How To Read A Scrapbook Sketch

Have you ever been excited to slip into a much-needed therapeutic cropping cocoon… only to be met by a horrible case of scrapper’s block? Or maybe you’re new to scrapbooking and staring at your project pile makes you wish you could say “craft-a-cadabra!” and magically know where to start. Here’s an idea that will have you cropping like it’s hot in no time: use page layout sketches as creative inspiration! Not sure how to “read” a sketch? Not a problem – check out the details below!

What are scrapbook sketches?

Think of sketches like “blueprints” for creating pages. They feature outlines for scrapbook layouts that give you a general idea of where to place your papers, photos, embellishments, titles and journal spaces, and typically come in grayscale tones to allow you to visualise the page designs with your own products.

How do I “read” a sketch?

Note: The following gives examples of what each shape on a sketch layout could represent but remember – it’s up to YOU!


  • Dark rectangle or square boxes: Photos
  • Rectangle or square boxes: Papers or mats
  • Long rectangles or circles: Die-cut border embellishments, border stickers, BMC or border punch borders
  • Other shapes: Embellishments or stickers
  • Title: Large writing, large sticker with words or ABC Stickers
  • Journal or lines: Place for writing and journaling
  • Corresponding shades: Can suggest using the same designer paper, cardstock or mats



Do I have to follow the sketch exactly?

It’s up to you! You can pick and choose the elements that appeal to you, create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece loosely based on the sketch or completely scrap-lift the whole layout (this is perfectly acceptable, and in fact, highly encouraged). Scrap-lifted sketch layout pictured above!

Why are sketches so great?

Where to begin?! The simplicity of sketches allows you to get creative with your scrapbook pages without having to come up with your own layout or design ideas. You can also use any product collection you like and any number of photos (remember how you can pick and choose which things to follow?!). And finally – there are TONS of free sketches available to you online!

Where can I find sketches?

Your first source shouldn’t surprise you at all… CM! We post four sketches a week on our @CreativeMemories Instagram account (along with samples of completed layouts, many of which you’ll recognise from our marketing images). And there’s the Virtual Crop – we host two Virtual Crop events a year on our Facebook page and each includes multiple sketch challenges you can complete and submit virtually (along with thousands of other croppers around Australia!) to share your sketch-inspired masterpieces and win prizes. Lastly, there is an abundance of scrapbook sketch ideas when you do a simple Google search.

So, there you have it – the 411 on scrapbook sketches! Comment below to tell us if you learned anything new, how you feel about sketches or if you’ll be trying them for the first time! And now that you know how to read a sketch, RSVP for our next Virtual Crop 27 Oct.

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