Accenting your album is easy to do with color. You can add accent paper, borders, titles, and so much more with a little color. Color adds style. It is important to choose colors that accent the pictures that you have decided to use. If you have a dark photograph, you will want to use a bright mat or other accent colors to enhance the photograph itself. You will be amazed with how much brighter your picture looks with a bright color next to it.
Select your colors wisely. You can test out colors of different papers or other accent material by placing the item you plan to use next to the picture. Don’t be afraid to lay out a few colors and see for yourself what looks best. There are always colors that I tend to look for, especially when pictures are related to my children. I like bolder colors for Kieran, like red, orange, and sometimes black. For Hunter’s pictures I choose colors like blue, yellow, and orange. Just like shopping for clothing for yourself, you probably look for items of a particular color that you know look good on you. I prefer reds, blacks, and whites because these colors generally go with everything.
If you have a decent selection of papers, your color selection is unlimited. Or, if you are planning pages out, take your photos with you to the store to see what color paper would look best. This takes a little more time, but you would ensure you had the perfect color that you were looking for. I tend to have a good stock of paper so that I never run out when I need a particular color.
An easy way to accent pictures is by utilizing a mat. Example 1 shows how a mat behind a picture can enhance your photograph. Notice, I have used a black mat that accents the yellow and white stripe shirt in the picture next to it, and brightens up the photo on top of it. A mat is just a piece of card stock or colored paper that is cut just a bit larger than your photo. I use mats frequently throughout my album. I would say that I usually put one picture along every page in a mat, to either enhance a main photograph on the page, or colors of smaller pictures that might visually be left out without some extra color.
Accents are available in so many different shapes and sizes, from stickers, shapes, to die-cuts. I do like to use die-cuts for specific events, especially those that are all'”purpose, like holidays or birthdays.
Accents can get expensive if you purchase items for every page. Often, I will use scraps of paper and other materials to assist in creating a design for my pages.
I have layered paper by just tearing paper and layering it across my page to create a border with my title on top of it. This is the easiest technique. All you do is rip the paper. I think it adds such an interesting effect. This is often what I find myself doing when I run out of ideas or find myself bored with finding something new. Because the colors used and the way the paper is actually torn is always different, it actually becomes a new style.
I also have used in this example pieces of pictures that I would have discarded. I took my children to the local aquarium and we took a great number of pictures of fish and other animals that we found interesting. I took the excess pictures and used them throughout the pages of this attraction as an accent for my page. This is especially interesting when done with pictures from the beach or other outdoor adventures.
Using shapes to accent a page is also a great way to add color and dimension to your pages. You can add patterns with paper along your page, such as a checkerboard pattern. I have a square cutter, which would make this project much easier, but you could easily use a template, trace, and cut out the squares that you needed for the page. You could leave portions of your original white page open and either use these white spaces for your journaling, or use the colored squares for your journaling, adding even more dimension on your page.
Circles would offer the same benefit. Circles can be used for journaling, or to accent your page as bubbles, balloons, or any other round shape. With children it is inevitable to have pictures with the kids in the bathtub, playing with bubbles, and a lot of other water activities.
Play with paper. This is the easiest and cheapest accent you can find. You can create any type of style you choose. My favorite is to tear the paper and then layer it. You can just get so many different looks from this. I hope you find a style that you like to use and embellish your pages in it.