Make It Monday #64: Using Color Inspiration

Many customers have expressed how they would like to see more videos about the actual creative process and how to learn to have a "designer eye".  For my video this week I actually designed a card from the beginning, showing every step of my process (complete with lots of paper pushing!).  I am also focusing specifically on using color inspiration and how to achieve color balance!  I hope you enjoy!

Finished card
Focal closeup


Now, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post!  I have provided you with several additional color challenges & inspiration pieces, complete with a free download that contains them all on one printable worksheet!  This will be a fantastic resource for you to while you are creating!

If you are joining along this week, here are the details concerning the Make It Monday Challenge.

–A new Make It Monday Challenge will go up every Monday morning at 9am EST.

–Create a project utilizing your take on the challenge. Your project must use at least one Papertrey product and one of the color inspiration pieces provided below (feel free to snag the appropriate graphic for use in your blog post as well).

–Post your project on your blog, in your gallery or on any other photo-hosting site (such as photobucket or flickr).

-Add your project to our —>InLinkz List HERE<—

–You will have until 7am, Monday, May 7th, to add your link to the list to be eligible to win. And you can enter as many times as you like.

–We will be tweeting and posting on our Facebook page every night (between 5-9pm EST) highlighting a Featured Project. These tweets/Facebook postings will just be a shout-out regarding projects that caught our eye. 

–One randomly selected winner will be chosen from ALL the entries on Monday,  May 7th, after 7am. The winner will be posted here on this blog post, on Twitter and Facebook. The randomly selected winner will get a $25 PTI gift certificate to spend however they like!

Good luck to everyone and we look forward to seeing your projects!

Here are several options for you to utilize when selecting an inspiration piece for you to work with for this challenge!

I have also provided all of these color examples on a single, printable worksheet.

You can download the color inspiration sheet by clicking the link below:

Download Color Inspiration Sheet

Here are also some additional examples of some projects I have done in the past that illustrate the "Rule of Three".



Ericka H
Congrats to Erika H!  You have been randomly selected as the winner for this Make It Monday challenge!  You will receive a $25 PTI gift certificate.  Please send a note to customer service with the email address you wish to have your gift certificate sent to.  A big thank you to everyone who played along!  It was fascinating to see everyone's takes on the various color schemes!

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 37 Comments

  • 1
    Leigh Penner says:

    Nichole, you are the best! I was scrolling down through your post and thinking…. what would be the best way to print out these combos to take down to my scrap space and voilà! You provided a download! Fabulous! You always think of everything!
    Thanks so much!

  • 2
    merryf says:

    now *THIS* is awesome. Nichole, thank you so much for this tutorial. I’ve been wanting something like this to help me for so long. And the download! This is indeed a happy Monday! How did you know I’ve got 6 cards to get done by Friday and I was all out of ideas…

  • 3
    Debbie S says:

    Wow, this is the best MIM to date! Thank you for such an informative tutorial, that we can refer to again and again. The inspiration pieces and color combos are so helpful, as I seem to be stuck using the same colors. Thank you so much!!!

  • 4
    Cindy H. says:

    Nichole, I loved watching you audition the colors and dies. What a wonderful tutorial and I so appreciate the download. Thank you!

  • 5
    Sheri says:

    Stunning….best MIM!! Love!!

  • 6
    Kathy H says:

    Wonderful video! I still see where you edited some things out but great that you showed us your creative process. Makes me feel more “normal” about my own creating. Love, love the end result-gorgeous card, Nichole. Hope to join the challenge later today!

  • 7
    Colleen says:

    Wow, that was awesome to watch your pull the whole card together…your thought process and everything. That was just what I needed, now let’s hope I can follow through with all your tips and make something as beautiful as YOU! Fabulous MIM!!

  • 8
    Holly Saveur says:

    SUPER!Loved your video great to see you making a card and playing with the much inspiration with the colors too!

  • 9
    Elizabeth S. says:

    This is so terrific!! Thank you so much for the video and download. It is going to be so helpful in making projects. Loved watching your process!!!

  • 10
    conil says:

    Actually, this video was very helpful. Love your choices of elements and the finished product is fabulous. You printable inspiration sheet is the bomb.

  • 11
    Melissa Ladd says:

    Thank you so much for sharing a peek into your creative process! I’m surprised to see that my card making is similar to yours 🙂 Lots of great information and a gorgeous card! Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful color inspiration and for the download!

  • 12
    Linda Chad says:

    I enjoyed watching you as you went through the creative process of designing!! Thanks so much!

  • 13

    Super card and a very instructive video. I learn something every Monday! Thanks so much.

  • 14
    Connie P. says:

    Great color combos! I love the Happy Birthday card! The colors look so yummy together that I want to put it on a stick and eat it.

  • 15
    Paula I says:

    Thanks so much for today’s MIM…I love it! Its obvious you put so much into today’s video and post and I wanted you to know how much I appreciate it. The added bonus of the download is awesome. Thanks Nichole.

  • 16
    Jeanie P says:

    I LOVE this video. To hear you “think aloud” during your card making process was just great! Most helpful video I’ve seen in a long time.

  • 17
    Joann says:

    This was a SUPER video and that card is just BEAUTIFUL!

  • 18
    Joy Hadden says:

    Thank you so much for such detailed explanation of the rule of 3’s. I love the examples you have shown. I get it now!!!

  • 19
    janet wilson says:

    Brilliant video, Nichole – great insight into your creativity. Thank you for all the colour combinations too – marvelous 🙂

  • 20
    rkokes says:

    wow-great video! thanks for sharing your process!!!

  • 21
    KateT says:

    Love, love, love, love, love, love, love today’s video and challenge!!! (Can you tell I love it???) I’m so inspired by the color combos and can’t wait to try some of them out! I also thoroughly enjoyed your video! It was a real treat to get to see the whole process from start to finish! Now…could you maybe do the same type of thing but use a card sketch or layout as your inspiration?

  • 22
    Mackie says:

    Thank You! Thank you! Thank you! I love that you did this! I learned so much!!! And your card is absolutely precious!

  • 23
    Jett says:

    This video is awesome!!! Thank you so much Nicole. Watching your process from start to finish is so informative and one of my favorite ways to learn. A “start to finish” series with all the designers would be FAB!!!

  • 24
    Kathy Mc says:

    OMG, Nicole, I started watching the video but have traveling so this hotel WI-FI is not good for a 22-minute video. Will definitely watch it when I get home. LOVE the fact that you created a printable Color Inspiration sheet with several options. You are SO VERY talented and generous in sharing your gifted talents with us and showing the Rule of 3 on your previous creations. The concept of your video (what I’ve seen so far) is fabulous! You are the best, Nicole!

  • 25
    Linda in aus says:

    Thanks Nichole, learnt heaps and heaps, now I just have to put it into practice. Thanks for the download as well.

  • 26
    Jill Norwood says:

    That was an incredible MIM video Nichole! Love, love, love, LOVE seeing your process and how you apply the rule of 3 so thoroughly in your card making!!! This is so very helpful! It is so helpful to see the start to finish! Plus the sheet to print out and additional examples! Wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you! 🙂

  • 27
    AOK says:

    Well done! Thank you the wonderful video. A treat to watch.

  • 28
    Gisela says:

    You are great. I enjoyed watching the process and the download is a plus. Thank you.

  • 29
    Marcie Rhys says:

    Thank you so much for today’s video, especially in light of all the things you have going on all four burners these days. Thank you too for taking the plunge, and not figuring it out before hand! That took real courage, because as we all know, we’re just plain smarter when no one is looking!

    Your teaching skills are fabulous. Not everyone can explain what’s going on in their decision making process. Trying to commit to a design is the most difficult part for me. Narrowing some of those decisions, by making the elements before knowing exactly how they will be used, is a great way to get over that hump.

  • 30

    Thank you! This MIM is such a special treat-I love the choice of color inspirations and your simple and thorough tutorial. The additional examples drive home the concept and explain why your cards are so beautiful! I will be more diligent in the future to employ the rule of threes! Thanks again!

  • 31

    The combo hibiscus burst and orange zest is pretty cool! Love ’em!

    Annabella MErlin
    Creative Photo Albums

  • 32
    Carolyn R. says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I have looked at color challenges or inspiration photos in the past and just scratched my head. This process is something I can visualize doing and I appreciate the way you explain how you “map” out your card based on the inspiration photo. Love it!!!!

  • 33
    maria f. says:

    Thanks for sharing your rule of threes samples.

  • 34

    Thanks for one of the best Make it Monday’s ever. Now, to see if I can apply what I learned…

  • 35
    Joan B says:

    LOVED this video. Listening to your creative process is priceless!! Thank you.

  • 36
    Shelly says:

    Wow! You have outdone yourself! I knew about the rule of threes but I just thought it meant three elements..not three of each color. Thanks for the awesome lesson teach!

  • 37
    Maria says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for the tutorial! This is so helpful and so easy to follow along! I’ll just now have to practice all your wonderful ideas!

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