Introduction: Composing & Embellishing a Scrapbook

This instructable will provide you with lots of ideas for how you might want to layout and embellish a page in your scrapbook. I've found that with many of the page designs, I drew inspiration from the pictures themselves when deciding how to compose them. 

In the different steps I'd like to provide an overview for all the different techniques and materials that you can use to make your scrapbook one of a kind!

Here is a summary of the topics I'll describe:

* heat & dry embossing
* adding embellishments
* layering different types of paper
* using other materials to create borders and add interest

Also, you'll notice that many of the photos and messages are replaced with a space for a template. This scrapbook was a gift so I wanted to keep some of it private. I've edited it so that it serves as a template but I hope you still have an idea for what the final product looks like.

I hope you have a good experience making your scrapbook! I thoroughly enjoyed putting this one together :)

Step 1: Supplies

The basics you'll need:

glue stick
printed photos
paper cutter

I purchased my scrapbook from Michael's arts and crafts store. It's 8" by 8" in size and came with clear, protective page covers. I also purchased some extra pages to insert and expand the scrapbook.

The paper you choose is the next major decision that you'll need to make. I purchased a packet of textured paper and another in a color pallet that I liked. I also purchased a few extra sheets of paper that are 'specialty' paper. For example, one is very sparkly when looked at from a certain angle and another is made up of pressed flowers.

Step 2: Determining What Story & How You Want to Tell It

After selecting your photos, ordering them, and printing them, it's now up to you to decide how you'd like to tell your story. In other words, what would be the best way to arrange them in the scrapbook and which and how many pictures you want to go on each page.

In the attached photo you can see that I chose to organize my photos into small piles and in order (moving left to right). This helped me to plan everything before placing them onto the pages and having to move them around again.

Step 3: First Page

The first page in a scrapbook is important as it sets the stage for the rest of the book. For the first page in my scrapbook, I decided to write a handwritten message. 

Step 4: Layout Ideas

Here you can see some of the different ways that I chose to layout and decorate the pages. In later steps I'll go into specifics about how I created certain designs.

In some cases, the photo is front and center. In others there are multiple pictures of different sizes on a page. It's all up to you!

Step 5: Layering and Incorporating Different Types of Paper

As I mentioned before, I purchased some 'specialty' paper that I used in decorating the pages. In the first two images you can see that I used a strip of the sparkly paper in the design.

In the second example from my scrapbook, you can see that I used some of the paper made from crushed flowers and arranged it in a geometric way.

Step 6: Using Different Materials in Decorating a Page

When creating this page I was inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. I wanted to create a border for the photo that was unique. I discovered that I liked the effect of folding over a piece of golden ribbon. I especially liked the sheer and different gradients of color that it created. The square pieces of paper on the corners are made of the golden sparkly paper.

Step 7: Heat Embossing

Heat embossing is a technique to create beautiful and professional looking designs that are raised from the paper. You can use stamps or use a pen and draw the designs on your own. The basic approach is that you use a stamp and make an imprint on your paper with the embossing solution. Then, you cover it with embossing powder and use a heat gun to melt the powder into the permanent design.

I found a great description and step by step instructions here:

You can see that I used this technique to create patterns or just interesting decorations for the pages. In one instance I used this technique to create a border around a photo. I also used the glue pen to freehand a design of the Space Needle (in the photo we're eating lunch at the top of the Space Needle so it was very fitting.)

Step 8: Paper (dry) Embossing

For this type of embossing I have a small embossing device which compresses a layer of paper and the design form together, creating an imprint of the design into the paper.

Step 9: Embellishments

Embellishments are small extra bits of decoration that you can add to your scrapbook pages. They can be decorative items like shapes, jewels, stickers, etc.... 

You can make your own or purchase some. I purchased a set from Michael's of some shapes/decorations themed for Boston. I also had some paper ornament shapes which worked well for a Christmas theme. I made the 'sending love your way' envelop with hearts myself.

You can also bejewel your scrapbook, you can see that I added some tiny jewels in different design patterns.

Step 10: Step Back and Admire Your Work!

Stamping & Scrapbooking Contest

Participated in the
Stamping & Scrapbooking Contest