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Scrapbook Layout Ideas: The Perfect Page Using The Rule of Three

Scrapbook Layout Ideas: The Perfect Page Using The Rule of Three

We all know what a fabulous pastime scrapbooking is – not only does it enable you to capture family memories, special events and cherished photos in a way that can be looked back on and enjoyed for years to come, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to get crafty and unleash your creativity! But what do you do when you look at a totally blank 12” x 12” page?  Do you sometimes wonder where on earth to begin?  Or what kind of scrapbook layout would work best for your photos? If you have ever suffered from blank-page block, then fear not! The fantastic Shabneez Khan-Muztar has broken down, step by step, exactly how to create the perfect scrapbook page layout,  just by following her simple tips below…

Choosing Your Photos:

To begin your scrapbook layout you should pick a single photo, or a selection of photos.  I find it makes it easier to then decide on your theme once you have chosen your photo/s.  Nowadays, it is very easy to print photos from home using your printer, and you can resize your photos – or even make them different shapes – to make your layout more interesting!  Here’s an example of a layout I did using a circular die to cut out my photo:

Paper Size:

You don’t have to use 12” x 12” papers! One of the things you could do is use a smaller sheet of paper for your layout, such as 8” x 8” or A4.  Of course, the size of paper you use would depend on the size of your photo.  You’ll see I’ve used a mixture of A4, 8” x 8” and 12” x 12” on my examples.

The Rule of Three:

Once the photos have been chosen, I tend to follow these simple rules to help with setting out my layout.  These rules are particularly useful when you are first starting out.  Combined with the additional tips, they’ll have you scrapbooking like a pro in no time at all!

First Rule of Three – Colour

The first of the rules talks about colours, and how, by using 3 colours, your layout will be more pleasing to the eye.  So basically, you choose a main colour, a secondary colour that will work with the main colour, and then an accent colour.

You can see with my example above how I’ve used the snowman paper which has grey in the background as my main colour, the teal as my secondary colour and the red as my accent colour.

As I’ve used a printed paper for the background, you can choose any two of the other colours in the background, as they will complement the others.

Tip: If you use papers from one paper pad, with a variety of designs, it will make choosing the colours that complement each other much easier.

Second Rule of Three – Page Thirds

Now we have our photo/s picked, and our colours and papers ready… where do we lay it all out?  What you can do to help, is imagine your paper is split into a grid like the one below. The points at which the lines cross, and where I have placed blue dots, is where you can place your photo/s.

By placing your photo on one of the blue dots it automatically makes it more pleasing to the eye.  Once you’ve put placed your photo in position, you can start building around it.

Tip: Once you’ve built up your page, take a photo of it so that you can ensure everything is in place before you stick it down.  The photo also makes you see your layout from a different perspective.

This layout shows how I’ve placed my photo, so that it overlaps 2 of the blue dots on my grid.

The layout template above shows another way of using more than one photo, combined with the same rule of thirds.  You can see here how 3 photos have been used, and all of them are placed on the blue dots.


On the scrapbook layout template above you can see the same concept used once again with 4 photos.

Third Rule of Three – Embellishments

This rule makes me smile, as I am a huge fan of embellishments – and it certainly doesn’t mean you can only use three embellishments!  Again, it’s about what pleases the eye the most, and clusters of 3 work well.  Personally, I tend to find any odd number cluster works.  You’ll see on my layout below how I’ve used 3 photos with flags, and 5 punched flowers using both the negative and positive of the shape.

A couple more layout samples below show odd numbers of embellishments being used:


Tip: With embellishments, I would recommend the ‘less is more’ rule, whereby even a single embellishment can bring a page to life as opposed to using 10 which would detract from your photo.

After writing this, I went back over layouts I’d done in the past only to find that I had been following this rule and didn’t even know about it at the time!  I suspect you too will find the same!

Adding to The Memories:

Scrapbook layouts are most often used as keepsakes – for example, to show the milestones in a person’s life from baby to adulthood. I know of many people who gift these albums to their children when they turn 18! What a wonderful array of memories you would have to look back on and pass on to future generations as well.

You can personalise a baby layout even further by adding little envelopes with a first tooth or a lock of hair, a hair bow or something else personal.  A sample layout template is shown below:

Travel is another idea that people just love to document, and there’s plenty of scope to get creative! Instead of just a photo album, you can add ticket stubs as additional memories from the day

Another idea is to use a variety of photos from your travels as a background, adding a main one with you in it, as in the sample layout template below:

Weddings are another favourite to put into an album and you can include a dried flower from your floral arrangement, ribbon from the cake or even some of the confetti as a shaker element!  Oh and don’t forget that all important invitation, save the date card and a table card!  These are even more important to keep if you’ve made them yourself.

Tip: Make your scrapbook layout personal to you by adding items from the day that you’ve kept alongside your photos.

I hope this post has shown how simple scrapbooking can be once you have a method in place.  Above all, have fun creating and recording those memories!




Lisa at Create & Craft