Whether it's a longer story or a big pile of pictures just begging to be scrapped, two-page layouts are an attractive way to include a lot of information in our scrapbooks. But with all that real estate of two 12x12" pages, they can also be challenging to design. So today I thought I'd share my approach.
I like to start with a basic idea of how the major elements of my layout are going to be arranged: the photos, the journaling, and anything else that is large (for example, a long title or a large piece of memorabilia). I have several basic designs that I rely on again and again.
|"Stuck on You" featuring the Shine Bright collection by Kaiser Craft.|
My favorite design involves making one page content-heavy and one page content-light. This gives me the freedom to play artistically with one page while still including lots of photos or journaling on the other page, usually arranged in a grid. In the layout above I've modified my usual grid into a triangle shape that leads the viewer's eye back to the first page.
|"The Rainforest Pyramid" featuring the Paradiso collection by Kaiser Craft.|
Divided pocket pages offer a great alternative to a traditional photo grid. It's simple and fun to replace a second 12x12 page with a divided pocket page. There are lots of different pocket configurations out there to suit your needs.
|"Bridesmaid" featuring the Something Blue collection by Kaiser Craft.|
Another design option I often use is to group my photos together in a line (or lines) across the center of the two pages. A wide strip of paper or ribbon provides a nice "shelf" for a line of photos to sit on. I often end up cutting one of my photos to span the gap between pages - an effective sign to the viewer that these two pages belong together.
Finally, I occasionally will make two 8.5x11" pages. It's a nice middle ground between 12x12 and 12x24. It also has the added bonus of fitting in a standard-size inkjet printer if you want to print your journaling directly on the background. When it's time to file your layout in your album, you can put it right in there with all your 12x12 pages. Either use 8.5x11" page protectors, or you can mount the 8.5x11" pages on 12x12" paper.
Making Two Become One
The design of my two-page layouts improved markedly the day I realized that I wasn't working with two 12x12 pages, but one 12x24 layout. Here are some ideas for making two pages into one cohesive layout.
The most obvious way to unify the two pages is by using the same products on both, especially the background papers. If you're using a divided pocket page, include a card or two on your 12x12 page as well. In the "Bridesmaid" layout above, not only is the background paper the same but the same washi tape appears on both pages. Heart shapes also imply that these pages belong together, even though the hearts themselves are not identical products. In the "Rainforest Pyramid" layout, the same bird embellishments appears on both pages.
Another great way to visually tie two pages together is by creating a border that goes around the exterior edges of the layout. The simplest way to do this is by mounting your background on cardstock or patterned paper. Paint, ink, washi tape, and stitching are some other attractive and creative ways to create a border effect. In the "Stuck on You" layout above, a black cardstock border not only provides a unifying element but also helps separate the very busy patterns.
Finally, I often rely on color to bring two pages together. In the "Stuck on You" layout above, I wanted to bring out another color besides the yellow and black, so I pulled out the red in the photos on the right page, and brought it over to the left page by means of the doily and title letters. In the "Rainforest Pyramid" layout I've repeated the tan burlap color of the journaling card on the right page with a small piece of cloth in the same color on the left page. Using real cloth also provides a nice variation in texture.
I hope I've given you all some helpful ideas to think about the next time you make a two-page layout. Do stop by the Scrappin' Goodtime store to see these layouts in person and shop these beautiful collections. And leave a comment here or on our Facebook page with any questions or your own tips for two page layouts.