Scrapbooking Secrets: One Designer’s Tips and Tricks
22 April 2012
Author: Lisa Falduto
Have you ever decided to scrapbook only to sit down and stare at a blank canvas not knowing where to begin? Even though I have been scrapbooking now for over 12 years it still happens to me! Here I’ll share a few of my scrapbooking secrets to help you get organized and get past your "scrapper's block" with plenty of tips and tricks to inspire you. Let's get started!
Let’s Get Started:
How you actually start your design process is a very individual experience. We all are inspired in different ways and for some people the design process is easier than others. Today I will share my secrets on how I get started with the design process in hopes that maybe it will inspire you in some way with your own process.
I normally start the process by thinking in themes.
- If I have birthday photos I like to get a feel for the event itself.
- Was it a child or an adult?
- Was it a large celebration or small?
- Was the feel of the celebration fun or serious?
- Next I try to envision what my finished layout might look like with the products I have in mind.
If I get stuck at that step, then I look in my inspiration journal.
- My inspiration journal is small and travels with me in my purse.
- That way when I see something that inspires me I can sketch it.
- I also use my cell phone to take photos.
- When looking for design inspiration I look at packaging, store displays, clothing design, billboards, etc.
- Design inspiration is everywhere!
- Looking through my inspiration journal starts leading me in creating a vision for the finished project.
Sketch It Out:
From there I create a preliminary sketch for my page with all of the ideas I pulled from my inspirational journal and then I begin the rest of the process.
Organize Your Photos:
After you have your design ideas you will want to begin by organizing the photos you want to use.
- As you select pictures, begin to think about what you want to say about those photos.
- Start with the photos you are most excited about since your ideas will flow more freely when you are enthused about what you are doing.
Choose Your Products:
Next you will choose papers, embellishments, and tools to use on your layout.
- Choose coordinating colors and designs that match well with your photos.
- Sometimes I cannot find colors that work well with particular photos I want to use, so I simply get my photos printed in black and white and then they will go with anything.
Tell Your Story:
The next step is deciding how much room I will need for journaling.
- I usually take a blank piece of paper and jot down a few ideas and then put them into paragraph form.
- Sometimes I only have a few words and other times I have a few paragraphs.
- This, along with the number of photos you have, will help you determine if you are doing a one-page layout, a two-page spread, or even multiple pages.
- You can also consider hidden journaling tucked behind photos, in pockets, or behind flaps that flip up.
Lay It Out:
After I have my preliminary items organized I am ready to being creating my layout.
- This is the most difficult part for me because staring down at that blank 12x12 piece of paper can be really intimidating at times.
- So I normally try to sketch out a design on a piece of scrap paper before I begin.
- What you sketch and how your layout actually turns out may vary and that is completely fine.
- Mine usually somewhat resembles the sketch with some twists and turns along the way.
- You can also use pre-made sketches available online and in idea books.
Here is the sketch I made for my Disney Vacation layout.
Working From a Sketch:
This sketch works well for me because I can take the large photo and place it on the mat or I can place several small ones to create a photo collage.
- This allows me quite a bit of flexibility with my photos without complicating how to position my photo in various spots on my layout.
- The mat I created is shown two different ways, one with a single photo and the other with 3 photos creating a collage.
- Now I can use this sketch over and over again!
Add Your Words:
Once my photos are placed, then I can begin deciding where to put my title and journaling.
- I have a title block on this layout, but you can see there are several places you could fit a title and/or journaling.
- This is another feature I love about using a single large mat in my layouts since it allows plenty of flexibility for moving things around.
When placing your embellishments I suggest trying to place them either singly or in clusters so they create a visual triangle.
This will draw your eye around the layout in a pleasing way and keep your photos the focal point.
Make it Pop:
At times embellishments can blend in a little too well with the photos or papers you are using.
- To help make them pop you can ink the edges, which will define them more.
- Or you can use 3D dots, which will not only define them but will create texture and dimension as well.
Make It Yours:
When choosing my embellishments I notice they don't always fit the space well or they don't look balanced.
- Many times I will then create smaller embellishments to make a cluster and will layer them in to the area.
- There is nothing I love more than taking my Cutter Bee scissors to create my own embellishments out of patterned paper.
- You can cut out small paper elements with precision and place them where you need to fill small areas on your layout.
Notice on my layout how the 3 embellished areas form a visual triangle creating balance and moving your eye smoothly around the page.
By adding these scrapbooking tips and tricks to your arsenal you should have hours of enjoyment creating layouts that you love.
When you create a scrapbook page you are not only preserving photos for generations to come, but you are leaving your creative mark along with your personal handwriting. Nothing could be more heartwarming and meaningful for future generations! Incorporate these scrapbooking secrets next time you sit down to record your family’s history!