Tag Archives | 52 Scrapbooking Challenges

7Gypsies Binderie Punch

Reported by Amanda Talbert

I love to admire, covet, and buy scrapbook paper. I’m sure I’m not the only one. The problem with this, beyond storage, is how to use it. You see, I am not much of a scrapbooker. An entire scrapbook worth of work is a very long-term project and I do not have the attention span for it. That’s why I love mini albums and hybrid scrapping.

Putting together all the little things I have made so that I can turn them into a lovely gift or store them for perusing later can be a challenge. That’s where the Binderie by 7Gypsies comes in. As 7Gypsies says on their website, with the Binderie you can, “Bind it in style!”

I ordered my Binderie from Two Peas in a Bucket for $19.95 and it arrived very quickly. It came with the device and a starter kit that includes paper, bookboard, and binder rings for putting it all together.

The instruction booklet also had very nice pictures and descriptions to help me learn how to use the placement slider for getting nicely placed and evenly spaced punches. It was this spacking help that first intrigued me about the device. Watch the videos on this page to learn a little more.

I decided to really put the hole punching strength of this little baby to the test with my project. I went right for punching holes in CDs since I had some freebies around. I also felt pretty strongly that if the Binderie could punch through CDs without breaking them then it could do just about anything. I started with just a plain CD to see how it would go.

All I had to do was slide the CD in a push the little button on top and I had a very nice hole. The Binderie didn’t make a single grumble about going through the thick plastic, and the hole it made was very smooth and clean. I checked closely; there are no cracks radiating from the hole, and no chips anywhere in the plastic.

Once I was convinced the Binderie punch could handle the CD, I set out to do a little Christmas in July crafting. I covered CDs with lovely scrapbooking paper and diecut letters and then stuck them in the punch and let her rip.

After I punched holes in the CDs I strung raffia through them. I was a little worried that the edges of the holes would cut the thin raffia. I moved the banner I made quite a bit and there were no problems at all.

When I was making my banner I covered both sides of the CD with a layer or two of paper. In the closeup below you can see how nicely it punched.

I also made a small hanger for my daughter’s door with the same technique.

The Binderie takes 6 AA batteries or you can buy an A/C adapter for it. I used it with batteries. The paperwork that came with it say that it can punch paper, cardstock, bookboard, but that you shouldn’t try to punch acrylic with it. I tried paper, card, CD plastic, grungeboard, and cereal box. It worked on all of them.


  • The Binder is compact and light-weight. You could take it along to craft just about anywhere.
  • The electrical operation triggered by the button on the top is much easier than having to manually punch a hole in something.
  • There are a wide variety of things you can punch.
  • The holes punched are round, smooth, and even.
  • You can punch one hole or two and with the slide out part of the unit you can evenly place as many holes as you want.


  • If you don’t want to burn through batteries you will have to buy the A/C adapter seperately.
  • It can be a little difficult to get the hang of the slide out arm, it takes practice.
  • There is a set depth for hole placement. You can’t punch a hole out in the middle of anything.
  • The price for the Binderie from most of the sites I looked at is twice what I paid for it.

Where to buy:

If my 7Gypsies Binderie went missing, I would buy it again. I would buy it over and over if I had to. That’s how much I like it. I can hardly wait to try punching something else. Do you have any suggestions for me? I would love to let you know how it punches through all of your favorite craft things.

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Imagine – Inspriation Book by Close To My Heart

Reported by Katie Skiff

Most of the time when I sit down to scrapbook, I draw a complete blank. I am always looking for new and fresh ideas to complete my layouts. However I tend to become discouraged when I
open a magazine full of one picture layouts. With three kids I need to incorporate 7 or 8 pictures into a 2 page spread. So I look to other sketches and to the Inspiration Books available from Close to My Heart. Imagine is the second book, following Cherish and before that, the Reflections Scrapbook Program.

Imagine features 50 12×12 2-page layouts, plus so much more. Close to my Heart founder, Jeanette Lynton, did a wonderful job designing this book for the beginner, as well as for the advanced or ‘adventurous’ scrapbooker.

In addition to a brief note from Jeanette and overview of the company, the beginning of the book starts you off with a tips and techniques. It also offers up 7 basic steps for using the book. Following those basic steps, you would choose your photos first and then choose a sketch from the Quick Reference guide.

The Quick Reference guide features all 50 layouts, the page they are showcased on, and how many photos each layout with need. Jeanette calls these sketches her “trademark blueprints.”

The blueprint then is featured on a 2-page spread in the book. Each layout page features an ingredient list for materials needed, page dimensions and photo suggestions. When you have chosen your papers, the book gives you cutting instructions for each piece of cardstock or designer paper you’ll use, which I feel with help you use your paper more efficiently. Then step by step instructions guide you through each page in the layout giving you perfect results. Each blueprint is also featured as a beautiful layout and Jeanette shares a tip used on each one. Those tips can very well be applied to many different craft projects as well.

While this process walks you though each page, there are so many possibilities to using these blue prints. Beginning scrappers or those who thought they could never scrapbook, would greatly benefit from the simplicity, while veteran scrappers may be looking for some new inspiration. You could use all 50 blueprints and start fresh all over with new ideas the next time through the book.

All of the special techniques used on each page are detailed in the back along with a materials list of the products used on each layout.

I used the blueprint found on page 34 & 35, called Melody. I changed to a Christmas layout using Close to my Heart’s Just Chillin Paper pack and one technique that I found in the Imagine book, using Twill paper available from Close to my Heart. After I wrote my journaling I simply frayed the edges.

Here are a few of my thoughts on this book:


  • Detailed Supply Lists
  • Sketches/blueprints can easily be used with out the steps for the more advanced crafter, yet still offering new ideas and tips or techniques.


  • I would have liked to have seen more ideas for each sketch instead of just one.

retails for $29.95 US and is available from your Close To My Heart Consultant, along with all the beautiful products used in the book. If you do not have one, you can find a consultant on their website. I found this book very user friendly and well worth the money. Do you have this book? Let us know what you think. If not, tell us why you might purchase it or refer it to a friend.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

52 Scrapbooking Challenges

Reported by Melissa Norris

When I first stepped into the world of crafty blogging, I discovered Elsie Flannigan’s blog. I had no clue that scrapbooking could look that cool. I mean, I had always loved scrapbooking, but never felt that I could stray too far out of the box. She showed me that it was definitely ok to try.

I had wanted her book for a while, but wasn’t really scrapping at the time, so decided to put it off. Well when I was in Texas for the holidays, I made a run to Hobby Lobby and there it was, staring me down; 52 Scrapbooking Challenges by Elsie Flannigan. And even better, I had a coupon! The timing was finally right to purchase this book, and I did.

Originally I decided that I was going to do one page a week for the year, but as we all know, that sure didn’t happen. I really only scrap when I am inspired to do so, and unfortunately I wasn’t at the time. So I decided instead that I was going to use the challenges in the book to make an album that’s all about me. Many of us rarely do that, we make albums for our family, our friends, our children, our trips, but never about us. Heck, we’re rarely in any of the pictures anyway since we are the ones behind the camera. So this book inspired me to know that it was ok to do a book about me, and it would be something that my daughter would appreciate later in life.

I’m also not one to be a good girl and follow in order, I decided to skip around a bit, and choose the challenge that currently inspired me. I chose to start with challenge #43, Scrap Your Favorite Food. Well that is easy, I love food!

So here is my finished layout. I decided that my album was going to be a 7×7 book. I used the Love, Elsie Jack + Abby line, which focuses on home.

I find this book very inspiring. There are tons of great ideas, the challenges are fun and different, and the words are encouraging. The layouts made by the designers in the book show lots of different ways to complete the challenges. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase and can’t wait to complete more challenges.

Do you have this book and have you tried some of the challenges? Leave us a comments with links to your 52 Scrapbooking Challenges layouts. We would love to see your creations!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!