Mixing page sizes in an album: I'm at a crossroads and need opinions and advice

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Posted 2/5/2014 by stampartiste in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 36,144
April 2002
Posts: 649
Layouts: 53
Loc: Louisiana

Posted: 2/5/2014 11:03:50 AM
For those of you who mainly scrap 12x12 pages but also include other page sizes in your albums, how do you include smaller sizes without their looking like "afterthought" or "less-important" layouts?

I truly am at a crossroads right now. I was fortunate to have a diverse childhood and a shutterbug father. I have dozens of photos of various times and events, but I equally have dozens of memories I want to preserve. For each layout, I would only be using one or two old 3.5"x5" or 3.5"x3.5" photos. Because of this, I really think it would be faster for me to create 8.5x11 layouts. But these stories are very important to me, and I don't want them to feel "small" if I include them in my already started childhood album. (I'm not a chronological scrapper, but I do sort my layouts in chronological albums and will look through a particular annual album before creating a new page -- to make sure my layout will not repeat but add more depth to my "story". Because my stories are in chronological order, I've already ruled out having separate 12x12 or 8.5x11 albums.)

Would you please tell me what you think? Based on what I've shared, would you switch to a smaller size or continue doing 12x12 layouts? If I downsize to a smaller layout, should I worry that they will look less important? I'm worried that I'll switch and then regret it later.

Please help a very indecisive scrapper!

Thank you,


2014 Stash-Busting Goals:
72 Layouts (21 down/51 to go)
34 Cards (17 down/17 to go)


PeaNut 578,104
January 2013
Posts: 448
Layouts: 4

Posted: 2/5/2014 11:26:09 AM
In my album, I make the smaller size blend by using coordinating and/or matching colors and embellishments. If I really want to emphasize a photo, I will make it a standalone layout with a border around it.


PeaNut 120,429
December 2003
Posts: 1,089
Layouts: 3

Posted: 2/5/2014 11:28:31 AM
I switched to mixed layout scrapbooks quitee a while ago. I use a variety of 12 x 12 full page, 12 x 12 divided page, and 8 1/2 x 11, 8 x 8 as well. and some chipboard pages without protectors too, now that I think about it. I tend to use ful size 12 x 12s for title and chapter pages, and infill with the other sizes depending on the picture / topic/ etc.

I feel the variety makes the album more interesting and it certainly makes the scrapping go faster!


PeaNut 361,162
February 2008
Posts: 212
Layouts: 25

Posted: 2/5/2014 11:48:29 AM
I do all sorts of sizes in my albums. I generally try to find something that will coordinate the facing pages together. If I no longer have the same collection to work with, I will try to find something that will make it look cohesive. I think it adds a lot of interest to an album when there are different page sizes.

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PeaNut 579,055
January 2013
Posts: 2,048
Layouts: 91

Count: 1
Posted: 2/5/2014 11:59:11 AM
My vote would be to mix the two sizes. I have no doubt you would put the same time and attention into your layout regardless of size and might even run the risk of the smaller layout stealing the show.

Do what makes you creatively happy. If to your eye, putting one or two smaller photos on a smaller page would be more appealing, then that's what you go with. Your style will still be there making the mixture of pages seamless as someone flips through your album.

Michelle K

PeaNut 492,628
December 2010
Posts: 221
Layouts: 29

Posted: 2/5/2014 12:13:28 PM
I keep divided page protectors and also 12X12 and smaller layouts in the same album. Only once did I feel like a smaller page got "lost" amidst the 12X12's. It was an 8X8. I added a tab to the side of it - so that whoever looked through the album would see that it was a separate page...that helped. As for 8X11 size, often I use those for a single individual photo so that obviously stands out. If its a layout, what about including a very thin border (black, kraft, white, depends on your color scheme) around each smaller layout to give it more "presence" amidst the 12X12's? The important thing is that you are documenting and preserving the memories...how lucky you are to have so many childhood photos!! Good luck!!!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 171,221
October 2004
Posts: 5,278
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/5/2014 12:14:17 PM
I use something that coordinates the other sizes into its neighboring LOs - whether it is a cardstock, a patterned paper or a motif (embellishment of some sort). Sometimes it is as simple as inking the edges.

The other thing I do when I can is spread the "different" sized pages throughout rather than having them all in one section.

I think you should do a couple, then decide for yourself if you like it. Honestly though, it just works somehow.


...that's why they make blue cars and red cars.



PeaNut 171,792
October 2004
Posts: 1,161
Layouts: 72
Loc: somewhere between going & crazy

Posted: 2/5/2014 12:17:20 PM
I mix and love the variety it gives. I don't think the look insignificant to the large ones. I also don't try to coordinate with pages around them. I say try one and insert and see if you like it. That way you'll know.

Lisa DV
16 cards and 52 layouts for the 2014:


PeaNut 418,377
April 2009
Posts: 1,365
Layouts: 28
Loc: SE Wisconsin

Posted: 2/5/2014 1:27:10 PM
I love the mix of page sizes and personally don't think that the smaller pages look less important. I think on smaller sized pages there is less "filler" that is there to just take up space. Everything on the page is important.

Photo HapPEA!

PeaNut 110,614
October 2003
Posts: 9,115
Layouts: 326
Loc: Ã…rhus, Denmark

Posted: 2/5/2014 3:23:29 PM
If I were in your position, I'd likely mix the sizes. Since your father was a shutterbug, you likely have a lot of photos, some of which you might not want to do layouts for and where divided page protectors might come in handy.

8.5x11" pages in 2014 -- 31


PeaNut 210,542
June 2005
Posts: 3,160
Layouts: 19
Loc: Behind the camera!

Posted: 2/5/2014 3:28:47 PM
I scrap 12x12 and 8.5x11 and love the interest the different size pages add.

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PeaNut 76,403
March 2003
Posts: 2,536
Layouts: 91
Loc: Sunny South Florida

Posted: 2/5/2014 3:31:33 PM
I mix all sizes - from 12x12 to 6x6 to 8.5x11 to 11x8.5, etc., whatever strikes my mood or the particular photo on any given day.

I don't think the smaller layouts look less important. I think it's fun seeing the different sizes and it's definitely more enjoyable mixing it up a little while scrapping them, too.



PeaNut 520,674
September 2011
Posts: 723
Layouts: 7
Loc: Las Vegas, NV

Posted: 2/5/2014 3:52:43 PM
I am a 12x12 scrapbooker through and through, but as you have said sometimes that just doesn't fit with the pictures, so while my grand total is only about 3 8x11 layouts, if it make sense to create an 8x11 layout then go for it. Mix them all together! This is one of the best things about having a D-ring binder. Flipping through, I have never felt like size made the layout seem like an afterthought and sometimes, that change in size can even make a bigger impact simply because it's different.


PeaNut 36,144
April 2002
Posts: 649
Layouts: 53
Loc: Louisiana

Posted: 2/6/2014 10:19:53 AM
Thank you SO VERY MUCH, my fellow Peas, for taking the time to give me your input and advice about mixing page sizes in an album. You all made so many great positive points and suggestions about mixing sizes that I am excited to experiment with an 8.5x11 for my next layout and see how it looks in my album. I'm going to take Michelle K's advice and use a neutral sheet of cardstock as a small border around my layout to set it off from the colors of the layout underneath it. That might help my mental acceptance of "No, this layout is not going to get lost in a sea of bigger layouts!"

Thanks also to Paperclips29 for the idea of putting my unscrapped childhood photos in divided page protectors. I hadn't thought of doing this with them. I currently have them in 2-gallon bags, sorted further into sandwich bags by time and place -- I know... horrible storage solution! [Somehow, I am much kinder with my travel stories! I have separate "work-in-progress" WRMK albums where I store photos, journaling and memorabilia in 12x12 page protectors by date. I browse through these all the time to see which date/event I want to work on next.]

So for my unscrapped childhood photos, I think I will outline my stories on 4x6 cards and store them in divided page protectors with the photos in my childhood album. That way, I won't feel the pressure of losing the stories if I don't get around to scrapping the photos any time soon.

Again, thank you so much, ladies. I can't wait to see how this works out!


2014 Stash-Busting Goals:
72 Layouts (21 down/51 to go)
34 Cards (17 down/17 to go)

Half Way There!

PeaNut 334,349
August 2007
Posts: 252
Layouts: 0
Loc: Belgium (Europe)

Posted: 2/6/2014 1:35:05 PM
I too mix all sizes in one album, it makes it more interesting I think.
Sometimes I even leave a pocket of a divided pageprotector empty to make a window to the next page.
Just try what feels good for you. Probably you have your own style so everything will look good together. Good luck!

Life is a gift!

Perfectionist Pea

PeaNut 23,809
October 2001
Posts: 17,028
Layouts: 386
Loc: Just a short drive from Nashville, TN! (Yee-Haw Ya'll!)

Posted: 2/6/2014 2:15:57 PM
I really love the look of an album with a variety of page sizes. Life's too short to stick with one size! I just blogged about this very topic this week! Here's a link... Mixing Page Sizes


PeaNut 260,218
May 2006
Posts: 2,153
Layouts: 31
Loc: Missouri

Posted: 2/6/2014 3:39:57 PM
I have been mixing the two sizes for the past 4 years. They do not look less important. In fact, they are usually the ones with the bigger story bc I simply focus on the words and pics and less of the embellies. I don't try to make them coordinate. I don't scrap chronologically, but my albums are by years, so I may have done a layout that week next to one I did two years ago.


PeaNut 36,144
April 2002
Posts: 649
Layouts: 53
Loc: Louisiana

Posted: 2/7/2014 6:36:56 AM

Thanks for sharing the examples in your blog post. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at them and getting a feel for what mixing pages (and even memorabilia and unscrapped photos) would look like in an album. What I really like is that these albums remind me of the old (vintage) scrapbooks when people would paste newspaper and magazine cutouts on their pages. Love it! This really convinces me that breaking away from strictly having 12x12 pages would enhance an album, not detract from it.


2014 Stash-Busting Goals:
72 Layouts (21 down/51 to go)
34 Cards (17 down/17 to go)


PeaNut 596,679
October 2013
Posts: 179
Layouts: 0
Posted: 2/7/2014 8:02:27 AM
I love this post, I never even considered mixing sizing, and I'm definitely going to try it!


PeaNut 294,285
January 2007
Posts: 2,833
Layouts: 1
Loc: Minnesota

Posted: 2/7/2014 8:14:19 AM
I never considered mixing in 8.5 x 11, but I think I may!

I have been mixing in the 6 pocket divided pages. Sometimes I cut off the "outside" row and just use the 3 pockets closest to the 3 rings. I love how it looks and it makes it easy to slip in extra photos.



PeaNut 417,978
April 2009
Posts: 34
Layouts: 0
Loc: Florida Panhandle

Posted: 2/7/2014 12:29:41 PM
I started an 8.5x11 album of my grandmothers family years ago, and then an 8x8 minibook for my mom. When I had more photos and stories to tell regarding this generation, I went to a 12x12 3-ring album and just integrated those layouts I'd done earlier. I love this album the most of all.

However, in the ME BACK THEN book almost all my layouts are 12x12, whether they house 1-3.5x3.5 photo or 6 photos or a mixture of sizes for each story, they are all done in 12x12. But I am planning to start integrating divided page protectors in that album. I have them stored in a photobox I got from Michaels for $2.50 (catch those sales) and it is full - so I have a lot to get on pages!



PeaNut 81,097
April 2003
Posts: 2,254
Layouts: 35

Posted: 2/7/2014 5:57:55 PM
For the past few years I have been mixing several different sizes in my 12x12 albums...and I love it. It opened up so many design opportunities. I also scrap totally out of order, but have one album for each year. This works well for me.
Linda J
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