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Scrapbook Design: The Ultimate Guide to Layouts & Fonts

Lesley Yarbrough April 12, 2024 · 10 min read

As the tradition of scrapbooking meets the digital age, the creative opportunities available for preserving memories have become nearly unlimited. Now, you can make use of electronic imagery and online storage to create and share scrapbooks in paper or digital form. Digital scrapbooking allows you to share your beautiful memories with any number of people, but you can also download and print out special designs, fonts and even photos.

Scrapbooking Experts to Learn From

Scrapbooking as an art form has been embraced and advanced by a diverse group of dedicated people whose work is now well-known. A few you may enjoy looking up include Heidi Swapp, who offers a range of design collections, tools and videos to inspire scrapbook makers. One of her proprietary tools is a foil applicator called the “MINC.”
Another source of scrapbook inspiration is Becky Higgins. Her Project Life offers a modular system “for getting your photos off your phone and computer, out of boxes, and into albums.”
Finally, check out the work of Teresa Collins. Teresa teaches workshops and seminars all over the world on the art of preserving memories beautifully, and her website features many papers, stickers and other items with which to build physical scrapbooks. Teresa states, “I constantly strive to ‘design’ my surroundings and memories so that they will never be forgotten.”

Printing Your Scrapbooks

Whether you assemble your scrapbooks online or sitting at a crafts table, chances are good that your project will involve some printing. You may want to invest in your own inkjet printer, although the quality of printers varies widely. If you plan to print high-quality photos, it’s smart to check reviews of inkjet printers from a reputable reviewer before purchasing. If you don’t want to be in charge of your own photo printing, you can get professional-quality results by uploading your digital image files to Shutterfly or Forever.


If you simply want prints of your photos mailed to you, Shutterfly is ready for your order. The company’s photobooks offer dozens of standard layout templates as well as various custom options. You can even lay out your digital scrapbook pages and have Shutterfly produce the entire physical book and as many copies as you’d like.


This site advertises its photo printing services specifically as a memory-keeping service. Like Shutterfly, Forever lets you edit and store photos on its site. In addition, Forever offers special scrapbooking features, including themed page templates, backgrounds and graphic embellishments. The company’s special scrapbooking software, Artisan 5, is available for PCs with 64-bit Windows operating systems.

How to Design a Scrapbooking Page

When you embark on the beautiful process of designing a scrapbook page, you’re assembling visual cues that will emphasize a certain aesthetic and emotional tone. You’re making a collage, choosing the images, colors, textures and words that will express and preserve an important era or event in someone’s life. Do you want vibrancy and excitement, all sharp edges, stars and brilliant colors? Or, do you desire a mood of vintage wistfulness with sepia tones, as if you were turning back the clock to a golden past? Here are 10 examples of inspiring scrapbook design to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Maggie Holmes displays a scrapbook page that looks like paper art dreaming of becoming a quilt. Her mosaic triangles of tonal paper are actually stitched to the scrapbook page with a sewing machine, and they give a charming handmade quality to the whole assembly. A drawing of a diamond, rendered in gold, crowns the whole page. It’s good to remember that when you download graphic clips, you can print them in any color you choose.


  • Continuing with the sewing theme, DIY Ready offers a beautifully pulled-together page on which a travel route is actually embroidered with thread onto a paper map. Furthermore, the page includes a heart-shaped outline around a photo that’s made by stitching colored buttons onto the page. The peach, pale green and red apple colors work together to make the whole creation well-coordinated. Travel graphics can complement a map-based design for your trip journal scrapbook.


  • This page from Studio Calico shows the innovative design choice of cutting photos into triangles before mounting them. The triangle theme extends into the background with repeating geometric clip art, and the random ink splatters on the background add an artistic rough edge.


  • On the Jillibean Soup blog , two appealing scrapbook design layouts appear. In addition to the photos, the blog lists all the components for each finished design, so you can get a sense of what types of products you can use to achieve professional-looking results.


  • The exceptional vintage mini album featured on the Graphic 45 site opens new doors for bookbinding possibilities. This gorgeous little album is actually bound with a spine of yellow pencils and a tape measure, and its artfully toned photos set off the whole vintage look. Neutral colors of kraft paper can unify a design that features sepia-toned vintage images.


  • The Teresa Collins design team created another mini album, lusciously layered with various sizes of paper in coordinating colors. The page on Teresa’s website includes a video showing how she assembled each page, and the album’s theme of celebrating the moment offers many inspiring possibilities.


  • For a leaner, more-sophisticated design look, check out Azzari Jarrett’s scrapbook. Assembling a “life book” for a whole year of family memories, Azzari focuses on clean scrapbooking fonts and bold, simple graphics.


  • This frosty pastel Christmas-themed scrapbook page in the gallery is a good reminder that winter holidays don’t always mean you have to reach for the reds, greens and Santas. The patterned paper background, bird image and snowy blossoms encourage a thoughtful moment of silence during a busy season.


  • Australian designer Mandy Melville features three very different child-oriented scrapbook pages on her blog. She explains how she created the embellishments and clustered decorations on each one, using a mixture of patterned paper and digital scrapbook fonts, as well as sequins, ribbons and wood veneer cutouts.


  • This distinctive “Beach Babes” vacation memory page by Miss Marnie B uses textured background paper to evoke the air of a laid-back seaside holiday. The added bits of wood, twine and cleverly collaged flip-flops set off the photos, and the unified color scheme tells you just what kind of an atmosphere surrounded this experience.


Tools You’ll Love for Scrapbooking

Paper and digital scrapbooking require different tools, of course, but many designers use a blend of both media types to achieve the greatest range of materials. Unless you have a box of already-printed photos that you’re planning to mount in your scrapbook, you’ll probably need to use a photo storage and printing service such as the aforementioned Shutterfly or Forever. These services can also help you make copies of old printed photos, even if you don’t have the negatives.
If, like many people, you’re starting with digital photos, you’ll need a photo editing program such as Adobe Creative Cloud, which offers Photoshop as well as its simpler sibling, Adobe Elements. If you don’t plan to do extensive photo editing, you can tweak and crop your photos using free tools at one of the photo printing services or use a free online tool such as Pixlr. Other physical tools you’ll need include acid-free adhesive, craft knives and scissors for paper trimming, and some type of album cover.

Popular Scrapbooking Page Layouts

You can download a template for scrapbooking layouts or simply make a sketch from an inspiring online example. offers thousands of layout examples you can follow, and Pinterest lets you view the basic underlying structure of hundreds of professional designer layouts. From there, the sky’s the limit.
To bring your scrapbook layout ideas to life, you can download frames and patterned digital papers, as well as stylish fonts, graphic clip art, textured paper and other elements. The magical thing about these digital artworks is that you can either use them online or print them out to use in your real-life paper creation. Using your photo editing software, you can also change colors to your liking before you print them out.

Tips for Preparing Photos for Your Scrapbook

Photos are always at the heart of a scrapbook, tugging at your memories and unifying all other mementos and design elements. For visual interest in your scrapbook, designers recommend that you select various views of your subject matter. For example, if you’re creating a baby album, you might include closeups of the baby’s hands and feet as well as classic portrait shots.
Even though services like Shutterfly, Forever, and many other cloud-based storage services will store digital copies of your photos indefinitely, it’s important to think of your scrapbooks as physical keepsakes. The paper you choose for your album should be archival-quality and acid free, and any adhesive you use should be approved for long-term use with photos. Some scrapbookers prefer to use archival polyester photo sleeves or photo corners rather than adhesive for their photos.
To prepare digital photos for inclusion in your scrapbook, use photo editing software to crop out or blur distracting items in the background. You can also use image layers (a very useful tool in Photoshop) to collage a number of photos into one single image. Basic photo editing software lets you brighten and adjust the color saturation of an image, as well as change the contrast and eliminate the “red eye” effect. That’s only the beginning, however; image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop has filters and enhancement tools that can change the entire appearance of a photo.

Photo Actions

Photoshop’s sophisticated functions are virtually limitless, and designers have established certain “actions,” or patterns, that you can purchase and plug into your version. Creative Market offers an extensive selection of these time-saving photo actions, each developed to create a certain aesthetic. For examples, you can adjust wedding photos with a suite of Vintage Wedding Photo Actions or create a fun summertime look for your kids’ photos by adding a Bubbles Photoshop Overlay.

Scrapbooking Fonts

Diversity, contrast, and ornaments are all important aspects to consider when selecting fonts for your scrapbooking layouts. You can find great font families to design with right here:

More Links

If you spend some time browsing scrapbook blogs, designs and tools online, you’ll find that this art form has developed a true depth and sophistication. Creative Market designers share some of their inspirational insights in articles such as “20 Signs You Might be a Designer” and “Lessons in Creativity from Mark Twain.” Many busy designers post heartwarming and informative blogs, showing their work and talking about how they develop original scrapbook ideas. Take a stroll through Gallery Standouts for some of today’s most cutting-edge approaches, or click into the blog of an up-and-coming young designer like Heather Ulmer.
Once you start to preserve your memories through the complex and thrilling medium of scrapbooking, you may discover that you’re captivated by its magnetic pull. If you find yourself developing your very own fonts, backgrounds, clip art or vectors (design elements), you’ll likely be eager to share them with other scrapbook makers. Creative Market offers a marketplace for the content you produce, providing you with powerful, instant access to over 2 million potential customers. Learn more about opening a Creative Market shop today.

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About the Author
Lesley Yarbrough

Tinkerer. Maker of quirky fonts with a sprouty disposition.

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