Step by Step Instructions for How to Make a Scrapbook

Our step-by-step instructions for how to make a scrapbook will keep you organized, lower your costs, and allow you to truly enjoy designing your scrapbook.
How to Make a Scrapbook: 10 Easy Steps

  1. Organize your pictures.
  2. Brainstorm layout ideas & journaling.
  3. Find your album & paper.
  4. Find your finishing touches.
  5. Organize your space.
  6. Create your background and/or borders.
  7. Crop and mat your pictures.
  8. Start sticking.
  9. Journal, Journal, Journal.
  10. Add the finishing touches.

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NOTE: Take a minute to notice that you don't start creating anything until Step 6! I know you're anxious to get started and get gluing, but trust me when I tell you that spending quality time in preparation will help you save money, and get it done faster.

Now, let's go through each of these steps and explain them a little more. Follow the links provided for even more helpful ideas and tips on how to make a scrapbook.

How to Make a Scrapbook Step 1: Organize Your Pictures

Decide on your album theme and organize your pictures based on that theme. Sort your pictures into different categories related to that theme. Now narrow down those categories even further. Sort those categories into page themes that will become the basis for each page layout of your scrapbook. You can usually fit 4-6 pictures on one page layout. Once your pictures are sorted, you're ready to move on!

how to make a scrapbook guide

How to Make a Scrapbook: Organizing Pictures


How to Make A Scrapbook Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas & Journaling

Take each set of page theme pictures and look at them to determine the kind of layout that will display them best. Take a look at our layouts page to get the creative juices flowing. Write down your layout ideas on a sheet of paper and keep it with your pictures. On the back of that sheet of paper, write down a few journaling ideas to go on that page as well.

How to Design a Layout


how to make a scrapbook paper

How to Make a Scrapbook Step 3: Find Album and Paper.

Now it's time to head to the store. Take your pictures with you!! First, pick out an album that compliments your theme. Then, take each set of page themed pictures and browse the store for paper that compliments that picture. Think about the content of the pictures, any layout ideas you brainstormed, and the colors of the pictures when picking out your paper. In general, you will need 2 sheets of background paper and 1-2 different styles/colors of matting and deco paper. Make sure you buy enough sheets of the matting and deco paper to mat all the pictures you plan on using for your page.

How to Choose Paper


How to Make a Scrapbook Step 4: Find Embellishments.

Now go back through the store with each page theme set (pictures and paper). Take a look at all the stickers, embellishments, and fibers and choose the ones you think will best compliment your page. Remember, consider the content of your pictures, the layout ideas you've brainstormed, and the colors of the paper and pictures when choosing your finishing touches. Keeping these three things in mind will help you create a page in which every aspect is complimented by another.

Types of Scrapbook Embellishments


How to Make a Scrapbook Step 5: Organize Your Work Space

Ok, now it's time to head to your workspace with all your purchases. You'll need to find a way to organize your workspace so that it is the most functional for you. Whether you have an entire room to devote to your scrapbooking or you're working off the kitchen table, before you begin working make sure to take the time to get yourself organized. Put all the pictures, paper, and finishing touches that you will use for one page layout together so nothing gets forgotten.

Workspace Organization Tips


How to Make a Scrapbook Step 6: Create Background, Borders, and/or Titles.

Lay out your two background pages for the first layout and start arranging your pictures in the way that they look the best. DO NOT GLUE ANYTHING YET! Just get a general idea for how the page will go together. It's often easier to picture a scrapbook layout once you have all the pieces in front of you. Create any borders, corners, and titles for this page. DO NOT GLUE ANYTHING YET! Just get the pieces you'll need cut and laid out on the background paper.

how to make a scrapbook


Step 7: Crop and Mat Pictures.

Now's the time to start cutting your pictures. If you're nervous about making a mistake, get doubles of your favorite pictures. A tip about cropping pictures: Don't be afraid to cut! You can often make a bigger mistake by leaving too much of the picture than by cutting out too much. Look closely at each picture and where you plan to put it on the page. Think about which shape and size will work best for your layout. Then look at the picture to find the picture's focal point. This is the part of the picture that you want to make the focus of the crop. Once the picture is cropped, you can either single or double mat it using the matting and deco paper you chose to match this page layout. Consider leaving extra room at the bottom or side of a mat for a short caption.

How to Crop Pictures


Step 8: Start Sticking!

All right, now you can take out your adhesive! Start putting together your layout by gluing your borders, titles, and pictures in a format that looks best to you. Often you will find that your layout doesn't really begin to come together until this point. Don't forget to leave room for at least one journalling block on your page layout. A tip about creating layouts: your page will look best if everything on it is matted (including stickers, embellishments, titles, and pictures) and is touching something else on the page. Components that are not matted and not touching anything else often look like they are floating out in no man's land and do not seem to integrate with your page.

Be sure to consider the basic graphic design principles when choosing exactly where to place an page element.


Step 9: Journal, Journal, Journal

This is where you add the personal touch that explains, describes, and compliments the pictures on your page layout. There are a number of different types of journaling you can do. Before you write anything, pull out the sheet of paper you used back in Step 2. Ask yourself, what are the stories, anecdotes, or memories that you want to preserve with these pictures. Your journaling should tell the story you would tell if you were sitting next to the person looking through the book. Be sure to write some of your journaling in your own handwriting. Think how special it would be if you had something written by your great grandmother in her own handwriting!

how to make a scrapbook journal

How To Journal in Your Scrapbook


Step 10: Add Embellishments

The finishing touches often add that little something "extra" to a scrapbook page layout. Now that your pictures, journals, borders and titles are all in place, you can see the spaces on your page that look a little bare or would be perfect for a well-chosen sticker or embellishment. Also consider making some of your own embellishments with your matting and deco paper. Remember what we said about layouts in Step 8: Your page will look best if everything on it is matted and is touching something else on the page.

Click here for more information about using stickers, embellishments, and fibers.


how to make a scrapbook tipsAs you work through these 10 steps for how to make a scrapbook, be sure to stop back and check out the "for more information" links to help you with find scrapbook ideas and use different techniques.

Combined with your pictures, your stories, and your motivation these 10 steps give you all the tools you need to create a memorable and remarkable scrapbook page layout. This how to make a scrapbook guide will help your pocketbook and your schedule as you work.


custom scrapbook design services available

Scrapbooks By Design's Design artists create custom albums worldwide.

Local consulting and class instruction services also available in Northcentral WI and greater Phoenix, AZ area.


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Ready to take it to the next level? Check out our Scrapbook Layout Design center to learn more about the graphic design elements that can take your layouts from "That's Nice" to "Wow!"

Scrapbook Layout Design


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