The other day I received this e-mail message from one of the visitors to this site:
“I made 5 pages using your sketches, and for the first time I think they turned out okay. I just have a hard time using colors that look right together. I also am not sure when to use paper and when to use card stock.”
I had the same problem when I first started scrapbooking! I had no idea when to use card stock and when to use paper on my scrapbook layouts. In fact, I even remember “googling” it and still not being able to find an answer.
Well, the reason I could not find an answer is because there really is no wrong way or right way to go about this. I think it all really comes down to personal preference. However, I want to share with you what I do. However, if you have an entirely different way of looking at the paper or card stock dilemma, that’s ok – after all, scrapbooking is art and is open to creative interpretation!
Scrapbook Paper or Card Stock? Here Is What I Do…
For the base of my layouts, I generally use card stock. For one, it’s usually more sturdy than paper and offers good support for all the papers, photos, and embellishments that I layer on top of it. For the most part, it’s also less expensive than scrapbook paper.
The three colors I use most for the base of my layouts are white, black and kraft. I don’t really do this intentionally. In fact, I normally start with a colored piece of card stock, but once I have everything cut and ready to glue down, I end up switching it out at the last minute. I find that using neutrals on the base allow the patterned scrapbook papers and other page elements to “pop”.
I use patterned paper for the accent pieces on my scrapbook layouts. Instead of buying my paper ala carte, I usually end up buying it in pads or stacks. The papers in the stacks already coordinate, so if I want to use more than one paper design on my layout, it’s easy to find designs that complement each other.
Generally speaking, I do not use more than two patterned pieces of scrapbook paper on my layouts, although I have seen some beautiful layouts that use much more than that. If you are using several designs on a single layout, one trick is to use smaller prints (Bo Bunny Double Dot papers are a good choice for this), instead of larger prints.
Another trick is to use plain card stock to transition between prints. For example, place a border strip between two patterned papers as a transition, or mat your photos on plain card stock before adhering to patterned paper, so that they don’t get “lost” on the page.
Do you have any other tips or tricks for using scrapbook paper or card stock on your layouts that you want to share? Leave a comment below to share your tips!
In my next post, I’m going to tell you about a free online tool that I sometimes use when I’m stuck on selecting the color scheme for my layout. Stay tuned!