How I Approach a Scrapbook Layout

How to use layers (1)

Ok so here’s a little secret – I never have an idea in my mind of how I want my scrapbook page to look before I start. Sometimes I have one or two ideas about certain elements I want to include but that’s about it. I usually just jump in head-first and hope for the best. This gets me thinking that other people out there may do the same thing and may be interested in how one goes about jumping in head-first, so that it what I’m going to share with you today in a step-by-step tutorial.

Clear your workspace

For me this is an absolute must for getting my mind clear and organised. I work on a white table and I find it really helps me if it is completely clear before I begin. If I do that then the rest of the room bothers me less. I then lay out the page I am going to be working on along with the photographs and ephemera that I definitely want to use in my layout.

Gather your supplies

I examine the photographs and ephemera and pick out recurring colours to create my colour scheme. Once I have chosen the colours I want to use, I go through my stash and pick out any bits and pieces of tissue, card, stickers and embellishments that go with the colour scheme. Even if I don’t think I’ll use them I usually pull them out anyway just in case. I spread all of these out on the table.

Lay out the photographs

This is where I start building the page in my mind. I lay out the photographs and ephemera in an arrangement that pleases me. Sometimes this involves discarding one or two images or pieces of memorabilia. I then put them to one side in the same layout so that I can keep looking for reference.

Start with something bold

I often start with a bold colour as there will be lots of other things layered on top, and the bold colour with peek through the gaps without overpowering the page. In this case I used turquoise tissue. I did this by glueing the area under where I wanted to place the photographs with a glue stick. I laid a large piece of tissue over the glue and then ripped the edges into shape.


Add black

I find that a hint of black helps most pages to pop that little bit more. Here I did paint spatters by flicking a loaded paintbrush and concentrated in the area over the tissue. I wanted a few spatters to be present in the white space too. Instead of the spatters you could do some stamping or printing. Using the rim of a bottle lid to print circles is one of my favourite tricks.

Paint splat

Add another layer

Next I choose another colour from my scheme and add the next layer. In this case I created a cross-hatch with strips of paper in different widths. I graded the length of these strips to fit inside the shape of the tissue and then glued the cross-hatch down.


Add the photographs

I added the photographs on top of the cross-hatch in the arrangement that I had tried before. I also glued down the memorabilia in the opposite diagonal corner to balance the page.

Finishing touches

I finished the page by adding a few black stickers which helped bring out the paint-spatter detail. Sometimes it’s nice to overlap the photographs with one or two elements. I used the stickers for this. I find that overlaying in this way brings the page together as one piece rather than just photographs stuck onto a background.

6 photos

Of course this is just one approach. There are many, many different ways to approach a scrapbook project but I just wanted to show you how I went about this one. It is a very simple layout and would be great for a beginner.