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Scrapbook Tips And Ideas

As a professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to turn family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Scrapbook Tips And Ideas

Create some special memories with these tips and ideas

Create some special memories with these tips and ideas

Scrapbook Basics

In the digital age, where family photos are stored, you could ask yourself, "Are scrapbooks still relevant?"

My answer to this question is a huge yes ! Scrapbooks are the story of your life and your families lives. They speak of your memories and thoughts for future generations. They preserve your photos, but more than they they also are a place to store your memorabilia.

Someday, future generations will be able to look at these precious memories of generations past. They will know what their family was about, what they thought and how they lived their lives. No digital platform can do that.

Spending time with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren looking over the story of their lives will create special memories. These moments are blessings that they will long remember.

Scrapbook Kits


Use A Kit To Get Started

if you are new to scrapbooking, or need to create a gift scrapbook in a hurry, consider using a kit. a kit is usually themed to a particular occasion. There are themes like baby, wedding birthday, ect,

Usually the kit includes album, some designed pages, some scrapbook page protectors and some embellishments. Technically, all you need is some double sided adhesive tape and a pair of scissors.

Make sure to read the outside of the package, so that you understand exactly what is in it,

There are a few other things that you mat want to include with your purchase:

  1. Extra page protectors-so you can add extra pages
  2. Cardstock to add more pages and embellishments( stick with the theme color)
  3. Double sided tape
  4. Some additional embellishments ( spend some time in the aisle of your craft store or online to see what is available)

Kits are so easy to use and fun too. They are usually more economical than buying all the elements themselves. They are a good alternative for beginners and experienced scrappers alike.

You can also subscribe to monthly kits, These subscription plans do not generally include a scrapbook. They send you pages and embellishments with a particular theme every month. Make sure that you understand all aspects of the plan, if you chose to join a subscription. They help you make faster pages and are often good prices. Carefully review the materials and quantity of materials for each box you receive before joining.

About Acid And Archival Materials

So that your scrapbook will last the test of time in future generations. it is important to use materials in your scrapbook that is acid free and archival.

Why acid free? Acid free products mean that they have neutral or basic pH. This is especially important when it comes to paper that you use. This keeps the paper from yellowing and becoming brittle. This means that your scrapbook pages will last through generations to come.

Archival means that the product or paper is tested and proven to last.

Double sided acid free and archival tape are better to use than glue on your pages. For one reason, it is less messy. You do not get lumps and bumps under the paper.

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If you use glue dots, make sure to check the box to make sure that they are good for your scrapbook pages.

Most scrapbook page protectors are made to meet this standard, but I would check the label just to make sure.

How To Organize Your Photos

Taking the step to organize your photos will help your get ready to create the best scrapbook pages ever.

Taking the step to organize your photos will help your get ready to create the best scrapbook pages ever.

Organizing Your Photos

Taking some time to organize your photos might not seem like a fun way to spend your time. But it will make your scrapbook time a lot easier and more fun.

If your photos are just laying in a box, take some time with your family to sort them all out. You can sort them by person or a theme you are planning to do. It might be family vacations, holidays, birthdays, just family portraits. Doing this project with your family will make a fun night. As you go through the photos, you will find that everyone will enjoy sharing memories and stories together.

Tips For Printed Photos

  • Group them by person for members of your family
  • Group them by event or season
  • Group them by year
  • Use envelopes or zip lock bags to store your sorted photos
  • Use post it notes to make notes as you work through your piles
  • Use photo boxes or organizers to store sorted photos

Tips For Digital Photos

  • Get rid of any bad or duplicate photos
  • Organize photos into albums
  • Edit photos to crop and maximize
  • Back up your photos once a week into the Google Photo App or the ICloud Photo App
  • Erase them from your Iphone or I pad

More Ways To Organize Your Photos

Chose A Theme For Your Scrapbook

Before you get started with your scrapbook, think about what your scrapbook theme will be. Choosing a theme gives you a more cohesive look throughout.

In other words, who or what is the subject of your story. Some themes might include:

  • Scrapbooks for children grand children and even great grandchildren
  • Babies
  • Family
  • Homes you have lived in
  • Holiday celebrations
  • Christmas
  • Pets
  • Vacations
  • Weddings

More Scrapbook Theme Ideas

Effective Use Of Color On A Scrapbook Page

Choose no more than three colors for your scrapbook page

Choose no more than three colors for your scrapbook page

Chose An Overall Color Theme

Of course in selecting a main color or two as a part of your scrapbook design when it comes to gender, is easy. One thinks of blue for a boy and pink for a girl. But you can go beyond that concept.

Does the person that you are creating the scrapbook have a favorite color or a color that they most relate to?

You could color theme for the occasion. Pastels would be lovely for Spring and Summer. Fall would be more brown and oranges. Winter would be more white, grey, green and red.

Does the person that you are making have a hobby that is related to a special color?

Does the person have a love of a regional area like beaches or mountains. You could select colors that relate to those ideas.

Bring in the colors with the color of the scrapbook album, the face page and the back page. Every page does not have to have these colors, but you can use them as much as possible.

Between your color and theme choice, your scrapbooks will have a very professional look that you might not have thought was possible.


Choosing An Album

Choosing the right album is an important step in your overall design.

Size Matters

The first thing to consider is what size album do you want to design. For example a brag book, a special occasion album, a travel album, an album for a shower or birthday might be a smaller album.

An album for a person's life, a wedding picture album, an album on your home ect, might be a larger album. Decide the album size first.

The Type Of Album

Most of the albums sold today are typically post albums that can be expanded by adding extra posts. There are also alums that are similar to a three ring binder. A third option might be a strap album. The kind of album that you chose depends on the amount of photos that you want to place in it.

Album Covers

Another consideration is the type of album cover that you want for your album. They range from a covered cardboard all the way up to leather and leatherette. Naturally, the better the album is made, the more expensive it will be. Consider your options and what you want to spend.

Album Tips

  1. Always buy extra scrapbook page page protectors when you buy your album
  2. Place the insert from the page protector package in your scrapbook. That way you will you will always remember the type of page protectors for that album
  3. Make the last page of your album about you. Create a page to tell who made the album, when it was completed and a little story about why it was created

Choosing And Buying Paper For Your Pages

Even if you opt for a scrapbook kit, you are going to find that you will need an additional source of paper.

Choosing the papers for your scrapbook pages is so much fun. But there are a few things that you need to know before that first shopping trip.

My tip is to buy paper in paper packs whenever possible. There are so many options when it comes to paper packs. Mostly the papers come in either 81/2 " by 11" or 12" by12".

You can buy paper packs in solid colors. They come in mixed solids as well as in one color packs. You can find all kinds of combinations both online and in your local craft store. These mixed paper packs are really a wise choice if you are just starting out in your scrapbook craft.

Patterned paper is the most fun in the world of paper. There are an endless choice when it comes to patterned paper. There are themed patterned papers to particular seasons as well as flowers, butterflies , and so much more.

Paper pads also come in patterned sets that are themed. These paper pads make your scrapbook crafting to easy. All the pages coordinated with each other. You usually get two sheets of each pattern. The pad will also include some tags and other embellishments that you can cut out and use.

On both the solid and patterned paper, you can often purchase individual sheets. These are useful when you have something unique in mind.

Often you can find paper on sale both online and in your local craft store. Just keep in mind that quality counts. At least on the base page of your layout, you need to use a paper weight that will hold up to the embellishments and photos that are going to be on it.

Scrapbook Page Titles

Your scrapbook page title tells what your are scrapping about

Your scrapbook page title tells what your are scrapping about

Page Title Tips

The page title is part of the story of your page. It gives a tease to what your page is about. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect title.

  • Use patterned paper to create your title letters
  • Use a favorite quote or a song title as your title
  • If you take a beach vacation, write the location in the sand and take a picture, Makes a unique title later
  • Have a collection of letter stickers waiting to be used? Apply your letters in a crooked fashion to add a whimsical touch to your layout. The same look can be achieved by deliberately varying the heights of your handwritten letters slightly.
  • Print a title off your computer
  • Put your title on the photo
  • Use stencils to create your title
  • Use die cut letter frames
  • Add a strip of white acrylic paint to your background paper and then add your title on that painted strip. You can handwrite, add letter stickers or apply rub-ons.
  • Use letter stickers
  • Use the name of the person the page is about as the title
  • Use your title as part of a journal block

More Scrapbook Page Title Resources

Photo Composition And Ideas

Placing your photos on each page in your scrapbook does not have to be a chore.

Placing your photos on each page in your scrapbook does not have to be a chore.

Every Page Is A Story-Photo Tips

How you place and the number of photos that you place on your pages, tells the story of that page. How you tell that story is just as important as the photos themselves. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • As you start creating your pages, remember that your page tells a story. You will want to select one photo as your focal point. This is the picture that best tells the story. Any other pictures just complete the story of your focal point. Often the focal point picture is in the upper left hand corner.
  • Crop your photos by eliminating any blurry areas or any elements that take any from the focal point of the photo.
  • Crop your photos with decorative scissors
  • Use different shapes rather than the standard rectangles. You could even use large die cuts to cut your photo into a different shape.
  • Your focal point picture should have a mat under it to highlight its importance. Or it can be larger than the other pictures. You want to have this photo as the center of attention.
  • You do not have to mat every photo except for your focal point photo. That one should always be matted
  • Wrap a piece of ribbon around a photo to create an eye catching element
  • Can’t remember the dates of your photos? Right click on your digital camera’s image file. Next select “Properties” and a pop-up screen will show when’s the photo taken. Now you can easily remember the exact dates of your events.
  • Make darker photos pop by matting them on white paper
  • Use foam tape to lift your photos off the page and give more dimension.
  • Break up a longer photo into pieced and align the pieces.

Creative Photo Cropping

More Photo Ideas

Magazine envelopes

You can hand cut a magazine envelope or use an envelope maker

You can hand cut a magazine envelope or use an envelope maker

Create An Envelope From A Magazine

You can create a custom envelope from a magazine in a flash. These magazine envelopes can be attached to your page to store extra photos or journal notes. Theme your envelope to match the theme or colors from your scrapbook page,


  • An old magazine
  • Scissors
  • Glue or double sided tape
  • A Sharpie or other marker
  • An envelope of your choice
  1. Open up the envelope carefully to retain the shape
  2. Trace it on the magazine page
  3. Cut around the outline
  4. Fold in all the edges and glue or tape the edges
  5. Attach to your scrapbook page

Page Design Tips

Are you frustrated trying to design your scrapbook pages? Don't know where to start? Here are our favorite tips to help you create the best scrapbook pages ever !

  • Start with a scrapbook sketch. This creates a template for your page, It helps you place all your elements. You can always alter a sketch, but it gives you a starting point.
  • Create curves on your page. Using a solid color cardstock base, you can create curved elements with patterned paper, You can use die cuts or find things like bowls and glasses in your kitchen to create curves.
  • Use paper punches of different sizes to create elements on your page.
  • Use a map where you have been as a background.
  • Use a paper doily under a photo or embellishment to call attention to it

More Page Design Ideas

Single Photo Pages Are Effective In Your Scrapbooks

How to create school pictures every year

How to create school pictures every year

Page Inspiration

Now and again we all need a little inspiration when it comes to deigning our pages. When your well runs dry, here are a few ideas for some pages to add to your scrapbook.

  • My Hands- Trace your children or grandchildren's hands. Let them color and decorate them. Write their names and the year on the page.
  • Here I am- Have your kids or grandkids draw pictures of themselves.
  • The Year In Review-Odds and ends of what your year was like
  • A Goal Achieved- Scrap about a goal that you met
  • A Day In Your Life-What does your day look like?
  • My Heroes-Who do you most look up to?
  • New Year Resolutions-Simple way to make them real
  • My Favorite Outfit- Take a picture of your favorite clothes and tell about it
  • First Day Of School- Treasured memories
  • Top 10 Lists

Base Page And Card Stock Tips

Why just have a solid colored cardstock as your base? You can alter the page to create something special, custom and unique, Here are some tips to help you create a different look to your cardstock,

  • Crumble your paper. Simply crumble it into a ball and then flatten it out, Add some distress ink where the marks are
  • Add a stitched look to your pages. Cut a straight line with a pare of pinking shears on a heavy piece of card stock. Use the lines of the cardstock to trace a zig zag pattern on your [age with a marker
  • Make sure that the paper on your base page is acid free so that there is no damage to your photos

Journaling With Your Computer

Use your computer to create your story. Just type it out and print it. Create a focal point for your story

Use your computer to create your story. Just type it out and print it. Create a focal point for your story

Journaling Tips And Ideas

Journaling adds another layer of interest to your scrapbook pages. It tells the who, what, what where and why to your page, Here are a few tips that will help you make journaling easier,

  • Use your own handwriting. Having something hand written will be treasured by generations to come
  • If you do not want to write a story, use bullet points instead
  • Add an envelope adhered to your page for extra journaling. You can use a colored envelope that goes with your color scheme. You can also stamp and color the envelope for extra interest
  • Creating a layout on your kid? Why not let her journal in her handwriting and add that to your layout? It enhances the theme and gives off a very strong child-like charm to your page.

Patterned Paper Ideas

Stay within the same color range and you can use different patterns together

Stay within the same color range and you can use different patterns together

Using Patterned Paper

We all love patterned paper. Here are some tips to best use patterned paper on your pages and layouts

  • Create a custom look or soften a patterned paper by using vellum over it
  • When you buy paper pad collections, the papers always match a color theme or other theme, It makes it so much easier to create your pages. If you watch them carefully, you can usually catch them on sale,
  • Hand tear the edges off of a piece of patterned paper to create more interest to your pages. You can use this idea as a part of your title or as a side or bottom piece
  • Break up patterned paper with solid color cardstock. Use it as a half and half page.
  • Create a paper quilt on your page. Make equal squares of solid and patterned cardstock.

More Patterned Paper Resources

Create Your Own Embellishments (Decorative Elements)

  • Use punches, dies or electronic cutting machines to create flowers. Group them together to create a bouquet on your page
  • Edge punched flowers with a darker ink to create an eye catching embellishment
  • Create embellishments with your concert and movie tickets. mount them on tags for some extra punch.
  • Use a paper clip as part of a add on design option. Fold over a tag to add one. Use it on small embellishments to clip on the edges of your page.
  • Use buttons to create a line break between sections of your scrapbook page
  • Use very small stamps. Stamp a few items. Use a decorative scissor around the image to create "stamps" as embellishments. Use some ink around the edges to make the image stand out.

Create A Butterfly With A Heart Punch

Fold a piece of cardstock. Offset a heart punch to create a butterfly. Once you have unfolded it, you will see your butterfly emerge. Used solid or patterned paper

Fold a piece of cardstock. Offset a heart punch to create a butterfly. Once you have unfolded it, you will see your butterfly emerge. Used solid or patterned paper

More Embellishment Ideas For Your Scrapbook

Tea Bag Embellishments

Border Ideas

Borders add that extra element to our scrapbook pages. Even for beginners, adding some borders to your pages adds an extra unexpected design element that will be pleasing to the eye. Here are our favorite border tips:

  • Using white paper as a border? It does not have to be boring. If you are using a good white cardstock, you can add a tiny touch of watercolor to the edge of your border. metallic watercolor really looks well. Remember not to saturate the paper.
  • In the same idea, you could use watercolor markers just to color a bit of the edge of your border
  • Want an antique or old paper look, use distress inks to color the edge of your border,
  • Create a hand drawn border. Use a marker that is acid free, fade proof and waterproof. Draw simple lines with a ruler or go fancy
  • Use decorative scissors to create a border. Cut a strip of paper. Use your decorative scissors to make a edge on your strip. Experiment with different widths of paper. Try layering your strips for a different look
  • Use small punches evenly spaced on a strip of cardstock to create a custom border
  • Use long strips of patterned paper to create borders
  • Glitter paper makes a border for a festive holiday page

Layer Your Borders

Add layers to your  borders to get the best visual effects

Add layers to your borders to get the best visual effects

Glue And Adhesive Tips

It is super important to use the right adhesive on your scrapbook pages. Using the wrong adhesive can cause damage to your photos and other elements. It ios a smart idea to position everything on your page before you start adhering elements. That way you can change things before you start gluing or taping them.

  • Before you close a glue tip, squeeze a tiny bit of glue in the nozzle. When you come back to the glue, just pull off the glue and you are ready to go,
  • When you have an empty bottle of glue, take off the top and clean it, You can use the top in place of a top that becomes clogged
  • Use glue dots to raise an embellishment off a page. It gives more dimension
  • Use a repositional tape. That way if you want to change something you still have some options.
  • I do not recommend using glue sticks. I have found that over a period of time, the glue stick does not hold up

Scrapbook Ribbon Ideas

Ribbon adds a lot of color to your scrapbook pages

Ribbon adds a lot of color to your scrapbook pages

Ribbon Ideas

Ribbon is so much fun to use on a scrapbook page. There are colors and patterns to match whatever layout you have. Not only that but the variety of widths helps you to create something special !

  • Create a border for your page with ribbon
  • Use double sided tape in the right width to adhere your ribbon. Line and place one side of the tape, If you are going across the page, then run the tape around to the back of the page. Peel off the top of the adhesive and place the ribbon.
  • Separate sections of your scrapbook page. This is effective when you want to use patterned paper on only part of your page.
  • Chiffon ribbon always looks great over patterned paper.
  • You can use wider ribbon as a border
  • Use ribbon to hang a title

Ribbon Flowers

I meds these ribbon flowers from ribbon in my stash. Easy to make ~

I meds these ribbon flowers from ribbon in my stash. Easy to make ~

Create A Ribbon Flower

You can create a ribbon flower for any part of your scrapbook layout. This is easy to create and very effective. You can use any ribbon that you have and create the size of your choice.


  • A circle of medium weight scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Glue Dots
  • Buttons
  • Tack it glue
  1. Cut a circle of the scrap paper.
  2. Cut 7 strips of ribbon about 2 1/2 inches long
  3. Cut 7 strips of ribbon about 2 inches long
  4. Create the loops by adhering the two ends of all the ribbons with a glue dot
  5. Adhere the larger dots around the edge of the circle with the glue dots
  6. Add the smaller loops on top of and over the spaces left on the circle.
  7. Glue the button on top of the flower with the tack it glue

Project Tips

  • You can customize this project by making the loops in different sizes.
  • Add more layers
  • Vary with different ribbons

Washi Tape Ideas

Washi tape is another staple that scrapbook artists love. It adds so much in color and design to your pages. Washi tape is reasonably priced. You can get it in a single roll or packs of rolls. There are patterns and solids of course, but you can also get it in metallics and glitter tapes too. Here are a few tips to use washi tape on your scrapbook pages

  • Use washi tape to stick a photo onto a page
  • Use washi tape to anchor an item on your scrapbook page
  • Fill in the gaps between bridges and blocks with washi tape
  • Make a chevron pattern with washi tape
  • Cover seams where papers meet with washi tape
  • Create some diagonal bands across your page with different patterns of washi tape
  • Stack washi tape as an instant border

Tools Tips-Get the Best Tool Use Ideas

These are the tips and the tools that are most helpful to scrapbook artists

  • Cuticle scissors work well to cut out small fine areas of paper
  • Bone folders are essential to making crisp clean folds on all of your pages
  • Corner rounders are used to soften the corners on your base pages, tags and journaling pages

Free Scrapbook Downloads And Printables

Final Thoughts On Scrapbook Tips

There are so many tips to help you create better scrapbook pages. We have just scratched the surface. As scrapbook artists we grow in our craft every day. We hope these tips have helped you grow and bloom. Happy crafting !

© 2020 Linda F Correa

Leave Your Thoughts, Comments And Ideas ! We Always Love Hearing From You

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on December 08, 2020:

Thank you for the lovely comment. I sure will consider your suggestion. My only goal is to help folks develop there talents and bring new life into a hobby that I love.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 08, 2020:

Wow! You have shared so many ideas of how to make scrapbooking fun and provide endless hours of entertainment when making them. Your design ideas would make for a beautiful book, and definitely an heirloom!

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