Step-by-step scrapbook page design

Last weekend I attended a scrapbooking retreat, which is exactly like it sounds.  I made a quick album of my photos from last year’s trip to Disney World and Harry Potter World at Universal (using this pre-designed album from Creative Memories).

I love making scrapbooks, and I’ve done all kinds.  Besides obvious ones for vacations and my wedding, I also made one of pictures of my cat when she passed away, and I made one of favorite places in my Florida hometown when I moved to Ohio.  For me it’s always been a great way to relive meaningful memories while using some artistic creativity.

I use pre-designed pages and digital software a lot, but I also just enjoy starting with some printed 4×6 pictures and a blank page and decorating from there.  Here’s my step-by-step process for scrapbook page design that gives me something a little different every time.

1.Sort photos and group them onto pages.

I’m a planner, so I like to set out which pictures are going on which pages; otherwise I would run out of pages!  This often results in my putting up to 10 pictures on one page, which is fine, I just have to get creative about placement.  I usually work in double page spreads for coordination, even if the two pages are about different events.

2. Crop photos.

Unless I already had a specific layout in mind for the page, I usually just crop each photo for content and focus in the best way I can.  Sometimes I do all squares or something, but usually it’s a mix of shapes.

3. Lay out photos, etc. on the page.

This is the fun part where I actually have to fit all the photos on the page, while ideally leaving some room somewhere for writing, and any other memorabilia that go on the page.  These pages of 6 and 8 photos are pretty typical for me (that’s why cropping is so important!).  I am not a fast scrapbooker (or “scrapper”); this step can take me a while.  There’s always that one photo that just doesn’t want to fit.

I often take a picture of the page at this point so I can remember how I had everything arranged, because I’ll have to move the photos to add any paper behind them.

4. Add decoration.

Now I’ll select background paper, borders, or stickers based on the colors or theme of the photos.  I rarely “wallpaper,” or put a whole sheet of paper covering the white page behind the photos; I typically just add some photo mats and pieces and parts here and there.  I’m always saving scraps from previous pages because you never know when they’ll come in handy.

Sometimes I’ll use coordinating papers/embellishments I purchased as a set, but more often I just go through my whole stash and find things I like together (I don’t think any of the embellishments above are from the same “set”).

I’ll also do some journaling on the page; writing is an extremely important part of scrapbooking.  Looking at photos is cool, but it’s even better if you know who exactly is in the photos and why you were taking them.

Do you guys like to scrapbook? Do you prefer digital or “traditional” scrapbooking?  Do you prefer pre-designed pages or designing your own?  

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6 thoughts on “Step-by-step scrapbook page design

  1. Darth Amethystos November 18, 2015 / 1:30 pm

    I’ve grown a bit lazy and started doing photobooks via websites, but I do LOVE the look of actual scrapbooks! These are great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei November 19, 2015 / 12:04 am

      Oh yeah, I do them via websites, too–those are so convenient. And they get done so much faster than “real” ones haha

      Liked by 1 person

  2. starwarsanon November 18, 2015 / 4:48 pm

    LOL, I was just about to comment that I do photobooks on websites too. I do one at the end of every year to capture the year before. I call it our “yearbook” haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei November 19, 2015 / 12:06 am

      Haha great minds think alike. I love the “yearbook” idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. NovEllaandBanannabelle November 21, 2015 / 10:57 am

    Scrapbooking is a lot of fun! I’ve been meaning to create another one, as soon as I have some free time…
    I also like putting together slideshows, and then adding music!

    Liked by 1 person

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