Quick Tip: Paper Perspectives

There are so many wonderful artists out there who design decorative papers for all the big name crafthouses. Many times, when I discover a new collection or artist that tickles my fancy, I have a hard time using some of the papers on my projects. You almost feel guilty about using the “pretty” paper. But, eventually, the creative juices usually win the battle and you end up creating something beautiful from it. (Though, I will admit that I do have certain paper designs that I tend to hoard for truly special projects.)

While I’m not as much into scrapbooking as I once was, I do enjoy working on and designing layouts for various projects. Many times these designs and techniques transfer over into my cardmaking–only on a smaller scale.

One comment I hear often is that sometimes a background paper is “too busy” or “too intricate” to use in a scrapbook layout or card. But, I say it’s all a matter of perspective and thinking outside the box. Just because you have a 12″ x 12″ sheet of paper doesn’t mean you have to use the entire piece in a card or layout. Sometimes, you need to put your designer’s cap on and utilize your resources to fit your project.

For instance, I found this piece of lovely hibiscus paper in a Basic Grey paper pad from their Mortifica range. It is truly a piece of artwork.


I had an idea for a layout, but I honestly needed a little more contrast and focus for the project I had in mind. As I had several pieces of the same paper design, I thought it would be interesting to modify a piece so that it would work for my project. So, I found a piece of 12″ x 12″ black Bazzill cardstock and grabbed for my scissors and played around for a bit. After looking at potential cuts and layouts in my mind’s eye, I found a combination that I liked. I carefully cut part of the hibiscus paper design out and adhered it to my black cardstock. The result is a piece of paper that combines two different ranges and design aesthetics–but works.

The lesson is to let your papers work for you. If they don’t work the way you want them to, change it up and create something unexpected. Sometimes, it may not be a resounding success. But, in crafting, they are no failures. Expressing your creativity and resourcefulness can never be a losing proposition.

Create…and keep crafting!

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