There are two ways to approach making digital scrapbook backgrounds. The first is to simply open your software of choice and begin creating something artistic and fun, with no concrete thoughts on how (or even if) the background will be used. This method is very liberating and fun, and I have created dozens of digital scrapbook backgrounds this way.
The other approach to making backgrounds for digital scrapbook pages is with a specific use or purpose in mind. This method is focused and directed, and can help you out of a creative rut or block. When using this method, you need to keep a few things in mind at all times. What is this page for? What will it be projecting/what feel do you want it to have? Will it be part of a themed book or a standalone page?
Whichever way you choose, some principles will always apply to making a perfect digital scrapbook. Here are a few basic steps, principles, and methods for creating your unique backgrounds. These tips and tricks can be used with any software you use for your digital scrapbooking and for almost any kind of background you choose.
When setting up your background, be sure you know what your color palette will be for the page, and whether you want a light and fun, trendy and hip, sweet, creepy, or clean and professional feel to the page. Here are a few examples of each type, so you can understand the feel for each.
Light and Fun Backgrounds
Those who have already been creating scrapbooks in the traditional way understand how to create your set different moods for their pages. One of my favorite backgrounds to create is the light and fun type. These can be created using light and airy colors such as baby blue, sea foam green, yellow, peach and so on. Of course, images or repeating patterns work very well with this kind of background. I generally love to use things like balloons or bubbles confetti, rainbows, or other childlike or imaginative designs.
The point to keep in mind when creating light and fun backgrounds is that they should be a little bit childish. They tend to work very well for pages that will be featuring children such as for school events, projects or of course, just for fun. They are also the type of digital scrapbook page that children love to create so you can quickly make these a family fun project.
Trendy and Hip
The color palette and elements for trendy and hip backgrounds changes with the times and personal taste. Currently colors that are stark contrasts of each other are very frequent in trendy or hip backgrounds. Color combinations that work very well together are black with pink or him neon colors, brown with bright blues or greens, and colors that are directly across each other on the color wheel such as red and green or orange and blue.
These kinds of backgrounds are perfect for experimenting with textures or grunge brushes in your program. They offer lots of opportunity for combining textures or experimenting with elements you may not otherwise have. These are an obvious background choice when creating a digital scrapbook page which will feature teenagers, art students, or fashionistas.
Digital Scrapbook Background Examples
Sweet backgrounds are generally used for more tender moments or romantic themes. Using pastels or sugary colors such as shell pink, or pale purple is best for these a digital scrapbook backgrounds. These are also the kind of background where you can use lots of girly embellishments and prints such as floral vines, butterflies, hummingbirds, and the like.
I tend to use very limited color palettes when creating a suite background or layout. Leaving the color palette at 3 to 5 colors total makes it easy to blend them together to create the perfect harmonious look.
Creepy backgrounds can be very fun to make though many people do not understand their use. Sometimes they are created for more Gothic effects of a page, and a lot of the times I have used them before Halloween type scrapbook layouts. Those in the scrapbooking community tend to steer towards more cutesy designs and therefore miss of the effectiveness of creepy backgrounds. But these types of backgrounds include friends and family members outside the normal spectrum, or they can just be fine of for Halloween themes, parties, and laughs.
We do not have to use all black and images of the grim reaper in order to achieve a creepy background. Muted colors such as deep navy, charcoal gray, maroon, and dark violet are all great choices for creepy backgrounds that can add a little bit of color. Designs and prints can be of a DOS they could design such as latticed borders, images of ghosts, bats, and sometimes a fantasy images. Creating these types of backgrounds is a great way to widen your creative scope and design digital scrapbook backgrounds for everyone.
Digital Scrapbook Background Examples
Of course there are many other kinds of background types to use, but these are the most often used, and are a great way to get started and get your creativity working. The examples used in this article are ones that I have created previously. Don’t be surprised is once you start creating digital backgrounds, you’ll find it only takes moments to create more and more. Once you have created a background, be sure to save it so that you can use it again if you’d like.
Remember that you do not need to include all the colors of your palette in the background, as you still have the rest of the layout to build! Backgrounds should be kept at 1 – 3 colors to avoid making them distracting.
This post is part of the series: Digital Scrapbooking Tips
A series of articles to help beginners create digital scrapbooks and layouts from scratch using any graphic software of their choice.