Try Bright Colors

Bright colors grab our attention and make us happy. But, when scrapbooking, they can easily overwhelm the focus of the scrapbook -- the photos.

Here are 10 layouts featuring bright colors, along with some tips on how to make them work for you. Check it out!

  Soften with Patterned Paper
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"Beach Ball Fun" by Paije with Red Chili Pepper Grid Paper

This patterned paper, while incorporating all of the bright colors, has a soft background. This allows it to be used repeatedly on the layout, softening the bright Red Chili Pepper Grid Paper, and letting the photos shine.

Pull Color from the Photos

When the subject of your photos is bright, like the girl wearing the pink bathing suit in this layout, you can actually make her stand out better by using a brightly colored grid paper.

Adding contrasting colors, like white and green, helps move your eye around the layout.

To keep things from getting overwhelming, some of the photos are matted in a patterned paper that is nearly the same shade of pink as the grid paper.

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"Fun at the Pool" by Paije with Cyclamen Pink Grid Paper

Replicate the Designs
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"Voodoo Doughnut" by Paije with Sunbrella Grid Paper

Every element of this page is based off the sign at the center of the layout The colors, the vertical photos and the horizontal border designs are all inspired by the sign. This keeps the eye from getting tired and keeps the photos in focus.

Paije also used the exact same shade of purple found at the top of the ombre grid paper as her mat color. This naturally draws your eye right down the layout. Perfect!

Show Off the Snow

Photos of snow are typically less colorful than other pictures, so using brightly colored papers provides contrast that helps them shine.

You might also consider matching colors to the season ... winter photos look great with cool colors, like purples and blues. And, if you look closely at the snow, it often has a soft blue or purple hue to it.

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"Winter Birds" by Paije with Grape Grid Paper

Liven Up the Sand and Water
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"Beach Day" by Paije with 'Always Afloat' Grid Paper


Beach photos are also naturally calm and lacking in a lot of color and can also benefit from some bright backgrounds.

The easiest way to choose a color is to match the color of the clothing, sail or flag of the subject. In this case, the bright blue of the boy's shirt makes it work well with blue grid paper and blue photo mats. Since the water is a softer shade of the same color blue, it works well on these photos. If the water clashed with the blue, you could use the green of the boy's shorts instead.

Adding the pops of orange in the border dies keeps the eye moving around the layout. Orange, yellow and reds are great contrasting colors with beach scenes, since they are all warm colors.

Include Contrast

If you match the large amount of color in the photos to the grid paper, your photos will blend right into the background. Instead, use contrasting colors.

These photos, for example, have a lot of red and yellow in them. So, Paije used blues and greens for her accents and grid paper to keep the photos standing out.

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"Fun Climb" by Paije with Board Shorts Grid Paper

Make it Fun
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"Floating Hair" by Danielle Lawson with Between Toes Grid Paper

Bright colors make us think of fun and youth. Use them to help tell the story of silly experiences.

Here, Danielle used a bright blue cardstock for photo mats and the outlines of her die cuts to tie all of the fun colors in together and keeping it from becoming overwhelming.

Include Softer Colors

To keep really bright colors, like yellow and orange, from becoming alarmingly bright, mix in some softer shades.

Here, Jodi used soft blue, along with neutrals white and black to help tone down the yellow.

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"Disneyland 2020" by Jodi Benson with Pineapple Crush Grid Paper

Include Neutrals
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"Tampa Trip" by Paije with Heatwave Grid Paper

Trips to the zoo are wonderful opportunities to use bright colors, since the animals, and their habitats, are generally neutral.

For this layout, ultra-bright orange and yellow are used to make the photos really pop. However, the colors are kept from being overwhelming by incorporating neutrals like brown and white.

And using a single photo that has lots of color, like the one in the center here, draws the eye right into the layout.

Don't feel you have to duplicate all of the colors in your photos. The center photo here has blues and pinks, but it still compliments the bright orange. While the orange conveys the warmth of the summer day, blue or pink wouldn't have the same effect.

Go Outside of the Lines

Using white and lighter shades of green and blue can help tone down bright orange.

But, Paije took them a step further on this layout. She ran the strip of green paper behind her photo and into the next element on her layout, going right over the grid space. She repeated the treatment with blue and white papers and carried them all the way to the edge of the grid paper. This treatment is both subtle and effects a small portion of her layout, but it is just enough to help break up the orange and keep it in the background where it belongs.

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"Ghostly Greetings" by Paije with Orange Grid Paper