It’s never a good idea to choose a color theme and make your layout fit. Your pictures should be the central part of your design, so take your color cue from them. Some events cry out for certain color themes, pink or blue for babies, pink and white for weddings, brown and sepia for heritage pages, black and white for graduations, red and green for Christmas, but once you’ve got those ‘obvious’ color combinations out of your system, try some of these suggestions for slightly more unusual color themes.
For a new baby, pink or blue or mixed pastels look pretty, but just as in baby clothes other colors can make your pages stand out. How about pale lemon or aqua for a page with a difference? It’s easy to find ribbon and card in these lovely colors, and if you use a stamp to create your own embellishments it’s easy to color these any way you choose.
For Christmas, how about using a velvet or suede textured paper in a deep burgundy? Don’t forget that you can also use gold and silver card. One of my favorite layouts for Christmas used a deep burgundy velvet paper and a textured gold card with accents of clear crystal glitter, you can get a very similar rich result for deep blue or deep purple velvet with an embossed silver – a great scheme for New Year, Halloween or perhaps a fancy dress party.
Deep copper mirror card is something you don’t see very often, but it is very effective. Use deep shiny copper with a textured gold, dark green and deep burnt orange for a memorable autumn layout. You only need to show a tiny edge of metallic gleam around a picture to make it look very luxurious.
Teal or turquoise is a color which is generally underused. It’s warm and goes well with most browns from sand upwards. Use turquoise as the basis for your next beach layout, most likely you’ll find lots of it in your pictures of the sea. Graphic 45 have a selection of papers called ‘She Sells Sea shells’ which will show off your beach pictures to perfection, or for a modern color scheme try turquoise with lime and a (small) splash or orange.
Blue is a popular color with most women and useful as a calm background for pictures with lots of detail. Build a layout in mid blue and beige and add some green accents; you’ll find everything you need in K and Co’s Blue Awning collection, from rub-ons to ribbons and chip board letters.
Black and white can be fun, especially if you add silver or red for a little pzazz, but why not try something softer. Gray is a very underrated color which can provide a beautiful background for your pictures. Add silver and pale pink for a soft feminine feel, or black and apricot for something more masculine. To catch the eye, combine off white, deep gray, silver and small accents of brilliant flame orange. Ideal for a male birthday layout.
Birthdays are wonderful occasions for a really bright display as the party will usually have a selection of colorful balloons, allowing you to pick out the colors you like best. How about a tropical theme with brilliant orange and fuchsia pink, accented, like nature with a deep dark green? Ideal for a luau or tropical theme, you can finish of with stickers of palm trees, and cut your tags in the shape of exotic hibiscus flowers.
When it comes to weddings, take your colors from those chosen by the bride and try to keep the background as indistinct as possible to allow the pictures to shine through. White on white (or ivory on ivory) textures are ideal. Dark green is also useful as there will be some in the bouquet and usually in the flowers. A color palette of white, dark green and whatever color the bridesmaids were wearing will usually be safe.
When In Doubt. Sometimes you can stare and stare at pictures without finding any inspiration. You know you want to put them in a scrapbook, but none of the papers you have look good with them and you have no ideas. On these occasions it is wise to have a reserve collection of plain dark colored (black or brown) card. There is a reason why photographers websites (and albums) usually have dark backgrounds. It’s because these are the best way to show off the pictures. Put your photographs on black or brown card and you will start to get ideas. If you want to make the background more interesting (and that applies to any of those above) you can introduce your own texture by stamping with clear ink and embossing with clear powder – this creates a subtle texture – or for something richer, stamp and emboss in gold or silver. You can choose a stamp to match you theme, but general flourishes are a really useful buy as they can be used to create a stunning background for anything.