Sunday 23 December 2012

How to: begin making layouts !

Hello there! It's me Ujjwal today with an inspiration post for this month's challenge at lulupu.

I know most of us are card makers here and we hardly venture into scrapbooking. I am a beginner too but ever since my baby girl came into this world, I have been inspired everyday to make more layouts and preserve every little detail of her life.

I thought I'd share today whatever little I know and do when I make layouts. I hope you will find this post helpful.

So let's begin and make a layout :)

Choosing the pictures
The first step is always about choosing the pictures you want to scrap and there is no right or wrong here. Chose pictures that you like or that tell your favorite story.
For today's LO, I picked up a picture of my daughter and my husband playing on a weekend morning.

Remember scrapbooking is not just about preserving the pictures. It's also about preserving the story behind them.

Editing the pictures

Don't be afraid to edit your pictures! Add a little effect using Photoshop or any other software you are comfortable with. Change the hues, crop, make them black and white. Just a little bit of editing can make your picture stand out.

For e.g. I added a few effects and cropped the picture before printing it out and using it on my LO today.

You get the idea, right?

Your pictures don't have to be rectangular or square in shape all the time.Get creative and don't shy away from cutting your photos - use your circle punch, use your dies or cut out the figure outline just like Shruti did in her adorable layout HERE. So much fun!

Printing the pictures

In today's world of digital photography, we do not often have photo prints with us all the time ready to go on the layout.

There's nothing better than printing the photos from the comfort of your home as and when you want. But if you are like me, who do not own a printer just yet, you might find it easy to use an online printing service rather than visiting a printing studio.

There are lots of online photo printing websites out there (you can use Google to get the idea) but I have had the chance to try two websites and I thought I will pass on my experience to you.

Note: This review is based on my personal experience and in no way am I getting paid to say good and/or bad things about the two websites.

The first ever online printing service I tried was and I was impressed.
Good Points:
Great paper quality, Fabulous packaging, Fast Shipping(arrives the very next day most of the time).
The best part is that they have photo editing options(lots of them) right on the website, so you can upload your pictures first and then edit them the way you like just before printing. Pretty Cool !!

Not so good points:
High shipping charges  (But they often issue discounts and free shipping coupons. Subscribe to their newsletter :))

The second online printing service I tried and I wasn't that much impressed. Only good point was that they offer prints in 3.5X5 size which is not available at most of the other places.


Foundations of the layout
Now that you have the photos all printed and ready to be scrapped, here are the things that might be helpful

 Even though 12 X 12 is a preferred and most popular layout size, don't be restricted to itTry different sizes for layouts but make sure you can find a page protector of that size to put your layout in. Some of the sizes other than 12X12, that page protectors come in and I know of, are:

So you do have lots of options there!

+ Color scheme
Pick the main colors such that they go with your picture, for e.g. in my layout below I picked the pink to be the main colors of my layout because that easily goes with the picture.

Or pick a color combo from any of the many challenge sites, that compliments the picture you have chosen. Those color combos always work :)

Almost anything and everything works on a neutral base(white, black, kraft, etc), so go with these when in doubt.

+ Sketch
It is always a good idea to start with a sketch. Make your own or pick one from one of the challenge sites like I did for my layout below. Use as many components from the sketch as you are comfortable with. For e.g.  I picked the sketch from Creative Scrappers blog for today's LO but used only one picture instead of three.

+ Embellishments & Techniques
Buy ready made or make your own, add none or go crazy with them! There's no limit to this part! Remember you can incorporate almost all the techniques from card making into scrapbooking - stamping, paper piecing, stitching, misting, layering, embossing, distressing, punch craft  - anything and everything you are comfortable with.

I used distressing, machine stitching and layering as main techniques in my LO today. For embellishments, I created my own ribbon flowers but also used a lot of stickers from the kit.

+ Journaling
This is probably the hardest part mostly because we do this at the end and there are so many chances of going wrong with it.
The safest way probably is to type out your journaling on the computer and take a print to use on your LO but if you decide to hand write it, make sure you are very clear on what you want to right. What I do is - write on a scrap piece of paper first and then copy it down on LO - believe me it's the best way :)

So there you have it - A few simple things to keep in mind when starting out to make a LO.

Storing your layouts
Now that you have an LO ready, the next question is how to store it.

I prefer storing my layouts in page protectors which are then tucked neatly inside the American Crafts D-ring albums. These albums are sturdy and the D-ring makes them lay flat on the surface when opened and allows pages to be turned with ease. Each album will store approximately 35-40 layouts and comes with 10 protectors(You can always buy more page protectors separately). Currently I am using this Chestnut cloth D-ring album to hold my baby layouts.

But if you do not want to spend on buying an album, you always have the option to make one from scratch (just like I did here) but I will still recommend you to buy page protectors. They will keep the layouts safe for a life time to come.

And, if you have made it till the end of this post, here is my layout for you as a little treat :D

Just a fun little layout of my daughter(6 months old today :)) and  my dear husband, having some fun on a lazy weekend morning. Notice how I have used some effects on the picture to tone it down and make it look softer before getting it printed.  This layout was a piece of cake using this awesome American Crafts Baby Scrapbooking kit.

(Click on the picture to go the site link)

A few tips to remember
+ Always use products(papers, embellishments, etc) that are acid free and archival quality. You would want to keep the layouts safe for a long time to come. After all it's all about preserving memories.

+ Always use a photo safe glue when working with the pictures. I prefer using Tombow liquid glue linked below.

+ Store your layouts in page protectors always.

+ If you are a beginner it's a good idea to invest in scrapbooking kits like THIS one. Kits make it easier as they are color coordinated for you.

I hope you find this post useful and are inspired to create a layout and enter this month's challenge. There's still some time left.


  1. wow ...this s excellent class.seems like i am in lecture hall with each and every detail.thanks a lot.

  2. Wow...Ujjwal! Such an informative post...U made to think much about LO for my little one now :) Thanks much again for coming up with this post!

  3. Such a beautiful LO Ujjwal...your daughter looks just adorable :)...Thank you so much for the detailed post on how to go about creating a Lo ...its really helpful :)

  4. Hey Ujjwal I just loved your post, thank you so much for sharing....this will surely help me make a start

  5. Ujjwal what a wonderful post.Every once in a while we come across blog posts that are pure gems...this is one such post especially to me as I have no idea of scrapbooking but fervently wish to start it!!
    Could you please update where page protectors are available

  6. Very beautiful post Ujjwal. Appreciate your efforts

  7. Fantastic post.Very informative for beginners like me.You have covered each and every aspect of scrapbooking and thats really required because although simple scrapbooking overwhelms beginners.


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