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Map out your Scrapbook Layout

If you want the best results in your scrapbook layouts, take a little time to "map" them out.  Play around with your photos and embellishments before permanently adhering anything.  You'll be glad you did!

Mapping Out Your Scrapbook Layout
By Audrey Okaneko

Whether you are creating your first scrapbook or your 100th scrapbook, I suggest mapping out your layout before you attach anything to your scrapbook pages.

Scrapbooks are often viewed two pages at a time. Even if the two pages have different photos on them of different events, I try to coordinate the two pages together in terms of shapes and colors. For example, it would be a bit tough on the eyes to have one page with red paper and red embellishments, and the page right next to it to have orange paper and orange embellishments.  Each of these colors look great alone or great with another color, but they just don’t coordinate on side by side scrapbook pages.

Start with your photos. Which photos do you want on the page? Until you start scrapbooking, you don’t often realize the color undertones of photos. There have been times, I’ve chosen 3 photos to put one scrapbook page, but when I lay them out on the page, the colors just don’t blend well together.

Next, consider your background paper. I very often use a solid color for my background and build from there. I know many people prefer to start with patterned paper as their background and then add solid colors on top. Even before you begin cutting your paper, you can lay your photos on top of the paper and see if the colors match and blend together.

I choose the photos and the paper for both pages at the same time. There are times I’ll remove a photo if it just is not appealing on the page I’m creating. One particular photo I’m thinking of had a dark green tint to it. I loved the photo, but I just couldn’t find a place to put it. It was not blending with other photos. I ended creating a wonderful page with just the one photo. It was a digital photo and so I kept the original and then using a graphics program duplicated the photo in smaller sizes thus creating 5 photos, all the same for the one page. I used greens and browns for my paper and embellishments. It is my opinion that your paper and embellishment should compliment your photo. After all, the photo or photos are the reason for the creation of the scrapbook page.

If you map out your layouts, you’ll have well coordinated and color blended pages that enhance the photos you are putting into your scrapbook.

Audrey Okaneko has been scrapbooking for several years. She can be reached at or visited at

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