Creating Double-Page Spreads

What exactly is a double-page spread? When you open your album, the two pages facing each other create a spread. When the pages coordinate, they're considered a double-page spread. It's basically two layouts that coordinate through color and/or theme to create a unified effect, as opposed to two single layouts that stand alone.

I love how a double-page spread looks in an album. It creates a cohesive effect that helps the pages flow. Double-page spreads are great for a couple of reasons. First, if you have too many photos to fit on a single page, a double-page spread allows you to spread out a little. They also allow more room for journaling.

Second, if you just like to have the facing pages in your scrapbook match, creating a double-page spread is the perfect solution. When facing pages match, the overall effect creates a continuity that is nice to look at, rather than the sometimes jarring affect very dissimilar pages can have.

scrapbook project
Click to enlarge
scrapbook project
Click to enlarge

The main element tying these pages together is the papers. The matching background papers create a common color scheme and instantly tie the pages together. For these pages I used papers from Hot Off The Press’ new book Use ‘Em for Anything Brights, which is a great collection of 24 papers all paired for use in double-page spreads! Books like this make it easy to create coordinating layouts.

Another way these pages relate is through the embellishments used on each page. By using similar embellishments, in this case silk flowers and matching monograms, I’m able to further link the theme on the two pages. I also spread the title over both pages to further strengthening the emphasis on the common theme of these layouts.

Just because the pages coordinate with one another doesn’t mean they have to be of the same event or even the same topic. In these layouts I recorded both a camping trip and a family barbeque. Even though these events are unrelated, the pages create a double-page spread by incorporating matching elements.

scrapbook project
Click to enlarge
scrapbook project
Click to enlarge

I tied these two pages together by using the same color palette. It’s easy with the perfectly coordinating Use ‘Em for Anything Brights, Bright Brads , Bright Silk Flowers and Bright Monograms .

Double-page spreads don’t have to be mirror images of each other. Instead they should complement each other. Notice that with the above pages the papers are oriented in two different ways. This creates an interesting contrast between the two pages while at the same time linking the pages by incorporating similar colors and textures.

I also use similar techniques to further link these to pages. By using the three mini brads to accent a monogram on both pages I can subtly tie these pages together.

Double-page spreads aren’t always necessary though. If you only have a few photos of a particular event, creating a single page spread is fine. In fact, I’d rather have single page with 1 or 2 great photos than a double-page spread with lots of so-so photos.

Single pages force you to be succinct and use only your best photos and journaling, plus they can help keep your scrapbook from becoming repetitive. While you may love all 2 dozen pictures of your child playing in the sandbox, the person looking at your scrapbook will be grateful you used only one or two—trust me! I try to avoid placing pages that sharply contrast next to each other. Single layouts can complement each other while not being true double-page spreads.

Using double-page spreads will add a clean, finished look to your scrapbooks. I love using them when I have so any great pictures of an event I can’t choose just a couple. I’m also a big believer in the importance of journaling, and double-page spreads give me plenty of room for that. double-page spreads look great and they’re fun to make. What more could you ask for?


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