Are you sometimes intimidated by certain scrapbook papers? Do you like the color or pattern but you think,"Wow, that's a little "busy"? No worries! The key to using patterned papers is to use in moderation.
In my early days of scrapbooking, I would use just one sheet of patterned paper as a background, no matter how bright or busy it was; now looking back, I see that my pictures were overwhelmed by the papers. I have learned that by pairing patterned papers with solid cardstock or with a related but smaller/cleaner pattern, I can use the "busiest" papers around, yet still have my photos be the focus.
A great example of a company that has wild patterned paper is Sassafras Lass. I love their paper and embellishments. It makes my heart sing to look at them. However, I know that I have to use their products in a different way so that my layouts are not overwhelmed. Here's one of my favorite layouts that I made using Sassafras products:
By using a black background and by using the papers as borders and accents, I was able to still get the fun, whimsical look, but my photos are still front and center.
Another company that I love is American Crafts. They too have some awesome papers that may need a little tweaking.
If I had used an entire sheet of the stripes, my pictures would have been lost. However, by breaking up the stripes with some solid cardstock, I was able to still get the fun pattern but without all of the clutter.
For more examples of patterned paper layouts, go to my "Gallery" page here on the blog!
So don't be afraid of those wild papers! Just use them in moderation and you will have a layout that you are proud of!