Sunday, February 3, 2008

Scrapbooking 101: Designing a layout

Step 1. Determine number of pages for layout. Spread out the photos and see how many you have. Is there a logical sequence or can you put them where they are visually appealing? Is there enough for one page? Two pages? Or more? Keeping in mind that you will most likely crop some of these photos. Let's assume there is enough for two pages. I generally like and recommend doing a 2 page layout for any one event.

Step 2. Pick a background color. While looking at your photos - is there a particular color that stands out in all of the photos? Perhaps someone in the photos is say wearing a red shirt. You may want to chose red paper as the background paper. Maybe they are wearing a checkered outfit, you may be able to find a patterned paper that matches. Or maybe there is a design on the shirt that you can use at the theme of the page. If maybe it were a snowy day you may want to use that as a theme.

Step 3. Crop photos. Once you have your background paper figured out, lay the photos out and roughly decide where the pictures will go on them. You may or may not want to crop your photos. If you don't have very many photos you may not want to crop much, but if you have lots of pictures and not much space - cropping helps greatly. There are various ways to crop your photos, see the Photo Cropping section for various ideas.

Step 4. Mat Photos. Once you have your photos cropped - you may want to mat them. Adding a single or double mat really adds a lot to your photos. You want to use a complementary color to the background paper color or another color that is in the photos.

Step 5. Determine whether you want a title/topper or border on your page. If you have room on your pages, a topper/title/border can be great for your pages. You can use templates to draw a title and then cut it out and glue onto page.

Step 6. Journaling. If space is limited you can just jot down the specifics around the photos, but if you have a little space, a matted journal box is very nice added touch to a page layout. I usually add names of people in photos, time of year, dates, etc. Basically anything you want to remember about the photos. See Journaling/Lettering below for more information.

Step 7. Embellishments. Now you should have all your matted photos, matted journal box, and title/topper laid out on the paper. Now is there any 'white space' or areas on your pages that are bare and vacant? Now is the time to add any embellishments to the page. You can use just about anything from punchies to die cuts to the very common use of stickers. Another way to embellish is to just use a pen and draw doodles or whatever. The more advanced scrapbookers are now using embellishments such as eyelets, fibers, google eyes, shaker boxes, chalking, buttons, etc. But these items will be available in the advanced tutorials.

8. Adhesive. Once you have everything laid out and it looks the way you like, it is time to glue it all together on the page. For beginners I recommend photos splits, also known as photo tabs and photo squares. Tape runner is also a good choice for beginners. Photo tape is a great adhesive for adhering large pieces of paper. Personally, I rarely use a "wet" adhesive on a photo. I like to use photos splits or tape runner on all of my photos, just in case I want to remove the photo someday. Avoid the use of Rubber cement, Paper Cement and Glue Sticks because they may not be long lasting. "Yes, you will find these in the scrapbooking departments of many stores, but my advice is to avoid them.

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