There are many approaches when it comes to making digital scrapbook layouts. Just like photography, there are many styles, variations in process, and reasons to create. Some enthusiasts craft pages to keep their memories, others see scrapping as a way to heal, and others find it a perfect outlet for artistic expression. So, when readers emailed and asked me to demonstrate how to make a page, I wondered how I’d go about such a project. Then, I thought, I’ll just explain that there is no right way — or, single way — to create pages. From there, I decided I’d share the one approach I know best: My own.
My scrapbooks are collections of memories, artistic and not, filled with photographs and words that represent my family’s journey through life. What seems to be consistent throughout them is that I use the computer often and I follow a process.
Story to Layout: A Process
In general, I start with a story and an illustration. While there are some stories without photographs (and I’ve illustrated them in other ways), most of my layouts are illustrated and inspired by photos (not surprising since I’m a photography nut!). Then, I’ll:
- Sketch out a plan for my page and arrange it in a way that supports the mood and themes of my story. I might make notes on the sketch, too, with color and line ideas. It just depends on the layout.
- Create a template in Photoshop Elements — something I can save (as a PSD file) and use again. It almost always includes a title spot, a journal spot (i.e., a text box), and a date spot.
- Style the page with digital paper (a background) and elements (e.g., borders, swirls, overlays, digital stamps, etc.), choosing colors, type faces, lines, and so forth that help convey the meaning of my story.
What I love about creating my pages digitally, is that there are so many possibilities when it comes to sketches, templates, and supplies. Once you have them, you can modify them to fit your story (in terms of color, size, etc.). Plus, I can either make my own elements or purchase them from other designers. For example, Designer Digitals, my favorite resource, has a huge collection of templates, paper, and other elements.
Another great thing about digital scrapbooking is that there are lots of tutorials and classes on how to do it. For example, in Designing Storyboards, Diana Day shows how to use clipping masks and templates (the same method I use for my layouts) to create a multi-photo story. Indeed, there are a lot of great tutorials and tips on the site under the Scrapbooking category. Likewise, AliEdwards.com provides tutorials (including video tutorials) to help get you started and JessicaSprague.com offers online classes from beginner to advanced in digital scrapbooking. If you’re interested in digital scrapbooking, the possibilities are endless!
In Part 2 of this post, next week, I’ll share a video of my process — from sketch to completed layout.