Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Anatomy of a "Tracy Page"~

In my years scrapbooking and teaching, the most common question I have gotten would be...
How do you pick out papers?

It is the most common struggle with crafters. So this is a post dedicated to the process that I go through when picking paper. I do have a method to my madness! So hopefully this will help you the next time you find yourself in a scrapbook store, wondering what to buy.

This is the layout I created in the end. 

In this case I did have photos in mind to scrapbook.
They had a definite camping theme, so I chose my paper accordingly.

When you are shopping there is always a patterned paper that catches your eye. This paper will normally end up be the focal pattern for your layout. For me it was this barn board leaf pattern.

Then you want to find a second pattern, one that is almost a complete contrast to the one you have already chosen. I chose the red polka dot. Paper companies make full collections of coordinating patterns, as long as you stay in that collection, you are guaranteed that the patterns will go together.

For your third pattern I always try to chose a stripe. Stripe patterns often will incorporate all the colors in the collection. It will pull everything together. I normally use the stripe as a border.

Now because I do love to use patterns, I will often pick a couple more coordinating patterns to use on my layouts. Keeping in mind, this could be something as small as a flag or part of a layered border. Also if your patterned papers are double sided, that's a huge bonus!

Next I pick out the cardstock that coordinates with my patterns. Again I always choose a dark and light neutral. In this case it is cream and chocolate brown. Depending on your patterns it could be black, white, grey or navy.

Then I pull a color out of the patterns, I chose the green.

In this layout I chose a second color, one to contrast the green. I chose the yellow.

So again, here are all the patterns and cardstock that I chose. Then I added some coordinating embellishments. Some collections have matching stickers or journal tags.

So here is the finished layout again. Now you can look at it and see where all my paper choices have ended up. The anatomy of this "Tracy Page".

I used the Take a Hike Collection by Simple Stories. Available at the Cutting Garden.


  1. Hi Tracy!
    I am so very happy that you made this post! I absolutely love paper, but don't always know what I am going to use it for, or have any certain picture in mind. At least now, even though I don't know what picture I am going to use, I will at least know what I need to choose to go with that first piece of paper, so that when I do decide to use it, everything will be complete!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Sue O

  2. Very cool to see the process Tracy. Love the finished result too :)


Thank you for your comments! I love reading them!