Scrapbook Ideas: Variation on a Scheme

Scrapbook ideas for simplicity.
I love classical music. Did you know that Beethoven’s 5th Symphony is the most recognized piece of classical music ever composed? You know the one—I’ll bet you’re humming it in your head right now. Did you also know that the entire symphony is composed of variations on the initial theme? While classical compositions are divided into a variety of sections or movements, some fast and some slow, scrapbooks are separated into a variety of schemes. A page scheme is the way the elements on a page are arranged.

One of scrapbook ideas is to help you streamline the process of scrapbooking. By helping you get your layouts done quickly, you can focus on creating theme scrapbooks that can then become your own family “classics.”

 As a long time chronological scrapbooker, I had an ideas that each scrapbook layout I created had to be completely different than any other. With all the photos I have to scrapbook, this way of thinking was eating up hours of precious scrapbooking time. As I reviewed my favorite layouts, I realized if a specific page scheme worked once, why couldn’t it work again? It certainly worked for Beethoven! I would simply vary the elements of each scheme to fit the theme and feel of each scrapbook layout.

I put my scrapbook theory to the test using the scheme from a layout I love (Figure 1a). I chose other photos with the same vertical orientation, and by changing just a few simple elements—but sticking with the same basic scheme or arrangement—I was able to complete three additional layouts in record time, each having a uniquely different feel(Figures 1b–1d). Chances are, no one will even notice the variation on the scheme because the pages will be dispersed throughout my albums.

Variety in the Scheme of Things
As you become more comfortable with varying the elements of a scheme, you can begin varying the arrangement itself. I selected a basic scheme (Figure 2) and adapted it to fit my needs. For my layout in figure 3, I had two photos I wanted to include. Notice how I used the second photo in place of the journaling block and added a tag and basic journaling block to make up for the lost journaling space? I used the original scheme with the addition of the tag from the variation, then added a larger title with letter stickers (Figure 4). From elegant to playful in three notes flat!

I play my favorite pieces of classical music over and over. They become my favorites because they are familiar and composed of elements I love. I want my scrapbook pages to be classical works of art composed of the elements I love, too. Check out a few of my favorite schemes and go play—over and over again!

How to Find Dream Schemes

So how can you find your own dream schemes? Start with simple schemes that feature fewer photos.
Find or create schemes that allow you to change the elements in a variety of ways.
Go from elegant to bright and playful by choosing the colors, papers, and accents that match the “mood” you want to create.
Select elements you enjoy using most, and create schemes that include them. (Obviously, I love tags!)
To maintain visual balance of your page, interchange accents on your layouts that are approximately the same size.
Once you’ve gathered a variety of basic schemes, organize them into categories according to the number and orientation of photos (vertical, horizontal, or a combination).
Create sketches or keep reduced copies of basic schemes together.
Want to get the most out of the process? Work with one or two schemes at a time to create several pages, exhausting the creative possibilities. This will build your confidence and help you get more scrapbook ideas and help you get more scrapbook pages done.

scrapbook ideas
Figure 1a. Begin by identifying a favorite layout; use its scheme as a pattern for new layouts.
Figure 1b. Simply replace key elements to adapt your page scheme to new themes or events. With a new photos and accents, this page has a new look and feel.
Figure 1c. Here’s a Christmas variation on our theme. A black and white photo and classic colors, fonts and accents give this page a timeless feel.
Figure 1d. Here’s another completely “fresh” variation that came together in minutes with ready-made tags as accents.

scrapbook ideas
Figure 2. A good, basic scheme has simple lines and elements that can be easily interchanged.
Figure 3. A few simple changes produces an “appealing” new look using the same basic scheme.
Figure 4. “Play around” with varying your basic scheme to fit your needs.

scrapbook ideas
I like to organize my page schemes according to the number and orientation of photos that appear on them. Here are several to get you started. Keep in mind you can mix and match individual schemes to create two page spreads and adapt 12 x 12 schemes to work with an 81/2 x 11 page format.
1 Response
  1. travelyn Says:

    Some very good ideas in your post. I like to keep my layouts simple and not overly decorated as I feel it detracts from your photos which are the subject matter. I also like to use a color theme and carry it through. Interesting. thanks