There are six main elements in a scrapbooking layout. A scrapbooking page usually includes photos, matting, a title, journalling, embellishments, borders.
Photo or Photos
Photos are the backbone of your layout. A scrapbooking layout has at least one photo depicting an event or feeling. Use only your best photos as poor (eg out of focus, badly framed, distracting backgrounds) detract from the overall effect.
Matting refers to a piece of cardstock used to accentuate a photo. The cardstock is placed underneath the photo to create an all-around border effect. This helps the photo stand out from other elements in the layout and therefore grab the viewer's attention.
Matting the focal point photo is a very effective technique to add interest to your page. Or you can choose to matt all the photos in the layout and either add a different colour of matt to your focal point photo or double or triple matt it for emphasis. Plain or patterned paper can be used depending on the effect you want.
Choose your title carefully. A good title sums up or highlights the theme of the page. It should be snappy and add punch to your page. Simple words, phrases, place names, names of people and sayings can all be used successfully as titles.
A title can be placed in many different positions on the page not just in the top position. The point of a title is to catch the attention of anyone looking at your page. A title is an important element as it helps to add balance to your page. Our eyes are used to scanning a page for the title so place your title in a position that will draw the viewer's eye to it.
Titles can made out of just about anything. Beginner scrapbookers will find stickers, die cuts, stencils, cut outs and computer generated fonts are all good for titling. Consider using your own handwriting for a more personal touch.
Journalling expands or explains the story depicted in your photos. It fills in the details for anyone looking at your pages. For this reason your journalling should cover the bases so that the viewer will be informed about what is occurring in the photos without having to ask the what, why, when, who and how types of questions. Short descriptions, letters, captions, quotes, song lyrics, poems and verses are all possible journalling mediums.
Journalling can be set out in a variety of effective ways. The easiest method for the beginner is to write directly on the background paper. Other choices include writing in journaling boxes using cardstock and on patterned papers, vellum or other textured papers. If you need to keep your journalling more private consider placing it in a pocket on the page.
Scrapbooking pages can be accented with a variety of embellishments. These add interest and highlight the page visually. Types of suitable embellishments include stickers, buttons, ribbons, brads, eyelets, silk flowers, and slide mounts to name a few. Embellishments are most effective when kept to a minimum. Be careful not to overshadow your photos and journalling with too many embellishments which take the viewer's attention from the page.
Photo corners can add another decorative element to your pages. When placed at each corner of the photo they help to draw the viewer's eye to the photo. Ribbons and brads can also be used to create a similar focal point.
Borders can be added to the sides, top and bottom of the layout to add visual interest. Decorative borders can be created out of many materials including cardstock, patterned paper, fabric, tags, charms, metal and many more.
Now that you have learned the elements that make up a scrapbooking layout you are now ready to have some fun creating your scrapbooking pages.