It's no secret that I love patterned paper. Most scrapbookers do. Certain patterns just fall right in with my style. Other just don't which means they have a tendency to sit in my stash. It's not that I hate those patterns. What is far more likely is that they may be hard to work with. Often there are parts of the design I don't want to cover up and I am unsure that cutting the sheet apart is the best answer.
One of the prints I struggle with the most are large polka dot patterns. If the pattern is solid (IE. all large red dots) I can sort of work with it. However, there are some sheets of patterned scrapbook paper (like the one I will be working with today) in which each dot has a different design. Such a design can be busy but there are ways to make it workable while also adding dimension.
One of the easiest ways to work with a busy patterned paper is to reduce the number of photos you are working with. While we normally like to share ideas for multiphoto page layouts here at LOAW, today I will be working with just one photo. I recommend working with two at the most for a page like this one. You don't want to cover too much of the background paper which could easily happen with a lot of photos. It's also easier to maintain a focal point for your story.
The first step in using a large polka dot print is to identify which of the dots you want to show and which ones you are ok with covering. In this case, two of the dots (what ever and But first, Glitter) don't go with the photo of my son holding a stuffed bunny. I plan to cover those by layering my photo, papers and embellishments over the top. Knowing which sections of the print will be covered will also give me an idea of where I will be placing the photo and building my design up around it.
Identify three of the polka dots that can be used to form a visual triangle around your photos and cut them out. Don't worry if one of the dots is cut off along the edge of the paper. I like to use a craft knife so that I can keep the background intact.
Cut pieces of scrap cardstock, add adhesive on the back side of the layout around the edges of the holes and then adhere the scrap piece of paper to the back of the layout.(Note: if you don't have a large polka dot print patterned paper, skip the first few steps.Instead, use a circle punch or hand cut circles from patterned paper scraps to make your own polka dot background on a sheet of cardstock.)
If you are concerned about unevenly cut edges, now is the time to ink the circles you cut from the background paper. Inking will help to hide any uneven cuts while also providing more definition for those particular circles. Use foam dots or layer small pieces of chipboard inside the empty circles. You are creating a platform to lift some of those dots up off the patterned paper.
It's ok to allow one or more of the dots to overlap your photo matte cluster.In fact, it makes the design more interesting. Now that the page is complete, you can see why less photos work best on a design such as this one. To ensure the focus remained on the photo, I used a few simple pocket page cards matted with solid cardstock to create a clustered matte for the photo. You could also use scraps of paper in place of the pocket cards. Either way, choose a graphic neutral print like the graph and black and white prints shown in the layout above.
Keep embellishments to a minimum, creating a few simple clusters using the dots you chose to pop up. To help your journaling stand out, write your story on journal strips created from scrap cardstock. Outline them loosely with pen.Choose a simple, yet bold letters to help your title stand out from the page.
Popping up just a few of the polka dots helps you to create a visual triangle that will bring the focus in on your photos and your story. The raised effect creates a subtle shadowing which makes the polka dot pattern feel less flat while creating interesting dimension on your scrapbook layout.
This year, my New Year's resolution is to use more hard to use patterned papers?What your hard to use patterned paper print? Do you still find ways to use it or does it stay stuck in your stash?
Craft Knife: Westcott Brand