Stitching a layout frame – Afternoon Tea – by Scrap Within Reach

One of the reasons I really like Basic Grey, is because they have the most versatile background papers I know of. The soft muted patterns of what appears from a distance to be a plain colour – reveals upon closer inspection – an intricate and interesting arrangement of contrasting colours.

So I was more than impressed to find that ALL the papers in the Afternoon Tea range by Scrap Within Reach have similar background papers on the reverse side. Not only are they easy to use – in a lot of cases you don’t need much by way of embellishment, because the paper has it all. I often have a little giggle at those people who like to “create” their own papers from scratch, with multiple inkings and a lot of work – why bother – when companies like this have it all done for you??

For this ‘heritage’ layout I picked a photo that I thought would suit that style of scrapping (shush – it has an OLD person in the photo – that should make it ‘heritagey’ enough). In kindness to my poor Aunt’s advanced age, (don’t you dare tell her I said that either) I converted it to sepia to help minimise the wrinkles, (it also ‘softens’ the photo) and to get rid of the clashing colours in the photo (why is it rellies won’t ‘get with it’ and wear your choice of clothes for photo shoots??).

The colours in the paper remind me of my Aunt – and the stitching that is such a feature of the layout – is also for her. She is a hoarder of pretty things – embroidered linen, butterflies, flowers etc – and lives in an old style Queenlander, the sort with the wrap-around verandahs with lacy bits. So you can see that my design is a tribute to her and not just a random collection of things.

Do the stitching FIRST – it creates less wear and tear on your layout.

I stole – oops – borrowed my stitching pattern from one meant for card-making. It cost me $1 and was surrounded by printed flowers you could cut out and put in the middle of the card. But you can ‘borrow’ these patterns from any stitching pattern you find. Here is a close-up of a section of the stitching.


It is well worth the time though – I am very happy with the finished product. Be prepared to use up a fair bit of thread too – there is a complete skein of thread in this plus part of another. I had to make a frantic dash to Spotlight to find a second one to get this finished.

The flower clusters are mostly old Prima‘s from one of the early Artful Collage Collections I think (the purple ones are a more recent release) – and some divine Carnation flowers I got from Spotlight (they come in a pack of 6). An old button and some pink beads to decorate – and don’t forget the Green Tara leaves to finish. Just perfect.


Just a little more detail to be seen here.


I’ve inked the base paper behind the photo with a lovely, soft purple chalk ink. The paper doily underneath though, has been coloured with Butterscotch alcohol ink. There is no Kindyglitz on this at all – in fact, no real glitz of any sort – it just doesn’t suit the layout.

I added some old-style ribbon and a lucky find of 2 metal photo holders to finish off underneath the photo, but the bit that makes this layout really about my Aunt is the butterfly. It comes as a diecut card – meant I think for journalling (again – this is more a card-making product than a scrapping one) – but I cut it up, inked it and stuck it in appropriate spots on the layout.


So now I have a layout that automatically brings to my mind, memories of my Aunt – as a person – and not just about her on the day she first met Madame. And this is surely the entire point of heritage layouts, the preservation of memories.


So have a go at using stitching to create a frame – if not for the entire layout, than try it just as a frame for the photo. Nor do you have to make it a complete frame – I think the good part about this particular pattern is that it can be used in bits – I could see the corner pattern used on a corner in a layout – and the spiral could be used alone as well.

And have a look at the Afternoon Tea range of papers here – I think you will be very surprised at how good they look in real life, as the computer images do not do them justice.


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