Scrapbook Layout Design
by Vicki Molzan
What is a "layout" you ask?
The typical scrapper's description of a layout is simply the organization and design of your photos and supplies creatively displayed on actual scrapbook pages. Layouts consist of usually only one or two pages. Occasionally though some layout themes may require more. Those pages will combine the use of titles, photos, decorations, memorabilia, and journaling.
Okay, so where do I start?
First find a suitable work area. The larger is all the better in my book. I personally prefer to use our dining room table extended with the leaf. I also try to keep all of my supplies on chairs or the floor within arms' reach. This allows me to have more space on the table to layout my design. Not to mention it gives me more room to work without having to contend with playing the "musical supplies" game.
Next grab a paper grocery sack, open it and keep it nearby. You will use this to throw away all your unusable scraps, photo split tabs and any other scrap garbage.
*A very important side note: Please for your sake, keep all drinks and food away from your work area. It's so easy even for the most careful of people to accidentally spill or drip. Not to mention you can get oil and other various stains on pages via your fingers. This can absolutely ruin your hard work in the blink of an eye. Take breaks to get up and have a drink or to eat. Then be sure to thoroughly wash and dry your hands before returning. Also you should never leave supplies out unattended unless you are absolutely sure it is safe to do so in your home. This holds true especially for homes with children. Even the very best behaved of children can be so very easily "tempted" by seeing all of mommy's fun scrapbooking stuff laid out. It's practically beckoning their name when your back is turned.
Here we go . . .
Typically the things you should pull out are any and all items you wish to use on a particular theme you wish to work on. Examples are always easier to learn from. So here are mine.
First I decide whether I am working on a one or two page themed layout. In this case it is a one page 5"x7" layout. First I choose the photo (or photos) I intend to use. Next I either open my scrapbook to the blank page I intend to work on (if I plan on doing so while it's still in the book), or I remove a page all together to use. Then I choose my complimentary embellishments. In other words die cuts, stickers, mementos, as well as any paper I might like to use. Next I decide which necessary tools I may need and gather those as well. I begin working once I have everything I need in front of me.
Now my "theme" is determined because of the photo I want to scrap. In this case the theme I chose to use was Easter. Next I crop my photos down (if necessary) and any paper I intend to use as well. I cut everything down to the appropriate size so that it will fit exactly where I want it to.
***Important: Never, ever crop Polaroid photos. They have chemicals with will be released when doing so. Those chemicals will ruin your scrapbook pages as well as your photo.
Are you getting all of this?
Part of a layout is the actual "layering" you do in order to achieve the end result. And the more you scrapbook, the more you see other examples of good layouts the more you will understand the absolute limitless possibilities of layout designs. More often than not you start with your scrapbook page as the base. Then you crop your photo/photos to fit where you want them to. On a 12"x12" page a good number of photos would be between 1-4. Now 8 1/2"x11" pages seem to look best with 1-3 photos per page. A 5"x7" page usually only does well with one photo, unless they are very small. More photos than that makes your pages look cluttered and leaves no room (usually) for decent journaling, much less room for embellishments. Of course this rule bends quite a bit depending on the size of the photos you intend to use. Above I am basically referring to your typically store developed home photos (4"x6" or smaller prints).
Creation at last!
Next you will choose where you'll use your photo corner rounder or any other decorative corner punches. If you plan on cutting a complimentary colored paper matting (for behind your photo), you may decide to corner round or decorate that as well (using perhaps decorative scissors). You can start adhering your items directly to the scrapbook page one at a time after careful consideration about where you want to place things. For example on this particular project I chose to use a coordinating piece of printed-paper as the page background. I cut it to a 5"x7" size and attached that first to my scrapbook page using photo splits. Once I've done that, I then decide where I intend to place my photo. Then I adhere my photo into place. After that I journaled on some colored paper. I adhered the journaled paper onto another coordinating piece of colored paper (to give a matted effect). Then I adhered the entire journaled piece to the actual scrapbook page. Once that was done I worked on my title, using sticker letters/numbers. Last but not least come the stickers for sheer embellishment and decoration. They should highlight your "theme" perfectly, and not overpower it. Here is an example of my finished page.
Last but not least, once I've finished the backside of that same page, only then will I slide on the page protector. The putting on and removal of page protectors unnecessarily can lead to it getting creased or ripped. So always wait until completely finished with both sides of a page before placing one on.
Here are just a few different layout examples from my own personal albums. These should give you some ideas. Each of these links will open a fresh page. You can click between them to view as you decide. Simply close each one when you are done. This page will remain opened.
Vicki's words of wisdom . . .
Layouts can be anything you like, really. As you saw from the few above examples, they can be simple or extremely intricate in details. The ideas for different layout designs are absolutely infinite! You will not have a hard time finding more ideas than you will possibly ever have time to put to use in your lifetime. Trust me on this! Don't be afraid to be creative. Alter ideas you see and like to fit into your own sense of style. Use color schemes that accentuate your photos. It's not brain surgery, okay? Anyone, even YOU can do this, honest. So get your stuff out and get started now. Why wait? Let the fun begin!
Copyright 2001 by Vicki Molzan. All rights reserved. Vicki Molzan is a married mother of four children, who enjoys working from home running her scrapbooking website and writing freelance. She's the founder of Scrapperrific - a global scrapbooking and rubber stamping community. Visit this cozy community, experience their fun "Cookie Culture". Learn new scrapbooking and rubber stamping techniques, enjoy contests, participate in swaps, and meet others from all around the globe who share in this same scrap-passion.