Favorite Layouts

What is your all-time favorite scrapbook layout? Is it a page dedicated to the birth of your child? A layout of you and your spouse exchanging vows on your wedding day? Or one that includes the entire family during a holiday celebration?

One of my favorite, favorite, favorite layouts features my daughter’s first beach adventures. The photos of her frolicking in the waves are phenomenal, but the highlight of the page is the actual theme: “Message in a Bottle.”

I cut out frosted rice paper to form the shape of a huge bottle. Then, I filled it with some journaling and photos of my daughter at the beach. The layout also includes tiny origami fish, a sun made from scraps of orange patterned paper (which I muted by adding a layer of yellow chalk markings), mini postcards, and real sand, which I glued around the bottle.

I love the way it turned out. In fact, I used the same premise to frame other beach-theme photos in subsequent scrapbooks. It serves as a great layout for a variety of beach photos including:

Baby’s footprints in the sand


Kids splashing in the water

Kids collecting seashells

Sunset shots

Kids napping on a blanket under a big beach umbrella

Seagulls flying to the horizon during sunset

Kids eating ice cream in the sand

The beach is filled with amazing photo opportunities and those images can make for fantastic layouts. I know I was snap-happy during my daughter’s first trip to the beach. She was just six months old and we were visiting my parents in Hawaii for the first time since her birth. It was an amazing trip and I must have taken close to 200 photos of my little chunk as she explored her new surroundings. One of my favorite photos shows my daughter sitting on a sand throne wearing a huge sun hat. I used the shot in a layout that features the title: Queen of the Beach. The page includes glitter sand, some journaling in fancy font and a frame made entirely of crushed glass and tiny seashells.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.