It’s hard to believe it’s already July!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE patterned paper. Like, a lot. I’d have to say that patterned paper was probably my very first paper crafting love. And I honestly don’t hoard it. I’m that girl who will gravitate toward my very favorite pattern in a kit or paper pad and go for it!

Once I’ve cut into that precious paper, I save my scraps. And that scrap collection ends up growing and growing. Since I love the papers so much, I wanted to come up with a way to use them. Enter patterned paper strip backgrounds!

If I’m feeling a little lazy but also a little creative, I can sit on my couch, binge-watch all the shows, and pair some patterns to prepare strip backgrounds.


 Usually, I start with one predominant pattern that is showy, large, or specific—this one started with the flamingo paper. Then, I search for other smaller or related patterns that fit the feel of the first paper. Here, I added in palm leaves, dots, stripes, and lemons all in the same color and theme.


 Next, I adhere the strips snuggly to a piece of copy paper. Why copy paper? I like to die cut the finished panels with a rectangle die to give it a super finished edge. I loved starting with the large floral on this background and adding dots in various sizes, along with a chevron pattern, too. The black margin plays well with the outline of the fruits and the stamped sentiment.


This technique is a great way to mass produce a bunch of backgrounds. I made these five cards for my sister’s colleagues. She was able to choose a background that fit each coworker’s personality. A nice big circle for the sentiment softens all of the vertical lines.



Create a rainbow with various colors of dotted papers. Remember that you can always adhere your strips on an angle for lots of energy!


Sometimes the color of the panel that I created gives me an idea for a card type. I started with the plaid and added the dots and stripes on this one. It totally spoke baby boy card to me. Now I just need to find someone who is having a baby boy!


I have five more panels awaiting a card design, and one is definitely speaking Christmas to me! It’s nice to have these guys at the ready to use when I need to whip up a quick card!

I hope you’ve been inspired by this idea. I’d love to see what you create! Be sure to tag me on Instagram so that I can see your patterned paper strip creations! You can find me here: @susan.r.opel

 I hope you have a wonderful July!

 ~ Susan R. Opel, Editor-in-Chief