Scrapbooking Layout Ideas

Although you sometimes want to chronicle every day life, most often your scrapbook pages will be featuring special events. Below are some ideas for if you’re stumped when scrapbooking common themes. Be sure to visit the gallery at Scrapjazz for hundreds of more layout ideas.


  • Include a handwritten birthday list from your child.
  • Use the invitations to set the tone and style of the scrapbook.
  • Pick one patterned paper on which to base your color scheme.
  • For an older child’s birthday, ask guests to write advice on colorful cardstock to include in the scrapbook.
  • For an adult, ask family and friends to contribute favorite memories.


  • For Christmas, use the photos as snowflakes or tree ornaments.
  • Don’t be afraid to change the color palette—use blues for Christmas or greens for Valentine’s with a shot of hot pink.
  • For Thanksgiving, instead of using dried flowers Debbie Janasak and Anna Swinney suggest using dried fruit in their book A Year of Scrapbooking.
  • For Halloween, incorporate an element of the costume into the page. For example, add whiskers and ears for a cat costume or straw embellishments for a scarecrow.


  • Use elements from nature. If you were at the beach, include a sealed pouch of sand or a seashell.
  • Write journal entries on postcards during the trip and add those to the album.
  • Feature a decorative font that reflects the locale. You might use a funky font for San Francisco or an elegant serif font to remember Paris.
  • Mention local customs and fare.


  • Include a copy of the vows, particularly if they were written by the bride and groom.
  • Pick three adjectives to describe the wedding. Was it a fairytale day? Elegant? Uninhibited? Plan your scrapbook with these adjectives in mind.
  • Use variations on the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses and flowers.
  • Alternately, an all-white or ivory album is elegant and classic.


  • Let the time period you’re chronicling dictate the style. 1920s could be Art Deco, 1950s would use mid-century Modern colors and patterns.
  • Incorporate a timeline showing what happened in the world as well as in your family.
  • Use muted colors so as not to overwhelm black and white photos.
  • If you know the color of a person’s eyes or apparel, tint the photograph accordingly and carry that color throughout the album.


  • Include newspaper articles or “back to school” advertisements to show the current fashions and trends.
  • Add in some candid shots, as well as the posed “first day of school” picture.
  • Leave room for pages that feature a child’s artwork or assignments.
  • Stickers are quick and easy, and also evoke many school day memories.
  • Describe your child’s teacher (preferably in his own words) and add famous quotes about education and teaching.
  • Also include images of the school, playground, and desk at home to convey the entire school experience.

Now let's turn to one of the most fundamental elements of scrapbooking: paper. Read on to find out about different types of paper and what they’re typically used for.

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