Scrapbooking Layout Design Ideas

*This post may contain affiliate links for which I earn commissions.*

If you’re new to scrapping, scrapbooking layout design ideas based on a few basic design principles can help you to design an effective layout that’s pleasing to the eyes.

Why is the page layout so important? For the compelling reason that it either makes you just wanna skimp over the page in a second, or it’s appealing enough to grab your attention and draw you into the page to look at the details.

After spending time scrapping a layout, you probably won’t wish to have your family or friends just glance over your pages quickly. You’ll want to them stay on a page just a bit longer, to study it a little, and to soak up the page!

There are many design ideas but I’ll like to elaborate on a few that you can try out on your next scrapbook page. Read through the tips below and see how they can work for your baby layout, heritage layout, or other layouts.

Simple Design Ideas to a Good Layout

1) Let a Theme Rule

Scrapbooking layout on a snorkeling trip in Hawaii.

Build your scrapbook page around a theme like your family’s picnic in the woods or your son’s class outing to the zoo.

If more than one photo are used on the page, each photo should relate to the theme or to each other. One to six photos can generally fit into a page. For more photos, a two-page spread would work great. For each occasion or theme, select the best photos for your scrapbook page.

  • Tip 1: You don’t have to use all your photos from an event or occasion for your scrapbook pages. Give yourself the permission to scrapbook only those photos that hold significance to you, even if they aren’t fantastically taken. Your photos on a scrapbook layout, really are there to help you tell your story.
  • Tip 2: If you find that you’re struggling with placement of elements on a layout, a recommended help would be to use scrapbook sketches.This is especially helpful when you’re doing double-page layouts which involve more photos.

Let the theme guide you in selecting your elements for the page. For a zoo layout, you can choose animal-related embellishments, safari colors, or even use animal fonts for your page title!

Create visual unity by ensuring that all the elements on your layout look as if they belong together. Try grouping similar items close in proximity to one another. For example, a row of colorful buttons as shown in layout above, a cluster of flowers, or small photos collated onto a photo strip.

2) How to Arrange Photos

Scrapbooking layout on a grandma and grandkid sharing the same birthday.

Select a focal point
When you decide a photo becomes the focal point of your layout, they are ways to make your photo stand out. To add prominence to a photo, try putting it slightly off-center, giving it a multi-layered mat, enlarging its size, or tilting it at a slight angle.

Maintain a Flow and Balance
With the focal photo settled, the placement of the other photos should contribute to the whole flow and balance of the page. Good photo placement is one that seamlessly leads your eye from one photo to the next.

If you have several photos on your layout, you can try overlapping or angling your photos to direct the eye from the start to the finish point of a layout. You can also make a visual impact by skewing only one or two photos out of the several photos on your page.

Try experimenting with different placements, sizes, and angles of the photos to see what works best for your page.

Eyes of Subjects
Place your photos such that the eyes of your subjects are towards the page. If you have a subject looking to one side, putting this photo on the side would make the subject look as if she’s looking out of the page. Instead, place this photo in a way that it can look towards an element to form a lead on to the next element on the page.

3) Crop It the Right Way

Scrapbooking layout on my three cute nieces.

One good design idea is to crop your photos for emphasis. Cropping a photo could improve the look of it by eliminating unnecessary details. Cropping is especially helpful if you have less than stellar photos to start off with, Cropping also allows you to fit more photos into a page.

Besides cropping your photos into the common and popular rectangle and square shapes, you can try out circles, ovals, or even heart-shaped ones, but do use these sparingly. You might want to avoid combining various photo shapes on a single layout, as it could end up making the page looks very busy and uncoordinated.

4) Set the Mood with Your Background

Scrapbooking layout about my blood donation experience.

Select a complementary background to your photos. Usually, a good rule of thumb is to look for colors from your photos that you can repeat on your background. You can also repeat shapes, patterns or textures from your photos on your background page. This is based on the design principle of repetition.

Look at the scrapbook page above. The subject is wearing a black top with a pink design. The arm bandage is also in pink color. Notice how pink-based patterned papers are chosen to repeat the colors in the photo. The black-colored top is also repeated in the black journaling text paper.

A complementary background serves to complement your photos, and its purpose shouldn’t be to distract but to enhance your photos.

5) Enhance with Accents

Scrapbooking layout about the 3 generations of females in my family.

Coming to the part that many scrapbookers adore, adding accents or embellishments to enhance your layout!

Computer fonts, fabric flowers, ribbons, die cuts, stickers, patterned papers, etc all help to fill up empty spaces and act as finishing touches. Accents can add to your overall theme, support the look and feel of your layout, and form a good part of your page layout design.

Accents can also serve as contrasts to your page. Contrasts are good in that they create interest. For example, a big birdie die-cut is added to your page, to add contrast you also stamped a few little birdie images grouped together to contrast off the big birdie.

Some embellishments such as brads, ribbons, flowers are rather neutral decorative elements that you can use on most pages.

I agree that it’s tempting… but please don’t overdo and load your page with embellishments! It can overwhelm a page and dwarf your photos. Sometimes, one or two embellishments are good enough to dress up a page prettily.

More Layout Design Ideas

Following are 3 more scrapbooking layout design ideas based on well-used design principles:

  • Apply the Rule of Thirds. Imagine a grid of 9 squares laying on top of your background paper. Position your focal point at the intersections of these lines to draw more attention to it.
  • Develop a Visual Triangle with photos or elements to pull the items on your pages together, so as to let the eye take in the whole layout. A visual triangle will help lead the eye around the layout or lead it to where you want the focus to be on.
  • Use Odd Numbers of the same elements to attract the eye. Select elements in numbers of 3, 5, 7 and so on. Somehow, the eye is more drawn to odd numbers of elements. For example, 3 fabric flowers, 5 photos, 7 buttons, etc.


Grasp the ABC’s of Scrapbooking Layouts

If you’ll like to start scrapbooking, but don’t know where to start, please start with my how-to guide on scrapbooking.

For scrapping ideas, browse through my collection of 50 simple scrapping ideas. Happy scrapping!

2 comments for “Scrapbooking Layout Design Ideas

  1. November 29, 2019 at 1:34 am

    This really helped me out.

    • November 29, 2019 at 1:35 am

      Hi sister, I know, I’m creating a scrapbook too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.