Composition for Grids and Pocketed Pages – Paperclipping 199

paperclipping 199

Have you ever noticed that gridded layouts look powerful and amazing…except those times when they don’t quite turn out that way?

You’d think grids would have a 100% success rate. After all, a grid is a formula and if you just plug in the content, the formula works. You have these compartments all lined up in a way that makes a powerful impact and all you have to do is fill them, right?


We still have to look at how the items we place in those compartments affect the whole layout. The grid doesn’t give us everything. The more we get design, the better we’ll work that grid.

So be sure you’re applying those design principles and looking at your pages as a whole, even when you’re just plugging things into their spots!

There are tons of design-related video tutorials in the Paperclipping Membership and you can take any of them and apply them as you put together a gridded page (including Project Life pages, which are grids). But there are two very specific design principles that have the biggest impact in making grids look great.

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This week I decided to do an entire episode on this topic specifically.

In the video I show a standard layout with a grid of photos that just did not work. I show why. Then I show another gridded layout that had the exact same dilemmas as the first, but the page is one of my all-time favorites and you’ll get to see why one worked and the other one didn’t.

You’ll be able to avoid this same common grid-busting problem after watching the tutorial!

We’ll then take these concepts and look at a bunch of Project Life pages so you can see how these principles apply directly to pocketed pages. We’ll even assemble one week’s layout so you can see it in action.

This video is for members. Please click here to learn how you can get access.

  • Love it!!!

  • Krystal

    Loved this video. I don’t think it’s every video becuase this is the first time I’ve notcied it, but the light in the middle makes it difficult to see the full scope of the video. Very informative and I finally caved and bought PL thanks to this video. So excited!

  • Hi, Kyrstal! Are you talking about the glare from the PL pages in the 2nd part? You’re right — we don’t usually have many glare problems in our videos. There’s not much we can do to prevent them, though, on the rare occasions that I’m showing something in a page protectors. They’re glossy and no matter how we position the page there is always some glare. But I think the glare moves a bit so you should be able to get a decent view of every pocket and its contents.

  • Perfect timing!!! I just started my PL type album of our house building project! I have the cover page done…which is just a normal 12×12…and was kind of stuck on how to make the rest interesting and eye pleasing! Your video really helped me!

  • What a cool way to use PL!

  • Ami

    Great video, thanks! I’m just beginning to use these types of pages interspersed in my regular scrapbooks to shake things up a bit, so I really appreciated the info. What I’m wondering about now is what to do with the back of the divided pages. If the next page in my scrapbook is just a regular 12×12, it looks odd to just have the backs of the photos showing, but sometimes i feel that if I add any design elements to the back, it’s stretching the page beyond the point I want it to go. Any tips? Thanks as always.

  • Yep, I have tips!

    In Paperclipping 175-176 Transform Your Albums Into Unified Stories I talk about what I do with awkward backs of layouts in general. I share my general process and I share some examples of different types of layouts that leave you with weird back-sides to deal with. I think you get to see me do something with 2 different types of strange backs (though I don’t think any of them are pocketed pages, you’ll get the idea).
    I also have an older episode where I share some design thoughts on dealing with backs of pages made from transparencies. Again, these aren’t pocketed pages, but I always share general concepts so you can apply them to different situations, so these should be helpful. Look for Paperclipping 13 – See Through Layouts.

  • Ami

    Perfect! Thanks, Noell! I’m off to check them out.