Unless you're a former graphic designer, deciding how to arrange the elements on your child's scrapbook page is probably the hardest part of creating a baby scrapbook album. Scrapbook sketches make it easier to design great looking pages in a hurry by giving you a blueprint to follow.
Using Scrapbook Sketches
A scrapbook sketch is simply a drawing with boxes to indicate where to place your photos, captions, title, journaling, and embellishments. For the beginning scrapbooker, sketches are often easier to work with than trying to copy a page from a magazine. When you can't get distracted by the creator's photos or choice of product, it's easier to put your own unique spin on the layout. Sketches let you see that a layout that was originally about someone's trip to Paris could have the perfect design to showcase photos of your child meeting his great-grandparents for the very first time.
Resources for Scrapbooking Page Ideas
Becky Higgins popularized the scrapbook sketches concept through her work at Creating Keepsakes magazine, although a number of other scrapbookers have expanded on the idea. Rebecca Ludens at About Scrapbooking has a nice assortment of simple sketches that would work well for everything from scrapbooking baby's first steps to making a baby girl scrapbook first birthday page. Becky Fleck's PageMaps offer easy-to-follow designs for great looking scrapbook pages. Scrapbooks, Etc. has an index of printable sketches from past issues of the magazine on its website.
Organizing Your Scrapbook Sketches
While scrapbooking sketches are a fabulous time saving tool for busy parents, they won't help you if you can't find them when you're ready to get your pictures into your baby scrapbook album. When you see a scrapbook sketch you like, print off a copy right away. The Internet is always changing, so there is no guarantee these scrapbooking ideas will still be in the same location when you need them.
File your scrapbooking sketches in a three-ring binder, making a note of where the sketch came from in case you decide to post your project in an online scrapbooking forum or enter it in a contest. To make your sketch collection as useful as possible, keep it organized by the number of photos in a particular sketch. If you have a lot of sketch ideas, you can divide them into one page scrapbook layouts and double page spreads.