10 Terrific Ideas for Framing your Photos

I was browsing through my first scrapbook album, as you do. And as I noticed the scrapbooking techniques I used in that album, it occurred to me that the way I frame my photos for scrapbooking today is very different to the way I used to frame them a couple of years ago. Back then I would either mount them on a cardstock matt or place a cut-out frame around them, stick them on my scrapbook layout and that would be that.

These days, whilst I do still use both of these scrapbooking techniques the look is very different. And I now use many other techniques to frame my photos for scrapbooking. When all is said and done, the main reason for framing is to enhance the photo and draw the viewer’s eye to it. Over time I’ve come across many different ways of doing this. So I thought I’d share some of my favourite framing techniques with you and perhaps you can share some of yours with me.

10 Favourite Framing Techniques

  1. Photo corners. I usually prefer to use photo corners in just two corners rather than all four. I find that accents the photo without overwhelming it as in the layout of me at 3.
  2. Collage. I do love a collage in one corner of the photo to draw the eye into it. Sometimes with a single element on the diagonally opposite corner to offset it.
  3. Stamping a digital brush frame on the photo (like in my Independence layout here) is an easy way to add a frame and vary the look of the photo. Or using grungy digital brushes to make a freehand distressed edge to the photo.
  4. A row of buttons or brads down two adjoining sides of the photo is a great look. I like to pick a minor colour in the photo when choosing the colour of the buttons rather than the predominant colour.
  5. Tracing a swirly flourish (or drawing it freehand for the pencil-gifted folk) onto the back of contrasting or patterned paper and cutting it out makes a great frame. You can see what I mean in my Vamping It Up layout here. Just remember that you’ll be drawing backwards to how the flourish will look on your scrapbook layout.
  6. One of my favourite techniques is to duplicate my main photo two or three times (this works particularly well with single photo scrapbook layouts), change it to monotone in my photo editing software and then tint each photo a different colour. Then I angle them slightly behind the main photo as I’ve done in the layout of The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and the layout I made for National Scrapbook Day.
  7. Ribbon makes a fabulous frame. Four strips of ribbon crossing at the corners and held in place with brads look great. There are so many different textures to choose from to create so many different looks. Try hanging a charm from one of the corners as an accent.
  8. And how about doodling a design on a transparent sheet and using it to accent a photo like I’ve done on my Old Friends layout.
  9. Now don’t get the idea that I disdain frames themselves. Sometimes the right frame with the right photo is a marriage made in Heaven. But I particularly like to use frames to highlight an area of my scrapbook layout rather than formally framing a photo. You can see what I mean in my Published…for the very first time layout.
  10. And let’s not forget the tried and trusted matt. I still use this technique with complementary and/or contrasting papers. I like to build up two or three layers of matts behind my photo to really make it pop off the scrapbook page. Often I will angle them for added interest, as in my Don Quixote layout.

There are so many interesting and exciting ways to frame and enhance your photos. These are some of my favourites but how about yours? What are your favourite scrapbooking techniques for framing your scrapbook photos? Share them in the comments section and if you have an example posted on your blog, feel free to add the link in your comment.

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Other related posts

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Upsizing Photos
Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Rule of Thirds & Z Movement
Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – How to make a Photo Collage Layout

Full length Digital Scrapbook Tutorials


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19 Responses to 10 Terrific Ideas for Framing your Photos

  1. Tink August 23, 2007 at 12:14 am #

    Excellent suggestions on how to frame photos. Thanks for listing them.

  2. corina August 23, 2007 at 4:27 am #

    I do have to try some of your techiques (do you think there are more then 10?), I do not “think” to much when I choose the frame:)

  3. PaintChip August 23, 2007 at 4:51 am #

    I’m like you in that sometimes I look back at LO’s accomplished years ago just for fun and to see how my style has changed over the years.

    Your list gives some terrific thoughts on framing our pix. Here’s a couple more frame ideas scrappers might like to try:

    — Use an interesting cropping style to force a frame. In these three paper LO’s accomplished years ago I used this technique to create some flair and a little something different.
    Although these are were pulled from my archives, they are still relevant ideas for framing even in todays scrappy styles.

    Slide mounts make a natural frame:

    And if you are a digi-scrapper, you may want to consider simply digi-clipping a hole in an overlay to help frame your pictures also:

    Great article. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I’m off now to do a little something using your ribbon idea on your number 7 share! :D

  4. Hannah August 23, 2007 at 7:37 am #

    Great techniques, they are all excellent. I use a variety of those, but often I don’t matt or frame my photos at all. Depends what else I’m using on the page.
    It’s great to have a look back and see what’s changed.

  5. karooch August 23, 2007 at 9:28 am #

    Glad you liked the list Tink and Corina. Hope you find it useful.

    I love all those tips of yours Cindy (damn, I forgot to include slide mounts) especially that first one, Beach Bums, where you’ve cut the frame out of the middle of the photo and used it as a journaling box elsewhere in the layout. That is a really cool idea and I will definitely be scraplifting it.

    Yeah I like to use ‘naked’ photos (if you’ll pardon the expression) too sometimes Hannah. It’s just amazing the scope we have in scrapbooking to achieve so many different looks on a 12×12 page.

  6. Hummie August 23, 2007 at 10:40 pm #

    Great layout and great link! I see you made this as your entry for the contest. I will add the direct link to this post to Mr. Linky for you. :)

    I love the information you provided with inspiration for readers! Way to go! Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

  7. Momof9Blessings August 24, 2007 at 3:40 am #

    You did a great job with this photo!!! Great heritage LO!!!

  8. Janet August 24, 2007 at 8:18 am #

    Great LO and thanks for the awesome information too.

  9. Kryss Bourque August 24, 2007 at 10:36 am #

    Love it!!! Love the layout, love the tips!!!

  10. karooch August 24, 2007 at 11:51 am #

    Thanks Lori, Janet and Kryss. I’m happy that you enjoyed it and thanks for the complement on the layout too.

    Hummie I didn’t realise I was linking in the wrong place on your blog. But thank you for entering this layout in your competition.

  11. Stephanie August 25, 2007 at 4:26 am #

    These are some great tips, thank you for all the great ideas!

    I really like the duplication idea, and the layout you did for “Vamping it Up”

  12. karooch August 25, 2007 at 8:33 am #

    Thanks Stephanie. I have a bit of a soft spot for Vamping it Up too.

  13. hsmomof4 August 29, 2007 at 12:10 pm #

    Nice layout and picture. Thanks for all the information on this blog. I will bookmark and refer to it.

  14. karooch August 29, 2007 at 5:47 pm #

    Glad you liked it hsmomof4. Look forward to seeing you around here.

  15. Hummie August 30, 2007 at 9:46 pm #

    Congratulations, you are a winner today!

  16. DreamScrapper September 3, 2007 at 3:24 am #

    Great tips, Karen! I love the way you collaged the baking tools on the photo.

  17. karooch September 3, 2007 at 9:12 am #

    Thanks DreamScrapper but I must confess I got the technique from a Hot off the Press workshop I went to earlier in the year.

  18. June.S September 4, 2007 at 8:52 pm #

    You’ve done it again! Great tips and love the layouts! You are a star! Thank you.

  19. karooch September 5, 2007 at 10:55 am #

    Thanks June, glad you liked the tips.