One of the very strong trends this spring, has been the rainbow color combo.

But is it really that easy? Just take anything in any color and slap it on a page or on a card and it's looking perfect and pretty? There are a few things to think about when you work the rainbow color combo. Read it all through and get a happy surprise at the end of the post. :)

1. Start with a neutral background

Rainbow colors on brightly colored paper is not a good idea. The eye has to find somewhere to rest between all those bright colors. Just look how the bright colors 'pop' against a neutral background such as white or black cardstock. Neutrals works as a great contrast to strong multicolors.

2. Hold back on the patterns

Try to use a fixed set of a few patterns on your papers and embellishments, such as stripes with a few dotted items. Don't mix too many patterns at once, such as big florals, swirls, triangles and horses, all on the same page. It can easily look too wild and crazy. 

3. Follow the map

I'm not talking about the yellow brick road here, but the rainbow bridge. Use the colors in the same order as they come in the rainbow. If you place the colors in the wrong order, the rainbow effect will disappear.

Red is leaning into orange which really only is red mixed with yellow, and yellow is melting into yellow green tones that get a bit more blue green on the way, and then comes the blue that is toning into purple, which is blue mixed with red. And then everything starts over again.

So it's really a wheel of colors. That's why you are allowed to pick any starting point in that rainbow circle of colors. You don't always need to start with red. I'm usually drawn towards a blue or purple starting point.

Tip: I never use yellow as a starting point because that would give too little contrast to the white background I'm using. With a white background, yellow is most prominent somewhere in the middle of the project. If you are using a black background, it's different. On a black background, a dark blue is best used somewhere in the middle, or the elements will 'disappear' into the black.

4. Use black and white or neutral photos

If you use a lot of colors on a page together with a very colorful photo, chances are that the photo will be lost in the layout. But if you contrast your multicolors with a black and white photo, the photo will stand out from all the colors surrounding it.

The page on top of this post has a black and white photo strip where the eye can rest from all the rainbow colors. Below is another example where I used a neutral colored photo. Same thing with the cat page above, where the photo (and the cat) goes in beige, browns and gray tones.

You may break this rule if the main part of the page is neutral. In this layout, I used very colorful photos of a few of my favorite summer objects, but because the main part of the background is white, the pics are still popping despite being mounted on thin baker's twine in rainbow colors.

5. Use repetition

Multicolored projects work very well with repetition of a shape or figure in all the different colors. It's like the repetition itself has a "calming" visual effect on the multitude of bright colors. Here is a greeting card with stamped foxes as a repeating pattern.

Here's the happy surprise I promised: A free download of your own rainbow bucket list! Grab it on this page!

How have you been rocking the rainbow trend? I'd love to hear your own tips, and please link us up in the comments to your own rainbowy projects. :)

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