Effects of Different Colors in Handmade Cards

Combining different colors in handmade cards can give them very different effects.  Here are two versions of the same design using two different pinks.  You might not think that a different shade of one color would make such a big difference, but see for yourself:

My newsletter subscribers got the tutorial for the first card this week.  The colors are Soft Sky, Bermuda Bay, and Flirty Flamingo.  What words describe what you feel when you look at this card?


Flirty Flamingo is a very bright pink, but I hadn’t realized how much coral was in it until I combined it with blue tones.  You’ve probably seen these other posts on color schemes in cards:  So Detailed Thinlits Cards and Warm Colors, Cool Colors.

Blue and orange are opposite each other on the color wheel, and create a complementary color schemeFlirty Flamingo has enough orange in it that this combination has the high contrast of a warm and a cool color against each other. 

Cool colors are on the top half of this color wheel (Red-Violet to Green), and warm colors are on the bottom (Red to Yellow Green). 

12 Color Wheel-600

Colors look different depending on what they’re combined with.  Against the warm So Saffron, Flamingo looks less coral and more pink than it does against Bermuda Bay.


Let’s look at the second card, which uses a cooler pink, Rose Red.  What do you feel when you look at this card?


Rose Red is a bright pink, with less white in it than Flirty Flamingo, and no orange. It is closer to Violet on the color wheel than Red Orange, so the overall effect is cooler, calmer, more harmonious. 

The card made with Flirty Flamingo has a brighter, happier, more excited feel to it. 

By the way, these aren’t just words I use to describe the two cards, other cardmakers tend to use the same words.

As you can see, the colors you combine on your cards will evoke different feelings.  When you consciously choose colors based on the effect you want, your cards will be better than ever! 

If you don’t know how to read the properties of colors, you must be confused and/or frustrated when you try to combine them.  Fortunately, there’s help for you!  In the online Color Class, you’ll learn to look at colors the way I did in this blog post.  Use this link to learn more:

Use Colors Like a Pro:  Color Theory for Paper Crafters.

Meanwhile, look at your handmade cards, or the ones you find online, and see if you can perceive the effects of different color combinations.

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