Using Tabs on Scrapbook Layouts

Dana Hinders
No longer just for the office, tabs can be a fun way to jazz up your scrapbook layouts.

Using tabs on scrapbook layouts is an easy way to add interest to your projects.

A Hot Trend for Scrapbooking

Office supply stores have inspired many different trends in the scrapbooking and paper crafting world. Label makers, highlighters, and ruled notebook paper have been used on scrapbook layouts for quite some time, so it should be no surprise that tabs are now becoming a very popular scrapbook embellishment.

If you want to start using tabs on scrapbook layouts, you have a few different options to consider:

  • Purchase tabs directly from an office supply store.
  • Use pre-made scrapbook embellishments, such as stickers or chipboard accents, that are tab shaped.
  • Trace a tab from an old file folder, then use sharp detail scissors to cut out the design on your cardstock.
  • Make your own tab by cutting a small cardstock rectangle, then rounding the corners with a corner punch. If you wish, ink the edges of your homemade tab for a fun distressed look.
  • If you have access to a die cutting machine, purchase a die that cuts tabs for you.
  • Purchase a tab shaped rubber stamp from your local craft store.

Ideas for Using Tabs on Scrapbook Layouts

Tabs may be simple, but they're also a wonderful blank canvas for your craft projects. When using tabs on scrapbook layouts, keep in mind that tabs can be both decorative and functional. Stretch your creative muscles by challenging yourself to use tabs in several different ways.

Creating Photo Captions

Tabs can be a great space for adding simple photo captions to your page. A small tab provides just enough room for a date, a name, or a short description of the action. Tabbed photo captions work especially well when you have several photos on your page and not much to say about each one.

The small amount of text required on a tabbed photo caption makes it the perfect place to experiment with adding touches of your own handwriting to your layout. Many people hate their penmanship, but handwriting leaves an important legacy for future generations. If you practice adding handwritten photo captions on scrapbook tabs, you may eventually find yourself feeling brave enough to attempt a handwritten journaling block.

Preventing "Sticker Sneeze"

Using tabs on scrapbook layouts is a wonderful way to prevent the "sticker sneeze" effect from ruining an otherwise beautiful page. "Sticker sneeze" occurs when a page seems to have a lot of small stickers randomly floating throughout the background with no visible design purpose. By matting a small sticker onto a tab and attaching the tab to a photo or journaling block, you're making it look like a unified piece of the layout.

Dividing Sections of an Album

If you like to scrapbook according to themes such as friends, family, holidays, or travel, tabs can be used to help create divider pages for your album. This will make it easier to quickly find a specific layout. If most of your pages are fairly simple in design, dividers can also be a good place to experiment with painting, embossing, transferred images, and other more "artistic" scrapbooking techniques.

Adding Decoration and Texture

While most tabs are made from cardstock, tabs made from colorful strips of ribbon can be a great way to add a decorative element to your layout. If you want to have text on your tabs, use ribbons preprinted with words and phrases that match your page theme or stamp your own text using alphabet stamps and solvent ink.

Attaching ribbon tabs to a layout can sometimes be tricky. Many people use staples to attach the ribbon, but glue dots or double-sided tape may work as well. Try a few different methods to see what you prefer.

Using Tabs on Scrapbook Layouts