Using Scrapbook Embellishments and Other Elements

Sure, your photos may be the focal point of your scrapbook, but what fun is scrapbooking without the scrapbook embellishments, stickers, titles, etc?

Our How To Make a Scrapbook Guide suggests that you think about your layout ideas before you even get to the store to pick out your paper, stickers, and other finishing touches. If you organize your pictures and brainstorm layout ideas before you head to the store, you will save yourself a lot of time aimlessly wandering hoping for inspiration and money buying that really cute (in other words, expensive) embellishment that doesn't get used.

Whenever you come up with your layout design, be careful not to place anything that looks out of place on the page. Every element should relate or connect to another item on the page.


Repeat colors, shapes, textures, etc throughout your layout to maintain consistency in your scrapbook layout design. Ideally all of your papers, stickers, embellishments, die-cuts, stamps and fibers should be consistent and connect with something else on the page.

For example:

Scrapbook Layout Design Triangle Scrapbook Layout Design Triangle

On this scrapbook layout design the circle die-cuts, circle photo mats, and circle-shaped ladybug stickers all work with shape consistency to help each element on the page work with another. The red background paper was chosen because of its color consistency with the red in the photos.


Though it may sound crazy, using contrasting scrapbook embellishments and elements is another way to remain consistent. Contrasting items still help connect to each other. On the 'circles' layout above, the white die-cuts, stickers, and journaling box were added as contrast to the darkness of the grey, red, and black papers. Adding that touch of value (or degree of lightness and darkness) contrast allows certain elements of the page to really "pop" while the consistency mentioned earlier helps the whole page to flow together.

Consistency and contrast can be using in color, texture, and shape throughout a layout. Other ideas include:

  • Using varying colors of the same type of fiber throughout the layout.
  • Combining metal letters and shiny metallic paper elements one the same page.
  • Using the color wheel to incorporate complimentary and contrasting colors.
  • Finding buttons or ribbons that match those found on the cute outfits worn in the photos to attach to the page.
  • Rounding the corners on all photos on a layout as well as any journaling boxes.
  • Using the same paper to mat all the photos on a page, incorporating a second contrasting paper to double-mat the focal point photo.
  • Blocking with strips of paper that have the same colors, but varying pattern prints (from simple to very busy).

...This page to be expanded in the coming months to include specific unique ideas and sample layouts from regular scrapbook artists like you! We'll get inside their heads to discover where their scrapbook page ideas come from...

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A note on contrast: Avoid elements that are "almost" the same...if the color doesn't match exactly, it needs to be very different in order to create visual contrast. If you can't find the same woven fiber, try adding metal to create a textural contrast. If all your pictures are cropped into circles, don't use ovals as well...instead add a square or rectangular journaling block or title to create shape contrast.

Remember that maintaining balance is key. You don't want a page where everything is circle shaped and dark blue, with a woven texture. But neither do you want to offer so many contrasts that your page sends the viewer's head spinning. A good rule of thumb is to pick one element (two at most) and offer striking contrast while maintaining consistency among the other elements.

Be Careful!!!

Please do not overdo it with the "extras." More than one phenomenal scrapbook layout design has been ruined because the artist couldn't avoid adding those extra stickers or playing with her new stamps. When all else fails remember to


(Keep It Simple Sweetie!)

Everything you need to know about scrapbook embellishments
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