Tutorial: Finding Inspiration in Advertisments by Lisa Dickinson

I’m often asked how I find inspiration for my scrapbook pages and once I have an idea, how I go about executing it.  I thought I’d walk you through a page design from concept to finish product.

I love finding inspiration in advertising, and once of my favorite places is magazine ads.  This ad from Green Mountain Coffee was featured in the Dec/Jan 2011 issue of ReadyMade magazine and immediately caught my eye with it’s bold use of color and titlework.

I thought the color combination would translate well to a scrapbook page, so I pulled a few basic supplies to get me started. Don’t stress too much about gathering everything you need at this stage – you can always add and swap things out when you get deeper into the design!

While looking for suitable photos for this layout, I came across some shots of my son on his birthday wearing an orange shirt. Since the coffee cup in the ad was various shades of orange, I knew the photos could work. But I wasn’t sure what size or how many of them to print just yet.

Using the ad as a rough guide to my page layout, I arrange some of my supplies in a similar design:

I used a blank piece of 4×6 photo paper to indicate approximately where my photos might go.  This helped me determine what size to print them (I opted for two photos approx. 3.5 x 5″).

To create a title similar to the ad, I used a combination of foam letter stickers and typesetting, printed on cardstock. I was able to determine the placement of the type by laying out the letter stickers (but not sticking them down), and measuring roughly the area they took up before removing them.  Then I set my text up in a word processing program and printed on the blue cardstock.

After arranging all the elements, I determined I needed a bit more orange on the page to balance the photos, so I added an orange fabric brad on the left and a cardstock scalloped edge down the right.  Here’s the final result:

Notice how the main focal points in the ad (title, coffee mug, product placement) represent the focal points on my page (title, photos, embellishment tags.)  I also used the location of the ad type (lower right corner) for my journaling placement.

So the next time you’re stumped for page ideas, flip through a magazine and pay attention to the ads. There is lots of inspiration to be found there!


  1. Natasha says

    Great job, what a wonderful interpretation.


  2. Susi says

    Love,Love this layout. TFS

  3. Kim says

    I love this page!!

  4. The result is amazing!!Thank you for sharing!

  5. Tara says

    Love this…now I have another excuse to buy magazines lol

  6. Loredana says

    I love this layout , the way to write the title is so cool!

  7. Rebecca says

    LOOOOVE this! I have a hard time going from ad to scrapbook page, but this makes it so clear I want to try again!

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