Using that Patterned Paper

Using that Patterned Paper

Are you ready for some examples to help you visualize how to use your precious paper?

Let’s start with the most common: a paper with a large design. When you’re working with a large design, you need to decide if you are going to incorporate it, and let it dictate the structure of your page, or if you are willing to cover up some of the design.

In this first example, I used the shape of the design to build my layout. Since it looked like a frame, I treated it like a frame, and kept my photos within the design, by cutting through the paper, and sliding the photo corners under the frame. I added flowers and buttons to the ones already printed to create a visual triangle and give the page more texture.

Fitting photos into a pre-printed design

Fitting photos into a pre-printed design

Sometimes, if you buy paper stacks or a collection, you will find you have a plain patterned paper which complements your paper with a larger design. Then you can make a two page layout, using the large design as an embellishment cluster. To balance this page out, I added some diecut trees on the opposite page, and repeated the stars throughout the page to create more unity as well.

carrying a pre-printed design over two pages

carrying a pre-printed design over two pages

Sometimes you just need to ignore the design entirely, however. The next two photos were both made with one sheet of paper that I love. The part that was more like an illustration than a pattern I used for my alarm clock.

paper in the real world

paper in the real world

I saved the part that was more densely patterned, and used that as a background. With no photos, the patterned paper and the journaling became the star attractions.

Using that lovely, huge design

Using that lovely, huge design

Occasionally, a pattern is really bold and can be rather distracting. Rather than use the whole piece of paper, cut out parts of it, like I did with this page. The original is very bright and cheery, but was difficult to work with. By using pieces of it, I kept the cheeriness, but didn’t have my photos and story overwhelmed by the patterned paper.

Using pieces of patterned paper as embellishments

Using pieces of patterned paper as embellishments

Laser cut lace papers are another difficult piece to work with. The simplest thing to do is to back the lace paper with a coordinating cardstock. It’s a great way to give your page some support both physically and visually.

Using those fancy lace papers

Using those fancy lace papers

Lastly, this is one of my favorite things to do with double sided patterned papers when I love both sides. I cut the piece of paper to 8.5×11, and then use the reverse side to create a coordinating stripe down one side of the page. On this particular page, I even used the left over one-inch strip to create a punched border. Fast, simple, and effective, this is a go-to design for me, especially when I have just one or two photos to highlight.

using both sides of a double sided paper

using both sides of a double sided paper

One more idea for you before you go. Have you heard of Shimelle Laine? She’s one of the most inspiring scrapbookers out there, and she scraps using this wonderful idea called a starting point. A starting point is a background built of cardstock and patterned paper that she then puts her photos, journaling and embellishments on. For True Scrap 3 (a live, online scrap retreat) she presented a class called the Perfect Collection. In this class, she showed how she cut all her paper in one collection pack up, and then assembled her pages. Yes, you read that right. She cut her paper up before she knew what she was going to do with it. Radical idea, right? I love it! Here’s an affiliate link to the class: The Perfect Collection. I seriously recommend trying this class and the ideas in it to get yourself over the fear of wasting or ruining your paper.

Are you feeling more comfortable about using your treasured paper? There are a lot of ideas here. Pull out your paper. Use it this weekend. Show me what you make. I’d love to see it!

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