Simple Scrapbooking

Do you page through scrapbooks and think, “I could never do that,” then try to find someone else to do it for you?

That used to be me.

For years I would flip through display scrapbooks at craft fairs or watch as my aunt painstakingly placed photos in handcrafted frames embellished with sequins and flocking powder, and beg her to make me a book. No way did I have the time, energy or creativity to replicate what I saw in those amazing memory books, so I didn’t.

Then, I had a child and I had less time, energy and creativity, but I desperately wanted to document her milestones, so I bit the bullet.

In the process I learned that you don’t have to weave gems into page designs or spend countless hours filling journaling blocks with perfect calligraphy in order to create a decent scrapbook. Simple layouts can be just as beautiful as elaborate ones. In fact, the more basic the design, the more the reader can focus on your pictures and mementos, and in the end that’s what a scrapbook is all about—telling a story with personal items, not enticing people to purchase fancy decorations.

My very first layout was as simple as it gets: Blue, white and green patterned background paper, photos matted with a coordinating solid and a matching journaling box. I added the photos to the page, jotted down a few anecdotes in the journaling block and I was done.

The next page design was just as simple. I created a page border by cutting page-length strips of solid cardstock approximately two inches wide and decorated them with stickers. I mounted the borders on the edge of my patterned background paper, added photos and created a journaling block with cardstock that complemented the patterned paper. It took me less than an hour to complete a double layout using the design and I still get compliments on it.

What are some of your favorite simple layouts?

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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.