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How to Design a Scrapbook Layout

Learn how to design a scrapbook layout in this Howcast video featuring expert Carla Sylvester.


Trying to design your first scrapbook layout can be kind of intimidating, what do you do, where does the picture go, what else do I need on my page. One of the easiest ways to get started with designing a scrapbook page is to use a sketch or a page map and you can find these online. These two are from the PageMaps website, but you can find others as well.

This kind of gives you a road map, a recipe, a pattern for how to design your page and it will show you where to put your photos, your title, your embellishments, and so on. If I'm going to do that, then all I need to do is look at my page map. I found one that I think is going to go well with my photos and then collect together all the elements that are on that page and then I'm going to be ready to scrapbook that page.

Once you've done a few of those, then you start to get a feel for the design of a scrapbook page and there are few rules that help to create a pleasing scrapbook page. One of those is called the rule of thirds. If you take your 12 x 12 scrapbook page and you've divided it into thirds vertically and horizontally, you get something that looks like this. When you look at where those lines intersect, that is where you want to place your focal point in order to make it really interesting. I can place my focal photo here, I can place it here, I can place it here and then add my other page elements around it. If I were to add it just right in the middle, it's just not quite as interesting.

Just keep in mind though, you are the boss of your scrapbook pages, so nobody can tell you what to do. These are just design principles that have been shown over time and that are used by scrapbookers, photographers, and so on.

Here, we have actually a page that exemplifies that principle. The photo is right over here in that sweet spot of the rule of thirds and this is also a great example of just how simple a scrapbook page can be. It doesn't need to be complicated or intimidating and yet it still has some fun elements to it with the ribbon and the clear photo letters.

Another principle of scrapbooking is the rule of 3's or the visual triangle and here's a page that demonstrates what we mean by that. We have three clusters of embellishments and when you take any three items and it can be a color, it can be a shape, it can be an embellishment and you repeat it three different places on the page, so that those three points form a triangle when you draw an imaginary line between them, that's a visual triangle and what that does is just help draw your eye across the page.

Those are a couple of things to keep in mind when you're designing a scrapbook layout. If you're working on a Project Life scrapbook, that's an entirely different kind of page as you can see here. The page protectors are divided into multiple little pockets, so you can treat each pocket like its own little canvas or its own little scrapbook page. You could have an entire photo take up a pocket. You can have a photo with a label or an embellishment on top of it and you could even have a photo that stretches across multiple pockets.

Either way you scrapbook whether it's with Project Life or a more traditional method, these are some things you can keep in mind when you're designing your scrapbook layout.

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