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Monday, July 26, 2010

Licensing Designs to the Scrapbooking Industry

The scrapbooking industry may not be as popular as it was five or six years ago but it is still going strong because it is a great way to preserve family history. A personalized scrapbook also makes a wonderful gift for family and friends. Scrapbooking is not just about pasting photographs into an album but about illustrating "stories" by making artistic collages of photos, paper patterns, and lettering. Stickers, rub-ons, stamped designs, die-cut shapes and embellishments (tags, grommets, brads, buttons, cardboard and metal frames, ribbons, lace, wire, beads, sequins, jewels, glitter) are used to enhance the collages and create wonderfully decorated pages.

This industry is very icon and theme driven. Artists that want to design for it must think about the reasons why photographs are taken and why a person is willing to take the time to make a scrapbook with them. And then, the artist should create art that compliments those photos. Popular reasons to take photos are family orientated activities such as sports, hobbies, celebration (birthday, anniversary, graduation), travel, and holidays but there are lots more.

The more an artist knows about the scrapbook industry the better she/he can create designs that manufacturers will license and consumers will purchase. And the only way to get that information is to
1. use the internet to check out scrapbooking manufacturers or retail stores that have an internet presence such as Michaels,
2. look at examples of scrapbook pages on blogs such as Scrapbooking by Francine Clouden,
3. visit scrapbooking or craft stores that carry scrapbooking supplies,
4. attend wholesale trade shows such as CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) shows, and
5. scrapbooking consumer shows such as Scrapbook Expo.

What an artist should know and do to license art to the scrapbooking industry.
1. The traditional scrapbook page is 12 by 12-inches and patterns should be designed at least that size. Other popular sizes are 8-1/2 by 11, 6 by 6, 7 by 7, and 8 by 8-inches.
2. Many scrapbookers (scrapers) purchase scrapbooking designs from internet vendors and print their own paper and page layouts. Artists interested in this avenue of licensing opportunities should remember this when searching for manufacturers that license art. But because consumers are now printing their own papers there is less opportunity to license pattern art to manufacturers that print paper unless it is part of a multi-product collection.
3. Many manufacturers are producing multi-product themed collections. These collections may include a selection of paper patterns and borders, stickers, rub-ons, die-cut shapes, and various embellishments. Thus, an artist that presents a complete collection package to a manufacturer has a better chance in getting a licensing deal.
4. Every manufacturer has different needs and each may include different products in their collections. Note: I haven't licensed my art to this industry but in looking at various collections in craft stores some collections include 4-6 background patterns and several borders, a sheet or two of stickers with 8-12 related theme icons on each page, a sheet of press-on words and phrases, a bunch of die-cut shapes and numerous embellishments.
5. Do a survey of manufacturers to determine what kinds of themed art to create that differs (in themes and/or art style) from what is already in the marketplace.

Scrapbooking Manufacturers
Listed below are a few manufacturers that license art for papers and other scrapbooking accessories. Not listed are manufacturers that mainly produce products for other industries such as stickers or rubber stamps even though the products are also used for scrapbooking. If you are interested in those manufacturers, visit a website such as the Scrapbooking Warehouse.

American Traditional Designs (division of Momenta)


Creative Imaginations

C.R. Gibson

DAISIE Company

Karen Foster Design 

K & Company

Scenic Route (includes My Mind's Eye, Crate Paper, & S.E.I. brands)

Read the comments to learn more information about the scrapbooking industry.

Comments about this article and names of additional scrapbooking manufacturers not listed is greatly appreciated. Click on the comment section below to write your comments.


  1. Joan, once again, a great article!
    I along with a few other CHA members have recently began writing a scrapbook community called Memory Keeping Collection (

    CHA is definitely a great opportunity to see and possibly chat with a great amount of scrapbook product companies. It's neat to wander the show and see the diversity in products and art!

  2. One thing I've noticed when researching scrapbooking companies is that their designers are all women who scrapbook and they tend to stick together. Their bios say things like they sent in their page with a "I love your product, look how nice this came out!" sort of comment and were asked to join the design team. I would suggest that artists who are looking into a scrapbook company mockup a page or two using the designs they are submitting complete with real photos and funny captions. In short seems that scrapbooking companies like to see the 'heart' in your designs as well as the designs themselves. Great article, Joan. Keep them coming :)

  3. Another very helpful article - thanks Joan!

    I licensed my artwork to a scrapbooking company (Karen Foster Design) for a couple of years and I'd like to clarify something that Periwinkle Paisley (love that name!) mentions in her comment. Scrapbook companies generally have two creative needs: artists who create collections of artwork for products and designers who create samples (scrapbook pages, handmade greeting cards and other products) using that manufacturer's products. The manufacturer needs those samples for ads, catalogs, trade shows, retailer project sheets, make & takes, etc. The Design Team members create these samples. The people sending in their page designs using that mfgs product are vying for a spot on the Design Team, not to create artwork that becomes product.

    If you want to get into this product area, make sure that at least a couple of your submissions show that you know how to put a coordinated collection of designs together.

  4. Thanks Jen, Jen, and Deb for the comments and information you shared about scrapbooking! Also thanks Deb for sharing another manufacturer that licenses art for the scrapbooking industry! I posted it.

  5. Beautiful Cards!!!
    Thanks For Sharing...
    Please keep Sharing more