Creating a Layout in 5 Simple Steps using Express Collections

Yesterday, I told you about my top 10 favorite retiring items. I left out one and it is a BIG ONE --- all of the current Express Collection layouts in Studio J are retiring at midnight August 31! (If it is already past that date, don't fret -- there are new Express Collections now available in Studio J. Pop on into the program to check them out!)

I love Studio J because it allows me to create beautiful pages without the mess, expense or time-commitment of traditional scrapbooking. Express Collections make this even faster because the pages are completely ready for you. All you need to do is drop in your pictures! Anything you do beyond that is optional.

There are 5 Simple Steps to creating a layout using the Express Collections,

#1 Log into  Studio J

If you do not have an account, you can create one now. This program is web-based which means there is nothing to install. Creating an account allows all of your work to be stored and ready to work on next time you log in. This frees you to work from any computer as long as you have an internet connection!

Remember this is a free to try program. You will not pay anything until you decide you are ready to order prints of your layouts.

#2 Create a Project

Under the Welcome Banner on the right, click on "Create a new project".

You can think of a project as a folder that holds related layouts. There is no limit to how many layouts you have in a project, but the program will run faster if you limit it to just a handful. Also, it will be easier to manage your photos with smaller projects.

#3 Upload your pictures

Use the browser wizard to locate the pictures you want on this layout. Not sure? You have the option of skipping this step and doing it later when you are finalizing your layout.

#4 Select your Express Collection layout

First you need to choose "Start with an Express Collection."

This will pull up a list of all of the currently available Express Collection sets. For my layout, I selected the "All About Me" Collection. This opens a pop up window with all of the layouts in this collection. My layout is "layout 09". 

Here's what the layout looked like when I first opened it. 

#5 Customize

The great thing about Express Collections is that these layouts are DONE before you START! So all you have to do is drop in your photos. However, you are free to customize more if you'd like.

Although the titles on Express Collections are editable, I choose to leave this one as is. You may notice in the original layout, you will notice there was a journaling box just below the title. I choose to delete it.

Instead, I added a larger journaling box below the pictures on the right page. You don't see the box because I set the background to "none". This makes the words look like they were stamped right on the papers.

Isn't this layout beautiful? I love all the artistic touches --- distressing, ink splaters, stitching, ribbon and butterflies. The clusters of embellishments are perfect. Sometimes, I just browse the Express Collections before creating pages from scratch. So many great ideas!

Get started in Studio J>>

Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions as you get started in Studio J. It truely is an amazing program!