Scrapbook Layout Sketches

by Michelle Fulton
Save time and money scrapbooking with scrapbook layout sketches!

Not in the mood (or don't have time) to scrapbook - try working on some scrapbook layout sketches for the events that you still need to put in your scrapbook.
Why?... We've found that scrapbook layout sketches help to do two things:

1. It helps you make more efficient use of your time when you actually get around to scrapbooking. If you already know how you want to layout your pictures ahead of time, think of how many pages you could actually get done.

2. It also helps you make more efficient use of your supplies. When you use a scrapbook layout sketch as the basis for your page, you reduce the risk of needing to waste your "good" scrapbook paper to visualize an idea.

Now, it's best to keep all of your scrapbook layout sketches in one location - no sticky notes allowed! This can be as simple as a spiral notebook or a true sketch pad, but it's critical that you have something in which to record your ideas for future scrapbook layouts. We often feel like ours is attached to our hips as we are always getting inspired by something new.

TIP: You can also use your sketch book to record color ideas. Do you love the colors in one of your son's shirts? Did you see an unusual, but great, color combination on a lamp shade? Why not keep a record of the colors for a potential future layout?

It's not difficult to do... Just cut out a few swatches of cardstock for the colors, glue them to a page in your sketch book and make notes, as appropriate (e.g., what theme it could apply to). It seems simple, but you'll be surprised at what you don't remember a few months down the road.

When looking for inspiration for scrapbook layouts, it helps to think outside the box. You will be surprised where you can find ideas for creative scrapbook layouts.

Of course, there are countless books out there that will give you layout ideas, but if you're looking for something a little cheaper, try the weekly sale papers and magazines - our personal favorites. Take some time one day and leaf through some magazines. Don't look specifically at the items on the pages – look at how the items are laid out on each page and ask yourself the following:

Where are the pictures placed?

Where is the text…the title?

What shapes do they use?

Sometimes, you can even get ideas for embellishments.

When sketching your layouts, don't forget to leave some room for the title. The title doesn't need to take up a large portion of the layout, but it does deserve some consideration. There is no set of rules on titles, other than they should relate to your pictures. There is even some wiggle-room in that regard, as your title doesn't have to describe the event (e.g., Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday).

You could describe the sentiments being expressed in the pictures (e.g., Joy, Courage, etc.). You could also use song titles, such as "You are the Sunshine of My Life" for a child's layout or "Viva, Las Vegas!" to preserve a recent trip to "The Strip.

While you will usually see a title on the left-hand page of a two-page spread, you can place your title just about anywhere…

Horizontally across the page (top, middle or bottom)

Vertically down the left- or right-hand side of the page

Lower right-hand corner of the page

Overlap on the focal picture

Incorporate into an embellishment (e.g., tag)

If your title is a little long, you may want to consider breaking it up into a title and a sub-title. Also, if it's not already in your journaling, make sure to include a time element in your title. If the scrapbook layout is about a specific, non-recurring event, include the complete date (month-day-year). If it is a recurring event, such as

Thanksgiving, you can just include the year.

Why is this important?...

Not only is your scrapbook a great way for you to display your pictures, it will become an heirloom with valuable genealogical information.

The bottom line with titles, as it is with scrapbooking, is to be creative. Use stickers, stamps, computer fonts or your own handwriting… whatever makes it your own!

Once you have drawn your sketches, fine-tune your measurements using our money saving tip below.

Money Saving Tip
Don't want to spend $60, $80…$100 for a layout template system? Want to make sure that your scrapbook layout sketch makes sense and looks balanced before you cut into your good cardstock and patterned paper? Use cardstock scraps to make your own templates! Not only does it save you money, but it makes scrapbook layout design so much easier. So...don't throw away that unused cardstock!

You can move the scrapbook layout elements around to see how they will mesh and to help you see whether or not you'll need to crop (or enlarge) any of your photos. A good base to start with…

2 – 12" x 12" cardstock sheets
2 – 2" x 12" cardstock strips
2 – 4" x 12" cardstock strips
1 – 5" x 7" mat (actual size 5.25" x 7.25")
1 – 5" x 7" block (use for picture)
2 – 4" x 6" mats (actual size 4.25" x 6.25")
2 – 4" x 6" blocks (use for pictures)
3 – 3.5" x 3.5" blocks (use for pictures)
As you create more scrapbook layout sketches, make additional templates as necessary (e.g., tags or different size pictures).

Happy Scrapping!
About the Author:
Michelle has been scrapbooking for over five years and is the owner of Choubox Scrapbook Design ( Choubox is your source for pre-made scrapbook layouts, quality scrapbook supplies and valuable information on how to start scrapbooking.