Do you have a special place where you go to rest?
I think we all do. Maybe it’s the couch, or a sunny window seat, or a favorite chair…it’s your favorite place to rest. For me, it’s the puffy recliner in our living room. It becomes a spot where you know you can go and get a break and feel good. And just like we need a good place to rest, our layouts need a place for the eyes to rest too. This is never more true than when you are working with patterned papers as your background.
Secret No. 2: You need to give the eye a place to rest.
In order to create balance and order on your page when you’re using a patterned paper background, you need to give the eye a place to rest. This is also really useful in creating a journaling spot on your layout. Giving the eye a place to rest doesn’t always mean using a solid, however. There are a few ways to create spots for the eye to rest on your layout.
Use a solid…or a nearly solid. This is the easiest way to give the eye a place to rest. When you use a solid on your layout, it breaks up the pattern you have as your background and creates a little variety. You can also do this with what I call “nearly solids.” Nearly solids are usually tone on tone papers, with small patterns that are very light. A small houndstooth pattern or a tiny swiss dot paper are both examples of a “nearly solid.” In my layout, “All I Want” you can see that I used a patterned paper background, as well as a few other patterned papers, but made sure to include a solid near my photos to direct the eye to the photos and give the eye a place to rest.
Surround your photos with a solid. Like I mentioned above, putting some solids around your photos automatically draws the eye to the photos on the layout. This could be a large paper placed behind the photos, small layered papers under the photos, or even a small white stroke around the photo. In my layout “Love Defined” you can see that I used a solid paper block directly behind my photo. On this layout, with all the different patterns, this helps to direct the eye back to the beautiful photo.
Break up the patterned background. When you take a minute to break up the pattern, it helps to prevent the patterned paper from taking over the background. This is often where I’ll use a “nearly solid.” You can also do this by combining two different patterns, as long as one is more basic. Automatically then, the eye is directed to the less busy solid and it uses that as the place where it can rest. On the layout “Pre K Four” I broke up the patterned paper background using a solid, which also gave me a place to included my journaling.
Stay tuned tomorrow for my last secret to using patterned papers as your background. After that, you’ll be using patterned papers as you backgrounds all the time!!