Everybody has their own way of doing a scrapbook, but one thing beginners all have in common is "How do I start?" Usually there's a backlog of pictures to go through and it seems pretty overwhelming! Well, I'm a natural procrastinator, so I've come up with a way to scrapbook that accommodates that nicely. I organize the pages by events such as holidays, birthdays, family visits, vacations, etc. It's much easier to remember what order these came in because they're important to you. You can use numerous visual clues such as people present, clothing, age of the children, season of year, etc. to help you decide where in the time line your pictures belong. For everyday events I don't worry about exactly when they happened. As long as they're in the same year/general season I'm fine with that. If you can't remember, certainly no one else will, either! I even skip pages if necessary, leaving the back page blank. I can add just one more page, onto the back, or I can insert as many as I need later.
Your next step should be to group the pictures by page layout. For example, gather all the pictures you have from your child's 3rd birthday. Depending on how many pictures you have, you will probably want to do 2-3 pages for an event like this. The more pictures you have, the more important the event, the more space you should allow for it. My rule of thumb is to have 3-5 pictures per page. Remember, the pictures and the stories are the entire purpose for the scrapbook! If you have only one picture per page, you'll have to fill in with a lot of writing or paper/stickers/embellishments. If you have too many pictures on a page, the visual impact is lost -- the look is too busy. Don't forget as you organize the pictures to save space for journaling. That can be as simple as captions on pictures to writing out a funny, sweet or memorable story.
On this page I only placed two pictures. I knew that I wanted journal several things on the page and I didn't want the layout to be crowded. (Tip: Click on any of the pictures to view it full-size.)
Now look over the pictures you've chosen for the layout. If it's just one page, go ahead and decide what you'll do for the facing page so that you can make sure to coordinate the colors a little. They don't have to match completely, you just don't want them to clash. Choose the background colors/papers based on the colors in the pictures. When the photos are all of one event, the colors in the pictures will be the same anyway, making this step pretty easy. I like to use no more than three colors. Two that coordinate and one that contrasts, or all three that complement each other. Again, remember that the photos are the important part! You don't want the "enhancements" to overshadow the subjects of the pictures.
These are random pictures taken during a month time frame. I grouped them together because they all had the same subject matter. Blue and tan can be found in all the pictures, so I used those colors to create the title of the page.
For these pages, I pulled the colors from the dump truck on the left page. I felt comfortable using four pictures per page because I didn't want to go to three pages and these could be trimmed, leaving more space around them for journaling.
Here I just had these three sweet pictures. I used a title box and paper enhancements to fill in. I also used a larger tip pen to journal, taking up more space. Also, I used gingham print paper to match the gingham print on Joe's romper and the check in Jeff's shirt.
I know this has been a long post, but I hope it contains useful information for you! I have a very simple, clean, no-nonsense approach to scrapbooking and it works for me. :)