Scrapbooking in Circles
by Allyson Bright (May 1, 2005)

In the world of scrapbooking, we are surrounded by squares and rectangles. Our paper is square, our photos are rectangular. We use straight border stickers and photo trimmers, and we tear in straight lines. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, when so many of our layouts start to look the same. Why not shake things up a bit and add some curves and circles? Circles create a fun and playful look, and can help you find just the right design to convey your message.

When to Use Circles
Before deciding whether or not to use circles on your layouts, take a look at your photos and consider the message you’re trying to convey. Circles will convey a mood that is fun energetic, and playful. Circles can be perfect when working with the following subjects:

Children playing outdoors
School days
In addition to the obvious, though, it’s important to realize that circles can also be quite elegant and powerful elements to use when designing a scrapbook page. Consider using a word such as “circle” or “ring” in your title, and then creating a layout featuring circular elements to match. A few examples:

Circle of friends
Full circle
Circle journal
Circles of my life
Ring around the rosy
With this ring…
Bells are ringing (wedding, Christmas)
Ringing in my ears
How to Use Circles
Circles are everywhere! These days, there are many products available to help you add a circular edge to your scrapbook pages. The most basic of tools is the circle cutter, which will allow you to cut a circle in nearly any size you want. Circle punches and dies for popular cutting systems are also available. Patterned papers with all sorts of circular designs are very popular right now, particularly polka dot designs. These products will help you create the perfect foundation for your page. Once you’ve selected those products, though, consider one of these fun techniques to create a truly unique page:

Tear your paper into a circular design
Stamp your own polka dot background using acrylic paint and a wine bottle cork
Trace around a jar lid with a marker or paintbrush
Use the circular edge of a protractor to help you cut a window or draw a circular design
Save the lid from a can of juice concentrate and use it as a photo frame
Use a compass to draw or paint a circle—many compasses will hold a paintbrush
Use a coaster as a page element

Using circles in your layouts can be fun and rewarding. While it may be a bit daunting at first, don’t give up! Try a few of these techniques and see how adding circle or two can help you create the perfect page for even your most important memories.