How to Make a Scrapbook: Free Instructions and Step By Step Tutorial

8 Easy Steps to Follow to Preserve Your Memories in a Scrapbook Album You’ll Cherish for Years to Come!

Classic Leather Photo Album for Scrapbooking by We R Memory Keepers

Classic Leather Photo Album for Scrapbooking by We R Memory Keepers


There are zillions of possible ways to make a scrapbook. There isn’t any single correct way of scrapbooking — and there isn’t a wrong way, either. On this page, I’ll share with you the steps I follow when I create a new scrapbook album — but you need to know that you do not have to do it this way. There are bunches of different approaches you could take besides just this approach.

Step 1: Choose a Scrapbook Album

When you decide to make a scrapbook album, the first step is to choose a scrapbook album that will hold all your page layouts. Technically, you could skip this step and start scrapbooking immediately. However, I recommend that you make the album choice your first step because your choice of albums can make a huge difference in the way you will create your pages.


If you choose a six inch chipboard mini album in a unique shape, your entire process would be different than if you choose a twelve inch postbound album; if you choose an acrylic album, you’d take another approach all together.

Step 2: Choose Your Photos and Print Them Out

Once you’ve chosen your album, the next step is to choose and print your photos. In this step, it’s important to do some basic planning.


I recommend that you look at your photos with a critical eye. You may have several photos that are similar to each other; perhaps you can evaluate which of the group is the best photo, and print only that one.
In other cases, the grouping of similar photos might tell a story, and you might want to print them all. In that case, you might want to choose one of the photos to be a “focal point” for the scrapbook page; you could print that photo large and print the supporting photos in a smaller size, as accents.


The size of your scrapbook album is going to dictate the size limitations on your photos. If you’ve chosen a twelve inch album, you’re going to have a great deal more freedom to play around with large photos.

Step 3: Think About Your Journaling and Plan Your Layouts

Once you have your photos in hand, the next step is to group them logically and sort out which ones are going to be used in pages together. The goal here is to envision how the album is going to flow from page to page. For example, if you have photos of your arrival at your vacation destination, you might want to group them on the first page, or the first several pages, of your album.


I often use page protectors to help with this step. That isn’t necessary; you can put your photos in piles, or sort them in plastic baggies, or organize them inside the packaging that comes with your scrapbook paper. It does help to find some way of keeping track of which photos are going to be on which page with each other. I find page protectors to be the easiest method for organizing all these things; I simply place all the photos, papers and embellishments for each page in one page protector. But it doesn’t really matter which method you use as long as you are happy with it.


Once you have an idea of which photos belong together on your pages, it’s time to jot down some ideas about the journaling you will put on each page (or not put on each page. See also: Should every scrapbook page have journaling?)


I find it helpful to use note pads. I recommend making a separate page of journaling notes and ideas for each page. When I’m finished with this, I store the page of notes along with the organized photos in my page protectors.


At this point, it’s also a good idea to think about how you want to create your journaling. If you decide to print it out on the computer, you’ll be choosing different supplies than if you decide to hand write it or rubber stamp it all or create it all using letter stickers.

Step 4: Choose Scrapbooking Papers

Now that you have an idea of which photos and what journaling might appear on each page, it’s time to choose scrapbooking papers that will enhance each layout. The goal here is to choose papers that will look good with your photos, and complementary papers that will enhance your journaling.


After you’ve selected each paper, store it in the appropriate spot along with your organized photos.

If you’re totally mystified by scrapbooking papers and not sure which papers to use, please see this article about how to choose scrapbook papers.

Step 5: Choose Scrapbooking Embellishments

By this point, you’ve hopefully got a pretty good idea of how each page is going to look. Choose embellishments that will enhance your photos, papers and journaling. For small bits of handwritten journaling, you might want to use die-cuts or hand-stamped journaling blocks. For titles, you might want to use letter sticker embellishments. You can have fun choosing ribbons, crystals and rhinestones, and other embellishments. You might even want to make some of your own embellishments. Try these hand-stamped paper flowers, if you like.

Step 6: Create Your Journaling

Now’s the time to create your journaling; type it up, print it out, stamp it, hand write it onto your journaling blocks, or do whatever else you plan to do with it. The exception to this: If you plan to hand write your journaling directly onto the scrapbook page, without using journaling blocks, wait until after your photos are in place. Only do this step at this point if you are making journaling spots that can be moved around easily.

Step 7: Finalize the Scrapbook Page Layouts

Combine your papers, your photos, your journaling, and all your embellishments. Move them around until you are happy with the placement of each element.


Look at each page with a critical eye. Crop photos that need it; eliminate visual clutter if you’ve got too much stuff for the amount of real estate on any one page. Double-check your journaling for typos and spelling errors.

Step 8: Attach All the Components for Each Scrapbook Page Layout

Using the adhesive(s) of your choice, adhere all your elements to your pages. Let the adhesive dry if necessary. Once dry, place the pages of your layout into the scrapbook album.


Add any finishing touches if your pages need them; you could add handwritten notes, an additional flower or two to cover a bare spot, or maybe a little doodle.

Enjoy Your Finished Scrapbook Album!

So there you have it: That’s how to make a scrapbook. I hope you found this information helpful and inspiring.


This tutorial gives you an outline for my usual approach to creating scrapbook albums. This is a tried-and-true approach that works for me, but these steps aren’t set in stone; you can feel free to move them around and do things in a different order if you like. It isn’t my intention to dictate to you how you should make your scrapbook; I’m only trying to give you ideas and suggestions. I hope these ideas save you time when you create your own scrapbook albums. As you gain experience with scrapbooking, you’ll probably develop your own approach that may differ significantly from the approach that I take, and that is a wonderful thing.

Over to You:

Now you know how I approach the task of making a scrapbook album. How about you? If you’re an experienced scrapbooker, perhaps you have a different approach. Please share your thought in the comments section if you have details or insights to add.


Happy Scrapbooking!

Thanks for dropping by. You’re invited to check out our related pages on scrapbooking, paper crafts and other crafts:

Posted By: Amy Solovay


This page was last updated on 9-20-2021.