking memories with your friends and family.

Of course, the easiest option is to just upload a photo or even a recent layout, resize the proportions, and enjoy the comments that are sure to come your way. Another option is to use a timeline template, similar to a digital scrapbooking template, to add your favorite digital papers and elements to your Facebook cover photo. It's important to remember that you are working with a small area, so a couple of photos, a few elements, and maybe a short quote are more than enough to fill the space. Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind if you'd like to create your own timeline. (Note: The three samples shown all use my Timeline Templates).

Make your profile photo part of the design: Even though there's a main photo as part of this example, the stitching and paper pieces all originate behind the area where the user's profile photo is located. This helps incorporate the profile photo into the overall design and keeps it from blocking any key elements.

Use a large photo as your background: It's easy to add digital elements, such as borders and embellishments, along the bottom of a large photograph. This helps to separate your cover photo from the rest of the items on your page. It also is a great way for you to showcase a landscape photograph with a few key accents.

Keep the main content on the right side: Again, this keeps your profile photo from overlapping and hiding parts of your cover photo. It also helps to draw the eye across the page.

Make the photos optional: One of my favorite things to do is to spotlight a key quote or music lyric on my page. This is a great way to share your thoughts with your Facebook followers. Any of the examples shown above would be just as effective without the photographs -- simply substitute a quote, your name, or a word/phrase in that space.


To help you get started with the personlization of your Facebook cover photo, I've turned the "Fear less, Hope more" sample above into a FREE DOWNLOAD for you. Just click on the image and you'll be taken to a download link. Once you save the image to your computer, you can immediately upload it as your cover photo on Facebook. It's that easy. (Freebie uses the free kit "Good Things" from Design House Digital).

kelly vandermolen's picture

Just don't be too hasty...

about throwing your packages away! I love a clever packaging concept and those wiley scrapbook manufacturers really know how to grab my attention with cute and (believe it or not) useable goodness just in the packaging, never mind the product itself. One such example is the ever lovely line-up from Ormolu. Ormolu products, in my humble opinion, are simple and gorgeous and maybe, just maybe, part of their appeal is how they are packaged. Case in point:

I know exactly what you are thinking. Okay, I don't really but I know what I was thinking when I flipped this package over and that was, 'how sweet is that?' So sweet! Most of the packaging has a little banner of loveliness perfect for using to embellish a scrapbook layout. Nice. Here is a little peak of my banner in action on a layout:

Does it not look like it was absolutely designed to be used? I think it does. And, here is a look at my completed layout, sweet little banner and all. Oh, and, just as an aside, I used an actual tag from inside the lovely package as well and the rest of my supplies are from the Studio Calico June kit!

I know the photo is dark but the sweet little tag just pops off of the page which is just what I was hoping it would do! 

Anyway, I encourage you to look (really look) at the lovely packaging before you dig in to the goodies inside. You just might find a wee gem that otherwise would have been tossed into the bin and really, where is the fun in that?

Jennifer Wilson's picture

Five Favorites from CHA Summer 2012

I was only able to attend CHA for one (very long) day, but scouted the show for new ideas and good design. While there were many lovely patterned papers, new embellishments and other accessories most caught my attention.

Glitz Design

This boutique brand showcased four new lines that were some of the freshest designs on the show floor. I really loved their washi tape, with more visual texture and subtle colors than other brands. 

Cosmo Cricket

In their signature vintage-meets-modern style, the new lines showcase some great color schemes. What stood out to me most though were Tiny Text sheets of words and phrases. 

KI Memories

With a new home at Hampton Art, KI Memories is back with a new line in fun colors and on-trend motifs. Their sticker sheet and stamps were particularly cute.  

Doodlebug Design

As I expected (anyone heard of Project Life?), divided page protectors and products for them were all over the show floor. As a frequent 8x8 scrapbooker, I was excited to see a 4-up option perfect for Instagram photos. 

We R Memory Keepers

Though this popular brand showcased many new tools, I was most excited about their washi sheets. These are full 12x12 patterned translucent adhesive, perfect for use in die-cut machines! 

Melissa Shanhun's picture

Off the Page: Party Invitations and Decorations

20120614 Party decorations 148

This June we celebrated my little girl's third birthday, and as a good scrapbooker would, I looked into my stash to get some inspiration. I wanted a a bright June party, since it's winter here in Australia. I also needed the ideas to be pretty simple as I have a toddler and newborn in the house.

My Inspiration


I started with digital kit from Dani Mogstad  - I thought it was a fun colour palette. Emily-is-3_600

I created the invitations digitally using a pre-made quick page and embellished it with the matching free Happy Go Lucky kit. Want to see how I did it? I've got a quick page tutorial over at my Digital Scrapbooking HQ site.

Of course, I can easily include this invitation in her scrapbook along with the party photos and call it scrapped!


20120609 Emily's 3rd Birthday Party 140-36Then it was time to think about decorations. In the past I've created little party bags, and table places with my scrapping supplies. I was I was inspired by a project by Lisa Barrie with this rolled rose shape and my Silhouette Cameo I printed a page of digital paper out onto cardstock and created my own little flowers as scatters for the buffet table. I cheated a little and just used some hot glue to make the flowers, only printed them on one side and didn't actually roll the roses, but I think they turned out just fine!rolled rose

Emily loved the birds from her invitation, so I printed and cut some of the elements from the kit. silhouette-print-and-cut

I also used a paper doily to make a little ‘nest’ for the birdies.

20120609 Emily's 3rd Birthday Party 140-35 buffet

Add a Banner

banner_kit_C03109_1I decided it would be fun to make a banner for over the table with another Silhouette shape I had – the banner kit. I looked through my card making stash to find orange, yellow, green and blue patterned paper and cardstock to match. Then I cut out the letters 4 times, and swapped the banners and letters to make a pattern.

20120606 Party decorations 148

Emily loved helping with this part, pointing out all the letters and how they spelled Emily is 3! I threaded them on some curling ribbon and voilà:


It was fun to pull out and actually use some paper supplies, as I’m usually a digiscrapper. Emily and the guests loved everything, and two weeks later we still have that banner up! And for those of you who want to see – here’s our little three year old blowing out the candles on her two cakes! birthday-girl

Jennifer Wilson's picture

Repurpose an Infant Crib Spring for Keeping Memories

This story starts in 2005, when a coworker offered me a crib. I was not pregnant at the time, nor would I be for six more years. I moved said crib three times, from basement to storage locker to basement and another basement.

When it came time to assemble it for my daughter's arrival last year, we discovered several important (and proprietary) pieces were missing. This being a (shh) drop-side crib, we were not able to order replacement parts. With few options, we bought a brand new crib and returned this hand-me-down to the basement.

And there that poor drop-side crib sat, no one wanting it, until I saw this on Pinterest. With a new workspace in need of functional and beautiful wall decor, I knew what had to be done. 

I dragged the spring out of the basement and dusted off the cobwebs. 

I set up the spring on sawhorses in the backyard, with the back side facing up. 

I purchased an easy-cover spray paint intended for metal. No sanding or priming needed!

I sprayed the back side first, being careful not to use too much of the can. I let it dry for an hour. 

I flipped it over and sprayed the top. I let it dry for two hours before bringing it inside. 

I used magnets and metal binder clips to attach photos and memorabilia to the grid. It is the perfect place to store inspiration as well as memories waiting to reach your next scrapbook page. 

I also discovered that binder rings can also be added, to help store frequently used supplies!

This repurposed crib spring was the perfect finishing touch to my new office. For less than $5, I created a very large art piece that also serves multiple purposes!

July Take Twelve Roundup

It's July 19, and you know what that means—it's my dad's birthday! Well, OK, so you probably didn't know that, but feel free to wish him a happy birthday if you see him all the same. We'll celebrate here at Ella Publishing Co. by sharing pages from the Take Twelve Team.

As expected, I had a whole lot of diverse subject matter to photograph on July 12. I kept my journaling simple by employing my favorite journaling style: the list. I often approach these Take Twelve pages like a summary; each of these photos has a much, much longer story attached, but I am perfectly comfortable adding just the basics here. I can always choose to scrapbook one or more of these stores in far more depth later.


Angie Lucas opted for an Instagram black and white look at her ordinary day; she included journaling that corresponds with the numbered photos. By keeping her design and color scheme simple, her photos really pop!

We're fairly sure Angie and Take Twelve Team member Stephanie Medley-Rath didn't coordinate their pages ahead of time, but check out a different take on the same black/white/green/orange combination! Some palettes just work with black and white photos.

You can read more about Stephanie's layout here.

Take Twelve Team member Aliza Deutsch tried something new on her page this month—every photo was taken on her phone, because she and her family were on the road. It's always fun when the 12th of the month falls on a day you're doing something out of the ordinary, too! See what you can do to push yourself outside your usual go-to strategy and you might be pleasantly surprised by the results!

You can read more about Aliza's layout and photos here.

Take Twelve Team member Lisa Ottosson added a clever touch to this month's page: she used her "today is" stamp repetitively to add value to her journaling. It's a simple addition to the page, but it creates a fun design element and allows her to share a few words about how she was feeling throughout the day.

You can read more about Lisa's layout here.

Make sure to check out other pages/posts by our Take Twelve Team!

Valerie Bishop

Janette Kincaid

Angela Gutshall

Valerie Bishop

Monica Bradford

And a few from the Ella Friends, too:

Audrey Neal

Grace Tolman


Congratulations to this month's lucky winner, Laura T. (#4) who will receive some brand-new papers courtesy of this month's sponsor, Bella Blvd.

Before you know it we'll be photographing back-to-school shots... until then, experience and enjoy summer!

Grace Tolman's picture

Using Die cut shapes as masks *Repurposing Supplies*

Hello Ella fans, Grace here to share with you how I repurposed one of my scrapbook supplies.

I LOVE die cut shapes. There’s just something about perfectly cut out shapes that I can create with a crank or a push of a button. But did you know that you can use those fancy shapes as masks as well? I’m here to share with you how I brought some new life to these die cut shapes…

First off, I picked out the shape that I wanted and used scraps of paper to cut out the frame die cut. Because I’m just using the shapes as masks, I didn’t mind using scraps and non complimenting colors/designs for the shapes.

Then, I used some repositionable adhesive to add my frames in the spots I don’t want mist to go on my page. Repositionable adhesive is vital to this project so that you can take out the adhesive later on and it won’t leave adhesive residue on your project.

Next, I placed my white cardstock inside a box and picked the mists that I wanted on this page. I used two colors so that there’s some variety on the mist colors. I set it aside to dry completely before continuing.

Once it’s all dried, I pulled the frame off and it revealed perfectly white shapes in between all the misted areas. I love it!

To make the shapes stand out more, I added pen stitching around the inside of the shapes.

Then I started putting the page together. I first placed some paper strips around the cardstock to frame and ground my page, and then I matted my photos and added photo corners for my focal photo.

Then I added the title and handwritten journaling. I finished off the page with embellishments like rubons, chipboard, stickers and buttons.


And here’s the final page again…




Thanks for letting me share with you one of my favorite ways to repurpose my supplies. Have a fantastic day!

Supplies Used:

Cardstock- WorldWin; Pattern papers, chipboard, stickers, rubons- Dear Lizzy, American Crafts; Mist- Maya Road; Clearsnap; Pen- Creative Memories; Die cut machine- Grand Calibur, Spellbinder’s; Die cuts- Label’s Eight, Spellbinder’s; Adhesive- Glue Arts

Robyn Schaub's picture

Brighten Someone's Day with Buttons

Of all the supplies in my craft room, my favorite are the buttons. I've always been drawn to them, and even though I have more than I could possibly ever use, I never seem to have quite enough.

In fact, at a recent crop I won a "door prize," which meant I got to pick from a basket of goodies. What did I choose? Buttons, of course!

As I studied them, I noticed the cute backing and thought it had possibilities for incorporating into a layout. But then I got the idea to use the whole thing -- buttons and all -- on a card for a crafty friend who loves buttons as much as I do.

To cover the product logo, I used a sentiment label. Then I added strip of lace to the bottom to cover the UPC code.

After adding these simple touches, it was ready to go on the card. I used some bright colored patterned papers for contrast and round journaling spots and embellishments to break up the rectangular lines.

The best part? The recipient of this card will have some cute buttons to add to her stash!

Bobbi-Jo Grunewald's picture

Frame it! Scrapbooking Off The Page

Creating scrapbook pages can be so fulfilling, but then you slip the page into an album, and put it away on the shelf. Wouldn't it be nice to create something with your photo that can be out on display for all to see? What if you could create something "off the page" that could be switched out easily and regularly? What if that "off the page" project was super cute to boot? Today I am sharing a SUPER simple idea to take your memory making OFF the page and on display, using an inexpensive Ikea frame (or ANY frame) and your imagination!

I will be using this super cute (though plain) frame from Ikea - and this is crazy  inexpensive at 2 for 99 cents! You can't beat that.

Remove the plastic insert so the frame is empty. This will work with any frame, as long as the frame itself is thin enough to get a binder ring around it. At this point you can add a little bit of bling, ribbon, or other embellishments. I liked this little butterfly from the dollar store.

Measure the INSIDE of the frame (the opening) and create a little (itty bitty) scrapbook page about a quarter inch smaller on all sides. Then, punch two holes and add two binder rings. While you are at it, create 3 or 4 little layouts that you can "flip" through whenever you want a change)!

Now clip the binder rings around the top part of the frame to "hang" your mini layouts!

There you have it! A cute "flip chart" type way to display some photos and journaling for all to see!

Try using a larger frame that you can hang on the wall! Instead of binder rings, tie the page on with ribbon, baker's twine, or wire! The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Happy creating!!

July Take Twelve

Good morning, Take Twelve photo challenge participants! Are you ready to photograph your world through a Thursday lens? Will you be playing along with this month's special theme of portraits (found in the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit) or letting the day unfold more organically as you look for your twelve photographs? My Thursday includes two photo shoots, a gymnastics BBQ, and a media reception for Cheyenne Frontier Days, so I'm betting I won't be lacking for subject material. I would be just as happy photographing the view from my front porch all day, though. No matter what you photograph it will be just right.

I know we featured a page by Take Twelve Flickr group member midwestgirl60 last month in our June post, but how could I resist sharing this bright, happy layout that just screams summer?

Here's another eye-catching June page by Take Twelve Flickr group member Kimm23. Love how she lined up a variety of photo sizes without losing a clean, simple design.

This month's Take Twelve sponsor is Bella Blvd., so you'll want to get those pages/blog posts/Flickr photos posted and linked to our link collection below before the deadline to be eligible! The lucky winner will receive three summer CHA release collections of new Bella Blvd. products, as seen here:

Birthday Boy

Birthday Girl


Each line comes with eight double-sided papers, one sheet of Alpha + Bits stickers, and one sheet of Just Write Journaling Stickers. Plus that magic that comes with something so brand-new : )


Ashley Harris's picture

Re-purpose your packaging!

Hello there out there!  Ashley here on the 'ol blog today.  Now we all have had some sort of packaging in our home.  There has been a ton of packaging go in and out of my scrap room for sure.  Well today I am going to show you a fun way to use that packaging!  Here is the packaging I am using:


The wonderful wood veneer butterflies by Studio Calico.  LOVE THESE!!


I just basically took off the bubble on the front and cut the woodgrain and used it as patterned paper on my card.  Here is the final result:

Supplies used:  Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Op White; Washi Tape:  Aqua Airmail Washi Tape (Freckled Fawn); Wood Veneer Butterflies: Studio Calico; Spray Mists:  Piglet, Bluegrass: Studio Calico; Clear Stamp: My Happy by Studio Calico for Hero Arts; Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black by Tsukineko


I hope this gave you a new idea to use all that packaging that you might be going through!  Have a wonderful day!!

Photography Lesson Learned: Change your perspective

Hi, I'm Monica Bradford, happy to be guest posting on the Ella blog today.


This photo was inspired by 40 Top Tips for Better Photos by Rebecca Cooper. I love the idea of changing your perspective when taking a photo. My favorite is to get up above your subject. It’s a very flattering perspective when photographing adults, but I even love capturing my children this way. This is how they look to me now, while they are still little. I know that I’ll want to remember this perspective: seeing my youngest gazing up at me with that cheesy grin.



I took this photo on the first day of school in the fall. My son was prepared for the standard “on the front porch” pics, so once those were done I decided to take advantage of his nice clothes and ready smile. I pulled him to the side of the house and snapped a few more shots against the fence. Nothing about this photo says “school” so it’s perfect for using on a personality scrapbook page or even framing to hang on the wall. I actually used this photo, along with several others, to make photo coasters (here’s the link if you want it). I love having a good, generic shot like this in my back pocket to pull out when needed!


Learn more about Rebecca Cooper's photography books by clicking on the covers below.


Angie Lucas's picture

Fourth of July Sale

For four days, from July 4 through July 6, enjoy 40% off of four items! Simply place one, two, three, or four items in your cart and apply the coupon code FOUR.

Note: Coupon code may be used once per customer. Excludes Real.Life.Photography., Simple Fixes Actions, all bundles, and gift certificates. Cannot be combined with any other coupon or gift certificate.

Shop our eBooks section, or here are a four fun items to consider!


List It! Holiday Edition
You're bound to be making some fun holiday memories this weekend. And these printable journaling guides will help you journal about all things holiday related, from Independence Day to Labor Day to Valentine's Day—and lots of holidays in between! You'll save $4 with the FOUR coupon code.



Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit
The year is half over, but it's never too late to start your own "take 12" photography challenge, where you take 12 photos on the 12th of the month and scrapbook them! This kit will give you all the inspiration you need to succeed—and have a blast along the way. You'll save $8 with the FOUR coupon code.



Take Twelve Templates
Make your 2012 Take Twelve Project a breeze with these layered templates for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. It just takes a few quick commands to replace the colored boxes in these templates with your own photos. You'll save $4.85 with the FOUR coupon code.



Book Crafting
Make layouts about your favorite books using our handy List It! for book lovers, which are included with this eBook, or create layouts and decor projects using the pages, covers, and more from old books. Upcycled crafting at its best! 110 pages of inspiring ideas. You'll save $4 with the FOUR coupon code.


Have a happy and safe 4th of July!