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Updated on April 8, 2013

Choosing the Right Scrapbook Layout for the Right Occasion

Creating Scrapbooks, whether from scrapbooking kits or from scratch, is an excellent way to preserve your memories for many different types of occasions. With so many different colors, materials and layout options, though, settling on a design that is perfect for the photos and appropriate for the event can be difficult. Here are a few tips that can help you home in on the perfect layout and design.

Creating The Right Scrapbook For You

The first thing you should do is to organize your photographs. Take out any extra photos and put the remaining ones in order so that you can see which ones will fit on a single page (single layout) and how they will look best when arranged in pages that are facing each other (often called a double layout). Don't feel like you have to use all of the photos that you took from a certain occasion -- just use the ones you want to.

Next select a scrapbook size. The majority of scrapbook are 12" x 12", but "mini" scrapbooks have become popular recently. Most scrapbook are 12"x12", 8"x8" or 6"x6". If you have a lot of photos you might want to go with the larger 12" x 12"book, but if you have a few photos you would like to showcase you might go with a mini album at 6" x 6". In your scrapbook you may choose to keep the same theme throughout the book or you may have themes for each of your layouts in the book depending on the number of photos you have for an event or that you want to use in your book. So, next choose a theme for the book or layout, whether it's generic, like bright colors and fun patterns, or something more concrete like pumpkins for fall. The theme, like the photos themselves, can influence the layout for the pages and the overall scrapbook. Your theme influences the paper and embellishments that you use on a page and, since some themes may be appropriate for squeezing more photos on a page, while others might demand only two to four photos. Some ways to select a theme include:

Select a common color that you see in the back ground of your photos and find a complementary color for your scrapbook layout back ground and coordinating colors for matting your photos. Color-based themes typically have the most room for photos since the back ground paper used is typically simple. But, don't mistake simple for boring. There are a lot of wonderful textures and hues to play with in your color theme.

Use the theme from the event of the photos, whether it be a holiday like Halloween or Valentine's Day or a special event like a soccer match or birthday party, there are many scrapbooking papers and embellishments that can be found for your event.

Highlight the season when the photos were taken. Summer and spring photos may work perfectly with floral paper and accents; fall photos with leaves and autumn colors; winter photos with blues and snowflakes.

For each layout in your scrapbook either select a sketch from an idea book or sketch your own template to work from. By using a template, you are able to plan your pages and make sure the photos you want to use will fit on your pages. Leave room for changes and differences, such as photographs that are cropped to a unique shape or have a different orientation or background papers that may have the perfect saying in a specific spot.

Try to group similar photos and decorations onto facing pages to create double layouts. If you have several photos of the same cathedral from a recent trip that you want to include, put them on two facing pages or pages that are near each other. If one is at the start, another in the middle and one closer to the end, the continuity is ruined and the flow is disrupted.

There are several ways to group your photos. You can group by size, similar color tones, people in the photo, a date or a common theme. Certain occasions call for different groupings. For instance, if you are arranging a photograph of your child from each year of school to show them growing, grouping them around the edges of two facing pages is more appropriate and effective than grouping them near the center of the pages. On the other hand, if you have pictures of your kids playing in the leaves during fall, it's better to group them near the center and add quotes or other decorative embellishments. You can created your own embellishments by die cutting paper or adhesive vinyl and them place them on your layout to complement your photos.

As a general rule, it is easier to build a layout around a theme or pattern, rather than fitting a theme to a layout. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy looking at the final result and that you have fun putting it together!

What is your scrapbooking style today?

Whether you have been scrapbooking for years or just getting started, you probably gravitate to a particular scrapbooking style when you create your page layouts. But sometimes it is fun to venture into a new style. When trying out something new, shopping for scrapbooking supplies is easiest when you have a specific style in mind. Supplies can be purchased in scrapbooking kits or as individual items to create the style you choose to use today. To help you get started, here are a few of the most popular scrapbooking styles and some key elements for each style:

Vintage: Vintage pages and stickers tend to have a sepia tone, and this makes them look aged and lends a nostalgic mood to the pages you create. Often when scrapbooking photos of ancestors or family history vintage scrapbooking supplies are used. Vintage style paper, embellishments and decorative sticker designs generally take inspiration from the 1920's and 30's. Some popular designs today range from Secret Garden to French Country to the Olde Curiosity Shoppe themes. Graphic 45 is a scrapbooking company that creates 12x12 double-sided paper, stamps, and die-cuts in unique vintage designs. These papercrafting supplies can be used to create charming vintage scrapbook layouts or homemade greeting cards and invitations with Graphic 45's high quality paper.

Masculine: Scrapbooking for the men in your life may inspire you to use a masculine style. When scrapbooking for events such as your son's football season or your husband's motorcycle road trip, choose supplies with a masculine style to help tell the story behind the photos.. Masculine-style supplies tend to feature deep colors like brown, tan, blue, green and maroon, and they tend to have simple patterns. FotoBella has a good selection of these supplies, from paper packs in masculine colors and patterns to "fix it up" stickers and scull and crossbones embellishments.

Whimsical: Whimsical-style supplies tend to incorporate an element of fantasy and often include cartoon like characters or child-like doodles. They focus on patterns or items that are cute or unique. Bo Bunny has several collections that are whimsical, such as the Mistle Toe collection found at FotoBella. Whimsical-style supplies can bring a unique touch to simpler patterns or fun colored pages that brings out the whimsical mood captured in your photos.

Simple: Simple style scrapbooking supplies allow you to create your scrapbook pages very quickly. You often see journaling or page accents that fit into specialty page protectors with 4x6 or 3x4 alongside 4x6 photos. Many scrapbook supply manufacturers' have added products for these quick and easy pages. One of the first was Simple Stories, who has produced a great array of products that are perfect for quick and easy pages to tell the story behind your photos.

Modern: Modern-style scrapbooking supplies often have clean geometric lines and they commonly feature bright colors, rhinestones, and other shiny embellishments, textures, and modern geometric patterns. The stickers are often three dimensional, with a pop up element or added 3D texture.

Elegant: Elegant scrapbook pages often include scrolls, swirls or lacey designs with monochromatic colors, which are perfect for scrapbooking a wedding or special event. Some well-known brands for elegant scrapbooking supplies include Teresa Collins and Prima Marketing.

Steampunk: Steampunk is similar to vintage style scrapbooking, but there is a heavy mechanical and industrial influence running through the supplies. Intricate cogs and other machinery parts are common, and these supplies often center on travel as a theme. A favorite scrapbooking "celebrity", Tim Holtz, often includes Steampunk style elements in his designs.

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