Scrapbooks are an amazing way to preserve your memories. They are a personalized history you make and share with the important people in your life. Your scrapbook layout essentially tells a story using photos, embellishments, ephemera, and even handwritten touches.

If you're making a DIY scrapbook, chances are you have a story to tell. It may be the story of your family, of your best friend's wedding, your favorite hobbies, or even all the places you've lived in your life. Whatever it is, the layout of your scrapbook will dictate how your story unfolds. Therefore, the layout is just as important as the contents you select and the materials you use to make your scrapbook.

This article will walk you through ideas for laying out your scrapbook pages in a way that tells a story you'll want to revisit time and time again.

A family looks at a scrapbook.

1. Chronological Scrapbook Layout

Chronological scrapbook layouts are perhaps the easiest, most intuitive way you can tell a story using photographs. Once you've selected your photos, they practically organize themselves because you display them in the order in which they were taken. This layout is particularly popular in family tree scrapbooks meant to be passed on from generation to generation.

Black and white photos.

2. Relationship Scrapbook Layout

Relationship scrapbooks are particularly popular as gifts for wedding presents, Christmas gifts, birthdays, anniversaries, or Valentine's Day. These scrapbooks don't have to be about a romantic relationship, either -- they can tell the story of an important friendship as well. Although relationship scrapbooks can be arranged in chronological order, you have the freedom to get far more creative if you wish. Many relationship scrapbooks jump back and forth between dates, weaving through time to tell the story of their lives both before and after they met.

3. Travel Scrapbook Layout

Location-based layouts are also extremely popular in scrapbooking. Many people cover pages with maps to represent a particular location where photos were taken or events took place. Or, you can use embellishments that give flavor and shape to the locations on your pages (ie: pineapple shapes for Hawaii or Shamrock shapes for Ireland). Organizing the layout of your scrapbook by location makes it easy to select your photos and embellishments as everything you choose will be tied to that theme.

A map with photographs lying on top of it.

4. Single Photo Scrapbook Layout

When most people think of scrapbooks, they think of pages covered with photos. But if you really want to make individual photos stand out, you can also stick to one photo per page. Cover the rest of the page with embellishments that support the theme of the photo. If you don't want to make every page feature just a single photo, you can add one-photo pages throughout your scrapbook to make individual photos really pop out and be special.

A scrapbook with a single picture of people smiling.
Halfpoint/Shutterstock

5. No Photo Scrapbook Layout

Some people lay out their scrapbooks without using any photos at all. Instead, they use buttons, letters, concert tickets, pressed flowers, handmade artwork, and magazine clippings to organize a scrapbook that shows off their creativity and speaks to their heart in other ways.

6. Shaped Scrapbook Layout

Arrange your photos and embellishments to form shapes on the pages of your scrapbook. Heart shapes can represent love, balloon shapes can represent celebrations, you can even shape photos like tools and cars. Be creative and have fun. You're in charge of how you want to tell this story.

7. Envelope Scrapbook Layout

For a fun, unique scrapbook design, you can adhere envelopes to the pages and place your pictures and baubles inside. The finished product will not only be attractive, it will fun to explore time and time again. One of the best things about an envelope scrapbook is that you can change the contents periodically. This allows you to add photos of new pets, a growing family or anything else that tickles your fancy.

Colorful envelopes.

8. Tabbed Scrapbook Layout

Laying out your scrapbook with tabs allows viewers to skip through to different locations, timelines, or subjects in seconds. You can use a tabbed layout with virtually any scrapbook theme you want to break into sections

A Christmas-themed scrapbook with tabs on the side.

9. News Clipping Scrapbook Layout

News clipping scrapbooks are generally laid out chronologically. These scrapbooks can be composed entirely of newspapers alone, or you can weave the newspaper clippings together with pictures taken around the same time period. You can even layout your scrapbook by covering the pages with your news clippings and gluing your pictures and embellishments on top of them.

10. Collage Scrapbook Layout

A collage layout is one of the easiest to achieve. Just take your photos and memorabilia and use them to cover the page. You don't need embellishments in a collage layout. You'll use your main materials to cover the page in its entirety.

A collage of colorful pictures.

11. Mini Clothes Pin Scrapbook Layout

Give your photos some extra personality by gluing mini clothespins to your scrapbook pages and using them to hold your photos. This is another layout idea that will work with almost any theme.

Photographs hang from mini clothes pins.

12. Color Scrapbook Layout

You can also layout your scrapbook pages by color by using differently hued pages to represent your university, favorite holiday, or even different moods. Or, you can also go the opposite route and lay out your entire scrapbook in black and white. The important part of a color scrapbook layout is that the colors you choose help tell the story.

Old black and white photos.

13. Greeting Card Scrapbook Layout

A greeting card scrapbook layout can work in a variety of different ways. You can fill your scrapbook with greeting cards you've received over the years, antique greeting cards you collect pr you can adhere new greeting cards to the pages of your scrapbook and glue your photographs into them.

Vintage Christmas cards.

14. Washi Tape Scrapbook Layout

You can use washi tape to create a DIY scrapbook border that adds a fun, colorful border to each page. You can use one color throughout the scrapbook, or change it up from page to page depending on your theme and preference. You can also run them through the middle of your pages. The effect will be similar to a tying the center with ribbon, but it will be more stable and easier to keep in place.

A scrapbook page with a washi tape border.

15. Hand-Drawn Scrapbook Layout

You can lay out your scrapbook by hand drawing doodles, words, shapes, and borders that help your scrapbook tell its story in your own hand.

16. Random Scrapbook Layout

Not everything has to be planned! Some people prefer to just assemble their pictures and embellishments in no particular order at all. A random scrapbook layout can be fun and surprising and typically has the added bonus of taking far less time to put together. And once you put your photos on the page, you can still add embellishments to help them stand out.

A page from a scrapbook with a picture of two children.

If more than one of these layout ideas appeals to you, you can always combine more than one layout to create a unique scrapbook that showcases your style. For help planning a theme to go with your layout, check out our roundup of 28 popular scrapbook ideas. You're going to love what you create!

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