The Art Of Scrapbooking

{From my personal blog, The Jack Chronicles}

I had a lot of success with a post I did a few months back on my love for memory books and journaling, so I'd thought I'd follow up with a "how-to" for making the perfect pages for a scrapbook.

I've been scrapbooking my life for close to a decade now, and have evolved my albums from the barest of bones, to highly embellished, to cute, whimsical, simple, and everything in between. Creating a scrapbook is the perfect way to unleash your artistic and imaginative side, as well as turn your most precious memories into lasting treasures. For me personally, scrapbooking is a sort of therapy. I have my challenges in life just like everyone else, but when I shuffle through a pile of happy pictures and create something pretty and lasting to honor them, my blues fade away and my day instantly becomes brighter.

With so many thousands of  layout and design choices, I thought I'd let you cut to the front of the line and give you my fool-proof scrapbook tips!
Here are my 5 basic steps to follow when creating the perfect set of pages for your next album. 

 The pictures are the memory and thevery essence of your scrapbook.
Choose photos that weave a beautiful narrative, and remember these 4 rules when taking pictures (that you'll know will end up in a scrapbook):

    1. Set the stage. Get a few shots of the just the scenery. If you're on vacation, take a snapshot of a lovely view. If you're at a restaurant, get a closeup of some yummy food. If you're at a museum, zoo, aquarium, etc., find an interesting place to take a picture of the happenings as an observer. 
    2. Capture the details. Make sure to get closely framed candid shots and high-resolution "macro" photos, if you can. For example, a day at the park with your child might land you the chance to watch him/her gaze lovingly at a wildflower, or scream with glee as they fly down the slide. Zoom in and get those precious moments. 
    3. Pose for at least one family shot. This doesn't have to mean a staged group shot of literally everyone who is there with you, but you should get several head-on and posed pictures of your family and friends. You should definitely pick a pretty backdrop and get a family portrait that can be the focal point of your page.
    4. Get a good mix of both horizontal and vertical framed photos. This is so important to remember because when it comes time to arrange a layout for your page, it always helps if your pictures can become "puzzle pieces" and fit together nicely on the page. 
Here's an example of how I used all four of these photography tips when I vacationed in Coeur D'alene, Idaho with my family last year:
 It's so important to have avisually appealing layout for your pages. I frequently use wallet sized pictures to accent the larger ones, but most of the time I use the 4"x6" size. Occasionally if it's a really standout picture, I'll use 5"x7". 
Here are my two favorite layouts:
1) A four-picture-per-page, with two horizontal and two vertical shots:
2) A neat, yet-scattered collage layout (my most popular choice) as shown here:
Do you see how having a combo of both vertical and horizontal pictures really fits so nicely?

With all the truly amazing companies out there who design the most incredible scrapbook paper, be selective with your choice. I sometimes just use a bright solid color if I want the pictures or embellishments to stand out more, but some patterned scrapbook paper is so beautiful it's a treasure in itself! Also, always try and use heavy cardstock quality paper. Flimsy and thin paper just won't stand up to adhesives or embellishments that you'll end up using.
Here are some of my favorite 12 x 12 paper finds from companies that I LOVE:
a. "head over heels dreamy" from Lily Bee Design
b. "barefoot snorkel" by Bo Bunny 
c. "discover" by Sassafras
d. "chilled strawberry soup" by Jillibean Soup 
e. "come together" by Amy Tangerine for American Crafts  
f. "everyday" from the Lime Twist by Jen Allyson for My Mind's Eye
g. "pirates" from Grace Taylor for Grant Studios
h. "sunnyside lane" by Pink Paisliee
i.  Easter theme by Imaginisce

I love to give my pages a fun title by making a banner across the top (or on the bottom or down the middle) of the page. This is a great way to make a complete looking scrapbook page, and you can coordinate colors and details to really bring the whole look together. I often create templates like these when I have a bulk of free time, so I can just quickly add the pictures and be all set.

Here are personal examples of some scrapbook "templates" that I made with title banners:

 Finding little adornments to decorate and accent your page is always so much fun! There are so many adorable embellishments to choose from in every category imaginable, and it's a wonderful way to add a bit of whimsy and unique detail to your pages.
Here are some fall themed embellishments that I'm loving:

{All found here}

I also think that making layered tags and labels are a beautiful way to decorate the theme of your page. 
Here are some layered tags that I made using a variety of embellishments, stickers, layered cardstock (for handmade), or Martha Stewart's amazing stitched tags:


A few of my must-have little craft gems and goodies...


1. Amy Tangerine's series of embellishments and stickers are creative, whimsical, and colorful!
2. My Little Shoebox letters are my favorites for adding subtle written statements to your pages, and they come in every color under the sun.
3. These custom edged scissors are must-haves for giving styled borders to your paper details.
4. Fantastic, sharp edges scissors are a must!
5. Bakers twine comes in rainbow shades and is great for detailing.
6. These Lily Bee 6x6 paper pads are fantastic for layering and mounting pictures.
7. Use mounting squares to arrange and stick your pictures flush to the paper.
8. I love this modern album with a pop of bright color.
9. You can't scrapbook without perfectly straight-edged paper,  so you have to have a sleek trimmer!
10. Use extra fine point Sharpie's for handwritten embellishments.
11. I LOVE grosgrain ribbons for trim and borders.

Also, check out my favorite sites for all your scrapbook inspirations, tools, paper, and more!
This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from home

by Justina Huddleston | 19 days ago
by Allison Russo | 2 months ago
by Ashley @ Simply Designing | 2 months ago
by A SheKnows how-to guide | 3 months ago
by Justina Huddleston | 3 months ago