When the time comes to start a scrapbook, one thing you need to consider first is what you want the theme to be. The theme you choose dictates almost everything about your scrapbooking, including the content, photos and calligraphy you use.

The theme of your scrapbook can be simple or complex. Your theme could be a special event such as a birthday, a baby shower, a wedding, Christmas, or Halloween. Themes can also be personalized to the scrapbook recipient's special interests. Special interest themes include favorite colors, sports, favorite television programs, music, the outdoors, or cultural influences.

What is the overall purpose for your scrapbook?
Who is the scrapbook for?
Who is the scrapbook about?

The answers to these three questions are all factors in selecting an appropriate theme. For instance, the scrapbook you are giving your nephew as he graduates from medical school will be completely different to the grandparent book you send your mother. Your nephew will probably appreciate a scrapbook with photographs, poems, journals, and more masculine embellishments. Perhaps, the theme of the scrapbook could be medicine. You could create embellishments that look like scalpels and tweezers around various pictures of your nephew during his college years.

Your mother,
on the other hand, will love a multitude of baby pictures fancifully embellished with flowers, ribbon, and baby fingerprints. The theme of this book will probably be your baby. Photographs could include baby as well as grandma with the baby. A journal about your baby's day could also add a nice touch.

Don't forget to create a title for your scrapbook page. Though adding a title might seem to be obvious or unimportant, a title defines the whole basis of your scrapbook. The title instantly tells the viewer what your page is all about. In one word or one short phrase, the title tells the reader the theme and purpose of your scrapbook.

Color coordination and contrast will also highlight and accent your scrapbook. A well thought out color scheme can help define the theme of a page, attract attention to specific items, or detract away from mistakes. Poorly chosen color schemes, on the other hand, can cause your scrapbook page to look gaudy or mismatched.

Most scrapbooks will contain photographs. Even the most disinterested reader of your scrapbook will glance at the photographs. Pictures really are worth a thousand words. Therefore, it is important to choose photographs that are of good quality and clearly illustrate your scrapbook theme.

By taking some time to think about the theme you want for your scrapbook, so many other decisions that follow will become a lot simpler.