Many people would hold a scrapbook crop at home if they knew more about how to make them fun events. I know the first few I held were nerve-wracking affairs, with me biting my nails and hoping everything would work out. Now I am able to organise one pretty quickly and easily, without too many nerves! See if my check list helps you decide to hold some home crops too.
1. Before the Event:
- I like to give plenty of notice about Skrotpræmie when my crops are going to be held. This gives people a chance to think about what they are going to work on, and what to pack up to bring along. Allow a couple of week’s notice if you can and be in touch with people about the day throughout that time. Talk it up. Say what you are going to be doing and ask your friends what they are thinking of working on so they will think about bringing only enough supplies to work on their particular projects.
When you first think of having friends over to work on their scrap books with you, it is important to think carefully about where and how people could work together:
- Do you have a large dining room table or a picnic table? Think about the size of a trestle table. Most scrappers are comfortable with half a trestle table. How many half trestle table surfaces could you provide in your home? Try to set things up so everyone can face each other and feel part of a circle of friends. I have three trestle tables and a dining room table so I set the trestles up in a ‘U’ shape and make my dining room table a shared space for tools.
- Once you know how many people you could accommodate, aim for asking that number of people to a day or evening of scrapping with you. My crops usually go from 10am to 4pm with people coming and going as able.
- Provide a few rubbish bins for people to use while scrapping. Small ones are enough – a clean ice cream container or plastic bowl can work well between two people. Or if space is at a premium, tape small plastic bags to the edges of tables for people to keep their scraps in. Keep an eye on the bins while people are working and quietly empty them when necessary.
2. The Tools
- Offer to make heavier tools like paper punches, guillotines, heat guns, Sizzix or Cuttlebug machines, sewing machines etc available, so your friends do not all carry these items to your house. Or ask if people will bring one particular tool on the understanding that it will be shared by everyone on the day. How lovely to be able to share dies and allow people to take home some freshly embossed or die-cut images! Ask them to label their equipment before they arrive so everyone knows what belongs to who when it is time to pack up.
3. The Food
- Are you going to have food on the day? Make sure your food choices will be scrapbooker friendly and not cause sticky problems for someone’s projects. It helps to put out serviettes, baby wipes or paper towels for people to use. Also consider asking people to bring along a food item to share, to cut down on the expense of feeding everyone yourself, if that is an issue. I often serve crackers and cheese, olives, sliced vegetables and dip, non sticky candy like wrapped hard candies or jelly babies or mints, sliced fruit, etc. For a lunch, chicken or cold meats and salad with bread rolls is quick, easy and not very messy or hard to prepare. (Many do not want to give up too much scrapping time by sitting down to a three course meal, but it depends on the group).
4. When Friends Arrive
- When your friends arrive, be ready to help with bulky items from their car. Provide them with glasses of water, tea and coffee. Scrapping can be thirsty work! I always put empty glasses and coasters out before my friends come over. If you can provide a small area for people to prepare their own drinks, this will free you up to scrap longer too. Oh and make sure everyone knows where the ‘facilities’ are at the beginning of the crop.
5. During the crop
- Depending on the group, you could organise a small joint project such as the making of a place card, name tag or ATC when people arrive. Have a vote about which one is the cutest and give out a small prize such as a pack of crystal embellishments or a hand made embellishment of your own. Or ask people to make a set of small embellishments to swap with others on the day.
- Let people know that they may bring things to trade with them on the day. We all have an item or two we know we just won’t use – it could be someone else’s treasure! Share books or magazines as well.
- Play some music in the background. People could bring their own music to share.
- Encourage people to show their albums, cards, and off-the-page projects so everyone has a chance to share their ideas. Be encouraging! Scrapping is a personal affair and I believe there is no wrong way to do it, as long as the scrapper is happy with their result. I am always amazed that so many people feel intimidated by each others skills. Encouraging your friends with their scrapping may help them to enjoy their craft more freely.
- If someone in the group is skilled in a technique, consider asking them to demonstrate it for your other friends.
6. At the end of the day:
- When it is time to leave, help people to return their bulky items to their cars.
- Thank everyone for coming and maybe set a tentative date for your next crop!
A well-organised scrapbook crop can be relaxing, fun and a source of great new ideas for everyone. Enjoy your crops!