Using Patterned Paper In Your Scrapbook Layouts


Digital designers create some very bold and beautiful patterned papers, but sometimes they can be intimidating. The last several months in the Playbook, our team has been overflowing with design tips for using patterned paper in scrapbooking. I thought it would be fun to ask them for even MORE tips and include them in a post here as well as grab some resources from around digiland.

Jenn says:

“I love using patterned papers for page borders, as well as mats behind photos:

supplies: TempBlends 3 Plus 1 by Jenn Lindsey, Trick or Treat by Kristin Aagard, Greenhouse Bits #1 by Jenn Lindsey, Chiller font

“If I’m doing a layout with a ton of journaling or photo blending, then I will use a solid color for the main part of the layout, to keep it from looking too busy, and then layer in different patterns on the rest of the layout.image

supplies: TempBlends Vol. 6 by Jenn Lindsey, Mischief Maker by Micheline Martin, It’s Bath Time by Jofia Devoe, Small Typewriter Medium font

I particularly love when kits come with a nice variety of patterns in varying sizes and colors because I love layering patterned bits and strips. If there isn’t a wide variety of papers in a particular kit that I’m working with, it sometimes becomes difficult to achieve the look I’m going for without searching for coordinating papers from the rest of my stash.”

Trina says:
“My biggest tip would be to not let the patterns overtake the photos – you can do that by cutting up smaller parts of papers so they’re not overwhelming. If you’re using a pattern as the background, use a solid color as a matte to help draw the eye to the photo. Also, try to coordinate the colors in the patterns with your photos (or turn the photo B&W) so they don’t conflict with each other. Stacking them underneath photos is another way to get a lot of patterns on one page.”

Princess by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr
Inkle Star by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr
Why by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr
All Girl – TDF 24 by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr

My Love by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr
Happy by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr

2010 Smiles by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr

Beauty of Dreams by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr

Belly Time by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr
I like how Heddy uses small bits of patterned papers under the photos in this layout. Just a little bit is all it needs, but it really adds a lot to the layout:

In this layout, Heddy uses a patterned paper as her background paper and then uses solid strips to frame the journaling. She put the journaling on a softly lined paper:

When adding journaling to a layout, it is easier on our eyes if the journaling is on a lightly patterned or solid paper. If the journaling is on a patterned paper, it will compete with the pattern for our eyes attention and isn’t very visually pleasing. Liz’s template helped me place the three background papers, then I added a journaling matte, a photo matte, and photo spot. I knew with this many patterns, I would need a solid paper for the journaling.CallMeSweetie

Supplies: Scrapping With Liz Background Templates II, Call Me Sweetie by Sir Scrapalot

Here are some other great resources for tips on using patterned papers in your layouts:

Episode 43 of The Paperclipping Digi Show:


Get It Scrapped: Ideas for Scrapbooking with Patterned Papers Dots and Stripes
Get It Scrapped: 6 Tips for Using Patterned Paper Backgrounds on Your Scrapbook Pages

suzyQ Scrap-along – Patterned Paper

If patterned paper is something that intimidates you, take some time to check out these resources. Along with our tips, it won’t be long before you are ready to try going BOLD with some patterns!