Composing your album

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Composing your album

I have been digiscrapping for a little less than a year now and I think it is time to finally compose my first album and send it to a printer! But my 'style' has been changing massively throughout this year and that poses a problem when I try to put the pages together in an album. If I keep it chronologically some pages look really awful next to each other! I never thought about this when I first started out... Should I have? How do you compile your albums? Do you create spread layouts? Do you stay away from double paged albums and only order single paged ones?

I'm trying to decide whether I should now create a double layout afterwards (make an extra page that combines with the ones I already made) or let go of the chronological order and sort them by theme or color/style. What would you do?

I've never had anything printed out, but I have made a few books with just big pictures on one side. You could just mix some in when you felt you didn't have good matching layouts.

see the full book here

HAH! Why didn't I think of that! What a simple and clever solution! Thanks Marisa. I would still like to know what other people do with their albums, just for future ideas. But this is already a great first approach...

Think of a book to start with. The right side is always reserved for starting a new segment.

I try to keep this in mind when putting pages together when the layouts exceed a double layout or a right and left side layout. When grouping for a book I don't worry about the date order as much as keeping themes together and the layout within the book. Dates are on the pages and when looking through the book it isn't the order that is important as much as the layout and flow from one page to the next.

OK, I'm going to go against the grain here and say... who cares?? haha No, seriously, I feel strongly that I scrapbook as a way to preserve my pictures. If I didn't, they would sit in an album somewhere and never get looked at. This way I also get to journal the story behind each picture, rather than having to sit beside someone looking in the book and explain each picture. Thus, it is more about getting it done and having fun doing it. To me, chronological order throughout the year makes the most sense, especially if you have little kids who grow so much in just a year. As a result, I tend to just scrap chronologically, and I just go with whatever colors/theme fits those pictures & events. Sometimes I have pages that don't sit side by side perfectly. I know, it's not the artistic thing to do. But I figure I'm doing this for me and for the fun of it. Who cares if my book isn't going to win a coffee table award? Years from now, I will just be glad it's here at all.

But I know I'm probably a minority. smiley I got into this for the fun of it. If I indulge my perfectionist side, it won't be fun anymore. And I'll probably never finish another LO!

smiley for Lady Philippa!

After having a course on Archival Science on College, I can´t just print the photos and let them in regular albums. I NEED to have journalling, or I´m not satisfied.

On the other hand, I also do this for fun! Maybe someday I´ll do notable designs, but, for now, having fun and keeping memories organized in a way they are considered documents is ok XD

Thanks, Lady Phillippa, you make it all sound a lot less stressful smiley I love seeing albums that are perfectly coordinated and in one style, but I love scrapping in different styles and experimenting even more. I would hate to commit to one style, just because it would endanger the 'flow' of my album. Besides, its too late to do that now anyway! smiley

It has me me re-think the way I name my layouts: I spend a few hours looking up month and year-dates to put in front of the layout-title. That way I can keep them in chronological order in my folder and see straight away that my layouts aren't 'compatible'. Maybe (for future albums) I can decide in an early stage to scrap another layout in between, or make one page into a double layout.

How about album covers? Do you design a different one for each album, or do you just title them to keep them all alike?

I've done quite a few scrapbook books (printed, and one is ready to print). I like to use double page spreads which are kit coordinated, because they flow together well. Having said that, however, to mix things up sometimes, I like to use the same kit in two different ways (for each page of the double spread), but I also do two fully coordinated pages as well.

Generally, I don't like a double page spread with two completely different layouts that are hardly related. It just doesn't do anything to the flow (in my eyes). A great way to check out what things look like is using the Shutterfly photo book feature. You can upload your pages, arrange them, and see what it looks like in your finished photo book. I've been working on a vacation album with just all different pages, and I just don't like how the pages don't flow well together because they're not coordinated.

Here you can take a look at my most recent photo book.

So, to answer your question: I do create double page spreads for albums. But to avoid feeling stressed out, I never work on a deadline. I create an album, save it somewhere, and when there's a sale some place, I'd order it.

haha I also tell myself all that so I don't get completely intimidated by other people who have much more "put together" books than I do. I generally design a different one for each album, but that is sometimes the hardest part for me. Right now for the covers I keep it fairly simple: I find or design wordart that relates to events or a significant life lesson learned that year.

I think renaming your layouts like that sounds like a good idea if you want to eventually get a good flow going!

I try to make the two layouts next to each other at least look similar (or semi-coordinated) if they are not a 2 page spread, but they usually are since I take too many photos. BUT, that said.... I scrap way out of order so, I prefer to use 12x12 post bound albums for my layouts so I can move them around as I go.... Hence, why I haven't done too many hard bound printed albums unless it's for a specific event or time frame I can finish all at once. smiley

I love all this input, now that I have my calendar done, I am planning on putting together (planning being the operative word here) books for my kids, and some of the trips my husband and I have been on, but have had no idea how to get started. Now with all this input I can do more than just stare at a blank screen!

OK. I've been browsing through my album and I decided to implement all (or most smiley ) of your advices. I previously uploaded my 'chocaholic boy' layout to Pixelscrapper, but tonight I made the accompanying left page for it. What do you think? Left page is here, right page here. Is this the way to go for all of the other pages? Let me know your thoughts on this, please! And, thanks for looking smiley

Oh, wait... See if I can paste them in this post, that would be easier for you to see smiley YAY! It works * applause for me all alone in my livingroom* LOL

I think they look good next to each other... cohesive & similar. The rounded corners help them to match up nicely, and the colors are both neutral so neither overpowers the other. smiley that's my two cents worth

They look great. They complement each other. Nice job!

It looks like they were meant to be next to each other.

I agree, they look great! Definitely complement each other

Thanks! This will be the way to go for me... it will probably take me a lot of time, but it will be worth it in the end. Next time, I'll give this sort of thing a think through before I start making layouts!

That ribbon you have spread across both pages are a great way to combine the pages and unify them. And those are pretty pages (as I told you already, lol)!

For getting my digital scrapbook pages into a book I have used: (formerly inkubook) (great pricing a great books) (really expensive lay-flat pages - but gorgeous quality books)

There is also - which I have used for other book making, but not scrapbooks.

You upload your finished, flattened, jpg pages to the book making company of your choice - just like you would a photo file. And instead of using their layouts, you use the single image/fill page layout and add your finished page(s).

All the companies vary in the process of finishing up the book for printing, but you will be so excited when you get the book delivered and can actually hold in your hands a finished, printed, bound book with all of your hours of work and most importantly your memories!

Hope this makes sense, I'm sleepy smiley

Wow! Those pages look great next to each other!

@Brooke: Thanks for the great options. Now find out how much shipping costs to Europe smiley I haven't found a Netherlands-based one yet -not a good one.

Pages look great and I really like how you used the B&W on one side and color photos on the other! You have given me inspiration to get some books going!

@Melouise: Oh, didn't think about shipping costs for outside U.S.
Also, have to say that your 2-page layout you show above is great! The pages are very pleasing together.

I am not sure if this topic is still active but I am answering anyways smiley.

I seriously plan my book from the beginning (oh sooo German smiley )....I start with an Excel list about the content and how many pages I need for that because in most cases I do not want more than 100 pages. And then I plan which resources and style to use. But I am also developing.

Find here one of my first books (two pages are good together, not the same style everywhere tough): Italia 2012

Find here a "better planned" example (all pages with same colour scheme - Budapest Kit from Marisa):
Erasmus 2012

Maybe this really is a German way of doing it but in the end I love to have a perfect matching album to look at smiley.

Isa: I don't think it's a German thing. I think you're describing a personality trait... because I do that with almost everything in my life... plan it to death. LoL

Hahaha, planning a book in Excel, that is new to me! But I think Shawna is right - it's probably more of a personality thing than a German thing. I know my husband makes an excel document for just about anything, from our entire financial status to every piece of timber he needs to build a wooden table... too bad he isn't scrapbooking, you would probably have found your equal in him smiley

Edit: I just flipped through your albums, they are gorgeous! I love the Italian one for the beautiful and colorful pictures and the other book for the more 'scrappy' feel to the pages. I find working with the same kit for an entire book 'boring', but now that I have seen your end result, I might just rethink that! Thanks for sharing.

smiley FYI...went to check out some of the links...

Quote: shut down on January 7, 2013.
We thank you for having trusted us with your photo memories. The Creations Team


I'm one of those people who feel that everything has to match. When I did an album for my granddaughter, most of the layouts were two page spreads. But a few times, one page would suffice for the photos that I had, so I would have separate lay outs, but I used the same papers and elements on both pages so that they would 'match'.[img][/img]

here is the second page.[img][/img]

@Tina: That is happening a lot lately with digital scrapbooking and photography websites.
It's also happening with paper LSS in our area. We used to have 5 LSS (local SB sores), 1 stamping, and 7 major chains throughout town. Now, in the last year we're down to one each of Michael's, Jo-Ann's, & Hobby Lobby and the stamping store.

@Melodie: Your 2 page layout is lovely!

@Lady Phillipa I am with you all the way! I dont even do it chronologically, that is the beauty of saving to a hard drive, you can sort the order when you are ready to print.
@Shawna instead of postbound albums I print my nonbook layouts 6x6 and put them in the new looseleaf albums available. Can put 4 layout on a 12 x12 page, print, cut apart. This way I cN print my non themed layouts ad enjoy them
@Melouise. I tend to design each page the way I want it without adhering to a theme. that said, i do what you did...go back and make a coirdinating page, unless I accidentally have two that go together!

Note: my first photobook was created with a cousin who had been a newspaper editor and she kept me to a theme down to the colors and elements. The book looks great, but I got so frustrated. If I varied at all, I had yo back to the formula. Aaaargh.