Lavish Design or Meaningful Journaling? …Six Multi-Page Scrapbook Layouts that have Both

My Baby Blanket Story (closeup)
Who do you follow? The little devil on your left shoulder tempting you to put all your time on pretty products and a beautiful scrapbook page? Or the guardian angel on your right, whispering for you to focus on the story?

I used to slap that little devil off of me and follow my guardian angel, but not anymore…

I realized we can have everything we want — we can succumb to temptation, then get forgiveness and make it right by making layouts that are one-and-a-half pages. You really can scrapbook great designs and well-journaled stories together.

With one-and-a-half page layouts — meaning the standard 12×12 page plus a 6×12 page for the journaling — you can be as wild and care-free as you like by first making the page of your dreams on a 12×12 layout and ignoring the journaling.

But don’t worry. Your reckless ways don’t have to stick with you…

Nobody will ever know of the secret wild child that lies within because you can clean up your act by providing the story on a supplemental 6×12 page.

Multi-Page Scrapbook Layouts

My Baby Blanket Story - One-and-a-half page spread.
My Baby Blanket Story – One-and-a-half page spread.

Multi-page scrapbook layouts are great for ephemera and memorabilia. And of course, they’re great for multiple photo pages.

Not only that but multi-page layouts are especially useful for old childhood scrapbooks where we tend to have groups of photos of events and ephemera.

My Baby Blanket Story - In the album with a blanket scrap insert.
My Baby Blanket Story – In the album with a blanket scrap insert and the next page peeking through.

For now let’s focus on multi-page layouts that are one-and-a-half pages long.

By adding a 6×12 page to the usual 12×12, your scrapbook album becomes a page turner because you can see part of the next page behind the 6×12. Who can resist their curiosity with a sneak peek like that?

Chad Was Born - Pages 1 + 2.
Chad Was Born – Pages 1 + 2.

This is the page that comes after my layout above. I originally meant for the journaling to go on the right side, as you see in this photo, but when I designed the Baby Blanket page to come before this one in my scrapbook, I moved the journaled 6×12 page to the left so it would go behind the 6×12 page of the first layout.

Sharing Mutli-Page Layouts Online

My Baby Blanket Story - Page 1.

If you make two-page layouts you’ve probably noticed they tend to get fewer views online. The images are so long that the thumbnails show up small in galleries and they don’t attract as much attention. But if you design the 12×12 first, and then design the 6×12 to coordinate with it, your 12×12 will look good on its own.

You can use a photo of the 12×12 as your gallery thumbnail to attract more viewers. When they click on that thumbnail you can share the full multi-page spread in the supplemental photos.

More One-and-a-Half Page Scrapbook Layouts

Leonardo da Vinci - Pages 1 + 2.
Leonardo da Vinci – Pages 1 + 2.

Sometimes your journaling may not need to be all that long, but it’s a bit much for multiple photos and ephemera, like my page above. Now you can relax, fit it all in, and still have fun with layers and design.

Why We Don't Pay Our Kids to Do Their Choires - 3 page layout - Page 1 (with page 2 peeking out).
Why We Don’t Pay Our Kids to Do Their Choires – 3 page layout – Page 1 (with page 2 peeking out).

My story for this page was so long that it took two half pages to complete. I could have fit all that journaling onto a 12×12 page to make it a full two-page layout (meaning, two 12×12’s). But doing it on two sides of this 6×12 is so much more interesting, don’t you think?

Why We Don't Pay Our Kids to Do Their Chores - pages 2 + 3.
Why We Don’t Pay Our Kids to Do Their Chores – pages 2 + 3.

And once again I was able to fit some ephemera (in the pocket) and also scrapbook with fun techniques.

Why We Don't Pay Our Kids to Do Their Chores - page 3 (main page).
Why We Don’t Pay Our Kids to Do Their Chores – page 3 (main page).

This next page only had a single photo and the page design is very simple. Of course, I could have fit the typed journaling and the picture onto a single 12×12. But I love this photo that highlights the dancer in her through her bun, her neck and shoulders, her dance bag. Sometimes you want to enlarge a photo to show the details.

Power Elite - One-and-a-half page spread.
Power Elite – One-and-a-half page spread.

That means you have to tell the journaling to move over…over to the next page.

Finding Freedom - One-and-a-half page spread.
Finding Freedom – One-and-a-half page spread.

Other stories call for an enlarged photo, a long story, and also some techniques. I love that I was able to to create a sense of movement with lots of butterflies on a page that is otherwise very calm and serene. It’s a combination of of the physical peace I can finally enjoy after twenty-five years of chronic neck pain, and the freedom from suffering; the freedom of physical movement.

Finding Freedom - closeup of journaling.
Finding Freedom – closeup of journaling.
Finding Freedom - butterfly closeup.
Finding Freedom – butterfly closeup.

Whether you’ve been listening to the devil on your left shoulder or the angel on your right, you can stop being so one-sided! Do both and get everything you want every time you scrapbook.

Not sure how to make the half-page go with the design of your initial 12×12?

No worries! I share how to design 6×12 pages to coordinate with 12×12 layouts in a video tutorial. CLICK HERE to learn how you can get this video.

If you regret pages from an earlier and wilder scrapbook life, this is a great way to go back and add the story! Don’t you think?

So which is it for you? The angel or the devil? Or both? :)


  • Catherine Gervais

    Well, heaven help me if I put everything I like onto one page – but I LOVE this approach. I do my favorite design and my best writing when I separate the two in the process of scrapping.

  • “heaven help me,” LOL. If you do best by separating the two processes, this is perfect for you!! :)

  • Vicki Lee

    I’ve been watching you do this for a little while now and just LOVE it! Usually there’s so much to tell in a story that committing it to just part of a 12X12 seems to short-change the story. This way EVERYBODY gets room. And you do it so well!!!
    Thanks for continuing to show us the how-to of this fantastic technique.

  • Martie Rollin

    This has been a very interesting design element for a page LO. I like the interactive aspects of having more to do…I’m thinking about adding more tags and pockets onto that half page. Good inspiration! Thanks!

  • Heather V

    This is a great idea! Thank you for sharing.

  • Kimberly Wirfs

    I just realized that I have been doing this for awhile too. I, like you Noelle, seem to write and write and write. I love that I can write lots and not have it affect my paper design. Love it!!!

  • Yes! I’m actually trying to edit myself more, lol!

  • Yes, that’s fun! In some of those links in the post I have at least one with a pocket and one with a bunch of tags. :) fun stuff.

  • A) I love this idea. Thanks for sharing.
    B) I really enjoyed being able to read the journaling on the allowance page, as this is something we’re talking about in my house and I like your approach and found it affirming to read. And just based on what I know about you from PRT I think you & Izzy ARE raising awesome kids.

  • Oh good — I love that some people read the journaling!

    And thank you! I do absolutely adore my kids and think they’re amazing!! Good luck with your own allowance experience! :)

  • Tiffany W.

    What great ideas! I’m so excited to try these.

  • Susan

    Hi Noell,
    I love this idea as well, as I am an “emotional” writer and could go on and on about the beauty and love of the littlest things. (A good thing in theory,)
    However, I am starting to think that my emotionality can cause a glut of words that become just like the 20th picture of the same thing at an event. It also causes me to become stuck – overwhelmed. You mentioned trying to edit yourself more… I was thinking maybe that could be an interesting post down the road about how to get the best journaling for the story, or how do you decide how much to include/exclude. I know its a personal thing, but I would love to hear your thinking process about it.
    Thanks for all you do. I also always read everyone’s journaling – it shocked me when someone mentioned on the roundtable that they didn’t think anyone read the journaling. !
    Have a good day.

  • Yes, it surprised me, too!

    I had to laugh at what you said, “A good thing in theory!” I’ve learned that there is definitely such a thing as too much. I’ll keep your topic suggestion in mind for a future post. Because I’m a heavy journaler I suspect there are a nice handful of regulars here who also journal a lot. I wonder if there are many (any?) others who are like us and need to shorten it a bit?

  • Xin

    Thank you so much for this! I am working on my high school scrapbook & I have a ton of journaling from my blog from that time period & have been wondering how to include them in & still have pretty paper design too!