Before & After: Scrapbook Page Makeovers

before and after scrapbooking

In my post- scrapbook organizing euphoria, I began purging, consolidating and re-creating some layouts.

Why on earth would I do such a thing, especially if the layouts weren’t the beginner deco-scissored ones?

Because those 12×12 albums take up a lot of space, and I rarely looked at them anyway. It’s not that I disliked my old pages (although some were covered in so many embellishments that it was like looking at a “Where’s Waldo?” poster where you can’t find the kid). I had just moved on creatively, and was perfectly happy with the space-saving idea of storing old layouts digitally rather than physically.

Photographing a layout is quick and simple – much better than the old days of scanning and stitching. For tips on photographing scrapbook layouts, see this article by Maggie Holmes.

As for consolidating and re-creating layouts, I’m currently in the process of making small, storybook-type albums for my children that contain stories about them. Kind of a “greatest hits” rather than a documentation of every single thing that happened every day, which is what led to my past abundance of layouts. Some stories and photos from the old layouts made the greatest hits list.

So whether you’re thinking about re-creating layouts, switching to a smaller size, or just think I’m crazy, here are some makeovers:

(Click on a photo to see it larger)



  • The Good: Fun story.
  • The Bad: I didn’t need a photo of every angle of his head, and the glitter glued all over the page wasn’t working, either.
  • The New: I chose one photo, used glitter stickers, and selected a better shade of green to match the grass in the photo.

before and after glitter


  • The Good: I didn’t realize until writing this post that I used BasicGrey’s Lollipop Shoppe (my all-time favorite) on all three! I also like the design of the second layout.
  • The Bad: The giant groovy letters take up too much space.
  • The New: I consolidated the two layouts because both referred to how my daughter pronounced the letter G.

before and after G


  • The Good: Cute story.
  • The Bad: This was made in 2005, and I was trying the trendy freestyle (which is totally not my style). It’s also a little dark for a fairy page.
  • The New: Sparkly and fun, with fairy stickers and a happier shade of purple.

before and after fairyland


  • The Good: I like the main photo in “Meow, and the design and story in “Fearless.”
  • The Bad: A lot going on in the first layout.
  • The New: I consolidated the two layouts because both were about how my daughter liked pretending she was an animal/insect.

before and after meow

Upside Down

  • The Good: Fun layout.
  • The Bad: A lot of products.
  • The New: A 2-up 4×6 photo sleeve – fast and easy. It later occurred to me that I could have just printed the old layout on small photo paper (but then the photo would be small, too).

before and after upside down


  • The Good: I like the story and photos.
  • The Bad: Sunglasses are required for viewing the first layout. A lot of products were used on all of them.
  • The New: I consolidated the three layouts after I noticed my son was wearing the same yellow shirt in all of them. I actually have a few more pages with that yellow shirt – it’s like a funny “chapter” of the album!

before and after yellow

Black & White

  • The Good: I like the story in the “Black & White” layout and the photos in the “Classic Girl” layout.
  • The Bad: A lot of wasted space. The second layout doesn’t even have journaling.
  • The New: I consolidated the two layouts and chose one photo.

before and after black and white


That’s all the scrapbook page makeovers I have to show right now. Thanks for not judging. :)

  • Christine

    I like how you’re re-working your layouts to fit in your new condensed space.

  • Mariangeles

    I love it!! What have you done with the original LOs?

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Thanks! The layouts that had no journaling were taken apart and the photos put back in my photo boxes (which are sorted by year). The layouts with journaling are kept until I create a new layout, like I did in this post. Then I take them apart, too.

  • Sarah Webb

    So fun to see the transformation! TFS!

  • Chriss Coleman

    I’ve been reading the last few post with interest as I pretty much did the same thing. I went from a scrapbooking/crafting room, to a few cubbies in an Expedit in the lounge. I purged lots. I switched from 12×12 (too big!!) to 8.5×11. I used to use a lot of white space, so worthy layouts were cut down. Layouts without good story were taken apart. Good story layouts (the few…) were recreated in the smaller size, often using what was on the original page if it worked. I have one 12×12 album with a dozen or so layouts that still need reworking, but they are safe and viewable for now.

    In all of this, I’ve gone from making lots of layouts to making layouts full of story. I probably scrapbook more now than ever, but it is all about the story. I have fun with product and trends, but I keep the story first. The best thing is that the stories are being told, and not tidbits over and over again. I look at the bigger picture most of the time. I don’t need a layout about everything we do, but I still like to document some of the everyday stuff. I use divided page protectors for the ‘smaller stories’ that I really want to include but don’t want them to take up a whole layout. I love this system. I am now working back through my childhood stories and family stories in the same manner.

    Best of all? We actually look at the albums now. Even my husband, who has no interest in scrapbooking tells occasionally ‘I’m glad you got that story down. It is one of my favourites.’

    Good luck on your journey.

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story!

  • Marie-Pierre

    I really like to see the before and after!! I must say I like the after best. :) Good for you that you started doing scrapbooking again because those stories are VERY precious!! Aren’t they? :) I’m also a big fan of story telling and still, I feel like everytime I write a blogpost to showcase my page, I have to tell the story…the one that isn’t on the page! Thank you very much for showing your process of story telling. It’s very inspiring!

  • Tracie Claiborne

    Well I have to say – your original layouts really impress me with the design and clean style. I love them. It kinda makes my eye twitch to think of you not keeping them but I totally get it. Totally. I have about 10 albums that I feel like are half full of layouts that tell a story and half full of something I did for a Design Team, just to use a cute picture – you know what I mean. I’ve considered just tossing the ones that irk me but the dang photos are so cute!! It’s my baby girl who is now 12 and especially the ones of her at 3 and 4 and 5 and you know how that goes – I don’t want to put them in a box and I don’t trust myself to go back and do another page with more meaningful journaling. It’s a project I will tackle at some point in my life and I’m constantly reminding myself not to make another page without a significant story!!!! This post was AWESOMENESS!!!!! Soooooo enjoyed seeing your process. I’m your new biggest fan btw. :)

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Dear biggest fan :), thank you! The eye-twitching made me laugh. I did take digital photos of most of the 12×12 layouts before I took them apart, so they live in my computer now instead of a big album.

  • Kris Huber Van Allen

    I have so many 12 x 12 albums from my early days of scrapping stored away, that I know no one wants me to bring out on a 2 wheeled dolly for them to try to look at. I don’t even want to try. I have been thinking for years about redoing them, and I feel like you have given me permission to do so! I love the idea of taking photos of the original layouts. But after that I may just ‘cannibalize’ them, and reduce the size to something far more manageable and attractive. My kids we born in 1992, 1994 and 1996, the heyday years of shapes, edge scissors and sticker sneezes. Now that two are in college and one will soon graduate high school, I have the time to spend recreating the albums into a style that I like now. And after all, I have found that I am a “process crafter” anyway. So thank you for these posts, and for sharing your experiences!!

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Thank you! (Those albums are heavy, aren’t they?)

  • krunberry

    These are so beautiful! When I heard you on Paperclipping, I imagined handwriting, a small photo and kraft cardstock. Your pages are so amazing! They are so much more inspiring than what I thought. I will have to think about how I can integrate this idea in my photos! Thanks for taking the time to share your process.

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Oh that is funny! I’m so glad you liked my pages.

  • Martha Thomas

    Wow. Thank you for sharing! I started scrapbooking in 1995 and I have way way too many scrapbooks. I’ve already started using the “pocket” style, insert-the-photos type scrapbooking and felt so much freedom….now I feel the freedom to rip apart those old scrapbooks that take up too much room for so few stories. Thank you!! Seriously…for the “permission” (and the idea) to rip those things apart. I feel even more freedom for this process (that I really DO love) than I did before.

    One quick question…how long did it take you to re-do your past scrapbooks? And how many scrapbooks did you re-do?

    Thanks again for sharing. Really. Thank. You.

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Thanks, Martha! I wish I had a definite answer for you. My layouts were such a chaotic mess that it’s hard to say how long it took or how many I re-made! I’m guessing I spent a week getting everything sorted and under control – layouts photographed, layouts with just photos taken apart, layouts with journaling sorted into “to re-do” piles by theme or children’s ages, and layouts to keep. I am *still* re-creating layouts, but that’s probably because I don’t make scrapbooking pages every day (or week!)… just when the mood hits me.

      The pocket style you mentioned is one of my favorites, too. It’s easier and less intimidating to group some of these old layouts into themes and make an entire album, like this Christmas one:

      If my pages had all been put away neatly in albums in the first place, I would have taken out a few at a time to consolidate into one page or put into a themed album. Then whatever was left could be taken apart and photos put back into photo boxes.

      I hope this helps!

      • Martha Thomas

        Yes!! Even a few days later I’m STILL thinking about you and your process and this “new” (to me) idea of making things simpler. Thank YOU for sharing and for being brave in a sub-culture that is sometimes kinda competitive and confrontative (online especially) but I sill whole heartedly believe in telling our stories and sharing them with our families. You truly are an inspiration to me. I know I sound stalker-ish…I’m just SO grateful for this new way of thinking. Have a blessed day and week!! Keep up the great work, and I’d LOVE to see more of your “makeovers”. Thanks Lisa!!

        • Lisa Moorefield

          thank you thank you thank you! :) I was wondering if I should post any more makeovers, so I’m glad to hear that you liked them. I’ll try to include “before” layouts when I can.

  • Lizzie Sanchez

    I love this! I have been trying to ‘down size’ for years and always thinking I was crazy b/c when look on all the sbook sites everything is 12×12. I really need to listen to my inner Lizzie more.

  • Blayne White

    I really enjoyed looking at your makeovers! I, too, might be moving and I’m looking at my huge wall of albums with trepidation. Not sure if I’m ready to downsize to 5×8, BUT I’m totally thinking of combining and trimming the fat.

  • Debra

    Hi Lisa,

    The one with the yellow shirt? When I saw those photos all consolidated into the one page with the divided page protectors as an accompaniment, I just sighed. The same things taking up so much less room. Reminds me so much of what I do. I have those BIG 12 x 12 albums and I still do, but I use divided page protectors in them now. THAT means I can fit so much more in…oh, it’s so much better. I truly don’t want 200 big albums in cupboard that someone has to deal with when I die. A story that used to take a 12 x 12 page can now be told quite successfully on a 4 x 6 card that I slip in. This scrapbooking thing – it’s a bigger journey than some people think sometimes. I know it has been for me. It’s been GOOD, don’t get me wrong, but it’s definitely been a journey. It’s my love for my life, my stories, my memories and my photos in general that have kept me committed to finding a way that works and works beautifully. I mentioned in another comment (not sure where I commented!) that I’m feeling the urge to simplify even more after slimming down over the last few years…it’s necessary – I can feel it in my bones. Thanks for all your inspiration, ideas and for sharing your outlook – it’s been lovely and refreshing and sigh worthy (in a good way…like, I totally get this girl and why she’s doing what she is) for me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts – know that I’ve been nodding along and have been inspired to get up and go stick some more photos in my album. Slip them in I should say – the full 12 x 12 pages have been long gone around here (Just to clarify – use 12 x 12 albums with divided page protectors). All the best to you!

    • Lisa Moorefield

      It’s good to know I’m not the only one who thinks “who’s gonna want all this stuff when I die?” :) And thank you SO much!!!

  • Deirdre

    I so enjoyed listening to you on the Paperclipping Roundtable and finally got around to finding the link to your site. It really makes a difference to see the Before and After—I’d love to see similar posts. I feel like I’ve invested in the 12×12 album size, so I don’t want to face the truth…but I know they’re ungainly. I really like digital layouts and printed books that take up so much less space…but, I’m still attached to my supplies. I don’t have much compared to the crazy collections you see online, but it is still SO much. I’ll be back for more inspiration and see if I can wean myself down to one basket of embellishments—I LOVE that idea!

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Thanks so much, Deirdre!

  • Moni/Penny

    very interesting! and I really like the new layouts! I think they look “elegant” and convey a message.

  • Scarlet

    I love your daughters name!! (As it is mine as well :D)

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Thanks! I love your name, too! :)

  • Kristin

    I believe scrapbooks are pieces of art just as much as traditional art is. Art goes through periods, reflects societies trends, and a personal artistic scheme that changes over time.
    Someone in the comments above mentioned that they don’t like looking at pages they made years ago because they don’t fit their style NOW. I believe that is just as important to the scrapbook as the out of style clothes we were wearing or the long lost activities we did.
    If we re-do the pages to fit our style or personality now, then we are loosing the whole point of the scrapbook process in my opinion.
    When I look back at pages I did 3,5,10, or even 20 years ago I’m not upset at the stickers I chose or the out of date fancy scalloped circle smack dab in the middle – – I’m just enjoying the art!

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Excellent points, Kristin. Scrapbooking IS art. And if we re-do pages every time they go out of style, we’d never get anywhere! :)