Black and White Scrapbook Layouts

I’ve written a few articles on the topic of colour schemes for scrapbook layouts in recent times. So I thought it was time I wrote about Black and White scrapbook layout colour schemes.

When it comes to starting a scrapbook layout one of the toughest decisions for me is the color scheme. I can fiddle around for up to a couple of hours with bits and pieces trying to get the right color combinations.

an-old-fashioned-melody.jpgThank God for Black and White!

Let’s face it black and white is always a strong, elegant combination and on a scrapbook layout it can look fabulous.

It can be the perfect foil to a highly colourful photo, as in my Just an Old Fashioned Melody layout. And it can also look great with black and white photos; creating the ultimate monochrome scrapbook layout.

And just because it’s Black and White doesn’t mean it can’t have PIZZAZ.
The key things to remember when designing your black and white scrapbook layout are that you need to include plenty of texture and contrast in your design and elements.

Texture on Black and White Scrapbook Layouts

For a black and white scrapbook layout to look effective it should offer some variety to the viewer’s eye. With other colour schemes that variety is largely taken care of by the variety of colour and tones used in the different elements. With black and white layouts you need to add that variety by choosing elements with different textures, because the colours are not really contributing.

For paper scrapbookers, this can be achieved through tearing or crumpling your papers. Or by rolling and curling the edges. You can also choose a mix of materials with different textures in your design; such as cardstock, patterned paper, corrugated cardboard, fabric, ribbon, buttons and beads.

Make up for the lack of colour variety by replacing it with texture variety.

Digital scrapbookers can also use texture in their black and white scrapbook layouts. As you can see in the layout illustrated here, I have added a torn, rolled edge to my patterned paper and I’ve used a crumpled paper effect on the background, rather than just leaving it a flat black.

Applying effects such as bevels and shadows also help you to add texture to the layout. Your graphics editing software is probably packed with different textures you can apply.

Add Contrast to your Black and White Scrapbook Layouts

Black and White is the second most contrasting colour duo in the palette (no it’s not the strongest colour contrast, studies have determined that honour goes to black and yellow). So you’re already starting out with a contrast advantage. But if you’ve spread out a range of black and white papers in front of you, you’ll have realised that they’re not all the same. Some blacks are more charcoal or very dark grey, and whites can range from driven snow to creamy ivory.

Make sure that you pick some good contrasts in your tones. Especially in your embellishments. Otherwise they will disappear into the overall colour scheme and become almost invisible.

Digital scrapbookers can pump up the contrast on some of the embellishments to give them extra punch.

I used the music elements from Amy Cheeseman’s Heartsong kit in the Just an Old Fashioned Melody layout. I converted them to black and white and then increased the contrast to give them a bit of extra punch. Otherwise they would have receded into the background and been practically absorbed by the depth of the black.

I love the way that you can do stuff like this in digital scrapbooking. If your element isn’t exactly the colour, shape, size you want for your layout you can easily modify it to be what you want. And your original element remains the same; to be used again on another scrapbook layout.

If you’re a paper scrapbooker and you’d like to give digital scrapbooking a try so you too can do cool stuff like this. I recommend you click over to Step by Step Digital Scrapbook, You’ll find 25 digital scrapbooking video tutorials which will take you from absolute beginner to expert. And each tutorial comes with a complementary digital scrapbook kit as well.

Other Related Articles:

Black is the new Black

How to Choose Color Schemes

Hybrid Scrapbooking – the Best of Both Worlds


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8 Responses to Black and White Scrapbook Layouts

  1. PreSchool Mama May 20, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    Ooo, there’s nothing like black and white to say classic! Love the way you’ve used black and white, colors and musical notes to create that.

    PreSchool Mama’s last blog post..5 Ways to Explore Science with Your PreSchooler Through Vibrations

  2. karooch May 20, 2008 at 7:17 pm #

    Thanks Cindy. I must admit I do think that black and white does seem to lend an air of elegance to a scrapbook layout.

  3. Debt Free or Bust - Sherri May 22, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    Back in the day I was really into photography. I have a few particularly good shots of the New Orleans French Quarter and a bayou scene enlarged and framed on my walls.

    One of my favorite things when photographing people was to use black-and-white film. Not only is it classic, it captures more emotion with the textures than color would in a given photograph.

    Now with digital cameras and software, you can view a photo in both black-and-white and in color. B&W is still much more striking than color in quite a few more circumstances than one might think.

    I hadn’t thought of using it as a scrapbook theme, though. Great idea!


    Debt Free or Bust – Sherri’s last blog post..Got My Laptop Fixed – Finally!!!

  4. craft August 11, 2008 at 3:40 pm #

    Besides, black and white represent anything.

  5. Claudia December 19, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    im kinda new to the hole scrapbooking stuff ive been lerning from my aunt who has a craft room with a closet full of stuff cabanets and more she has the cricket too. my frends B-day wa 11/20 so i was going to make her a scrap book for her B-day but i kinda took to long and so im makeing her a scrap book for christmas and most of my pages have the same colors so i deside i want to put a sweet elagent black and white page in it with a black and white picture but im sorta not good at this hole thing like i said befor im kinda new to it all so i was wondering if you colud give me some tips or advice? i would really apprecitate it lots thx! bye

  6. DANNIE MARCHETTI May 27, 2011 at 11:09 am #



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