Whats an Overlay? Its a clear sheet made for scrapbooking. Each one is printed with a definition border that you can arrange along the top or either side of your page. Because theyre 12x12, you can simply place the entire sheet over your layoutno adhesive necessary if you use page protectors. Or, attach them with brads, eyelets, ribbon or staples. Of course, they can also be cut into borders too. Take a look at how designer Susan Cobb used Overlays on her pages.

(Yes, theyre acid-free, too!)

Earl Bernard Immel
Designer: Susan Cobb

Susan says: I created a collage-style layout with photos, journaling, paper art and words. The collage is the focal of the layout, but I used a few additional elements to give the layout some structure and to keep your eye moving throughout the page. The Heritage Overlay is both a title and definition, and adds a horizontal element to the page without distracting from the photos. In keeping with the horizontal definition, I also placed a grosgrain ribbon and brass library card holder horizontally. I attached the overlay over the completed page about 3/4 from the top and secured it with brads; then trimmed the bottom of the overlay even with the page.



  1. Lightly sand the top and bottom edges of the plaid paper. Trim the gold sponged paper to 12 x 9 3/4 and lightly ink the edges. Glue a 12 x 1/2 strip of black paper to the underneath edge at the top and bottom, letting the black extend to leave a 3/16 border. Sand all four edges lightly. Glue centered to the plaid paper.
  2. Mat photos on black and/or brown sponged paper as desired, inking the brown edges as shown. Cut or tear out art and words and distress with sandpaper. Journal on brown paper and ink the edges. Mat the tape-style word cutouts on the brick striped paper, then ink the edges.
  3. Use the black pen and ruler to add stitching detail to the outer edges of the gold sponged paper and on the brown photo mat. Arrange the photos and remaining paper collage elements and glue into place as shown.
  4. Cut the ribbon into two pieces to fit across the page with the library card holder between them. Secure the ribbon on the backside of the page, then secure the front ends of the ribbon and the library card holder in place with brads. Attach the Overlay about 3/4 from the top of the page and secure with brads. Trim the excess Overlay even with the bottom of the page.

Designer: Susan Cobb

Susan says: Here I turned the Overlay to read down the left-hand side of my layout, then cut slits in it to attach it with gingham ribbon. The red paper shows through the clear celebration letters, each framed in black on the Overlay. The paper colors of red, black and white are perfect for this photo; the checked ribbon and festive arrangement of the letters on the Overlay add fun energy to the page.



  1. Position the striped background paper so the stripes run horizontally. Trim the red weave paper to 9 3/4 x 12, then mat the two long sides on white cardstock, leaving a 1/8 border. Glue centered to the striped background paper.
  2. Mat the photo on black cardstock, leaving a 1/8 border. Glue to the right side of the page, 1 1/4 from the right and 1 from the top. Use the black pen or computer to journal on white cardstock. Trim to rectangles, then mat on black. Tie a knot in a 2 length of ribbon and wrap the lower right corner of the journaling block. Secure with glue at back. Glue journaling and date to the page as shown.
  3. To secure your Overlay to the page with ribbon: Turn the Overlay so the top is facing left and place over your page, even with the left edge of the red weave paper. The definition should be at the left side of your page. Lightly make a 1/4 long horizontal line on the Overlay with a pencil, about 1/2 from the top and 4 from the left edge of the Overlay. Repeat for the bottom end of the Overlay. Remove Overlay from page and place it on your cutting mat.
  4. Use the knife to carefully cut the slits. Thread ribbon through each slit of the Overlay and position it again over your page. Secure the ends of the ribbon at the back of the page. Tie a bow and adhere as shown.

Love the creative possibilities of Overlays? Be sure to check out all the available themes, from Heritage and Celebration to Vacation, Christmas, Father and more.