Using Color Palettes to Inspire Your Layouts – Part Three

I’m back today with part three and my final post in my color palette series. In case you missed the last two posts, in part one I showed how color palettes can be inspiration for choosing products for your layouts or projects. In part two, I offered some ideas for not only using the color palette to inspire your projects, but to use the actual photo to inspire design choices.

In this final installment, I wanted to offer some ways that color palettes can help you solve common paper crafting dilemmas.

1. Adding a pop of color

Ever find yourself with a layout or project in progress that needs something, but you aren’t sure what? Try adding some flair with a contrasting color.

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When I saw this color palette it gave me the idea to create a layout in various shade of blue on a neutral background with a pop of red as the accent color.

Here’s what I came up with, using this palette for inspiration:


Supplies: Vanilla Bazzill cardstock, DCWV Everyday Essentials and Sunshine stacks, Echo Park Navy Chevron/Dot, Pebbles Ash Chevron, Little Yellow Bicycle Saturdays Blue Reverie, American Crafts Dear Lizzy phrase stamp and red jute, alphabet letters from Simple Stories Sn@p, Jillibean Soup and Doodlebug, Studio Calico wood veneer stars and Atmosphere Mister Huey, Jenni Bowlin Weather Vane ink.

I really didn’t have a story to go with these photos but as I looked at my nephew’s expression, I wondered what his two year old self might have been thinking. I cut the speech bubbles with my Silhouette. In keeping with the idea of a pop of color, I kept the background neutral with shades of blue but added potential thoughts in red letter stickers.

2. A photo with an unusual color

Sometimes you may come across a photo with a funky color and you just can’t find the right products to go with it. Maybe the colors clash or maybe there’s only one dominant color in the photo and you aren’t confident about selecting coordinating colors.

Take this photo for example:


Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any collections I have that include orange and black that aren’t Halloween-ish. I could just start digging through all of my pattern paper collections just in case I do have something in my stash. Or, I can turn to my favorite color palette site and see if I can find a palette that will give me more options.

After scrolling through a few pages, I found this palette.

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This palette includes black and orange and introduces a dusty purple, darker blue and yellow. The coordinating colors give me some direction when searching through my paper collections. I can look for pattern papers that incorporate a few of the colors or I can look for subtle tone-on-tone prints in each color.

If I didn’t like that particular palette, I can click on the orange color next to the color palette on the source page and use the “see similar colors” feature. The search will pull up all the color palettes on the site that include that particular color.

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Here’s another palette that that brings organic greens but leaves out the blacks. Might be interesting.

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Now this palette goes in a totally different direction bringing in a bright blue that would contrast nicely with the orange.

Options! I love having different options.

3. A scrapbooking product with an unusual color 

This same process can work for products too.


Take this lavender bloomer from Webster’s Pages. I’ve had this in my stash for a few years. I’ve tried to add this to several layouts in progress, but I’ve just never been able to make it work. If I ever want to use it, I may need to try a different approach.


Looking through several pages of color palettes, I came across this one. The lavender is a good match to my embellishment but I’m not crazy about all the pinks and purples — two colors I don’t scrapbook with much. So, I’m going to keep searching and see if I can find something with more contrast.

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Here’s another palette with the same lavender color. I really like this one. It still has a lot of purple, but I love adding in red and turquoise. Using this palette as a starting point, I decided to create a page kit around the embellishment.

Here’s what I came up with:


Honestly, I never would have thought to combine these colors together. But with the help of a color palette, I pulled products in other colors that will look great with that lavender bloomer. Seeing all of these products lined up, I can see the potential and I can’t wait to put it all to use on a layout.

What photo will I use? I don’t know yet. I’ll keep these products together in a page protector and the next time I have a new stack of photos to scrapbook I’ll see if I can find something that will work. If not, I’ll wait until I get the next batch of photos processed or go through my photo archives to see if I can find a past photo that would work. If all else fails, I can always turn some photos to black and white.

4. Using a challenging color

We all have colors that we naturally gravitate to. I love blues and greens and would guess that 75% of my layouts use one or both. But purple is a challenge for me. I do like purple and I have purple supplies in my stash but purple just doesn’t show up in my photos that often. How can we incorporate a challenging color more often? Pair it up with colors you are more likely to use.

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I was instantly drawn to this color palette because of the blues and greens. I have many products in my stash in these colors and I use them all the time. But it hasn’t occurred to me to pair them up with purple.

That’s how color palettes can be so inspirational. Using this one as a guide, I shopped my stash again:


It didn’t take long to round up this group of products. One of the things I love best about creating page kits like this is that it breathes new life into older supplies. I probably would never have selected these products at the same time. But with the inspiration from the color palette, it’s almost like they were all designed to go together.

Now that I have some fun new page kits to work with, I need to get busy scrapbooking!

Thank you so much for joining me in this color palette adventure. I hope that I’ve shared some fun ideas that you can use in your own scrapbooking and paper crafting.

Now go find a fun color palette and let it inspire your next project!

11 Responses to Using Color Palettes to Inspire Your Layouts – Part Three

  1. RuthG June 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    I really enjoyed this series on color! Your “kits” look fabulous and although I subscribe to Design Seeds, I was mostly saving the posts for later and now I have a good idea how to use this awesome tool! Thanks so much for sharing! It’s great to have a new tool in my arsenal!

  2. Moiby June 8, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    I agree! I just stumbled upon this today and just checked out your other two articles too. Well done – it’s really helpful and rather inspirational! Thank you.

  3. Dana June 9, 2013 at 1:05 am #

    I’ve learned so much from your series! Thank you so much! My layouts will look amazing thanks to you!

  4. Åsa June 10, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    Thank you so much for all the work youve put into this! Thank you!

  5. KimberlyMarie June 10, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    Those are some great colour pallette’s! Thanks for the tips!

    I also really like your layout and the use of the speech bubbles!

  6. Lisa Swift June 10, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    You are so good at finding the right resources to help you along with your pages, Tammy. Love your layout with the strips of paper and fun speech bubbles!

  7. smithdesigns June 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Love how you used the color palettes, TFS 🙂

  8. Vicki June 10, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    What a fun way to choose colors! These are all great!

  9. maryjo1997 June 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    Fabulous tips! Lots of great color combos I am pinning to Pinterest right now! And love that you told a story on your layout without it really being a story. Very cute use of the speech bubbles!

  10. Gab June 17, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    I’ve really enjoyed this series – thanks!

  11. Rosalie March 19, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Excellent and beautiful tips! Thanks for sharing, and inspiring!

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