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Scrapbook Ideas for Beginners: 25 Inspiring Layouts

by Megan Andersen
craft & maker

Summer is winding down and that glorious 3-month season is slowly becoming a distant memory. Summer is prime season for playing tourist in your home city, going on a grand overseas trek, or simply splashing in the sprinklers with your favorite peeps.

And now begins the season for documenting all of those memories. The weather has cooled, the kids are back in school, and fall is the perfect time to ensure summer is scrapbooked before the rush of the winter holidays begin. Whether you prefer digital designs or scrapbooking with a whole gang of supplies rolling around the table, let these pages be a catalyst for assembling truly creative scrapbook spreads.

And if you need some extra help making those pages shine, sign-up for Tiffany Tillman-Emanuel’s Mixed Media and Compositing classes.  

Text, Lists and Open Spaces

1. Amy Tangerine is a master at making everyday look amazing, Making “lists of likes” (poll the kids, hubby or dog) is an excellent mile-marker for scrapbooking.

Looking for scrapbook inspiration? Check out the Scrapbook Ideas for Beginners post on CreativeLive.

credit: Julie Wells

2. Section off a page with colorful Washi tape, then fill one of the sections with text about the photo/day you are highlighting. Leaving negative space on the page helps you take it all in and appreciate the beauty of the moment, as well as the details you’ve recorded.

3. This interview-style layout could be used for graduates who are ready to take on the world. Love the way A Beautiful Mess put this page together.

Have Camera, Will Travel

There are SO many ways to make travel memories last a lifetime. Snap pix during your time in the long airplane or car ride, save maps from your road-trip, or arrange the scraps from some of your most favorite haunts to make vacation memory scrapbooking (ok, ok, and shadow-box displays) easy as pie. (Scientific reminder: any pie eaten while on vacation results in weight LOSS, not gain. It’s vacation science.)

4. If scrapbooking an entire vacation or child’s young life seems too daunting, take this concept and run with it! Boil it all down to one event per month and presto! We spotted this brilliant idea on Balzer Designs.

5. This page from Studio Calico demonstrates how adorable a series of shots from an airplane can look.

6. Maps are put to good use in this page from Martha Stewart’s site.

Learn how to make mixed media images for your digital scrapbook pages.

7. Take a cue from this Athletes Abroad page and put spare pics to work as city names.

A Snap with Instant Pics

Instant cameras and film are ridiculously fun for making and sharing memories. Paste them into books, with as much or as little text as you desire, or pick a wall in your home/office to create a personalized art installation. Also, whether you have a classic Polaroid, or a new Intstax, they are so easy to use, that your kids can have their own roll of film to capture memories of their own. You might be surprised by the cool perspectives they come up with.

8. Jessica Rose of Volume Twenty Five used a very minimal set-up to assemble this instant photo scrapbook.

Instax photos are another great way to capture life’s special moments and scrappergirlAdrienne Alvis, and the folks from Urban Outfitters each have their own unique take on assembling those Instax-captured memories.

Beginner-Friendly and Photo-Heavy

Or use traditional photos to fill album pages to tell stories without any words at all.

Looking for scrapbook inspiration? Check out the Scrapbook Ideas for Beginners post on CreativeLive.

credit: Kelly Purkey

12. Kelly Purkey relied on photos of all shapes and sizes to tell the story of her travels to Vietnam in this inspiring scrapbook album.

Looking for scrapbook inspiration? Check out the Scrapbook Ideas for Beginners post on CreativeLive.

credit: Eighteen25

13. Project Life simplifies scrapbooking with stylish pre-fab inserts and pockets for your photos. This spread from Eighteen25 includes a creative cut of an 8″x10″.

14. Another A Beautiful Mess page because, colors you guys. And can we go on vacation with the ABM girls please and thank you.

Journal-Inspired, Imagination-Rich

Doodles, photos, sketches, paintings, Oh my! Journals are more free form and try to capture the essence of the moment without being too precious about it. Perfectionists need not apply here. Let yourself relax (it’s ok to do this while on vacation, AND when you return to real life) and let your mind and hand wander across your journal.

15. Seaweed Kisses combines art with mementos to create beautiful, dynamic pages.

A photo posted by JP (@jennie.pae) on

16. This page from Jennie Pae’s traveller notebook puts ordinary planners to shame.

17. Vanessa Perry blends gorgeous hand lettering with images to create a truly romantic page.

One-Image, Adorned

Highlight a single, important moment by using one photo per page. You’ll find lots of scrapbook layouts online, but when you adorn a single image with, cut-out letters, colorful tape, colored pencils etc. it really draws the viewers eye to your focal point and gives it power.

18. Tiffany Tillman-Emanuel used digitized mementos to craft this mixed-media scrapbooking page that celebrates her daughter and mother.

19. Cute & Cool Creations brought a black and white image to life with a very colorful page.

20. American Crafts Studio uses a single photo and the rest of the scrapbook page to tell the story behind the image.

Bright Colors, Bold Shapes

These pages practically giggle. Something about using repeating shapes and vibrant colors really soothes our souls. These examples are almost like visual quilts.

Looking for scrapbook inspiration? Check out the Scrapbook Ideas for Beginners post on CreativeLive.

credit: Gina Lideros

21. Gina Lideros uses paper from an Amy Tangerine collection to create an exciting and interactive page.

Looking for scrapbook inspiration? Check out the Scrapbook Ideas for Beginners post on CreativeLive.

22. Lisa Dickinson came up with a layout that minimizes a reality that all of us face: bad photos. Lisa printed old photos from her Blackberry and used a bright page to provide contrast to her dar, pre-iPhone photos.

23. In this design from Christine Newman for American Crafts Studio, Christine used white card stock and paper punches to create impactful silhouettes for both a photo and her colorful paper collection.

Smash Book Style

The keepsakes that manage to turn up in your coat pocket, float up from the bottom of the suitcase, and hitchhike home within the pages of your favorite books, all have a permanent address in a smash book. Here are a few samples we found. Organized chaos? Maybe, but memories made! So we’ll keep ‘em!

24. ShopEvalicious makes use of million random objects that turn up in one’s pockets on vacation including receipts!

25. Kelly Purkey decided to build a smash book dedicated to a single month in her life. To make it happen she collected all of her odds and ends in a giant Ziploc bag. She was ultimately wowed by all of the ups and downs of the month and excited to assemble it into a single album.

Need a little more help on your scrapbooking journey? Check out Tiffany Tillman Emanuel’s Mixed Media Digital Scrapbooking and Compositing for Scrapbookers classes. Tiffany helps you learn your way around Photoshop and offers tips on creating digital scrapbook pages you’ll be proud to print.

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Megan Andersen

Known in craft circles as “Radmegan,” Megan O. Andersen has been crafting, baking, cooking, drawing, sculpting and gardening since she could hold a crayon. Follow along with her crafty adventures at www.radmegan.com.