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?  

Galapagos PicFolio album

Well, guys, today was the last day to buy supplies from the Creative Memories site; you can still print digital stuff until September 23.

So here’s a look at one more wonderful album that Creative Memories helped me complete.  My junior year in college, I took a week-long trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands as part of a zoology class.  I am no great photographer, but I did get many beautiful shots of scenery, flora and fauna.  The PicFolio album (no longer available) has pockets to just slide in 4×6 photos, so it’s very quick and simple and lets the photos be the main attraction.  Of course, I still added my own touches.

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Life in scrapbooks

Well, Creative Memories’ “last chance ordering” has been extended until noon on Friday, so now’s the time if you want to stock up on high-quality basics.

Today, let’s look at some more personal albums.

My cat, Popcorn, passed away 2 years ago, and I still miss her terribly.  As part of my grieving process, it was really helpful to make a small album with lots of pictures of her and all the good times we had.  She lived with us for almost 15 years.  This album was a pre-designed “kit” where all the pages were already partly decorated and all I had to do was add pictures and stickers and journaling.  This is the kind of product that Creative Memories will be continuing in the future.

I recently celebrated my 5th wedding anniversary with my husband; we took the day off work and played board games and TOR all day.  I completed a “traditional” album with my wedding photos within a few years of the wedding (practically a record for me).  Here are some of my favorite pages (all original layouts).  (Maybe someday I’ll post the wedding pic of us in front of the giant X-Wing)

thnks fr th mmrs

I have been scrapbooking with Creative Memories for at least 15 years, so it is with a heavy heart that I, and all the other loyal customers, must say goodbye to the company as we know it.  Creative Memories’ parent company is undergoing restructuring following Chapter 11; CM will re-launch as a new company on November 1st.

I just received my scrapbook of my European cruise, and while it came out great, it’s a little sad knowing that this was my last order from Creative Memories.  They will no longer be doing digital scrapbooking with their current programs, and will pare down their “traditional” line to mostly pre-designed albums.  Here are more details if you’re interested.

I have done scrapbooks for many of the important events in my life, including school years, my wedding, and college trips to Spain and the Galapagos.  It’s been such to fun relive the memories as I scrap them, and I’d like to share some here.

We’ll start with some of the albums of vacations my husband and I have taken.  These were done digitally with Storybook Creator.

Europe scrapbook = done and ordered

Finally.  All 100 pages of the digital scrapbook I have been working on since our trip in September 2012 are completed, uploaded, and ordered.  I did about half those pages in the past few weeks!  I am a little bit procrastinator, but mostly just a perfectionist.  I’ve already found things I wish I had done better…

Usually, I like to make my own page layouts for scrapbooks, but with my time crunch I had to fall back on pre-designed page templates (I use Creative Memories software and artwork for digital).  I spent soooo much time sorting photos and deciding which ones I wanted to used (we took ~2000 photos in Europe) that I didn’t have enough time to be really creative with the actual pages.  But I’m still pretty pleased with the result.  Here’s a few sample pages from the book: