Have you ever made a quick scrapbook layout? Feels like those two words aren’t meant to go together, quick and scrapbook layout.. am I right?!? Scrapbooking can take a lot of time and creative energy. But it doesn’t have to! With just a few simple steps and FREE printable planning sheet, I’m going to show you how to be successful at making your own quick scrapbook layouts. (And this is coming from a recovering scrapbook procrastinator!) Read on to find out more plus get the free printable at the bottom of this post.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I will earn a small commission to help keep my blog up and running but it won’t cost you a penny more). Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
If you are anything like me, or how I used to be, it would take me 5 or more hours to finish a scrapbook layout. (Crazy, right?) No matter how many photos, style of scrapbooking, or where I was creating, I would inevitably spend multiple hours fussing over a layout. But NOT anymore! I’ve used the 4 steps below to keep myself on track and practice making quick and beautiful scrapbook layouts.
Step 1: Give Yourself Time Limits To Plan Scrapbook Layouts
This first step is KEY to accomplish a quick scrapbook layout. Whether or not you consider this step to prepare a part of the total time to finish a layout or not, it is a HUGE time suck. Give yourself time limits while choosing photos, supplies, and finding sketches or ideas.
Set a timer on your phone, computer, or even on your microwave! Give yourself no more than 15 minutes for each step. You would be surprised at how long you spend sorting through supplies, photos, idea books, and Pinterest.
Limit Time to Gather Photos
For photo gathering, try to keep your photos organized and in one space. If you print them to scrapbook later, be sure to label them or make a list where you stored them. Don’t spend hours searching through your photos. Grab the ones you want to use and set aside all of the others so they won’t be a distraction. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself down memory lane an hour later and no photos scrapbooked!
Limit Your Supplies
This one can be tough, because collecting scrapbook supplies is just as fun as using those supplies. I can’t just hoard the beautiful things, I need to use them. Gather a handful of papers, embellishments, die-cuts, and whatever else you love to use to start. If you have more than a handful of each, then it’s time to cut down on the options. Limiting your choices will actually make you more productive because you won’t experience decision fatigue (this is a real thing!)
If you are using Project Life kits or other pocket page kits, then I suggest parsing down your options as well. Sort through the deck of cards you have on hand and pull out your favorites. Call it good if you’ve gathered 10-15 cards so you have some choice, but you aren’t overwhelmed with the options.
Tip: Do Your Scrapbook Supplies Need a Good Sort?
Are your supplies all over the place? Or maybe you just don’t remember what you have anymore? If you are currently organizing your craft space (or need to), consider checking out my tips on how to Use Up Your Scrapbooking Stash. This method definitely helps you to be more prepared for projects by putting together kits ahead of time.
Limit Your Creative Ideas & Inspiration Time
Limit your time to come up with some creative inspiration, sketches to follow, or scrolling Pinterest for ideas. Especially with Pinterest, you can get lost scrolling through Pinterest and before you know it, you are ready to repaint your house and make 40 freezer meals for less than $20. But you probably haven’t found that great sketch or idea. Try to stay focused if you search online and when using Pinterest. Keep to your single search and save images to a board for that layout, then stop there! Maybe you already have a scrapbook design board, just start there instead of searching Pinterest. If you don’t have a board already on Pinterest, you can check out my mine for ideas.
If you have them on hand, look through old scrapbook magazines. Or check out new online scrapbook magazines, Instagram scrapbookers, or idea pages on Scrapbook.com. I still find inspiration looking at old scrapbook magazines.
Tip: How to Get Rid of Distractions While You Scrapbook
Do you struggle with focusing while you scrapbook? Are you overwhelmed or distracted by things around you? Check out my article that has 5 Easy Ways to Stop Scrapbooking Overwhelm.
Step 2: Sketch Your Design using a Scrapbook Planning Sheet
I always thought that sketching wasn’t for me, but just putting pencil to paper has really helped me. I use my Project Planning worksheet to sketch my design and it helps to see it before I start working on my layout. (Get the password to my resource library that includes this worksheet and other free content at the bottom of this post.)
Sometimes, just a visual of the creative inspiration isn’t quite enough, so sketching out the project or making notes about what elements you want to use can be helpful. It also is a great place to practice your journaling, make any notes, and write anything down. This helps when you might not be able to finish your layout in one sitting or have to come back to it down the road.
If you haven’t tried it before, go ahead and sketch out your layout for your next scrapbook page!
Step 3: Scrapbook Your Layout
With my limited supplies on hand and all distractions removed from my area, I got to work. I stayed focused and used my sketch to lay everything out. As I brought the page to life, I added a few different elements and made some changes compared to my original sketch. But that’s OK! The sketch is your starting point and it’s ok to make some changes.
I didn’t focus on the exact placement of my elements, I just wanted to get everything laid out. Once I had all of the elements where I wanted them to go, I started attaching each layer. First the main photo, then the other elements next. Then the embellishments, journaling card, ribbon, title, distress ink around my die-cuts and adding the date. And after everything was attached, I was able to call it good!
Nothing extravagant or extra fancy, but beautiful, simple, and just my style! My advice is to do what makes you love your layout and to not get stuck in a creative block. If you like the embellishment, then use it. If it doesn’t seem to work, set it aside and keep moving on.
If you want to know more about the products I used, I tried to link as many as I could find. However, many of the items are no longer available since some came in kits from quite a few years ago (#scrapbookhoarder)
- My Minds Eye Ooh La La for Him Kit (from 2009, but you can still find it online)
- Playful paper (notebook paper background)
- Frivolous paper (green hexagon pattern)
- Circles die-cut border strip (dark brown connected circles)
- Journaling die-cut card (neutral card with blue and yellow border)
- Ticket die-cut (neutral with yellow dots)
- Mini tag die-cut (light aqua)
- Bracket die-cut (dark blue)
- Yellow mustard velvet ribbon
- Wood veneer #truestory and geo-tag heart bubbles (from Studio Calico subscription kit supplies from 2015/2016)
- Project Planning sketch sheet (FREE in my resource library, get the password at the bottom of this post)
- Tim Holtz distressing ink – walnut stain distress ink
- Tim Holtz ink blending tool & foam refills
- Xyron 1.5 Inch Sticker Maker
- Black cardstock
- Black pen (my new favorite from LittleCraftPlace)
Step 4: Clean Up and Your Done with Your Quick Scrapbook Page
Now that you are done with your layout, you can do a little clean up. This will only take a few minutes because you planned ahead and limited your supplies. Don’t forget to put your layout into a scrapbook protector, or get it somewhere on display to enjoy! If you are looking to catch up on your scrapbooks, use this method to plan and create your layouts faster. You could also consider batching each step if you are working on a large scrapbook project.
With these steps and the Scrapbook Planning worksheet, you will be successful in making your own quick scrapbook layouts. Sign up below to get the printable worksheet. It’s available in my FREE Resource Library that I created just for subscribers to my newsletter.
Do you have any other tips you use to make quick layouts? Leave a comment below and let me know what works for you!