This coming weekend I'm attending a crop and bringing along my bestie Amy - who has never been to any kind of scrapbooking event. She wasn't sure how she should pack/what she should bring and wanted a little bit of help, so here it is!
There's 2 main ways to pack for a crop:
1) Page kits - for the organized
2) Take (almost) everything - for the rest of us
This method of packing is for those people who are organized and have the time before hand to prep. I am not one of those people - I'm far too indecisive.
Making page kits is a pretty simple concept. You collect your photos, paper to go with, and embellishments to match.
A kit might look something like this (taken from memory workshop pdf):
o some kind of sticker or embellishment
o Title material (sticker or rub on letters, diecut, page topper, etc)
o 1 or 2 sheets of cardstock for your base page
o 1 or 2 sheets of cardstock in different shades for matting and accents
All these items can then be stashed away in a large ziplock bag, and there you have it. In addition to your kits you'll need to bring the basics (adhesive, scissors, trimmer, pens, etc)
Things to consider when packing with page kits:
-Be realistic. If it takes you 1 hour to finish a layout, packing 20 page kits for an 8 hour crop is probably not the best use of your time.
-if you like making mini albums a crop is a great way to complete one or two. You can pack only what you'll need for that album and be done with it!
Method 2 - Pack everything
Alright, when I say everything I don't really mean it. This is the way I pack and it works well for me because at home I don't have a permanent scrapbook area, so things are packed and stored away more of the time. Keep in mind I don't have a lot when it comes to supplies... well compared to a lot of people!
I have a whole little suitcase thingy full of it. It's arranged by color because I'm like that.
I can't bear to cut one little shape out of a fresh piece of paper, so my scraps come with me all the time. Mine are organized in one little box. Each color is in it's own page protector, making it much easier to find and use.
Mine are stored between 2 containers. One is a fishing tackle kit (these work great because they have all the compartments you need without the high price of some of the stuff made specifically for scrapbooking - although there are some good organizers out there for that too!) this keeps all my brads, most of my ink pads, ribbon, flowers, etc.
Container 2 contains mostly rubber stamps.
My stickers & rub ons, sadly, are currently housed in a Michael's bag! *gasp* These will be coming too.
Somewhere to put finished work:
You want to be able to protect your finished work. Maybe it's a full 12x12 album, but for me, it's the box my MacBook came in. It fits 12x12 paper perfectly! I usually store some idea books in here to take with me too!
Things to consider with this packing method:
-how much space is there? Some crops will be limited for space, and you need to consider your fellow scrappers! If you don't know, pack light, or leave some things in your car!
-consider how you will spread out your belongings. If you can't see it, chances are you won't be inclined to use it!
I usually keep this guy out & fill the lid part with stickers & rub ons (ie contents of plastic bag) and that way things I need are handy!
-how long is the crop? Is it worth loading every brad and sticker into your car for a 4 hour crop or are you there all weekend?
-is there a shop? Often crops are hosted by people who have shops or consultants who sell product. If there is a shop, maybe every rubber stamp you own doesn't need to come with.
-do you have friends attending? Sometimes you can cut down on what you would like to bring because you have friends that you could share with. For instance, you don't all need to bring every punch you own because Suzy and Sally own them all too. Coordinate if you need to!
-another big thing lately is the use of Cricuts and Silhouettes. Some crops outright will advise you not to bring them. I understand both sides of this debate. From the host's perspective, they take up space, not everyone has one, and they can get in the way and can take away from some of the fun. From a scrapbbooker's perspective, it's nice to have - just in case! Keep in mind that each one of these devices needs to be plugged in, and outlets might be limited. Perhaps you have a few doo-dads that you like to use regularly, pre-cut these, or some titles so that you don't have to bring your machine with you. (again, consider the length of the crop & space limitations!)
-consider what you use the most. Do you own 500 rubber stamps but find yourself using stickers most often?
General things to consider:
-bring scrap paper and/or post it notes (I always find these useful!)
-if the crop allows, you might want to bring snacks (be considerate of your fellow scrappers & don't bring really messy things - no body likes someone else's coffee stains on their layouts & cards!)
-BUTT/back pillow - always a good idea!!
-layered clothing - you never know what the temperature of the crop room will be!
-label your tools. Sadly things go missing suspiciously at crops sometimes, but if you put your name on your stuff you'll be likely to get it back. This is important if you plan on sharing amongst friends (who brought the crop-a-dile again?)
There's a whole bunch of resources out there, and I know that I didn't cover everything, but it's a good start if you've never been before. I found this link from memory workshop particularly useful. It talks about page kits, but has some other general information that's good to know too!
How do you pack for a crop? What are your must have items? What do you wish someone had told you before you went to your first crop?