1. Put your personality back in your pages. Sometimes we think when we’re scrapbooking, we have to be serious. After all, we care so much about the topic and the people involved, and the photos are so important to us, that we strip all our personality out of our pages. After all, we’re scrapbooking for posterity!
You know what I say to that? Pshaw! Put your personality back in, baby! If you’re funny, make your pages funny. If you use made-up words in conversation, sprinkle them through your journaling, too. People should be able to tell at a glance that you created a layout — and I tell you, you’re going to love your pages all the more if they “feel” like you.
2. Pump up your photos. For most people, photos are a central part of their pages. So why not push ’em up another notch? Use photo editing software to increase the saturation, enlarge them to be bigger than the standard 4×6, or shrink them down and add more of them to your page. Add a bold photo mat in a contrasting color, and make it thicker than you normally would. Have your photos make a statement.
3. Pull out a pen. Yeah, get out a pen and start writing on your pages. You may hate your handwriting, you may fear you’re going to “wreck” your pages, you may have every excuse NOT to start doodling or journaling or sketching. Get over it.
If you’re nervous, start small by adding a thin hand-drawn border around a journaling block or a photo. Move on to hand-writing the date at the bottom of the page. Gradually move up to – gasp! – writing your journaling by hand. These tiny bits of you go a long way towards personalizing your scrapbooking layouts in a simple manner.
4. Add some bling. You don’t have to turn your scrapbook layouts into the paper equivalent of Mr. T., but go ahead and jazz ’em up with a little pizzazz. Stickles are one of my favorite ways to add sparkle exactly where I want it, without going overboard.
Other bling-worthy techniques: Add a rhinestone where the dot of an “I” would go in your title, in the corners of your photos as photo brackets, or right on top of brads to add dimension and sparkle.
5. Mat your page. One very simple way to take your page up a notch is to mat the whole thing. In other words, start with a 12×12 page, trim a half-inch on two sides to make it 11.5×11.5″, and mat the whole page on top of a contrasting color of cardstock or patterned paper. This creates a “frame” around the page, and directs the eye inward. Easy-peasy, and you’re done!