Choosing A Layout

I’ll be the first to admit it: I copy layouts.

Not exactly, of course, but I do use idea books and magazines to get layout ideas for my own scrapbook pages. When I’m stuck for a layout idea, I work through HOTP idea books until I find a layout that has the same number of components I do—then I copy the arrangement of the page. Of course, since the theme is different, I’ll be using different paper and embellishments. Where Shauna might have used a tag as her embellishment in the center of her page, I’ll put a cut-out in the center of my page.

Even when you copy a layout (or “scraplift” as it’s known in the scrapbooking world) you’ll always be able to put your own personal touch on your page—simply because you’ll be using your own photographs.

Wait—what do you mean by “layout”?

Making a layout is simply arranging your photos, journaling and other embellishments onto your background paper. Laying out your page can also be one of the most time-consuming things about scrapbooking! I’ve often found myself faced with a stack of photos and some embellishments and absolutely no idea how to arrange the whole thing on my background paper. Over the years, however, I’ve developed a never-fail trick plus one tired-and-true layout that works with any theme and style of photos.

Choose a layout based on photos…

…not theme! When you look through idea books and magazines, the first thing you’ll notice about the layouts is the theme, such as birthday, Christmas, first day of school, and so on. While themed pages are great for inspiration, you really need a layout that works with the size and shape of your photos and the size of your album page. An 8 1/2”x11” Christmas page with one large portrait photo is very pretty to look at, but it’s tough to copy if you’re trying to arrange three horizontal snapshots on a 12”x12” page.

Here’s my never-fail trick: Look for layouts with the same number of components you have. For example, if you have two photos, journaling and one embellishment, then you have four elements to work with. Therefore, you’ll want to look for a layout with four things on it—whether they’re four photos or three photos and one embellishment.

scrapbook projectA classic layout idea

This is one of my favorite layouts because it’s so versatile—it’s called a quadrant page. Basically, I have four elements on this page: two photos, a tag and journaling. Can you see how the page is divided into four sections? Starting at the upper left quadrant, I have the tag; the upper right quadrant has a photo. The lower right quadrant has journaling, and the lower left quadrant has another photo. I cut a strip of waves patterned paper and glued it to the bottom half of the teal background paper for added interest.

How is this layout versatile? Notice in the sketches shown here, I can form quadrants with four square shapes, I can slightly offset the four elements, or I can form quadrants with vertical and horizontal shapes. Any time I have four elements, I can pull out this tried-and-true layout. My four elements could be four photos; three photos and a tag; one photo, one tag and two journaling pieces. There are a lot of combinations you can do with this layout!

scrapbook project

LeNae Gerig is the author of LeNae’s Scrapbooking Basics and LeNae’s 30-Minute Scrapbook Pages. She’s known in scrapbook circles as a “realistic” scrapper because she wants to create great pages quickly and easily. She’s the host of where she contributes monthly columns and layouts.

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