I’m not a square. Really, I’m not. I’m a rectangle and quick glimpse at my gallery will reveal that truth. I like my scrapbook layouts to be in 8.5×11 inch landscape format. And I love templates! I find them to be the perfect starting point for many of my scrapbook projects.
I was a paper scrapper for about 10 years before I converted to digi. When I started digi scrapping I made the decision to change the size of my layouts from the traditional 12×12 square format to the landscape format I currently use. This decision was prompted by 3 reasons.
- 12×12 albums don’t fit on most regular bookshelves. I was finding that I had to store my albums in strange places to accommodate their size and felt like they were being hidden rather than enjoyed.
- 12×12 albums are difficult to children and the elderly to handle. I only let my kids look at their albums if they laid them on the floor. They were heavy and their large size made them awkward for small laps to hold.
- 8.5×11 is the most popular size of the photo book print services. This size would also be around for future generations if my kids or grandkids decide they would like copies of my pages at some point.
While the large majority of scrappers use the traditional square format, there are an increasing number of scrappers who choose rectangles over squares. Most of the templates created by designers seem to default to the square size. However, as this post will show, just because a template was created as a square doesn’t mean it can’t be easily adapted to a rectangle.
There are 2 primary methods I use for converting a square template to a rectangle size. The first method simply takes the square template, places it on the rectangle and fills the remaining white space with some other element or decoration.
For example, I utilized this template from Meredith Fenwick:
to create this layout:
To create this layout, I resized the existing template to 8.5 x 8.5.
Then change the existing canvas size to 11×8.5.
While you are resizing the canvas size, you have the option to choose where to place the square template on the newly resized rectangle. For the example above, I chose to place the layout on the center left. Use the arrows to move the layout to the desired position.
The end result is a resized template that is now easily adaptable to your scrapping style. (I usually turn off the background layer at this point. I like to work on a clean canvas.)
The second method for resizing a square template is much the same as the first, however, it eliminate the initial step of resizing the template to an 8.5×8.5 square. You can see this illustrated in the following layout. I utilized this template from Spencer Nugent (found in the Design 365: January 31 Day Page Templates):
to create this layout from my second week of my Project 365 photos.
I did just a couple of quick adjustments to the square template.
First, I adjusted the canvas size to 11×8.5. When you adjust the canvas size without resizing first, you will find that some of the original template will be “clipped off” due to the smaller size. This is actually the look I wanted to achieve with this layout because I wanted to keep the photos as large as possible. Resizing would have made some of the small photos very small for the layout.
And, secondly, I moved the wavy image down a bit to accommodate the large amount of journaling I had on this layout. If I were creating a layout that didn’t utilize as much journaling I might not have felt the need to move that wavy circle element.
Of the two methods demonstrated, I use the first method much more frequently than the second. The first method allows you to utilize the entire template as it was created with the added benefit of being able to add fun embellishments to fill any remaining white space.
Here are just a few more examples of rectangle layouts created from square templates.
I utilized Scrappable Template 10 from Tiffany Tillman and the first method to create this layout. I chose to center this layout rather than place it to either side and simply added a little margin and another background paper.
This was a super simple layout to create. Tiffany Tillman’s Scrappable Template #30 was easily adapted. It utilized Carina’s gorgeous paper and brush work (from the O Christmas Tree collection) to highlight some old Christmas photos. The sleigh, word art and brush strokes were part of the paper
This layout utilized a template from Spencer Nugent’s Design 365 January Template pack. I “stretched” the layout by adding another photo on the top layer and increasing the size of one of the photos on the bottom layer.
Even if you are not a rectangle scrapper, don’t be afraid to experiment with your templates. To me, a template is a great place to start a layout. It gives you a basic framework for the layout of your photos and from there, you can move and customize to your heart’s content. DHD has a great collection of template to provide a great launching pad for your digital layout.
What size do you like to scrap?