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Scrapbook Page Layout Ideas

Whether you are an expert scrapbooker or just beginning, coming up with page layouts — and ultimately book layouts — for your photos can seem like a daunting task. When I first started, I was thinking, "How do I put together a page? What colors should I use? How much is too much?"

Laying out the first page might be the hardest part of the whole project. After some planning and the making of the first page, the rest will fall into place, picture by picture. Don't think too much, let your imagination run wild, and have fun with it. The possibilities are truly endless.

Note: For this article, when I reference a page layout, I'll be referring to a two-page layout for the sake of flow, consistency, and visual appeal of the finished product.

The Basics of Building a Scrapbook Page:

Before even starting to create layouts and place photos it's always a good idea to follow these few basic steps.

  1. Plan first: Get everything out and spread them on your flat working surface. Look through your photos and papers to see what you have to work with. Planning will give you a better idea of what you have and how you can use them in your layout.
  2. Pick a theme: Looking at your photos pick a theme for your scrapbook. The theme can relate to events or places in your photos.
  3. Arranging photos: Now that you have a theme it's time to start planning how you want to arrange your photos. However, I'd advise not sticking anything down just yet. You might want to change your mind before you finish the layout. There are many ways to arrange your photo's. Mix and match the photos on the page to find the best layout before sticking anything down permanently.
  4. Adding other elements: Adding embellishments, stickers, titles, ect, is a great way to continue telling the story. When placing these elements be sure that each one relates to the layout in someway. Repeat shapes, colors, and common designs through the layout to provide consistency and balance. Repetition will also tie the entire book together, making one cohesive "story".
A few items I use for embellishments and titles

A few items I use for embellishments and titles

Beginning layout ideas

Beginning layout ideas

Page Layout Tips:

These starter tips will help you create a finished look for your layouts as well as bring your photos and pages together as one unit. Remember there are always exceptions to every rule and your photos, page elements, and personal preferences will help you determine just how you format your individual layouts.

  • Using an odd number of embellishments or photos creates a better visual impact on your pages and draws the eye to the whole page as well as gives your layout a more finished look. (sets of 3's, 5's and 7's are most common for embellishment numbers).
  • Creating layers on your pages will not only help bring colors and patterns together, but it will create a border and give your page a textured effect.
  • Alignment and placement of everything on your page should have a visual connection. This means that you shouldn't place things so far away from the focal point of your page that it doesn't connect in some way.
  • Likewise items relating to each other should be placed close together so they become one visual unit rather than several separate units. You want your pages to flow and come together as one visual and appealing unit, rather than separate units and photos combined on one page.

Photo-Inspired Layouts:

The photos you're trying to put together will help you in your quest to find the right layout for your book. Here are just a few examples of photo inspired layouts.

  • Fun photos--Inspire layouts that are irregular (meaning slanted pages, and accents), have catchy sayings, and bright bold colors
  • Family vacation photos--Layouts that consists of three photos to a page, telling the story of your vacation. Color palette comes from the photos or vacation destination.
  • Baby book--Layouts that include such things as locks of hair, footprints, and designs of trains, rattles, and the like in pastels. Scrapbooking a baby album is a way to preserve your babies important milestones in a new and fun way.

Not every page layout is going to look the same, however using a similar color palette will bring all the pages and photos together. Usually I will draw my colors from the photos I plan on putting on the pages, however on occasion I have chosen colors that fit the theme of my book. For example, in my wedding album I'm using lots of reds, black, white, and silver papers. However, I am also incorporating pieces of brown and blue which happen to be the colors of our wedding.

Wedding layouts without photo's

Wedding layouts without photo's

Scrapbooking Kits:

Scrapbooking kits can be a blast to work with. They come with papers, stickers, accents, layout ideas, and a book to put your pages in. These are great for beginners as they have everything you need in one kit. If you are struggling with layout ideas they are a great starter tool.

Although everything comes as one package there is still room for imagination as new papers and accents can be added to what you already have. By no means are theses kits all inclusive. They are meant to help and be a guide for your completed project.

Completed Scrapbooking Kit

Completed Scrapbooking Kit

Scrapbooking is a great way to personalize and remember family vacations, the birth and milestones of your children, or any assortment of photos you may have. You don't have to be overly creative to make a professional looking scrapbook. There are many kits and websites that can help you in your quest to creating the perfect design layout for your scrapbook.

© 2012 Cholee Clay


Gail on May 19, 2019:

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I have only just come across your amazing tips and thought I would comment. Due to illness ,I am not able to do as much scrapbooking as I would like to do. Every page I do complete however, I write as much details of the photos as I can, on the back of the scrapbook page. I feel that on the page itself, there is not enough space for journaling, photos, embellishments . I also feel my page never looks as pretty when I have journaled directly on the page.

Thanks once again for your awesome tips.

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on June 27, 2012:

I agree dobo700. I've tried using even and always end up rearranging things to make odd numbers of photos on a page, embellishments, or whatever I am working with.

dobo700 from Australia on June 27, 2012:

Some good tips here, odd numbers of anything is always a good design rule

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on March 09, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by Teresa! Glad you enjoyed it.

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on March 07, 2012:

I have engaged in both traditional and digital scrapbooking. my father's 80th birthday gift was a traditional scrapbook while for my mother's 80th I completed a digital book. They were both challenging but fun. What an informative, well laid out hub. I enjoyed it very much.

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on March 05, 2012:

Thanks theclevercat. The great thing about this guide is that it can easily be used when making cards or other crafts:)

Rachel Vega from Massachusetts on March 05, 2012:

Although I don't put together scrapbook sheets, my favorite craft medium is paper. This is a very clear guide to scrapbooking. Totally Useful! Thanks!

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on March 05, 2012:

Thanks for the votes alissaroberts! I've always been told that after kids it's harder to keep up scrapbooking. Hope I can manage to tackle scrapbooking their greatest life milestones. While they are actually going through them. Guess we will see, I have a few years:)

Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on March 05, 2012:

Very useful tips! I use to love making scrapbooks back in college. Unfortunately after having kids I put this hobby on hold. Kind of funny since I should be making scrapbooks about them - maybe this summer I will be able to find some time to start back up! Great hub - voted up, useful, and awesome!

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on March 03, 2012:

Thanks cardelean! Journaling is a great idea, keeps the memories alive and definitely helps in telling the unseen "story" of the photos.

cardelean from Michigan on March 03, 2012:

I LOVE scrapbooking and your ideas are great! Unfortunately since I've had my kids I haven't really done much. I agree that it is important to add some journaling to the page in order to help tell the "story" of the pictures. Great tips, great hub!

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on March 03, 2012:

Thanks KJhusak for the votes! I'm sure you can find some really cute kits you could use for a baby album. Those might help get you back into the swing of things:) Less work, with the same fun.

KJhusak on March 03, 2012:

Voted up, useful, and awesome. I love scrapbooking but I don't seem to have much time for it these days...just reading this makes me want to start up again! :D

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on March 02, 2012:

Thanks for the comment Nell Rose! My computer actually just died and I lost all my photo's. I'm lucky and thankful I had most of them still else where that I can get them and print them off.

I agree writing that information is a great idea. I found some old photo's from when my mom was growing up and it was great to be able to flip the photos over and see who each person in the photo was.

Nell Rose from England on March 02, 2012:

This is such a good idea, especially these days when people tend to take photos and just put them on their computer. The trouble with that is if the computer fails then you lose all the great photos. going back to the old ways is so much better, the one thing I would add though is always write on the back of the photo who is on it, and where it was taken just in case in future they get taken out and lost, only to be found years later and nobody knows who the people are, great hub! cheers nell

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