De-cluttering scrapbook pages

By Diane Haddad Premium

A Star Is Born
Do your scrapbooks suffer from cluttered-page syndrome? You know, the awkward arrangement, mismatched colors and overcrowding that detract from even your best photos? One way to conquer the clutter is with a focal point that guides the eye to the most important part of the page-a favorite photo, a child’s drawing, or whatever you choose. This is the “star” of the page. Think of other photos and mementos as supporting actors, and die-cuts, stickers and lettering as extras.

To make sure nothing outshines your star, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Use subtle background paper and keep lettering simple.
  2. Crop the starring item larger than the others and mat or frame it for emphasis.
  3. Resist the temptation to crowd as many photos, clippings and decorations as possible onto a page. Call it a good excuse to create more pages!
  4. Borrow a technique from the fine-art world: Mentally divide the page into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Place the “star” anywhere the imaginary lines intersect.
  5. If the subjects of a photo are looking to the side, place the photo so they face the center of the page rather than the edge.

Wanting “More”
Looking for inspiration? More than Memories II, edited by Julie Stephani, is a companion to the PBS series of the same name. The 128-page book goes beyond scrapbooking to suggest more creative ideas for preserving and displaying treasured family photos. It covers the basics-supplies, page layouts, journaling-plus embellishments such as photo tinting, pop-up pages and stenciling. Color photos and step-by-step instructions with supply lists explain more than 125 heirloom projects, including scrapbook pages, cards, frames and even a ribbon-embroidered photo pillow. Beginning and veteran scrapbookers alike will refer to More Than Memories II again and again for how-tos and ideas. Suggested retail price is $16.95. For more information or to order, call Krause Publications, (800) 258-0929, or visit on the Web.

Get into Shape
Crop photos into your favorite shapes with one tool-without tracing on your photos or risking scissors slip-ups. The Ovals & More Cutter cuts photos into more than 70 shapes, including: oval; circle; “country” heart; square, triangle, diamond and pentagon (all with rounded corners); and a teardrop and rounded-corner rectangle. The starter kit, which includes the cutter and cams for the oval and circle, costs $79.99. For more information, call Lighthouse Memories, (909) 429-9288.

Photo Frenzy
You probably have a stack (or maybe a stack of boxes) of extra photos that haven’t gone into albums or frames. Here are some ideas to rescue them from your closet:

  • Create a photo display under a glass tabletop.
  • Make a mini-scrapbook as a gift for someone special.
  • Create personalized holiday cards.
  • Send them to grandparents for their scrapbooks.
  • Let your kids make their own scrapbooks.
  • Make a collage, or cut photos into same-size squares and arrange them into a photo mosaic.
  • Decoupage them onto a dresser, keepsake box, headboard-anything!
  • Using photo-transfer fluid (available at craft and hobby stores), turn a T-shirt or canvas-covered journal into a treasured memento.