If you are a beginner scrapbooker, or a more seasoned scrapbooker with time limitation or you just want a new challenge, scraplifting might be the answer to your need. In short, scraplifting means to get inspired by other completed scrapbook pages.
For the beginners
If you browse through galleries and you see pages that you like, chances they fit your style. As a beginner, it is often hard to know what colors go well together, what kind of layering is eye-pleasing, what type of disposition makes a page look balanced, etc. Since you might not have all those answers, you can get inspired by other pages that do. Do you like a particular combination of colors? Do you find an interesting use for some elements? Are you drawn by that unusual shape? Then, take it as a mini-lesson and try to replicate it with the tools and supplies you have on hand. You might learn a lot about what you like and don't like.
As you work through your first scrapbook layouts, it might be just what you need to feel comfortable with your program, and supplies, and be able to focus on that instead of staring at a blank canvas.
For seasoned scrapbookers
If you have been scrapbooking for a while and are already comfortable with your supplies and your program, you might always be looking for something new. A new element to use or a new way to use a common element. A new way to frame a photo. A new way to edit a photo for a special effect. A new way to combine colors and shapes that you might not have thought of. A new theme you didn't think could be turned into a layout.
Browse galleries. Take notes. Examine the layouts closely. What idea can you incorporate into your next project?
Inspiration does not always show up in a timely manner. If you have a project and don't want to tweak too long to find something you like on your own page, check out what others have done. You find a page that you like? Take it as an inspiration to do something similar. Of course, you will likely use different colors, papers, and elements and obviously, you will have different photos, but you will save time "thinking", and spend more time "scrapping". If you have a project for 25 pages, you will likely save enough time to complete your project faster if you don't have to wait for inspiration 25 times, or tweak endlessly for every element.
For a challenge
Sometimes, we need to push ourselves a little outside our comfort zone, and scraplifting from a layout that might not be our own style could lead us to discover new ideas. Maybe you don't like that dark color combination but you can still grab other ideas from that layout; maybe the title, maybe the layering, maybe the way the photos are cropped, etc. It might be uncomfortable to do but that is a way to challenge yourself!
Is it ok to do?
Some people might think that scraplifting is plagiarism. If you were to recreate a layout using the same elements, the same papers, and the same title and journalling, and then think of submitting that "carbon copy" to a contest, or a magazine for publication, that would not be ok. However, if you are using it for your own personal enjoyment, or print it for Aunt Lucy, it would be fine.
Do I need to credit?
If you are using someone else's layout as a source of inspiration, it sure would be nice to let that person know that you found their project worthy of a scraplift, but sometimes, those people might be hard to reach as they might no longer be visiting a particular gallery where you found their layout or their email is no longer valid. If you can, go for it. They will appreciate. If you can't don't stop yourself from enjoying that dose of inspiration.
Whenever you follow tutorials for scrapbooking, you are likely going to be scraplifting another layout. Here is an example of a scraplift, from my own.
This is a layout from the Basic Scrap course 1, where I show the basics of creating simple layouts. Now, I used the same format, and layout to create another one:
You can see the similarities: two photos, frames that are not around the photos but around the subjects, arrows, layered papers. Yet, they are still very different.
Now, it is your turn to get inspired, to challenge yourself or to simply scrap faster, using scraplifting.