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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:44 am 
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Hello Memorable Seasons friends!

I was beyond thrilled when Wendy asked me if I wouldn’t mind contributing a tutorial on creating 2-page layouts. “Mind?” I thought. I was honored!

So, here I am today to give you some insight on making cohesive, well-balanced two-page layouts based on sketches! Now for those of you who ran screaming from the computer when you read “two-page layouts,” I assure you that you too will be a believer in them once you read my tutorial and give it a try.

(And please forgive my “old-fashioned” text and photo tutorial. I have not even begun to delve into the world of video tutorials and applaud Jean and Colette for their amazing videos.)

Okay, and now it’s time to take a walk through my brain as I develop a two-page layout.

I always start with my photos and supplies and then I either sketch out a rough layout design on paper or seek out a sketch that I feel will work well with my photos and provide the right amount of space for my journaling (if I am including journaling). For our purposes, we are going to focus on finding a sketch to use. I am a huge fan of sketches because they are such a time-saver and really help in creating eye-pleasing, well-balanced layouts. And, this is especially true with two-page layouts when the main struggle always seems to be balance and not over-crowding your layout. So, after you have your photos, supplies and sketch all chosen, it’s time to create!

When creating two-page layouts, I try to keep four main principles in the forefront of my mind…
(1) Achieve cohesiveness over the two pages.
(2) Don’t make your layout too crowded.
(3) Think about photo placement.
(4) Adapt a sketch to fit your layout.

So, how do you achieve cohesiveness over the two pages? My golden rule to abide by this principle is to use at least one patterned paper on both pages. A very close second is to create a visual triangle. You can also repeat elements across the two pages. Or, try crossing the gutter of the pages with paper, a border strip, ribbon or even a photo (if you have dead space in the photo that you don’t mind having a vertical cut through). You can also put a border around the edge of your layout to help tie the whole design together.

And how in the world do you not make a two-page layout look too crowded? Because you (usually) have a lot of photos, the key is to keep the embellishments minimal. You can add interest with a creative title treatment, a variety of patterned papers and small details rather than a ton of embellishing. Also, you can help photos stand out from your page by inking the edges of them with StazOn ink or matting them.

What do you mean, “think about photo placement?” First, you want to have subjects face “into” page, toward the gutter of your spread (or in other words the middle of the layout). You don’t want Uncle Bob gazing off your page into outer space. Also, if you have multiple photos with the same person in them, space them apart. As adorable as your little girl is, spread her out over the two pages; don’t clump three photos of her in one corner (unless it adds to the story you are trying to tell, like if they are a bunch of photos in a series). Finally, try interspersing photos of people with detail photos for added interest.

I’ve got my sketch. So, how do I adapt it to fit my layout? Flip it. If it makes more sense to use the mirror image of the sketch for photo, title or embellishment placing reasons, then go ahead and flip it. When I do this, I actually save the sketch to my computer’s Desktop, open it with photo editing software and then flip it horizontally so I actually have the sketch’s mirror image in front of me. If you can’t find a two-page sketch you like, try expanding a one-page sketch. Not sure how to do this? Check out Susan Stringfellow’s two part series about this topic on her blog Sketch Savvy (Part 1 and Part 2). Try changing the size or orientation of your photos or the photos on the sketch. Add a visual triangle if there isn’t one already on the sketch to help with balance. Move the title and/or journaling placement. Alter elements of the sketch to fit your theme or topic; just because the sketch has flower embellishments on it doesn’t mean those couldn’t be stars or snowflakes.

Are you tired yet? I hope not, because now that we’ve reviewed these design principles for creating fabulous two-page layouts, I want to share with you two recent layouts I created using both a sketch and these principles. And, of course since we all have a whole new batch of Christmas photos to scrap, my pages will show you how to scrap lots of those photos in just a couple layouts!

So, first up is a sketch I created just for you. It’s my first attempt at a “professional looking” sketch, so be nice! This sketch allows for one extra large focal photo and then eight supporting photos.

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And here is the layout I created using this sketch. The first thing you’ll note is that I flipped the sketch so that my brother Dan in the focal photo is facing into the center of the layout (so I adapted the sketch while thinking about my photo placement). Also in regards to photo placement, I intentionally separated the two photos of Dan, myself and Andrew. And, I made sure the detail photo of the stockings and gifts was somewhere in the center column of photos. I also changed out the scalloped edge for a torn edge to enhance my gift-opening theme. Then, I used a variety of different alphas and embellished each word for creative title treatment; when I say “embellished” I mean that used brown Thickers for the word “brown”, covered the word “paper” with mulberry paper, put a package sticker behind the word “package”, etc. And then of course are the various ways I achieved cohesiveness – I have a border surrounding my page, I used several patterned papers on both pages and crossed the gutter with almost all those papers, and finally, I created a visual triangle with my three embellishment clusters which are anchored by the same patterned paper circle.

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And next up is a sketch from Susan Stringfellow’s Sketch Savvy Blog. I love her sketches and this one is definitely a favorite. It provides room for five good-sized photos.

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And here’s my layout! You’ll first note that I adapted the layout for my photos by replacing the 4”x5” photo with two 4”x2.5” photos and also added the small 2”x2” photo of the poinsettias. I also switched the placement of the photos on the left side because I used the fussy-cut house to cover dead space in my table centerpiece photo. And I really wanted to include that cute house and didn’t want it to cover any of the ornaments dangling from the chandelier in the other photo. I also added an additional tag to the layout to create the essential (in my opinion at least) visual triangle. Then, I also moved the tag on the right-hand side of the sketch down for two reasons – (1) so I didn’t cover up any of the beautiful Webster’s Pages paper I fussy-cut and (2) to allow it to be the focus of my third embellishment cluster. You’ll also note that all the papers appear on both pages of my spread and I crossed the gutter with two of them. Finally, I added the stitched border to tie the two sides of the spread together even further. I chose a cream-colored floss because I wanted the border to be subtle since I already had a lot of visual interest on the page.

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Well, that's it! I truly appreciate you taking the time out of your hectic schedule to read my 2-page sketch tutorial. Again, I am honored to have been given this opportunity! If you create a layout with either of sketches above (or one you find on your own), we'd love to see your page!

Happy scrapping!

- Megan

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:20 pm 
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Thanks so much for your thoughts on 2 pagers Megan, you definitely do a great job with these!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:36 pm 
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Great tutorial. I love two pagers. My favorite method of cohesiveness is to take a strip of patterned paper across both pages. Love these.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Thanks for sharing your tutorial Megan! I have strayed from doing many 2 pagers and usually reserve them for Christmas and Birthday photos. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and reminding me the "ways" of 2 pagers! Looking forward to working with your sketch for a holiday page!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:45 pm 
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I saw and read this on the blog this morning. Awesome bit of info here Megan!

i already printed out both sketches and ordered my prints-cant wait to get started on them tonight!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:23 am 
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This was a great tutorial/refresher!! Coincidentally, I am working on a double page layout right now. I haven't finished it yet. I love to get my sketches double page layouts from scrapbook generation/sketch support.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:37 am 
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jshopper2 wrote:
This was a great tutorial/refresher!! Coincidentally, I am working on a double page layout right now. I haven't finished it yet. I love to get my sketches double page layouts from scrapbook generation/sketch support.

I'm working on a 2 pager AND the sketch is from Scrapbook Generation! LOVE those sketches!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:20 am 
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Such an informative tutorial, Megan! Thanks for all your work on this.

It's funny, when I first started scrapbooking 5 years ago, most of the layouts I saw were 2-pagers. I remember doing nothing but, and having a hard time switching to 1-page layouts. A lady at my LSS had to assure me that it would be "ok" to do 1-page layouts and put two different ones side-by-side in my album! After years of seeing so many 1-pagers, it seems the 2-page layout is making a comeback.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:34 am 
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Good job Megan!
I haven't done a 2pager in forever..may be a good time to do a lo of my Christmas decorations!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:53 am 
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susanahern wrote:
Such an informative tutorial, Megan! Thanks for all your work on this.

It's funny, when I first started scrapbooking 5 years ago, most of the layouts I saw were 2-pagers. I remember doing nothing but, and having a hard time switching to 1-page layouts. A lady at my LSS had to assure me that it would be "ok" to do 1-page layouts and put two different ones side-by-side in my album! After years of seeing so many 1-pagers, it seems the 2-page layout is making a comeback.


I am totally with you Susan, never did a single pager, now double pagers are totally out of character for me!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:06 pm 
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Thanks for all your sweet comments ladies! Can't wait to see what you all do!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:09 pm 
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Not sure I'm going to have ANY scrappy time before the end of the year ... but WOW ... what a great 2-page sketch ... and Megan, your pages are FABULOUS! I just adore the title of the first one. ohhh, I don't do 2pagers often but I love how they give you the opportunity to scrap LOTS of photos and still have room for an awesome title!

This tutorial is really good. Tons of great info here, girl. I'm gonna save this and refer back to it when January scrapping rolls around!!

Great job, hon!!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:26 pm 
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Colette Bate wrote:
Not sure I'm going to have ANY scrappy time before the end of the year ... but WOW ... what a great 2-page sketch ... and Megan, your pages are FABULOUS! I just adore the title of the first one. ohhh, I don't do 2pagers often but I love how they give you the opportunity to scrap LOTS of photos and still have room for an awesome title!

This tutorial is really good. Tons of great info here, girl. I'm gonna save this and refer back to it when January scrapping rolls around!!

Great job, hon!!


Thanks Colette!

And check out Wendy's challenge here in the Project Life forum! You have until the end of January to use one of these sketches to document a monthly layout and it will count towards an entry into the January prize drawing!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:40 am 
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I do a lot of layouts like this and look for many of the same things on the sketches I use, although it is great that you put it in words.
I love the sketch you made, it would be perfect for some type of vacation photos - since I do most of my vacation pages 2 -sided.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:25 pm 
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I just posted a new layout in the gallery which is not really new. I made it several months ago. I just never shared it. It was for a sketch call at CK and since it didn't get picked up, I'll share it. It follows most of your suggestions. I used a sketch. It has patterned paper across both pages. Besides the orange across the bottom, there are three floral strips. There is a visual triangle with the flowers. There is twine on three different pictures. There are three pictures lifted up with foam squares. I hope to use two page spreads to follow along in project life.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:55 pm 
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dettao wrote:
I just posted a new layout in the gallery which is not really new. I made it several months ago. I just never shared it. It was for a sketch call at CK and since it didn't get picked up, I'll share it. It follows most of your suggestions. I used a sketch. It has patterned paper across both pages. Besides the orange across the bottom, there are three floral strips. There is a visual triangle with the flowers. There is twine on three different pictures. There are three pictures lifted up with foam squares. I hope to use two page spreads to follow along in project life.


Awesome Detta! I'll have to check it out!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Thanks, Megan, for the great tutorial and examples! I chose to use the second sketch, as well as your own page from that sketch, as my inspiration. I hope you don't mind that I didn't do a Project Life layout with it. I have so many vacation pictures still to be scrapped, and most of them require 2-page layouts, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get one of those done. Here it is:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:33 pm 
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Fantastic job Susan!

Double-pagers are a GREAT way to get all those hundreds of vacation photos scrapped quickly!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:21 pm 
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great doubles.. used to only do doubles but have slipped away from that lately... when i go to put pages into albums i will kick my butt that they weren't doubles.
Great job sharing the info and your pages are great... many thanks

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:23 pm 
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beecee wrote:
great doubles.. used to only do doubles but have slipped away from that lately... when i go to put pages into albums i will kick my butt that they weren't doubles.
Great job sharing the info and your pages are great... many thanks


You're welcome Bev! Glad you like them and found the information helpful!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:43 am 
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Beautiful, very easy to understand explanation of all the elements needed to make a 2 pager work! Love both of you girl's layouts. I will definitely be using these sketches. I also love SBG's sketches and have several of their books for inspiration, too. :D I love all the wonderful elements you both put into your layouts. Great job!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:25 pm 
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mommiextwo wrote:
Beautiful, very easy to understand explanation of all the elements needed to make a 2 pager work! Love both of you girl's layouts. I will definitely be using these sketches. I also love SBG's sketches and have several of their books for inspiration, too. :D I love all the wonderful elements you both put into your layouts. Great job!


Thanks Angie! Glad you liked the tutorial!

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