Design Elements

About the Projects
Technique: Design Elements
Designers: Paris Dukes & LeNae Gerig

Ever look at your page layout and wonder why it looks unfinished or unbalancedand want to know why? Believe it or not, the elements of art and graphic design apply to your scrapbooking projects, too. Understanding concepts like texture, repetition and clustering will open up a world of new possibilities for your paper crafts, and youll be able to easily target just what needs to be done to make your projects look more finished and balanced. Keep reading to see how Paris created a fabulous double-page spread using four of the design elements, plus youll see two quick and easy sampler projects to jazz up your layouts!

Fly Girl
By Paris Dukes

Creating visual balance on your scrapbook pages can be tricky, especially when it comes to double-page spreads. Paris used four design elements to create balance across this Fly Girl spread, including line, visual echoes, counter-balance and tilt it.

Line. Paris arranged the series of photos on this double-page spread in sequential order from left to right, creating movement and leading the viewers eye across the two pages, but never off the page.

Visual Echoes. Think repetition. The colors in Paris photos are repeated in the papers and embellishments. The vertical and horizontal lines in the paper are also repeated in the photos, title, ribbons and journaling.

Counter-balance. The horizontal lines of the horizontal photo, ribbons and journaling block are offset by the vertical border of silver brads, vertical photos and a vertical tag.

Tilt it. Paris crisscrossed angled ribbon lengths across the bottom of the right page to create movement and interest by breaking up all the vertical and horizontal lines in this layout.

When creating a double-page spread, Paris says, The easiest way to achieve balance from the get-go is to arrange the photos on your page so the subject is always facing the center of the spread. Adding lines and embellishments that also point inward will help the page look balanced and finished, and allow the viewers eye to move comfortably throughout the layout.


For the Left Page:

  1. Use one sheet of lime/blue plaid paper as the background. Mat two vertical photos on lime texture paper, trimming the mats to 1/8. Use the foam brush to edge each of the photo mats with blue acrylic paint; let dry.
  2. Decide which of the two photos will be placed on the left, then wrap a length of lime grosgrain ribbon along the bottom of that photo, wrapping the ends of the ribbon around the edges of the photo mat to secure on the back. Computer journal the date onto lime textured paper, then use the Tags Template to trace the smallest of the standard tag shapes around the journaling. Cut out the tag and use a silver brad to attach the tag over the left end of the ribbon length, then use foam tape to secure the tag in place. Use a glue stick to secure both photos about 1 up from the bottom of the page.
  3. Computer journal onto lime textured paper and crop the journaling to a 3 rectangle, leaving extra space down the left edge. Fold over about 5/8 of the left edge, then use the foam brush to edge the journaling and the folded over piece with blue acrylic paint; let dry. Cut two 3 lengths of aqua grosgrain ribbon and one 3 length of lime grosgrain ribbon. Space the ribbon lengths 1 apart, laying them horizontally in the top left corner of the page. Wrap the left end of each ribbon length around the left edge of the page and secure on the back. Lay the journaling block across the top of the page, flush against the right edge and covering the loose ribbon ends. Add three silver brads down the folded over piece of the journaling block, positioning one brad over each of the ribbon lengths.

For the Right Page:

  1. Use the other sheet of lime/blue plaid paper as the background. Mat one horizontal and one vertical photo on lime textured paper, trimming the mats to 1/8 and edging each of the mats with blue acrylic paint. Glue the horizontal photo in the top left corner of the page and the vertical photo in the top right corner.
  2. Cut one 14 length each of lime grosgrain and aqua grosgrain ribbons. Lay the lengths on opposite diagonal angles across the bottom portion of the page, intersecting the two ribbon lengths toward the left side of the page. Wrap the ends of the ribbon lengths around the edges of the page and secure on the back, then add one silver brad to each end of each ribbon length.
  3. Use foam alphabet stamps and blue acrylic paint to stamp the title of the page onto lime textured paper. Cut out each letter, leaving a 1/8 border around each, then use foam tape to attach the letters in the bottom left corner of the page, overlapping the point where the ribbon lengths intersect.

By LeNae Gerig

Looking for new ideas to add fun, handmade embellishments to your scrapbook pages? Design Elements is packed with 116 sampler projects that are quick and easy to create and make fabulous page accents and card focals. This sweet Happy project takes just minutes to put together and will make a great 8x8 page border, or use it as a title on either an 8x8 or 12x12 layout!



  1. Cut an 8x1 7/8 piece of yellow with circles paper. Mat the top and bottom edges with pink textured paper, trimming the mats to 1/8.
  2. Cut the printed happy border off the overlay and lay the border over the yellow with circles paper. Punch 6 holes down the left end, punching through the overlay and both papers underneath. Cut two 3 1/2 lengths each of bright pink polka dot, yellow sheer and light pink grosgrain ribbons and trim the tails of each ribbon length at an angle. Run one length of bright pink polka dot ribbon through the top hole and knot the ribbon to keep it in place. Repeat with yellow sheer ribbon in the second hole, light pink grosgrain ribbon in the third hole, then repeat the pattern for the remaining three holes.

By Paris Dukes

This cool slide mount, personalized with alphabet stamps and patterned papers, will make a perfect accent on your winter-themed layouts, and its the perfect size for a wintry card focal, too!



  1. Cover one super-size slide mount with blue snowflakes paper.
  2. Use alphabet stamps and a white ink pad to stamp the word snow onto blue vellum. Place the stamped vellum on top of blue textured paper and glue both layers behind the slide mount, framing the word snow in the slide mount window. Trim the edges of the vellum and paper layers even with the edges of the slide mount.
  3. Cut out one small circular snowflake tag and add a silver brad to the top. Glue the tag in the bottom right corner of the slide mount.