Scrapbooking: Three Rules of Threes

Yes, scrapbooking has rules! Did I lose a lot of you with that? Rules are, of course, made to broken (in scrapbooking, anyway!), but the rule of threes has served artistically-challenged-me well. Things look better in threes, whether they’re embellishments, photos, or colors.

Your page design should lead the eye to three different spots, usually a triangle. Let’s say that you have a photo that you really like and want to include, but your subject is wearing a bright pink shirt. All the other photos that you want on the page have people in earth tones. Don’t despair! You can balance the page by adding in two more pink elements, set apart into a visual triangle. They need not be the same shape or size as the offending shirt, but should be a color near to it. Perhaps a tied ribbon, a flower, or even a journaling square. Anything that will keep the eye moving and not settling on the shirt.

There’s a photography rule of threes as well which works for scrapbooking, too. Take a look at your page and draw two imaginary vertical lines through it, cutting it into thirds. Now visually cut it into thirds horizontally. Your focal point should be at one of the four intersections. This applies to scrapbooking because your most important element should never be front and center – it should be at one of the four imaginary points instead. It’s all about keeping your eye moving. When you put something in the center, your eye will rest on it. If it’s something that you want to be the only focus or interest on the page, that’s okay. Otherwise, you want the whole page to be enjoyed.

The last rule of three is colors. No, you’re not limited to only three colors on a page, but there should be an identifiable main, secondary, and accent color. It’s the same as decorating your house. Too many main colors in a room (and on a page) are confusing. Better to choose those that best complement your furniture (or photos) in order to showcase them.

If you don’t follow the rule of threes, try it on a page. Think about the colors, embellishments, and placement. You might be surprised at how well it works.