Here is a layout that I did using a picture I took, as my background paper. It was a 4x6 and I used a color copier to blow it up to just under 12x12 and then matted it on a piece of black cardstock. I really like the picture that I took of the train as it curves around the track. There are a lot of pictures that we take that would look great on a layout, but what about as the background of the layout? In this age of technology it is really easy and inexpensive to do!
I cut a strip of my train paper by Graphic 45 to put running down the middle. I used a border punch on on side. (This is my very first border punch! and of course there will be many more to come!) I stamped the word "Smile" and colored it with Copics. I added a few other embellishments and another stamp sentiment... & my layout is complete!