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How to Create a Scrapbook Page

Elements of a Scrapbook Layout

Scrapbook Diagram

Although creating a scrapbook page is a completely individual task, there are standard elements that you'd expect to find. These elements don't have to be used all at once across the entirety of your scrapbook page, however these pointers could inspire your creativity.

Title - Introducing your page's theme is an important component on a scrapbook page. This title can be anything from the name of the theme (i.e. 'Our Wedding Day,' 'Sam's Graduation' or 'Baby's First Steps') to famous quotes and sayings or a special person's name.

Photo(s) - Your scrapbook layout is designed around the photos you've chosen, so this is a key element to include. It's completely up to you as to whether you want to use one photo or several, but they will act as your centrepiece – anything you do afterwards will only emphasise them.

Photo Mat - Generally constructed from cardstock or patterned papers, photo mats help your photos to stand out from the page. Simply layer the mat underneath the photo, leaving an even border around it, to draw the attention to your snap.

Photo Corners - A decorative feature to frame your photos, photo corners are simple additions to highlight your photo. Although non-functional unlike traditional photo albums, you can design them to look like traditional fastenings or give them a modern twist.

Embellishments - Used to accentuate your page but not overpower it, embellishments add extra interest and pretty accents throughout a layout. Dressing up your designs, they could include bows, buttons, brads, paper flowers or peel-offs.

Journaling - Your written notes tell the story of the page, annotating what's happening in the photos and describing the memories they bring back. It's completely up to you as to whether you want to write long descriptions or short, simple captions containing significant information such as names, dates, places, quotes or lyrics. If you dislike your handwriting or would like to include neater notes, you can always type out on the computer what you want to say in your choice of font, then print it out and stick it on your page.

Choosing a Theme for your Scrapbook Page

A scrapbook page should always revolve around a specific theme – there's no use starting a project if you haven't planned out what you're doing! In order to buy your materials, it's important to understand what colours and designs you'll want to use throughout. It might even help to write down a list of memories so that you can plan out your content entirely, rather than beginning a project and coming up short. There are so many themes that you could scrap with in mind but if you're struggling for inspiration, here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Sorting and Cropping your Photos

creating a scrapbook inspiration

Once you've figured out a theme, it's time to dig out all your old photos and find those relevant to the concept. Sorting through your photos can be a mammoth task (especially if you take hundreds each year!), however there are a few methods that can make the task a little easier.

Sorting by Themes/Occasions

Arguably the easiest way to sort photos, organising by themes or occasions allows you to consider designs for future scrapbook pages as well as finding pictures for your current one. Less time consuming, this method allows you to get stuck in and group large amounts of photos together which portray specific occurrences or events. These themes could include family Christmases or even school events throughout the years.

Sorting Chronologically or Backwards in Time

Sorting photos in chronological time order can be a huge task, especially if you didn't date your photos as soon as you had them developed. However by using this method, you'll be able to easily locate exact time periods or occasions quickly and easily – it's a lot of work, but boy will it be worth it! If sorting chronologically is giving you far too much of a headache, though, you may prefer to work backwards in time from the present day. Memories from tens of years ago can be more difficult to recall when journaling, so while you're still getting into the swing of scrapbooking you may wish to begin by organising recent photos and working in reverse chronological order.

Cropping your Photos

Once you've chosen the photos you'd like to include on your scrapbook page, you should consider how you'd like to crop them, if at all. If you're featuring many photos on one layout, they may be too large to fit in their entirety – so cropping correctly is essential. When you cut photos to size, it's important to remember that it's more visually appealing to cut into square or rectangular shapes instead of around people or objects – clean cuts always look more professional and are easier to mat. The easiest way to crop a photo is by cutting away unnecessary space, such as cluttered backgrounds or anything that detracts from the focus of the frame. It's imperative to mention, however, that you should not crop Polaroid photos. Polaroid films contain chemicals that help develop the photo near-instantly without the use of a darkroom, so cutting Polaroid pictures can release these chemicals, which could in turn damage your pages.

Most scrapbookers have their own preferred way to create scrapbook pages, however if you've never scrapbooked before, where do you start? In this section, we'll take you step-by-step through a beginner's method for creating a basic scrapbook page.

Simple Steps to Create a Basic Scrapbook Page (Click to view)

1. Decide upon a theme and which photos you'd like to include in your layout.

Once you've gathered up your pictures, choosing a central photo may help focus the design, highlighting the theme.

2. Find scrapbook card and patterned papers to match your theme.

The amount of card and paper you use is entirely up to you – you may prefer to use a sheet of patterned paper for the background and two sheets of card for photo matting and accents, or something entirely different. However many sheets you choose, they should all be colour complementary and coordinate with your theme.

3. Figure out a layout on the page for your card, paper and photos

Planning where you'll place photos, add embellishments and journal is key as it's difficult to re-arrange once stuck down. This initial layout isn’t fixed – you can swap elements around as much as you like before you adhere.

4. Crop and mat your photos, if required.

Matting photos is simple and effective, however you may want to only mat a few photos or else your page could start to look boxy. Use colours and patterns that complement your backing paper perfectly.

5. Write a page title on a separate piece of paper or card.

This could be in your usual handwriting, written using calligraphy or alternatively, you could type out a title on the computer and print it out, if you'd prefer.

6. Consider what you want to journal and how you'll set it out.

When you've decided what you want to write (and practised writing it out a few times for safe measures!), journal accordingly onto separate card or paper.

7. Add photo corners (if desired) and lay out embellishments onto the page.

This step is completely down to you – what decorative details can you envision on your page? Go simple or go large, it's your choice – whatever you deem fitting for your layout.

8. Adhere all the components onto the page.

Some scrapbookers will adhere as they go along, however if you're a complete novice (or very fickle!) you may decide to rearrange several times throughout the process before sticking everything down. Once you've glued everything down, you've finished!


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