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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Scrapbooking Basics part one, how to layout a scrapbook page

Scrapbooking Basics

Hi everyone, well after such a break in blogging I am back with a vengeance. To start the new blogging journey I am going to do a 6 part look at scrapbooking basics. Ideas, tips, tricks that hopefully will inspire you and fill you with confidence so that you can start scrapping those photos.

This is something that I am often asked when teaching a scrapbook layout class, how do you know where things go?
So this series of blog posts will look at

How to layout a scrapbook page.

What are the best photos for scrapbooking.

How to embellish a scrapbook layout.

How to use colour in your scrapbook layout.

Where to get scrapbook layout ideas.

How to combine project life and scrapbooking together.

 Let's get started.

Part 1: How to lay out a scrapbook page.

Scrapbook pages come in a variety of sizes everything from 4x4 inches, to 12x12 inches, and everything in between as well as the magazine size of 9.5 x 11 inches. To keep it simple for the purposes of these posts I will be looking at the most common size the 12x12 inches. Even though we are in Australia and metric, when talking about scrapbooking most people will use the American measurements and speak in inches.

If we get back to the very basics to make a scrapbook page you need paper (acid free)photos (the memory you want to share) and journaling (the story you want to tell). Everything after that is up to you. When you start out this can seem overwhelming but really it is not if you take it one page at a time. There are some hints and tips that can help you like the way your pages look.

I bet you already know a whole heap about laying out your scrapbook pages, things that you just take for granted. One of the most common is that in western cultures we read from left to right, top to bottom. Automatically creating a Z on a page. In scrapbooking the Z becomes very handy.
I am going to come back to the Z principle when we look at embellishing a page in part 3; 'How to embellish a scrapbook layout.'. So for now just keep in mind that when you first see any scrapbook page, without a few direction tricks your eyes will automatically scan the layout from left to right and top to bottom. We sneaky little scrapbookers put a few tricks into the layout to direct your eyes onto what is important, the photos and journaling. In this post we will look at two of those tricks, the rule of thirds and photo eyes.

Why use the rule of thirds in scrapbooking layouts.

Rule of Thirds and Balance flows straight from the Z, it is the same four anchor points The rule of thirds says that most designs can be made more interesting by visually dividing the page into thirds vertically and/or horizontally and placing our most important elements within those thirds. Take this concept a step further, especially in photographic composition, by dividing the page into thirds both vertically and horizontally and placing your most important elements at one or more of the four intersections of those lines. This movie poster is a great example of the rule of thirds, the four anchor points, as well a great use of colour.

Look at this layout example, if we divide the page can you see how the eyes of both of the main photos fall on the line? This helps to keep balance in the layout.

Scrapbooking Eyes 

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then scrapbooking photos with eyes should be a revelation to the page, don't you think? So how does that translate to our scrapbook layouts? On most Scrapbooking magazine covers you will see a photo that has the eyes clearly visible and prominent. On the covers they usually use just one photo with the face looking directly out. This is an invitation to come inside the magazine. The eyes draw you into the layout.
But we are not doing the cover of a magazine. We are making scrapbooking pages for our albums so do the eyes matter? most definitely they do.

For some strange reason we humans have a natural tendency to look where someone else is looking. Use this to your advantage in your scrapbook page. Have the photos that show eyes looking into and not off the page. If the eyes look into the page, towards the other photos and elements and therefor lead the reader (you and me) to the other items on the page.

So lets make a page. Grab some photos, paper and we will get started.
 This is the process I go through when making a page. I am going to do a single page with these photos to tell the story of my youngest son's 'back to the 80's day' at school from last year.
After a short conversation with Sam about the 80's day we headed to the local Vinnies where we managed to get everything he needed. the shirt, the shoes, the belt and these fantastic pants that could have been tailor made for him. So of course this needed to be documented, after all can you imagine trying to describe this outfit to someone if you didn't have photographic proof? Definitely called for a scrapbook layout.
Once I have chosen photos, papers and a few basic embellishments, I then start my scrapbooking process by laying a few photos down. In the order above you can see that the end photo would be looking off the page. So lets swap it around and see what happens...
This way works better as that photo is looking into the page now. Still not entirely happy with it so play around a bit more and finish up with three photos, not four.

The finished page has 3 photos. Always a dilemma when first starting out is how many photos to use. I will look at that into a bit more depth next week in Part 2; 'What are the best photos for scrapbooking.'

I wonder if you can see the rule of thirds on this scrapbook page?
The base pattern scrapbook paper is cut one third at the bottom and two thirds at the top. Three of the anchor points have photos under them.

What if this isn't a scrapbook layout that you like? That is fine, no really it is fine, the idea of showing you this is so that you can see the elements that make up a scrapbook layout. I like this scrapbook layout and that is all that matters about liking it because it will be in my albums not yours. That is definetly something to keep in mind when making your pages. It is YOU that needs to like them, they will be going in YOUR albums.

This week try out the rules of thirds and check the direction of the eyes in your photos and see how you like your scrapbook page then :)

If you want to pick up some scrapbooking paper to play with at a great price we have papers for 50cents! go to the shop here

See you next week for part 2; 'What are the best photos for scrapbooking.'

Thanks for reading,
LeAnne Payne

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