Graduation Scrapbook Layout Ideas

When the final strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" fade, the real fun begins. Check out these pages celebrating graduations from pre-k to grad school.

Dabble In Digital

Design by Debbi Tehrani

Graduation pictures from high school, college, and graduate school were the focus of Debbi's page documenting these important milestones in her life. After converting two photos to black-and-white, Debbi lined up the photos, added digital labels, and printed the collage as one image. Debbi used a coin envelope as a pocket to hold the journaling on her page. For a sneak peek at the journaling, she cut a window in the envelope and added a label holder.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: BasicGrey. Font: Times New Roman. Chipboard letters: American Crafts. Rub-ons: 7Gypsies ("please write all..."), My Mind's Eye (leaves). Photo corner: Heidi Swapp. Coin envelope: Office Depot. Label holder: Jo-Ann Stores. Buttons: Creative Imaginations. Thread: Coats & Clark. Pen: Zig Writer. Digital elements: File Folder Labels by Katie Pertiet. Software: Print Shop 21, Microsoft Digital Image Pro.

Choose Complementary Colors

Design by Wendy Sue Anderson

Snapshots of her daughter proudly holding an academic certificate were Wendy's opportunity to document her qualities in fifth grade. Use papers that bring out the colors in your photos. Wendy chose pink and brown for a pretty color scheme that complements her photo collage. For a little variety, tilt your camera before snapping your photo. The angled photo on Wendy's page makes the photo series more interesting.


SOURCES: Patterned paper, die cuts, stickers, clips, flowers, brad, ribbon: Making Memories. Pen: American Crafts. Thread: Jo-Ann Stores.

Supersize It

Design by Linda Rodriguez

After volunteering to take senior portraits of a friend's daughter, Linda scrapbooked this digital page as a graduation present. Use a favorite font in different sizes on your page. Linda selected a plain font in four sizes, including a mega-size "A" for her title. A simple color scheme lets the photo shine, and layered patterns in strips add depth to the page.


SOURCES: Software: Microsoft Digital Image Pro 9. Font: Baskerville Old Face. Digital elements: Saffron Villa Page Set kit (yellow papers, off-white paper, stitches, staples), Vint{AGE} Buttons by Anna Aspnes; Purely Happy paper pack kit (turquoise paper), Lifted Paper Flowers No. 01 kit (flower) by Katie Pertiet; Worn Strips No. 02, Worn Strips No. 03 (strips) by Lynn Grieveson.

Give Your Design a Slant

Design by Sande Krieger

To show how much her son has changed in just three years, Sande used a current photo of him and a photo of him taken at his high school graduation for this digital layout. With two college degrees under his belt, Sande's son is heading overseas. Sande chose embellishments on her page that symbolize the journey he is about to take. Angle the elements on your page for a lively look. Sande used the Free Transform tool in Adobe Photoshop CS to rotate the tilted elements the same degree.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4. Fonts: Old Remington ("class of 2009," "class of 2006"), Post Master (journaling) by Autumn Leaves. Digital elements: Basic Backgrounds kit (white paper), French Kiss kit ("now what," frame, stitches, star on pin), Fanciful Edges v.2 kit (yellow scalloped strip, "Rm. 2" scalloped strip), Paris Flea Market Finds kit ("10" card, ticket stub, fabric measuring tape, stamp), All Seasons Tabs kit (June tab) by Sande Krieger.

Repeat Photo Elements

Design by Layle Koncar

A single photo and Layle's handwritten journaling capture her son's proud moment at his kindergarten graduation. White lined paper fits the school theme, plus the built-in lines keep Layle's handwritten journaling perfectly straight for an A+ in penmanship. Inspired by the star seen in her son's photo, Layle hand-cut 11 stars out of patterned paper for a colorful border that supports the page theme.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper, die cuts, rub-ons, stickers: Scenic Route Paper Co. Pen: Zig Writer (black).

Make Your Own Embellishments

Design by Candi Gershon

For her son's kindergarten graduation page, Candi experimented with an 81/2x12" page she can display or keep in a page protector. Creating your own embellishments saves money and a trip to the store. Candi made the mini graduation scroll by rolling a small piece of cardstock and tying it with embroidery floss. Candi assembled her photo collage using an online photo service and sent it to a local store to print on 5x7" paper. On her next trip to the store, she picked it up along with the 4x6" photo of her son.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Tag: My Mind's Eye. Stickers: American Crafts. Floss: Jo-Ann Stores. Pen: Sharpie. Photo services: Picasa (collage), Walgreens (printing).

Try Nongraduate Theme Products

Design by Lisa Swift

Lisa celebrated her daughter's graduation from preschool with a simple photo of her daughter and her teachers. Don't feel confined to graduation or school-theme products to scrapbook your graduation page. Lisa picked flowers, hearts, and pink patterned paper. Trimming her journaling into strips was a simple way for Lisa to format it to fit the half-circle space. She also substituted hand-drawn stitches for the real thing on part of the page.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: BoBunny Press. Font: Decker (journaling) off the Internet. Paper trim, letter stickers, brads: Doodlebug Design. Epoxy sticker: KI Memories. Chipboard accents: Scenic Route Paper Co. (heart, "top secret"), Pressed Petals ("4"), Doodlebug Design (tag). Rub-ons: Doodlebug Design (date, hearts), Scenic Route Paper Co. ("brilliant," "photograph"). Flowers: Prima Marketing. Buttons: Rusty Pickle (pink, purple), SEI (cream), Jo-Ann Stores (green, brown). Ink: ColorBox by Clearsnap. Thread: Coats & Clark. Pen: American Crafts.

Use Lots of Photos

Design by April Massad

April snapped more than two dozen photos at her sister's high school graduation, then displayed them in a grid design on a two-page layout. To fit 26 photos in the layout, April cropped 24 pictures to 2" squares -- small but still big enough to see who is in them. That left plenty of room for a 4×4" portrait of the grad and a 9×4" group shot. To highlight the green color of her sister's gown and to mute colors in photos that clashed with each other, April changed selected photos to black-and-white.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: My Mind's Eye. Chipboard accents: BasicGrey. Transparency: Hambly Studios. Paint pen: Elmer's Products.

Documenting 3-Dimensional Items

Design by Sarah Klemish

Snap photos of mementos, especially three-dimensional souvenirs that won't lie flat in an album. Use a binder clip to bookmark a favorite layout in an album. Layer scalloped edging, a strip of patterned paper, and stitching for an above-average border. Snip portions from a circular gem sticker to make room for the title.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Scenic Route Paper Co. (notebook), KI Memories (circles, confetti). Font: Bell Gothic off the Internet. Paper frill: Doodlebug Design. Chipboard letters: American Crafts. Clip: Making Memories. Gems: Heidi Swapp. Thread: Jo-Ann Stores.

Make a Page-Spanning Title

Design by Kathy Thompson

The bold page-spanning title on this layout really catches the eye. It bounces across the page in a fun wavy pattern, giving the simple grid layout an unexpected dose of energy. But what makes this page so great is how it accomplishes so much in so little space. Any layout that can showcase four photos along with plenty of journaling is a winner.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper, Michaels Arts & Crafts. Fonts: Anson (journaling), Condini Condensed (title) off the Internet.

Heat-Emboss Details

Design by Renee Camacho

Embossing powders come in tons of colors and styles, allowing you to get totally custom looks on your pages. Renee heat-embossed chipboard accents and stamped images, unifying her page design.


SOURCES: Cardstock: The Paper Studio. Patterned paper: Scenic Route Paper Co. (black), Manto Fev Decorative Paper (lined). Font: My Kind of Font (journaling) off the Internet. Chipboard accents: Li'l Davis Designs (stars, circles), Heidi Swapp (letters). Stamp: Jenni Bowlin Studio (name/date), Technique Tuesday ("school," words in circle), Impress Rubber Stamps (circle outline). Ink: VersaMark, VersaColor by Tsukineko. Pen: Sharpie. Embossing powder: Hero Arts (silver), Ranger Industries (black), Paper Moon (clear).

Use Memorabilia

Design by Renee Villalobos-Campa

Staples, file-tab captions, and her son's real tassel set the scene in Renee's layout of her son's preschool graduation. A journaled note written to Michael and rolled up like a diploma documents the accomplishments of the year and reminisces about the clothes he chose himself for the special day.

If you want to have flawless layouts for years to come, make sure your elements are archival-safe.


SOURCES: Patterned paper, stickers: Karen Foster Design. Font: PC KID by Provo Craft. Labels: Me and My Big Ideas. Twill tape: Sweetwater. Jump ring: Junkitz.

Compare Then and Now

Design by Leah Fung

From a young age, Leah wanted to take her study of science and medicine as far as she could. To commemorate her years of hard work and success, the medicinal chemist paired pictures and memorabilia from the beginning and completion of her formal education. A photocopy of her doctorate diploma and an early-education certificate, with portraits from then and now, were layered over patterned-paper strips and cardstock.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: 7Gypsies (black text), Chatterbox (strips, floral). Font: Times New Roman ("Celebrate"), Brushfire ("22 years of?") by Chatterbox. Stencil letter, rivets: Chatterbox.

Blend Color and Photos

Design by Nely Fok

To reflect the energetic atmosphere of a Hawaiian graduation, Nely blended an array of colorful papers and cardstock with numerous telling photos for a layout commemorating her brother's high school graduation. A straightforward page title and her brother's name simply stamped let the pictures tell the story.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: American Crafts. Font: Times New Roman. Rubber stamps: River City Rubber Works ("graduation"), Stampers Anonymous ("Jay"). Ink: Close to My Heart. Acrylic paint: Delta. Metal frame: Making Memories.

Accent an Alphabet

Design by Kathleen Paneitz

Alphabet-print papers provide the background for Kathleen's tribute to her daughter's preschool graduation. A metal frame lined with a transparency and attached with photo anchors and brads becomes a pocket for memorabilia. Rub-on letters create part of Kathleen's page title (paired with a definition strip) and embellish the pocket and metal-rim tag.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: Li'l Davis Designs. Font: Rickety by Two Peas in a Bucket. Photo turns, metal frame, metal-rim tag, definition sticker, staples, date stamp: Making Memories. Rub-on letters: Scrapworks (?childhood?), KI Memories ("Congrats," "Janae"), Autumn Leaves ("6"), Li'l Davis Designs ("Celebrate"). Tab: Autumn Leaves. Ribbon: Offray. Label maker: Dymo. Eyelets: Creative Imaginations (large), Doodlebug Design (flat-top). Mini brads: Magic Scraps.

Include Candid Shots

Design by Joanna Bolick

To capture the candid interactions at her little brother's reception, Joanna snapped Polaroid photos and incorporated them into her layout. Next to a full-size portrait of the graduate, checkerboard-pattern paper forms the backdrop. Joanna journaled and printed the white type in a black text box on glossy photo paper.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: Karen Foster Design (cardboard), Daisy D's Paper Co. (strip, alphabet). Font: Soli ("who," "what", etc., "Jo") off the Internet, Sonoma (journaling) by Apple. Foam stamps, staples: Making Memories. Ruler sticker: K&Company. Paper clip: 7Gypsies. Acrylic paint: Aleene?s for Duncan Enterprises.

Combine Black-and-White and Color

Design by Susan Weinroth

Susan designed this layout to commemorate her sister's graduation from the same college she attended. She paired her black-and-white photo photo with vibrant patterned papers, which she cut and arranged in blocks on a black cardstock background. Colorful letter stickers also mounted on black complete her page title.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: KI Memories. Font: Roxie by Two Peas in a Bucket. Letter stickers: Pebbles Inc. Ink: Ranger Industries. Ribbon: May Arts, Offray. Metal-rim tag, brad: Making Memories. Label maker: Dymo.

Stamp for Success

Design by Stacey George

Stacey's whimsical layout gets a gold star for its vibrant palette and stamping techniques. Stacey layered her stamps and cut shapes around them to freshen the look.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Prism Papers. Patterned paper: Paper Heart Studio. Stickers: Doodlebug Design. Rubber stamps: Technique Tuesday (flower centers), EK Success (alphabet, date).

Do it Digitally

Design by Katie Kaapcke

A funky flower dingbat and bright spring colors give a fresh look to Katie's digital page. Even her diploma becomes part of the design with help from her scanner. Katie also increased the saturation in her photos, which are 10 years old, to give them an updated look.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop Pro. Fonts: Tokyo Girl (outlined captions), Starlet (curly captions), Vineyard (journaling), Flower Garden (flowers) by Two Peas in a Bucket. Digital elements: HapPea Life kit by Two Peas in a Bucket (patterned paper, metal accents, monograms, brads), Heck Ya! kit by The Digichick (ribbon).

Create a Collage

Design by Kay Rogers

Kay earns an A+ for her use of bold patterns and oversize letters that pull together for an expertly created collage. While school colors may be an obvious choice, try a more subtle method and use subdued tones of the same colors.


SOURCES: Patterned paper, fibers, stickers, die cuts: BasicGrey. Metal accents: Making Memories. Tab: Creative Imaginations.

Play Up Pastels

Design by Kate Teague

Kate focused on pastels to play up the proud grad's pink dress, and she used small mementos to add a personal touch. She incorporated a combination of purchased digital elements and her own scanned items, and showcased fun photos like the close-up of stylish shoes.


SOURCES: Fonts: Edwardian Script ("Princess," "day") off the Internet, Century Schoolbook (journaling), Century Gothic (title). Digital elements: Designer Digitals.

Make an Album

Design by Kelly Orr

Kelly punched up a store-bought album with heaps of ribbon and bold patterned paper. She personalized the album with rub-ons and left room for journaling and additional photos for the recipient to fill in.


SOURCES: Patterned paper, acrylic heart: KI Memories. Stickers, rub-ons, paper flowers: Making Memories. Ribbon: Making Memories (printed), Michaels (all other). Album: Target.

Showcase Journaling

Design by Sheri Hamilton

A simple layer of torn-edge journaling lets the red background peek through Sheri's layout. A group of photos at the bottom allows her to include a variety of shots -- including some that are less than perfect but still special to Sheri.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Font: Jayne Print off the Internet. Rub-ons: KI Memories ("done"), My Mind's Eye (stitches). Photo turns: Making Memories.

Tone Down the Colors

Design by Rhonda Bonifay

Rhonda's patriotic design puts the spotlight on a proud moment: her husband's graduation from flight training. A black-and-white photo works well with a muted palette. Rhonda's color choices convey the proud, patriotic theme. She also included a large vellum star, allowing it to overlap the journaling strips to add interest without distraction.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Font: Carbonated Gothic off the Internet. Rub-ons, stickers, fabric tab: Scrapworks. Brads: Making Memories. Photo corners, chipboard stars: Heidi Swapp. Ribbon: Li'l Davis Designs.

Creatively Crop Photos

Design by Hilary Erickson

Even prekindergarten graduations should be celebrated. Hilary captured her son's big moment in classic black and gold. Her one-page layout packs in four photos. She cropped in on the details and overlapped unimportant areas for the most impact.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: Karen Foster Design. Rub-ons: Making Memories. Charm: A Charming Place. Ribbon: Bobbin Ribbon (yellow with stitches), Making Memories (black), SEI (yellow, gold).

Return to Black

Design by Susan Weinroth

Susan used fun photos and vivid striped paper to create a memorable layout about her husband's graduation day. She picked up on the dark cap and gown and used black for the background, making her colors seem richer.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: American Crafts. Font: American Typewriter off the Internet. Stickers: American Crafts ("2005"), Doodlebug Design (title). Chipboard accent: Heidi Swapp. Brads, photo turns: Queen & Co.

Add Stitching and Effects

Design by Sharon Laakkonen

Sharon's old photos get a modern makeover on a playful page. Instead of trying to find another coordinating paper or just the right shade of cardstock, she set off her journaling and title with simple stitched frames. Sharon created her border by cutting rectangles from patterned paper and layering them.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Provo Craft. Rubber stamp: Fontwerks. Chipboard letters: BasicGrey (large), Heidi Swapp (small).

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