Top Ten Layouts

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Article Courtesy by Denise Gormish

In 1985 David Letterman began a regular segment called The Late Show Top Ten List. It was a list of ten things all related to a topic. They were read in reverse order with number 10 first and number 1 last. The lists were meant to be humorous. A scrapbooker can use the top ten list format for scrapbook pages.


A top ten list begins with journaling. A subject needs to be chosen and then a list of ten items to go with the subject. The subject for the list can be anything. The ideas are endless, which is the reason that a top ten list can be so fun and variable. Subjects include family members, pets, places, activities, holidays, and quotes. In my layout "Top Ten Tips for Enjoying Your Day at Disneyland," I compiled a list that reflected years of experience visiting Disneyland.


A top ten list also has a name which often includes a verb or noun that indicates the direction of the list. Here are a few starter ideas:

Top ten things overheard...

Top ten tips...

Top ten signs...

Top ten ways...

Top ten facts...

After the initial start of the list name, the subject is added such as "Top Ten Facts About Living in Boston" or "Top Ten Signs That It's Been a Long Winter."

These lists, while originally intended to be humorous, can be personal as well. A nice balance can also be achieved by creating some humorous and some serious entries in the same list. In Irene Mueller's layout, "10 Reason Why I Really Wanted Little Boys," she approached the subject with her serious thoughts but also the fun ones as well.


If you are stuck on your journaling, get family members to help you. I shared my Disneyland tips with my family and got their input as well.


A top ten list layout does not need photographs but they can be included. Pick photographs appropriate to the topic. If the subject is a person, then include the person. If it is about a place include photographs of the place. If you don't have a photograph or the topic doesn't easily lend itself to a photograph, then consider staging a photograph. In my layout "Top Ten Movie Quotes," I staged a photograph of several DVDs and included that photograph on my layout.


Layout Design

There are several ways journaling could be arranged. The ten items could be placed in one large box, in separate boxes, on tags or on paper strips.

Colors, including paper colors, should be drawn from either the photograph or the topic. If there are lots of different colors in the photographs consider a white- or light-colored background. For a layout with a "love" theme, consider using red. Irene Mueller effectively used red in her layout, "Top 10 Rules to Our Happy Marriage," about her husband.


When you need a journaling topic, consider a top ten list. Pick a subject and think of ten things related to that subject and you'll be on your way to one fun layout.

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