Three Part Triangle Flexible Template – Paperclipping 181

Paperclipping 181

There is one design concept I use more than any other for setting up the structure of my design.

The Flexible Template I’m sharing in this week’s video tutorial is the most useful and the most flexible of all of them! Whether you’re doing single photo layouts from this past summer, or you’re already diving into multiple photo pages for the holidays, you’ll be able to use this template today as the jumping off point for your next scrapbook page.

This tutorial is for the Paperclipping Members. You can find it in the Member’s Area.

You’re not a member? Could your scrapbooking benefit from lots of Flexible Templates that will help you get started on solid ideas for your pages, without telling you exactly where to put things or how many photos you need?

What about design principles and concepts that will help you learn to make pages you’ll love in less time? If so, I think you’ll love a membership! You’ll get immediate access to the Paperclipping archives of 180 professional video tutorials, plus two episodes every month!

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  • I didn’t know you were homeschooling your kids! :)

  • KikiK

    Another great episode! The visual triangle is the “tool” I use in almost every page I make and subconsciously I use it the way you demostrated! Thank you for pointing this out!!! I mean… I used to place my photos in this manner but I didn’t know the principle behind it! I just did it because it felt right! With this lesson a whole new way opened ahead….Love your flexible templates and missed them!
    p.s. love your new haircut :)

  • GirlWhoScraps

    I really learned alot from this episode. Your videos always make me feel confident in my scrapbooking, because I am making my own choices, but following the tips  you teach and share.

    On a side note, I know it’s personal, so I understnad if you choose not to share, but I’m wondering if you would share on your experience homeschooling your children?

    Thank you so much, Noelle!

  • GirlWhoScraps


  • Wow! I love your hair, such a stunning red! I also loved the episode, I have heard over and over again about the visual triangle with embellishments but never even thought of it applying to photos, thanks!

  • Just started this year! :)

  • Thank you!

  • Sure! A number of things were happening at once: Trinity now dances 22+ hours a week and with her new schedule this year we realized she would be gone before Chad got home from school, and on most evenings, she wouldn’t be home till bedtime.

    We don’t believe it’s good to over-schedule children (or adults, for that matter!). We DO believe in devoting our lives to our passions, and Trinity wants/needs to take all these dance opportunities. Also, Blake could be taking advantages of filming opportunities with Dad if school weren’t in the way. We’re big fans of education, but in the case of these two, the regular school schedule was competing with things they could do in the areas they want to build their lives in.

    We’re also huge believers in lots of family time and especially family dinner. That was going to go away if Trinity took all that dance AND school. So now we have dinner at 3 on most evenings. :)

    At the same time, while we loved the elementary school we’d found for our kids, we hated the junior high. Horrible school. So it seemed best to take Blake out, too.

    It’s been amazingly awesome for us and our situation. The older two almost never need any help from us. They only need to school 4 days a week and they’re done very quickly. The only one we worry about is Aiden. We’ve been
    busy trying to adjust — working and helping him with his schooling — and
    we haven’t taken the time to get him involved in social things. That’s
    something we need to prioritize or this homeschooling may not be so
    beneficial for him!

  • Thank you!!

  • Oops — meant to say in that first Blake that Trinity would be gone before BLAKE got home from school — not CHAD. Chad’s my brother and I often call Blake “Chad” by accident! :)

  • Jana

    I liked Noell although this one seems the one not totally easy to see, it can have huge stretches. Maybe if you could do more on this would be great

  • Love this as another option to the lines and blocks of photos that Stacy and May discussed on the rountable as ways to place photos on a DPLO (though here you are, of course, discussing any sort of scrap page). I can see there could be more challenges with this – like potential trapped white space. Still, I think that viewing my pages with this flexible page template in mind will be very helpful. Thanks.

  • Because “triangle” shapes in design are not exact (unlike the three points of the triangle that are so pervasive in scrapbooking) it can be tricky at first.

    Maybe this will help —

    Remember first that in art and design, triangles are rarely actual exact triangles. Instead they’re about how your design leads the eye around — these designs lead your eye in a triangular path. If you look at the homeschooling page, you’ll see that your eye triangulates from one photo-grouping to the next.

    That’s the case with all of them, but the homeschooling one might be the most obvious example of this.

    I’ve been wanting to do an episode on visual paths — maybe if I include a triangular visual path it will help with this deeper way of using triangles in design.

  • Lynda

    I completely get the triangle when there are 3 photos/groupings.  Its where there are only 1 or 2 photos/groupings that I’m having a hard time seeing.  Like in the Lucky Dog LO above.  I see the triangle once you point it out, but it’s not an obvious one to me at first glance.  I did see a trinangle (my visual path) and it was top photo, bottom photo, then the Sugar & Spice embellishment cluster.  Then my eye traveled to the title & journalling.  The patterned paper was the very last thing I saw.  Am I just weird, or is the visual path kind of subjective in some instances?  Either way, I noticed on all of the LO’s that you showed us, I did see a triangle, even if it didn’t match the one that you showed on the transparencies.

  • Oh — no, you’re correct about the visual path you saw being different from what I pointed out. I’m glad you mentioned this because I realize now I totally miscommunicated in my reply.

    The visual path of a completed layout with the embellishments and everything is a true visual path. The embellishments are there to be part of that path, and the photos are the most important part. So you’re right.
    I probably shouldn’t have used that term (visual path) because I was referring to how the triangle would look BEFORE you add the additional stuff, like embellishments. And in the case of the Lucky Dog layout, I was talking about it as the visual path of the papers before you add even the photos.

    I was trying to help Jana see the triangle of your base items and I wasn’t thinking about how that would be confused with the true visual path of many of the completed layouts.

    Does that help clear that up?

  • Lynda

    Kind of.  I guess since this flexible template is the most “flexible” :) of them all, I was confusing the template with the visual path.  I was doing it even while watching the tutorial, though.  I kept thinking, “Why am I seeing this differently?”.  I will go back and watch again with this in mind.  Maybe it will help me see the triangles that you are pointing out better.  Either way, I really did learn from this tutorial!

  • This might help if I clarify — the visual path you followed on Lucky Dog is what I would hope for — the top then bottom photo first, after that the title or the embellishments are fine. And yes, I would hope the patterned paper would be an after-thought.

    It’s not an exact science, though, and some layouts will be more exact at directing the eye in a certain order than others because of different factors that all compete for attention.

  • This is good feedback. I didn’t realize that some might confuse the triangle of the foundation pieces with the way the eye moves around the completed page. Definitely two different things.

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  • Pearl Maple

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family
    Always enjoy popping into your blog space to see what new ideas you are sharing

  • Hello! I love it when you pop in and we get to catch up! Hope you’re doing well! :)

  • KatieK.

    I can relate to the reasons you have chosen to educate as this stage. My reasons were slightly different when I started in ’98. I try to choose flexibility to my approach and it has served us well now that my son dances as much as he does. He knows that if his work isn’t done -> no dance! Our choice works for us – especially with our crazy work schedule, his dance classes and rehearsals, taking care of grandparents, etc. 

     I have always wondered how do other families and kids do it – when they are involved bigtime in some sort of passion (sports, performance, hobby, academic focus, etc)? How do they get to be  ‘family’? How does the kid get down time? Is their time together what gets sacrificed? Is it health? I’m curious not judgmental. I don’t know since I have homeschooled for a long time.
    I believe, like a layout, there needs to be some white space around our activities. Noell –  you could probably write a great analogy like you did with dance and design.

  • Oooh, I like that! “White space around our activities.”


    What really got me thinking about homeschool was my physical therapist. He said his niece was a gymnist who works similar hours to Trinity — maybe more — and that she and her entire team homeschooled together. I would love it if the other dancers on her team homeschooled too! Do the other dancers on your son’s team?

    Most of my kids’ friends have a dinner-on-the-run approach. They grab something out of the freezer and pop it in the microwave on their own time. That’s just not something I could ever do.

    Always fun chatting about the dance life with you!! :)

  • KatieK.

    No, my son is currently only one who HS. It was another HS’er who got me to have my son dance and join this studio. I can really understand a team or group of skaters, gymnasts, dancers and the like homeschooling and getting together on projects, group classes.
    Health/Food is a definate benefit: getting to eat leftovers for lunch, trying out rest. at lunch vs. dinner, getting more time to play outside, time to learn to cook and bake. Not that non-HS don’t or can’t. Just from a time/schedule aspect.

  • KatieK.

    New question/comment – I have hard time visualizing the triangles. That overlay really helped! 

    I’m thinking of looking back at layouts I’ve done to see if I can find the triangles or non-triangles I’ve made on pages. If I can dissect them for design elements I think it will help me to incorporate them purposefully into future layouts. 

    Maybe the layouts I like have good triangles – and the ones I don’t like need them or need some other element of good design. Do you think that is a good activity to do?Thanks Izzy for the suggestions re: the videos. I learned some new tech stuff about my computer in the process. 

  • YES! This is not just a good activity, but I believe it is essential for really grasping design. It is exactly what I mean when I’m always saying that learning to better use design requires analyzing layouts that do and don’t work for you, trying to identify principles that are or aren’t being used.

    I’m glad the overlays helped and I’ll let Izzy know, too! :)