How I Arrange a Flatlay

A lot goes into the projects I make, but also how I photograph them. I’ve written about this before here and here, but today I’ll focus on flatlay arrangements. I think flatlays are less popular now than a year or two ago, but do feel they have a nice appearance for displaying collections or something special or thematic. This can be especially true when showing off yarn, a WIP, or a FO.

For this photo, I wanted to bring rose hues together with gold. I really just collected anything that fit in this and swapped them out until I arrived at an arrangement and combination I liked. I placed them on a large matte paper posterboard I bought at Vibes & Scribes. I use the same one for as long as possible, then inevitably one of my kids finds it and draws on it (both sides), so I replace it. I used it (and another in grey) to photograph all of the auction items for Pink Auction (photos here). I’ve had two of these posterboards in nine years, so I think that’s decent. If we had a larger place, I’m sure I could keep it safer so maybe one day…


The final photo was ok. I don’t love it. I think the necklaces distract and should have lined up mini skeins or knitting needles on the left, but everything is a chance to learn and become better.



I wanted to show off my hand knit gloves, but with a splash of color. The pug notebook pulls the aqua and brown hues together nicely and the gold dots on the eye mask add another dimension to the color scheme. The yarn featured is Irish Fairytale Yarns. The gloves were bought at a craft fair in Philadelphia in 1994.


To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I selected green fabric from my collection and my fun orange bias tape to represent the Irish flag. Then I paired them with a white sheep pencil sharpener and an antique book on Killarney. When I first moved to Ireland in 2008, I met a man at Culture Night in the archives building who gave me this book. It is over 100 years old. Don’t worry, it’s kept well out of reach of my boys.



This one was a fun one for Easter with a metal egg we bought in Berlin paired with two hand wound yarn balls, a wood stick pencil, a Søstrene Grene notebook, and a sequin bunny mask. Just things I had around.


I love this combination I put together for Spring. The shades of pink and the floral theme are so fun.


Another one with pink on the brain. I love using natural elements, like this starfish and abalone shell. The abalone was from Kinsale, they were selling them to raise funds for Irish Lifeboats, I believe. The scallop shell is from when Fenns Quay held a Celtic Cookoff celebration and scallops were brought by Alan of Loch Fyne. I kept the shells. The aluminium crab dish is a gift from my parents because I love crabs. Maryland’s state crustacean is the Blue Crab.


I wanted to have a sweet little flatlay with a summer vibe. This was achieved with wood fish from my children’s play kitchen, a boat magnet, a little crochet square, seashells, and a fish dish I brought when we moved from California in 2008. I love the mix of materials and textures within the same monochromatic blue theme. I also like that each of the blue quadrants has a grey/black shade within it. And three of them also have a bit of white.


This one was to show off a baby hat I’d just finished. I love pink and orange or pink and yellow together, so this was a fun one that came together quickly. I wanted a summery feel in spite of the winter hat because this was a baby gift given in summer for an autumn arrival who would fit in the hat come winter.


The final photo had just the right whimsy, even if the watch feels out of place. I think a lollipop or candies would have been better suited in its place.


This one was done for autumn to celebrate back to school season. The teal yarn is a DK from Dublin Dye. The dog was purchased in Amsterdam and is discussed in this blog post. The notebook is special. I made it in 1996 or 1997. When I say, “I made it”, I mean I MADE IT. I folded and sewed the paper into signatures then bound them together with cardboard and fabric to create my own book binding and cover. I love the overall closure and pink felt to hold the book closed. This book is my art journal into which I noted how to bind books from two semesters in Book Arts (my 3D art requirement) while at Chestnut Hill College. I still remember shopping for the fabric on Germantown Ave one sunny day and falling in love with it. I still love it.


Another back-to-school one with an organising focus. I don’t love it, but it is cute and the overall theme is clear given the topics of the books. If you haven’t read ‘Entre Nous’ by Debra Ollivier, it is a great perspective on simple, quality wardrobe sensibilities. One that is very relevant to today’s focus on slow fashion over disposable fashion. And, of course, Marie Kondo’s The Life-chanding Magic Tidying Up.


Deeper into autumn now, I wanted to bring in warm comforting tones. The brown floral fabric is from Vibes & Scribes, as well as the bias tape. The squirrel nutcracker was bought ages ago at a thrift store. When I saw it, I loved it but it was grey and covered in a layer of filthy dust and grime. Delighted what a nice cleaning can do. The hardback copy of Pride and Prejudice was €1 at a thrift store. I love that book and have read it nearly 20 times at this point. The bookmark within is from my alma mater, Chestnut Hill College.


I did this one as a fun birthday flatlay. The Fibre Kitchen‘s colorway is called Birthday Cake, I think.


And sometimes you just want to show off all your stitch markers. Though this isn’t even all of them. This flatly is too busy and the shadows distract from the subject.

dozens of stitch markers with different designs

This one was fun to create. I wanted to show that mini skeins and gradients are ideal for Carol Feller’s book Knitting with Rainbows. I collected three sets of mini skeins I already owned to feature in this flatlay. The pastel rainbow set on the left is from Folkestone Harbour Yarns. The green set in the top centre is from The set on the right is from Smudge Yarn‘s 2016 Spring Yarn Club.


And to finish off this post, here are three flatlays created from one care package. I created this care package for Marseille and wanted to show two elements in detail, so I did closeups. You can read about the care package here. And this is a post on how I made the project bag.


I loved focusing on the buttons. I chose some really fun ones for this care package.


I made these stitch markers (blog post detailing how I made them) and featured the materials and finished charms in this flatlay.



That’s it. I have not made many more than this because it takes space, lighting, precision, and no meddling children. It is really hard to find time and all four of those things at once.

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