How to create a 2-page spread

by Ann Abbott Posted on March 10, 2010

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The two-page spread (two page one picture) is an easy concept.

Simply use a single photograph layout template on each page. Pick the left and right version of the same shape template layout. With one on each page, make the opening for the photos to meet in the middle or crease of the book. By matching both sides of the layout templates, the result, is going to be a single space for one photo with the crease of the book in the middle.

Then take the photo you wish to be the full spread and put the same image on left page and the right page. This is so that half of final photo will be on one page and the other half will be on the other. The tricky part is where to pick a place in each photo to crop in half.  Then like a smooth sided puzzle match up each side. This can be the hard part. Once you have decided were you want the center of the photo to lie in your two-page spread, crop your photo there. That is the place were the crease of the book would be. Then do the same on the other page and match up the other half of your photo.

Little by little, move the cropped area with your arrow to match up with the opposite page. Some photos just cannot be matched up as much as you try and you will run into proportional issues. If you use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, matching each side of the photo would be a breeze. However, you can do this with Shutterfly too. Just play with each side by moving your photo in the crop section until you find something that works.

I have found that the simpler the photo is the easier it is to match up. Like the water pages of my book, A Summertime Swimming Adventure, the backgrounds were easy to match because they were the same color and texture.


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  1. BarbaraJ Says:

    So glad you did this article. This is the way I do it also. Many divide the page in half but I upload the entire spread as one page. BarbaraJ

  2. conniee4 Says:

    Thanks so much for your tips Ann! I do it this way now also! Can’t wait to finish the book i’m working on and look how lovely it is! Great tips as always!


  3. VickieP1 Says:

    I just did this in a book and it really turned out GREAT!

  4. Joey Says:

    I think this article is extremley helpful and I got these tips from Ann when I wanted to do a 2-page spread in my sisters book. Its so fun when it works but can be tricky.

  5. BarbaraJ Says:

    This hopefully will work with scrapbooking a two page spread. I make a template in my PSE for 12 x 24 and then make my digi scrap page. After that I saved it as a jpg and uploaded the full page as one picture. I then place the scrapbook page into each side of the book pages. Move it around until the preview looks lined up with the fold. I have not printed it but will this month. I still wish Shutterfly will give us a download for a two page spread with guidelines. The 12 x 24 also lined up on a 8 x 8 book.
    Great article. bj

  6. Tiffany M Says:

    Awesome tips! I LOVE the 2-pagers. They look so cool.

  7. curicogirl Says:

    Very cool way to get a 2-page spread using the shutterfly templates. Thanks Ann for explaining it so clearly!

  8. Jean B Says:

    Ann, this is a great article! I’ve only done this twice in my books..and love both of them! If it’s just the right picture – wow – they turn out so nice! :0)

  9. Natalie Says:

    Thanks Anne,
    I am always splitting up my pictures in order to create two page layouts. This is a more simple way to get the job done.
    Thanks for your tip!
    Natalie B

  10. jca5 Says:

    Can you further explain how to do this part “make the opening for the photos to meet in the middle or crease of the book. By matching both sides of the layout templates, the result, is going to be a single space for one photo with the crease of the book in the middle”?

    I don’t know how to move the picture spot in templates.

  11. Steinbeckbear Says:

    Do you need to accommodate for the binding?

  12. TonetteB Says:

    You totally rocked the 2 pages spreads! I love your tips and article! Thanks for sharing! :)

more about Ann Abbott

I am a stay at home mom of 3 kids. I love photography and making Shutterfly photo books. I am also teaching myself Photoshop Elements to take my photographs and books to the next level.

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