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Scrapbooking Layout Design Ideas

Dana Hinders
"Dangerous" scrapbook layout

Scrapbook sketches can be a wonderful source of layout design inspiration for the beginning scrapbooker. If seeing a finished layout that uses complicated techniques makes you too intimidated to try creating your own page, working from a simple sketch that just gives photo placement ideas can be a good alternative.

Great Layout Design Ideas

The following 12 x 12-inch layout sketches will help you put together lots of beautiful scrapbook pages using the basic templates for placing your photos, keepsakes, embellishments, and journaling.

Question Layout

scrapbook sketch

Scrapbooking interviews with your kids or family members is a great way to preserve your family history. This page idea draws attention to your interview answers.

  1. Cut an oversize question mark embellishment from your favorite patterned paper.
  2. Choose a solid sheet of cardstock in a color that picks up one of the colors from the patterned paper to use as the basis for your layout.
  3. Add three photos to the bottom of the page. The photos should be 3-3/4 x 3-3/4 inches square so there is a small border between them when they are attached to the page.
  4. Add the title and journaling. If you are typing your journaling, use a different font for the title to draw attention to it. If you are handwriting your journaling, use decorative stickers for the title.

Grid Layout

scrapbook sketch

For events like weddings, birthday parties, and vacations in which you took a lot of photos, the most practical scrapbooking solution is to simply crop the photos you want to use into small squares.

  1. Crop your photos so they are all 2 inch squares. You need a total of 12 photos for this layout
  2. If you don't have enough photos for this grid, fill in some of the spots with squares of patterned paper or mini collages made from stickers that pick up the theme of your page.
  3. Arrange your photos on the paper before adding your journaling in the middle. The title is the main form of embellishment on this page, so you should think of a decorative treatment for this area. One idea that would work well is to rubber stamp the title using clear Versamark watermark ink and then lightly go over the stamped letters with colored chalk to make them appear on the page.

3 Photo Layout

scrapbook sketch

If you hate cropping your photos, this layout design is for you.

  1. Choose a subtle patterned paper for the strip in the middle of this layout design. Choose a coordinating color of cardstock for the background.
  2. Cut the patterned paper to measure 5-1/2 x 12 inches. Glue it to the middle of the cardstock.
  3. Add three 4 x 6 inch photos to the left hand side of the page.
  4. Add your title and journaling. If you have room you can incorporate a small themed embellishment into this spot. For example, a heart shaped brad would be a good choice for a page about a special date with your husband. A die cut baby bottle would reinforce the theme of a baby shower scrapbook layout.

Custom Background

scrapbook sketch

Don't throw away your paper scraps. This layout uses paper scraps to make a customized background.

  1. Cut scraps of patterned paper into strips of various sizes. Adhere the strips to a cardstock background.
  2. Add a 6 x 8 inch photo in the upper right hand corner of the page. Place a 4 x 2 inch photo underneath.
  3. Add journaling on a matted cardstock rectangle that picks up one of the colors used in your patterned paper strips.

Circle Background

scrapbook sketch

The circle of patterned paper in this layout gives the design a modern look.

  1. Trace a large dinner plate onto a sheet of patterned paper to make a circle. Cut out the circle and glue it to a cardstock background.
  2. Crop four photos to measure 4 inches square. Add the photos to your page.
  3. Add a journaling block to the center of the photo grid. Round the corners using decorative scissors or a corner punch.

Dot Background

scrapbook sketch

Circles that extend off the edge of the page create a polka dot pattern for your layout.

  1. Trace a dinner plate and a cereal bowl to make two circles from patterned paper. Cut them out and glue them to the corners of your cardstock background. Trim off the excess paper with scissors or a craft knife.
  2. Add one large photo, such as an 8 x 10 inch school portrait of one of your children.
  3. Add a small strip of journaling that slightly overlaps the photo.

Heart Background

scrapbook layout

A heart background gives this page a romantic look.

  1. Cut a heart from pretty patterned paper.
  2. Add the heart to your cardstock background.
  3. Finish with a photo and title.

Arrow Embellishments

scrapbook layout

The arrow pattern can indicate a theme of travel or moving up in the world with a job promotion or graduation.

  1. Cut arrows from pretty paper or draw them on the cardstock using acid-free markers.
  2. Add three photos and journaling. The largest photo should be 4 x 5 inches. You can eyeball the sizes of the other two photos since this sketch doesn't require precise measurmenets.
  3. Finish with journaling and a title.

Rounded Corners

scrapbook layout

Rounded corners help give your scrapbook layout a retro feel.

  1. Round the corners of two standard 4 x 6 inch prints.
  2. Glue the photos to a cardstock background. Add a flower embellishment in between the two photos.
  3. Add a title using stickers or rubber stamps.


scrapbook layout

A background of cascading stars is a good way to showcase accomplishments like winning the starring role in a school play.

  1. Arrange your photos so they are in a strip running down the right hand side of the layout. You can adjust the sizes and crop the prints as needed.
  2. Add stars to the background of the page. Use rubber stamps, stickers, chipboard, rub-ons, or freehand doodles.
  3. Add your vertically aligned page title.

Minimalist Layout

scrapbook layout

This layout has a simple look, highlighted by tiny circular embellishments.

  1. Arrange photos on a cardstock background as shown. The largest photo should be about 5 x 7 inches. The middle photo should be about 4 inches square. The smallest photo should be about 2 inches square.
  2. Add two circle shaped embellishments, such as buttons or decorative brads.
  3. Add a title and journaling.

More Scrapbook Layout Ideas

If you need further inspiration for your scrapbook layouts, try the following ideas:

  • PageMaps by Becky Fleck is filled with excellent scrapbook sketches as well as examples of layouts people have created using the sketches as inspiration.
  • Scrapbooks, Etc. is no longer publishing new issues of its print magazine, but there is an extensive collection of sketches online for both single and double page layouts.
  • These printable scrapbook pages can be downloaded for beach, Father's Day, graduation, travel, wedding, and zoo scrapbook layouts. These pages are predesigned, so all you need to do is add photos and journaling. They are even easier to use than scrapbook sketches!

Personalizing Your Scrapbook Layout

While scrapbook sketches can provide a starting point for your layouts, remember that it's perfectly fine to alter the sketch a bit to fit your needs. Making changes such as combining two photo spaces into one to make room for a larger image or eliminating a page title in favor of adding more journaling helps make your project truly a one-of-a-kind creation.

Scrapbooking Layout Design Ideas