8 Tips For Using Color To Enhance Your Pages

Do you think much about your color choices when putting together a scrapbook layout? How you use color can actually make a big difference in the overall appeal of your layout. Depending on what type of effect you want to create, you might stick with one color, or use two or three colors.

Here are the best secrets of working with color to make sure your layouts are truly eye-catching!

# 1 – Use different shades of one color.

For some layouts, such as a layout containing photos of a baby boy, using one color can make a strong statement. If the background is a light blue, then use a dark blue for photo mats and journaling blocks. Create a title out of different shades and patterns of blue. By sticking with one color, your photos and embellishments will pop.

Here are some color ideas for layouts to consider:

• Off-white – bridal layout
• Pink – baby girl layout
• Green – past generation layout
• Brown – outdoors layout
• Burgundy – Valentine's layout

# 2 – Use a trace of one color.

If the photos you're using for a layout contain a lot of colors, then consider using a neutral background, such as beige or pale yellow.

Create photo mats using one color that you really want to help draw attention to in your photos.

For example, if you're putting together a layout of the bride and bridesmaids, use the same accent color that is being used for the wedding. Another example, you have an adorable photo of your little girl wearing a shirt that has a bright yellow duck on the front. To draw attention to the duck's cute orange beak, use orange as your matting.

If you have a computer photo program that allows you to change the colors of your digital photos, it's fun to turn your photos into black and white ones, and only coloring one object.

Imagine a black and white photo of your son heading up the stairs with his teddy bear, and the only thing in color is the brown bear. Use a shade of brown for the photo mat and you'll have a stunning photo!

# 3 – Be selective with backgrounds.  

Walk down most any scrapbooking supply aisle and you'll discover lots and lots of different themed paper. Although a lot of these papers are beautiful, it's not necessary to always have a themed background for your layouts. Use themed paper when you're only going to include one or two photos in your layout.

Experiment with different backgrounds to go with the photos that you want to use for a layout. Lay your photos on one background, if it doesn't appeal to you, try a different background. You're bound to find a background that really ties in well with your photos.

# 4 – Limit your color use to three colors.

It's easy to become overzealous when scrapbooking. After all, you have so many colors, patterns and textures to choose from. However, to use color to enhance your layouts, stick with no more than three colors for backgrounds, photo mats, etc.
Let's say you've chosen a green background that has a pre-printed border consisting of light green, taupe and blue. Use blue stock paper to create photos with a thin border of taupe. Add a green bow or sequin to one or two corners. Use of the three colors for your journaling.
Limit yourself to 3 colors per layout!
Limit yourself to 3 colors per layout!

# 5 – Utilize contrasting colors.

Have you ever looked at a scrapbook layout and the entire thing just looked dark? It's important to have some kind of contrast if your photos are dark and your background is dark.

An easy fix is to use white or a bright color for photo mats. The same holds true if your photos are light. You can still use a light background, but use dark photo mats.

# 6 – Create mood with color.

Different colors evoke different moods. If you're creating a layout with romantic photos, then red, burgundy or off-white are often associated with romance. To give a layout a "warm" feel, use orange, yellow, taupe or peach. To show energy, use brights such as red, lime green or hot yellow. For a "cool" effect, consider purple, lavender, blue or dark green.

# 7 – Think complementary.

At Christmas time, we often use complementary colors—red and green. Yet there are other opposite colors that can be paired together that will help you create a striking layout.

Try using yellow and purple, or orange and blue. You can either use a neutral background and use the complementary colors for photo mats, the title, and journaling blocks, or use one of the colors for the background and the other one to highlight photos and journaling blocks.

# 8 – Choose your favorite color.

Naturally, you're drawn to certain colors. There's a good chance that you can use a shade of your favorite color for most any layout. Even if your favorite color is pink, which typically is considered a feminine color, a dark burgundy can be used for a layout of your son riding his skateboard. Pair up the burgundy with a color from the photos.

Just remember...

The most important thing to remember when selecting colors for your layout is to choose colors that will help your photos pop. You may need to experiment with a few choices, but you'll discover the right combination that will turn an ordinary layout into a stunning one.

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