How to Choose the Decor of Scrapbook Photo Albums


If you are new to scrapbooking, you may experience difficulties trying to decide what kind of decorations to choose for your first scrapbook photo albums. The first thing you should do is to identify the topic of your scrapbook and decide on what style you prefer to work in since the decorations highly depend on style.

Let’s go through the most popular styles in scrapbooking so that you can choose one that appeals to you most of all. Each style has a number of characteristics, while some styles are very close to each other and can coexist harmoniously on the same scrappage. All the decorations mentioned in the article you can easily find at CraftOnline .

Shabby chic


The most famous style. “shabby chic” – this is the name of the style in the interior, decor, and fashion. This is the style of “Victorian Romance” born in the late 1980s of the 20th century. Its author is the English designer Rachel Ashwell, who bought old furniture at flea markets and sales. Then she remade it for her family and friends in a certain style.

Features in scrapbooking:

– pastel colors: almond, light pink, white, delicate mint color, light turquoise, pale blue, pale lilac, ivory;

– the presence of many details;

– muted colors with white (acrylic) paint;

– scuffs (sandpaper, nail file, etc.);

– torn edge (remember, we analyzed in detail the type and composition of each paper in previous publications);

– hand or machine stitching;

– aging with crackle;

– cameos, gypsum plaster frames;

– fabric, lace;

– flowers, buttons, pearl halves;

– black and white photographs.

Decorations and materials should not be too “plastic”. If necessary, they can be tinted with acrylic!



This style pleases the eye with its rustic graceful color with French tones, which is accompanied by romance and naivety. Provence reminds us of endless meadows and flowering fields, of simplicity and relaxed communication. Provence is characterized by natural materials, clear lines, floral compositions, and a reminder of antiquity, which is present in every single detail. Here we will see all shades of lilac and purple, milky and beige!

All those items that are characteristic of shabby chic act as worthy decor here. Paper and fabric flowers, lace, ribbons from natural materials, wood, glass, slightly tinted in delicate shades of metal.

Clean and Simple


Cleanliness and simplicity in this style have nothing to do with empty space or with a small number of materials used. This style is the result of orderliness, strictly verified, often even symmetrical arrangement of elements, a kind of rhythm and poise.

The priority for using background paper is plain paper, it is white cardstock that looks very beautiful. Using the minimum number of colors. The best way is to keep everything the same in tone and colors used on the page. The main elements used in this style are photography.

Using a minimum of materials and decorations. Less is better. They should be close to the photo and create a coherent whole. Using simple geometric shapes (square, circle, or rectangle). Postcards made in this style are made primarily from scratch and involve the use of stamping techniques.



American style is a classic. It is considered the progenitor of all styles in scrapbooking. It was in the United States in the 80s that a new hobby appeared – scrapbooking. It’s an amazingly vibrant, layered, and cheerful style. Flowers, chipboard, rhinestones, buttons, ribbons, volumetric stickers, cut-outs, stamps …

Features and characteristics:

– bright saturated colors (blue, red, yellow, green);

– paper with cheerful patterns (rhombuses, chevron, stripes, flower);

– journaling and headings;

– an abundance of jewelry, small details, and harmony in this;

– layering and volume!



А science-fiction direction that simulates a civilization that has perfectly mastered the mechanics and technologies of steam engines. As a rule, steampunk implies an alternative version of the development of mankind with a pronounced general stylization under the era of Victorian England.

This style has the least relation to fabrics, metal, stylized plastic, and chipboard painted in metallic shades reign here. And also tinted or cloudy glass. Sometimes there are epoxy stickers and even flowers painted to match the scrap-work.



Usually this concept is applied to high-quality wines, each vintage of which has its own unique features and characteristics in scrapbooking:

– preference for dark colors: coffee, beige, yellowish, dark brown, black, bright, saturated colors should not be present;

– toning of white and other bright elements with brown, black shades;

– Obligatory edge processing: toning, torn edge, burnt edge;

– scuffs, creases, bends, scratches;

– craquelure;

– jewelry: dials, watches, keys, stamps, tickets, letters;

– paper: aged in coffee, sheet music, book sheets, crumpled sheets, newspaper clippings;

– handwritten journaling, typed in a font that imitates a typewriter;

– photo: black and white, sepia.

Mixed media


This is an energetic and original style, which almost without restrictions implies a mixture of styles, materials, and various techniques.

Mixed media itself is a very distinctive style. It appeared much earlier than the popularization of scrap took place. Collages, art objects, drawings, paintings in the style of Mixed media have always been in trend, and until now the interest in such objects does not wane! This is a style on the verge of genius and insanity, it stands at the very edge of scrapbooking as a hobby or art.

Features and characteristics:

  • mixing styles and materials. You can use wooden, metal, plastic, glass decorations, etc … even keys from cans or zippers, the main thing is that the element does not get out of the general mood of work;
  • applying techniques that are not used in traditional scrapbooking. You can actively use doodling with pens, markers, use varnishes, combine craquelure in one work and create a background using modeling pastes;

European style


In scrapbooking, it differs from the American one. This is a more strict style, restrained, light. When designing a page in this style, it is necessary to use a large number of photographs, with a variety of shapes (in the form of circles, rhombuses, squares).

In contrast to the American style, a minimal amount of jewelry is used. But curly scissors, markers, crayons, stamps, and punches are used. With this, you can post photos in a wide variety of combinations, but in the same way. There should be some regularity in their arrangement on the page: there are either rhombuses, or rectangles, or circles.

There are few decorations on European pages, so as not to distract the viewer’s attention from the photographs. The background can be either white or colored, but always solid.

We hope this article will inspire your creativity and you come up with a great idea for your scrapbook album. Manufacturers are working hard to surprise us and every year there is more and more unusual, functional, luxurious decor. What you need to do is just click the button and shop online.

Written by Marinelle Adams