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Use Your {scrapbook} Stash: Multicolored Striped Patterned Paper

Yesterday I was lamenting the withering of blogging. I miss the days of reading the blogs of people who became friends, many of them scrapbookers. I miss reading scrapbooking blogs that were about scrapbooking instead of about design team or kit club assignments. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…I understand that the industry has to function somehow.) I miss reading about one of my favorite subjects without feeling like I was being sold something. So I complained about it a little bit, on a Facebook group I belong to.

And then I remembered that I, too, have a blog. And I don’t write about scrapbooking very often anymore either!

Partly this is because I have let go of my scrapbookerly ambitions while I focus on writing. I’ve never wanted to be on a design team (because designing layouts with the goal of showing how to use products does not sound like a thing I’d be good at) and I don’t subscribe to any kit clubs (because the longer I scrap, the pickier I get about what products I will use). But it’s also because of low blog stats in general, and fewer comments. And because there aren’t a lot of other bloggers anymore to share the scrapbookery blogging camaraderie with.


I found myself thinking of Toni Morrison’s advice to writers: write the book you want to read. The same can be said for blog posts! So I decided that I’m going to start blogging more about scrapbooking. About the process, or about journaling, or about using supplies. Share tips or suggestions or journaling prompts. Or just my thoughts. Because after all, it is one of my favorite topics, regardless of who reads or not.

Today I’m thinking about an essential part of your patterned paper arsenal (wait? is it an arsenal? Well…I probably could cause quite a few papercuts if I started flinging paper around. I have a lot.) and that is multicolored stripes.

I learned the power of the multicolor stripe from quilting. It’s quite often what quilters use to bind our quilts (although I’m also fond of little polka dots). For me, it’s nearly always the thing I buy after my quilt is entirely finished. And as it generally takes me years to finish a quilt (not kidding!), there’s no way I could buy any of the same fabrics I used in the quilt. The key to finding a good binding is to look for a stripe that has the same neutral base (white, cream, or grey) as the neutrals in your quilt, and some (but not necessarily all) of the same colors in the same hue. It’s amazing how the striped multicolored binding pulls everything together!

The same thing goes for scrapbooking. I almost never use multi colored striped papers in big chunks, but as smaller accents that are there to tie all the colors together.

Take this layout:

All of us together easter 2015

When I first started chosing supplies, I didn’t even know where to start, because there are so many colors in the photos. I almost went with yellow…but decided on light blue and light turquoise. I pulled these supplies:

UYS 9 16 2015 supplies pulled
(I almost always pull WAY MORE STUFF than I could ever use on one layout. Then I have to put it all back when I'm done! Also, I took this after I made the some things I put on the layout couldn't be in this photo.)

But everything felt a little bit blah. So I riffled through my multicolored pattern drawer and came across this (very old…I think it’s from 2010) My Mind’s Eye stripe (from their Fine & Dandy line…I loved that line!) It had the turquoise/blue feel of what I’d already pulled, but it added brow and orange into the mix, and it was just the right amount of snap. Since everything I’d already pulled was mostly monochromatic, I added some brown and tan and got to work. (I didn’t add any orange because I didn’t want the layout to “read” as orange. Even though I love orange! It just wasn’t the feel I wanted.) UYS 9 16 2015 supplies added

Without that stripe, I never would have added orange and brown to turquoise and light blue. But the stripe pulls everything together. And I absolutely never, ever would have thought to add brown and tan to an Easter layout. But the turquoise and blue keep it feeling springy.

That’s one way you can use a multicolor stripe—to add something extra while simultaneously pulling everything together.

You can also start with a stripe that goes with the feel of your photos, and then pull other supplies that work with the stripe. Usually I use the stripe in small pieces, so it doesn’t overwhelm the whole layout. But I have a bit piece of that stripe left. I think I’m going to challenge myself to use a good portion of it in a different way.

Maybe that will be my next scrappy blog post!

Do you like using multicolored stripes on your layouts?



I don't use the colored stripes often in my layouts, I'm more of a circle/dot kind of girl, scrap-wise. Love this post--I am an old-time scrapbooker, too. It is my creative outlet and the fact that it makes my family happy is a bonus. Thanks for this post. I always enjoy your scrapping ideas.


That's a great tip. I have a hard time using striped papers -- I'll have to give this a try soon. (I'm part of the same Facebook group you mention and read that thread yesterday. I think many people read so many blogs -- and sometimes through a feed reader -- that most of us don't get many visits or comments. I'm certainly guilty of not leaving a lot of comments. But I'm going to try to be better about it!)


Thank you for this post about scrapbooking. I enjoyed the technique tips, but I also enjoyed the attention spent on the topic. I appreciate your effort to focus on the topic of scrap booking again!!

Robin W.

I use stripes a lot, especially on two page layouts to help tie them together. I keep all of my striped paper together in a folder so it's easier to look through them to find one that works. Thanks for writing a post on scrapbooking; I too miss reading about my favorite hobby!


I always buy striped paper cause it talks to me but then I always have a hard time using it - I'm going to try the small doses idea on my next layout. Thanks for writing about scrapbooking - the beginning of your post sounded as if you had read my mind! I especially needed this little crafty bit as my LSS closed last weekend (after almost 20 years in business) and part of my heart went with it - my hubby always knew that was where I meant when I said I "needed to go to my happy place" LOL


I love using striped paper, and I use it in about the same way--small pieces to tie the layout together. Thanks for bringing scrapbooking to the fore again!


Thanks for promising more scrapbooking posts - I love them! Shimelle Laine's are my absolute fave, and her advice on using striped paper as a background frame reminds me of yours about quilt bindings!


I keep thinking I need to bring a little more scrapbooking to my blog... now that pretty much every place I've ever loved to share scrapbooking is gone! I've never been on a design team or subscribed to a kit, either. And I haven't ever jumped into Project Life. This all makes me very oddball these days, I've decided ; )


Don't stop blogging!! I just found you! Love scrapbooking and writing stories so your topics touch me so. And your recent blog post (re: teenagers) made me feel your pain. Mine are older, but I remember those feelings and the thought "Why does this seem so hard??" Some things are easier now, some things are harder.

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