Layout Design Process: Doris Castle

layout process doris accent

We are excited to bring you a new series here on the blog where we interview Scrap Girls Product Designers & Creative Team Members about their layout design process. We hope this will give you insight into the inner workings of their creative process and inspire you along the way!

This time we are interviewing Product Designer Doris Castle!


Where do you find inspiration for your layouts?

When I’m online, I like to look through the galleries of my favorite artists. When I’m not online I like to flip through the pages of store catalogs and see how they showcase the product photos. As I watch tv, I envision layout ideas in the commercials and sometimes the opening theme song and credits of shows.

What is the first thing you do when beginning a layout?

First I decide what type of layout I want to make based on the photograph. Do I want it to include multiple pictures that tell the story of an event? Or do I want to capture a moment of time with a special individual photograph? Then I decide what kind of emotion I want to evoke. I decide if the photo is one that is amazingly precious and I want to take a slice of time of my daughters innocence or do I want to show her silly and goofy style. From there I pick out a collection or a few collections and pieces that seem to coordinate with my idea.

Would you say that you have a ’system’ or do your layouts seem to fall into place as you go?

They definitely seem to fall into place. I usually start with one idea of what I want to do.  But as I go along, I let my creativity and emotions take over and just see what I end up with; which is usually totally different than I intended. I love to feel the flow of creativity and letting myself go into the layout without any rules or plans.

Is there a products or tool/technique that you use on most layouts?

I really like creating clusters of embellishments together for a layered look. I like there to be lots of interesting tidbits to look at. When layered bunches of embellishments, it’s especially important to shadow each of the pieces. Sometimes I like to create custom shadows for each embellishment and have them go in different directions, because natural light tends to shine in and give multiple angles of shadows.

What is the one piece of advice you can give our readers?

I remember a long time ago, when I started digital scrapbooking I enjoyed submitting my layouts to magazine submission calls. One magazine had a requirement of including a title and journaling. At the time I didn’t like sticking to that rule, thinking that my layouts could speak for themselves and this was stifling my creative energy. Now, I stick by that rule of always including a title and journaling and have added including the date as well, because I feel that a layout has to capture a story. Whether it’s a story of a moment, an idea or a series of time; but there is always a story to be remembered. I want to recollect and show that story with all the senses I can, including words that tell of emotions as well as the facts.

 Layout Process:

1 – I started by placing my photo onto the layout. I liked the freedom and rock and roll attitude of my daughters outfit, so I included a vertical picture that showed her outfit and her free-style pose. I added a collaged mask in the background to give it some interest of new patterns.

layout process photo placement


2 – I added lighting and highlights to the photo to give it a glowing look and to emphasize the gorgeous sun rays already in the photo. I also used a painterly embellishment from the kit and placed it onto the edges of the photo.

layout doris photo lighting

3 – I created a journaling card by using the square of a paper and placing the words “Dance” and “like no one is watching” on top to give a theme to the layout. Then I added my journaling.

layout process card

4 – I added embellishments to coordinate and support the theme such as flowers and appropriate word art phrases.

layout process doris embellishments

 5 –I then added some squares of papers in the background to add more patterns and interest to the layout. I finished by adding an complementary photograph.

 Digital scrapbooking products used:

 Love So Sweet Masks & More Embellishment Mini Love So Sweet Collection BiggieLove So Sweet Word Art MiniJIF Plus: Love So Sweet


  1. Pam West says:

    Hi, I love this LO of your daughter. It just makes me happy to look at it and I want to keep looking at all the little details. I like that you used a tall photo of her from top to bottom. I also love the colors.
    Do you recall the name of the font used for the journaling? I think it is great for this layout.

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