I used kraft cardstock and cut some basic shapes - circles, squares, rectangles - in various sizes to use as placement guides for layers of patterned paper or cardstock. I used kraft cardstock because I wanted a neutral color, but just a little bit darker value than the cardstock used for the photo templates.
Based on the photos I want to scrap, and their orientation (landscape or horizontal photos) I just start playing around with the cardstock photo templates to get a photo layout that works. Here are a few examples:
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and are inspired to make your own design templates!