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Scrapbooking Layouts - How to Enhance Your Pictures

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Hobbies
Caught up in the scrapbooking fever? If you are, you are sure to have a heap of supplies - precut cards, packaged themes, stickers, papers and so on. But what if you feel your scrapbooking efforts are becoming ho-hum? You need to get inspired!

Scrapbooking as an art means more than just pasting photos and newspaper clippings into a book. The layout contributes to the enjoyment of the viewer and is also the main source of creativity for scrapbooking enthusiasts.

So where do you begin to create great looking layouts?


Start with a theme - are you presenting a page about the birth of a baby? A holiday trip? An engagement? A sporting event?

Your theme can be anything. If you have photos of Jiggy the cat sleeping on Uncle Ben and want to scrapbook them, then do it!


Choose the best photos. They do not have to be the best composition since you can crop them later, but try to avoid fuzzy shots or awkward angles (unless that's part of their charm!)

Try to use odd numbers of photos since they tend to be more appealing in any layout. Three, five or even seven if you're spreading them across two pages - will work best.


Is there a dominant color in the pictures? Or is there a color you wish to highlight (such as baby Jean's red dress)?

Using a color wheel as a guide, find the color you wish to use and create a complimentary layout using the hues on either side of your selection. If you want some pizzazz try using the color directly opposite your selection on the color wheel. These shades make each other jump while colors close on the color wheel will create a more soothing visual effect.


If you are composing a real collage you might want your title to be the focal point. Other focal points could be the largest picture or an embellishment or memento.

Some ideas are to highlight one photo or item, such as a newspaper clipping, in the middle. Layout the other photos around the focal point. They can be aligned, angled or scattered depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

Part of the art of scrapbooking is cropping pictures. Cutting the edges of your pictures into a shape, or just to remove excess space, will enhance your layout.


The secret to a beautiful scrapbook page is in the layers. It does not have to be complicated, but should lend personality and charm to your layout.

Bordering pictures in the complimentary colors quickly draws attention to them. This can be done with paper borders or drawn on with markers, paints or even glitter. Consider using something original to highlight your focal point; a paper lunch bag as the backdrop for a school picture. A strip of baby blanket can be used in a baby album. Be creative - glue buttons, barrettes, ribbons, Band-Aids or other tangible items around pictures.

Give your picture a backdrop with colored paper. Layer strips of coordinating papers, gift wrap or cardstock and vary the edges depending on your look. You can use hole punches, torn edges or clean lines to enhance your scrapbook layouts.

Enjoy your designs and look for ideas from other scrapbookers, magazines and online. Your scrapbook is unique, so don't be afraid to try something different!