Gold Foil paper, Gold Wink of Stella, Copper embossing powder, Gold-stitched ribbon, Silver foil vellum, Copper thread, Silver Glimmer Paper-- I love using trendy metallic elements in my scrapbook pages and cards! It's just like a piece of jewelry, the finishing touch for the perfect outfit.
Metallic tones add instant glamor, but every once in a while they strike a wrong note, and we don't always know why. Today I'm sharing several gorgeous samples that use metallics to great effect--and 5 rule-of-thumb tips for using metallics effectively in your projects.
Five Tips Designers Know About Using Metallics
- Balance the Temperature: Visually, metallics are "cold." Pairing them with colors that are "warm" often results in a pleasingly balanced composition. An exception to this would be Christmas cards--white and silver are both hard and color, but it works because of the wintery feel. Patterned papers also count as "warmth." Using vanilla instead of white as your main neutral will also help warm up metallics.
- Balance the Texture: Likewise, metallics are visually "hard." Sometimes projects look almost painfully sharp. Soften that edge with textured layers, ribbons and textiles, loops of twine or thread--all "soft" elements. Round the edges of your layers, or emboss tone-on-tone with matching metallic embossing powder and a heat tool.
- Know When to Quit: designers recommend that papercrafting projects use no more than ten percent foil compared to regular cardstock and paper. It should be considered an embellishment. Think "necklace" and not the main outfit. There's always an exception to the rule, but in general, less is more. Metal draws the eye--so keep it clustered and not scattered in all four corners.
- Just Add Texture: if you're using a larger piece of foil, it can be brassy and overwhelming to a project. The light reflecting off it can pain the eyes--not something you want when people are admiring your card! Cover part of it with a band of something else, or run it through the Big Shot with an embossing folder to reduce the shine and add interest.
- Mix and Match: The old rules about only wearing one color of metal at a time have flown out the door--you'll see lots of jewelry and purses in the stores today that blend gold and silver, or silver and copper. Fashion trends often find their way into papercrafting trends, and this is no exception! Split the time evenly when combining two metals so they don't "fight." But when combining three metals, use a 50-25-25 rule--more of one of the colors than the other two. There can only be one dominant in a group of three.
I hope you've enjoyed these secret designer tricks, the fifth in my new blog series, Five Tips Designers Know. I love sharing design principles to help you grow in your skills as a crafter. If you enjoy tips like these, you'll love the Cheat Sheets Collections, too. Collection #18 was just released this week! Leave me a comment if you have ideas for future "5 Tips" suggestions.