Five Essential Design Tips for Scrapbooking

by Megan Hoeppner
Five Essential Design Tips for Scrapbooking

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Welcome to the Creating Keepsakes magazine podcast! We bring you cool ideas & easy solutions for scrapbooking your memories.

Hi. I'm Megan Hoeppner, creative editor for Creating Keepsakes scrapbook magazine. Today we're going to go over five essential design tips for scrapbooking.

But first, this podcast is sponsored by Club CK, a dynamic online community where scrapbookers flock for creative inspiration. Share your scrapbook layouts, participate in fun challenges and contests, and learn cool scrapbooking tips today at


And now, Five Essential Design Tips for Scrapbooking.

You don't have to be an expert on design to create stunning scrapbook layouts, but having a little designer know-how can definitely make the difference between a page that's ho-hum and one that's knock-your-socks-off good! Let's discuss a few tricks of the trade regarding balance, margins, unity, repetition, and color choice. By understanding a few simple pointers in these areas, you'll find those socks of yours knocked off in no time!

1.      Find Balance. Just as achieving a balanced life is a good goal, so is achieving a balanced scrapbook design. This can be done both symmetrically and asymmetrically.

a.       Symmetry: This is just a fancy way of saying "even." To see if your layout's design is even, imagine a vertical line down the center and see if the placement and size of your page elements is equal on both sides.

b.      Asymmetry: Keeping with our line-down-the-middle approach, take another layout and draw that line. This time, the elements don't line-up. Does this mean your page is unbalanced? Not necessarily. Your design placement can be unequal and still be balanced with an asymmetrical approach. You won't have a mirror image but your elements, and the space around them, are still balanced by using any of our following tips.

2.      Make Sense of Margins. As insignificant as they may seem, margins in and around your layout actually hold a great deal of design power. The trick is common margins, or margins that are equal in distance between your various page elements. Margins that are same width throughout your page, or an area of your page (such as the outer border), will leave your layout feeling polished.  

3.      Understand Unity. Let's call this the kumbaya of scrapbooking, because it's all about harmony and how your page elements work together. If you find something on your layout is sticking out like a sore thumb, odds are it isn't supporting your otherwise unified design. Maybe it's floaty and isolated, in which case you can bring it in closer to the rest of your page-make it part of the group. Or, there's that one pink rhinestone on your otherwise masculine design. If that's the case, remove it, replace it, or disguise it for a quick fix. Select page elements that work well together and group them in a way that supports your story and leads the eye around your page. Do this, and unified happiness will be yours. 

4.      Work with Repetition. Here's an idea that's worth repeating-repetition makes for easy-to-follow scrapbook pages. Why? Repetition helps form a pattern with your design, which helps it look and feel cohesive. Try repeating colors, products, sizes, shapes, or even techniques. You'll create rhythm on your layout as things are repeated, and your eye will naturally flow across your page.

5.      Create with Color. When it comes to scrapbooking, it's all about letting those true colors shine through, but there are times when choosing the right shades can be challenging. Here's a little color coaching: Start by looking at the photos you intend to scrapbook. Is there a dominant color combination present? If so, let that determine your hues. Or, consider your theme when picking your palette. Doing a page about a new baby girl? Emerald green may not be the way to go. Finally, pay close attention to how your colors work together. If your patterned paper is bold and bright, steer clear of muted earth tones.


There you have it-tips for working with balance, margins, unity, repetition, and color. There are naturally going to be times when these principles won't apply, but, as a general rule of thumb, they are excellent tips to keep in mind as you create. They're easy to follow and will leave you with pages to be proud of, so go ahead and strut your design stuff...with or without those socks!  


That's all for today. Visit us online at for more scrapbooking tips & solutions or to subscribe to our magazine. And be sure to visit our sponsor site, to gather with other scrapbookers for even more creative inspiration.

If you have a question or a topic you'd like us to cover on the Creating Keepsakes podcast, email us at

And remember: when you scrapbook, you're not only sharing your story, you're creating keepsakes.

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