Free Scrapbooking Layout Ideas: Creating Great Borders

With a bit of time and effort, even a beginner can use these techniques to create awesome looking page borders.


This border adds not only great color to your page, but a wonderful texture that makes for a very interesting layout. It can be used for just about any occasion, depending on the colors you choose, but make an especially nice addition to Easter layouts. Try using this technique to make mattes for your photos as well.

You will need:

1 sheet of cardstock in your main background color

Cardstock in your accent colors


A ruler

A pencil

A glue stick

Using your pencil and ruler, draw light guidelines, 1 to 1 ½ inches from each page edge of your background cardstock. We'll call these your "border guides." There should be a square in each corner of the page.

Using your scissors, cut out each of the squares. Then, laying your ruler across the page horizontally under the top square notches. Begin drawing guide lines from the edge of the page to the border guides on each side. These lines should be spaced approximately 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch apart as you work your way down the page. The smaller the spacing, the tighter the weave you will achieve. It is very important that you space the lines evenly, and that they are straight all straight.

Rotate the page and repeat this step again on the remaining two sides.

With your scissors, cut along each line inward, stopping at the border guide. When you are done, your page should now resemble a patch of material with frayed edging.

Take your accent colored cardstock. You can use paper, but the stiffness of the cardstock will make it easier to work with. You can use one to three colors of your choice. If you have long strips of scraps (they must be the length of the page or longer), you can use them. If not, trim from a fresh page. You will need to cut strips that are equal or greater to the length of your page. Use your ruler to measure them to the same width of the lines you cut in your background page. For example, if you made 1/4 inch notches, make 1/4 inch accent strips. You can cut them out using a scissor, craft knife, or, if you have one, a paper trimmer. How many strips you will need will depend on the depth of your border and the width of your strips. It can take anywhere from 16 to 32 strips to complete the page. You can cut more as you go along if you find you need them.

Take your first strip and your background page. Along one edge, weave the strip in and out of the cuts and push it in as far as it will go without tearing. Take another strip (an alternate color if using more than one accent color) and weave it in and out of the opposite cuts on the same side of the page. In other words, if for the first strip you stared going under then over then under, for the second strip start over then under then over. Push it in until it is up against the first strip. Continue doing this until the strips have reached the edge of the page. On the back side of the page, use a piece of one-sided tape to hold the strips in place. Then, repeat the process on the other three sides of the page.

Once you have woven all of the edges, you can weave the strips where they meet at the corners of the page. Again, use one-sided tape to hold the corners in place. When you turn your page over, you will have a great woven look along the edges.


The effect of this border is reminiscent of the beautiful stained glass windows. It can make an elegant yet striking background for any layout, and is particularly for church occasions, such as baptisms or weddings.

You will need:

1 sheet of black cardstock

1 sheet of white cardstock

An assortment of colored vellum paper (scraps are fine)

a ruler

a pencil

a swivel blade craft knife or fine tip scissors

a glue stick

Lay the black cardstock on a cutting board, or self-healing cutting mat to protect your work surface. Use the ruler to measure off a 1/8 inch square border around the edge of the page. Make another square inside of the square border, this time about an inch smaller in all directions than the first.

In the one-inch space between the squares, use the pencil to create small shapes. You can create simple geometric shapes with a ruler and pencil, or try making some interesting freehand shapes. Make sure to leave about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch line of black between the shapes. Continue doing this on the inside space between the square until you have gone around the whole page.

Carefully with your swivel tip blade, or a scissors made for fine detail cutting, cut out each of the shapes, being sure to keep the black lines between them intact.

If you have any small scraps of colored vellum paper left over, this is a great use for them. If not, you can simply cut some small pieces out of a larger sheet. Piece them together over the cut-outs you have created. Trim them as necessary and adhere them to the black frame using the glue stick so that when you turn the cardstock over, the vellum can be seen through without overlapping.

When you have covered all the cut-outs with vellum, turn the black cardstock over and place it over the white cardstock. Adhere the black cardstock to the white cardstock, putting the glue toward the middle of the page so that it won't be seen under the vellum. The white cardstock will bring out the colors of the vellum better and brighten them up.


This look has a nice, earthy look. You can also adapt the technique to do different looks by using different colored papers, chalks and different shaped paper punches.

What you will need:

1 sheet of a light, neutral cardstock (white, cream colored, tan)

1 sheet of forest green cardstock

A ruler or decorative edge template

Brown or rust colored chalk

Cotton, cotton swabs, or an eye shadow sponge applicator

One or more small to medium sized leaf paper punches

Take the light sheet of cardstock. If you have a decorative edge template, you can create nice wavy lines, or scallops, or whatever design it is made for. If not, a simple ruler can create a simple, straight line. Place the ruler or template about an inch in from the edge of the page. Hold it down flat

Rub cotton, a cotton swab, or a sponge eye shadow applicator on the chalk. If you don't have specialty scrapbooking chalk, you can use any colored chalk, but you might have to scrape some off into a paper plate for best results. Rub the chalk from the edge of the paper to the ruler or template, holding your ruler or template in place, to make a nice, soft edge color. Repeat around the other three sides of the paper so you now have a one-inch border around the page. If you used a ruler and feel the edge is too sharp, take a clean cotton swab and, in a gentle, circular motion, rub the edges of the line. This will soften the line and blend the color into the page.

Using the leaf paper punch(es), punch some leaves around the paper inside of the chalk border, approximately 1/4 to ½ inches apart. You can punch them all uniformly, or you can turn the punch or paper over to vary the direction of the leaves.

Place the decorated cardstock directly on top of the green cardstock, so that the color can be seen through the punches, turning the leaves green. If you like, save the punch outs that you created to scatter around the page, or to use on your photo mattes.

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