Build-A-Kit – Clusters

Creating clusters can be a bit challenging for many scrapbookers, so when a kit includes ready-made ones. If you want to create some, here are some pointers to consider.


When you create a cluster as part of a kit, you need to use the elements from that kit. No outside supplies. The clusters you will create can include flowers, buttons, tags, ribbons, scattered elements, etc.

Some clusters are created on their own to be used on their own, anywhere on a page. Others will embellish a frame so the frame becomes part of the cluster. Other types of clusters would include corner shapes, or “shelves” where one or more long elements (usually ribbons) will create a horizontal base. Of course, you can also create them with a vertical “shelf” too.

If you are having difficulties thinking of how to arrange elements in a cluster, you can always take inspiration from existing clusters you can find. In your kit, replace a flower by your flowers, replace a tag by one of yours, etc. Even though the arrangement would be similar, the end result will definitely be different, and unique to your kit.

Another way to get some inspiration is to use cluster templates. They are not very common, but you can find a few on the store blog as samplers for some scripts.

Cluster Template Maker
Cluster Template Maker 2
Cluster Template Maker 3

With those templates, you can replace the various components by elements from your kit, whether they are buttons, flowers, ribbons, tags, etc. Don’t limit yourself to the exact shape. Those shapes are only placeholders.


Usually, you don’t want to include shadows on elements in a kit since that would limit the user’s ability to rotate or mirror elements. However, in a cluster, you don’t have much choice since all the elements will be fixed together.  You will want to add INTERIOR shadows (meaning on the elements) but not outside of the cluster.

Shadowing clusters is a little more time-consuming and tedious than regular shadows. This is addressed in a few classes:

Shadow Challenges
Realistic Shadows in scrapbooking with PSP


Clusters are grouped elements that are layered to create a single larger element. Although you can layer anything in digital format, you have to be logical to give a realistic look. For example, you would not put a tag on top of a thick flower so look at your elements in a critical way and ask yourself if the layering is realistic.