Episode 40: 5 Techniques to Freshen Up Your Scrapbook Layouts for 2021

Alice Boll
Alice Boll
Show Notes If your layout have been feeling dull and boring it’s time to freshen them up! Use these 5 techniques to make your layouts feel new in 2021.

Bonus Tips:

Double pages are back, at least they’re back enough that they don’t feel like they don’t exist! Grid-style layouts are still a great way to make a clean page with a lot of photos. Journaling is finally getting some space on the page. We’re seeing more pages that have longer/larger journaling space.

Which technique are you most likely to try?

Tell Alice about it! Click the Start Recording button and leave a voice recording… it only takes a moment!



I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode!

Sharing it? Use the #scraphappierpodcast on social media.

Instagram: @aliceboll

Facebook: ScrapHappy

YouTube: ScrapHappy

Sign up for Alice’s emails HERE.


Welcome to the ScrapHappier Podcast, where we share quick tips, tricks, and techniques to help you create scrapbooks you love and be happier while doing it. I’m your host Alice Boll.

I’m so glad that you’ve joined us for this episode. One thing I commonly hear from scrapbookers is that their pages feel the same. They feel like they’re in a rut, their pages feel boring and dull, and there’s just nothing new. Well, I think today we can totally fix that. I have five techniques that you can use to freshen up your scrapbook layouts. First, I have a question. Have you subscribed to this podcast yet? If not, hit that subscribe button, what are you waiting for? You won’t want to miss this episode or next week’s episode or the one after that. Come on, just hit it, it’s easy and then it’s done. Here are five techniques you can use to freshen up your scrapbook layouts so that you’re scrapbooking in 2021 and not 21 years ago.

Number one, really big titles. With the popularity of die cuts and backing die cuts, you have to know that really big titles are really on trend. One great thing about using a really big title is that it can take the pressure off of your photos. So if you have a photo that is just not the greatest quality, but it helps to embellish your story, by having a great big title, it takes some of the pressure off of that photo to do the storytelling. Now you have this amazing title that can be the focal point and then your photo just becomes an embellishment.

Number two, mixed media. If you want to feel like you’re creating layouts in 2021, then you definitely should include some mixed media on your page. Now that doesn’t mean that you actually have to do the mixed media yourself. There are so many great pre-made papers that are ready to go for you. Honestly, this whole mixed media thing, I almost blamed Vicki Boutin, and I’m sure she’d be happy to shoulder that blame. Her mixed media techniques are so fun, but also really approachable. She makes mixed media something that you want to do on your pages, and if you don’t want to do that work, she also makes the most gorgeous mixed media pages that you can buy pre-made, ready to go, so that you can achieve that look without having to get the mucky fingers. Nowadays, mixed media isn’t just ink splatters. There’s ink swiping, there’s watercolor, there’s stamping and layered stencils. There are so many different ways to get that mixed media effect. Oh, it’s lovely.

This brings us to tip number three, texture. Right now, layouts are really tactile. There are so many little elements that you can add to make your page feel more touchable. Now my friends are going to start laughing ’cause the first thing I’m going to list is stitching and they know Alice is not a big stitcher on her pages. But that’s okay. I don’t have to love doing it to love the look of it and sometimes that’s enough to get me to do it anyways. I’m seeing a lot of stitching done as a texture technique rather than as a border. Okay, so I’m still seeing the stitching done around the edge of a photo or the edge of a layout. That’s totally still happening, but I’m also seeing little tiny rows, all grouped together, just to create a little focal point of texture and it looks amazing. Of course, when it comes to adding texture and dimension, you can always use pop dots and foam tape to create layers with the different embellishments that you’re using, but another cool thing that you can do is use different styles of letters.

So in your titles, maybe some of the letters will have a shiny effect and some of them will have a glitter effect. Speaking of glitter, yes, we do see some glitter, often it’s in the form of gels and mixed media versions, but sequins are also a huge part of something that we’re seeing. We’re just adding lots of little pieces that add texture to the pages. It’s back. Paper tearing is back. I love the look of paper tearing. I love that texture you get with that rough edge from tearing that paper. It’s a little inconsistent. It’s unpredictable, unless you’re using a fancy tool. Yes, they exist, so if you hate that rough edge that you can’t predict, there are paper tearing tools, but honestly just go for it. Use confidence and rip that paper, oh my gosh. It’s a lovely effect and it creates beautiful texture. So yeah, texture with paper tearing, it’s back.

Along that same vein, let’s talk about distressed edges. I’m not talking about inking the edges. For some people that was a technique they’ve always loved and they continue to do. I’m actually talking about that roughed up, texturized edge. If you’ve been a scrapbooker for awhile, you may still have a distressed edge tool in your toolkit. Basically, you would run this tool along the side of the paper, just to rough it up and create that texture. You can open up a pair of scissors and do the same with one of the blades to the edge of your paper, just be careful. When I’m seeing this technique right now, it’s usually done fairly subtly. So you don’t have to be too aggressive in your distressing.

The fourth technique that’s going to make your pages feel really current and fresh is to use black and white photos. We talked recently about some of the trends that are happening in the world of scrapbooking right now and one of those trends is rainbows. We are still seeing a ton of rainbow products coming out. They are beautiful. It is bright. It is vibrant. It is colorful. It is wonderful. But one thing that happens when we’re using all of the colors, is that sometimes our photos can get lost in the mix.

One way to help your photos stand out and not compete with all of that color is to use black and white photos. If you happen to have really competing colors in your photo, going black and white with that picture is the perfect option so that you don’t have all of that chaos of color in the photo. When my first little niece was born, she was wearing all of these sweet, delicate pinks and her dad was always wearing a bright orange shirt and I’ll tell ya, that was a struggle. I can’t tell you how many times a black and white photo saved my day.

And finally, tip number five, matted layouts. You might be thinking, “Alice, people have been matting photos for years.” I’m not talking about the photos. I’m actually talking about the layouts themselves. If you create a layout that is 11 1/2 x 11 1/2, and then put that layout onto some pattern paper background, maybe a beautiful diagonal stripe, maybe a diagonal stripe with lots of color or black and white, then you know what we’re talking about here. Basically, by matting your whole layout, you’re creating a frame effect for your layout. These frames can be the perfect way to tie the different colors that you’ve used together on your page. Don’t think it just has to be stripes. You might layer it onto some floral pattern. You might layer it onto a solid cardstock. Your goal is just to create a really great base to ground your layout.

So that’s it. Those are the five techniques that you can use to freshen up your layouts for 2021. Number one, use really big titles. Number two, use some mixed media. Number three, create texture on your page. Number four, use black and white photos, and number five, use matted layouts. But wait, you don’t really think that’s it, do you? No, of course not. Here’s a couple of bonus techniques that I’m seeing right now. If you love the seamless effect of having a double page spread, you can send out a great big rejoice right now. I’m seeing the return of double page layouts. If you’re not a fan of double page spreads, don’t worry. They’re not everywhere. I don’t think a single page layout is going anywhere anytime soon. But for those scrapbookers that have been creating double page layouts and thinking, “Why can’t I find any examples of new layouts that are made double page?” Well, it’s your time. They’re coming back.

Another bonus technique is grid style layouts. There are so many different ways to create grid style layouts right now. I’m seeing backgrounds that are created with grid styles and photos that are created with grid styles. So if you like to line everything up and make everything look just right, then grid styles are back and you’re going to be so happy. And for those of you who like to include a little bit more story on your pages, good news. I am seeing more and more examples of pages where people include a lot of journaling. I’m not going to say the days where we only had single words or little, teeny tiny labels for your journaling are gone, but I’m definitely seeing more great examples of pages that have a considerable amount of journaling on them.

I’d love to hear which one of these tips makes you the most excited. Pop over to ScrapHappy.org/episode40 and tell me which technique you are happy to see on this list. If you’d like to join me for a live crop, I host a monthly event called Scrapbook Live. You can get the invite by signing up at ScrapHappy.org/subscribe. I hope that these five techniques will help you freshen up your layouts for 2021 so that you can make scrapbook pages that you love. Happy scrapping.


Share this post