Q&A What is a good way to choose what color or colors to use for a project?

Question & Answer

QUESTION: I’m new to stamping, what is a good way to choose what color or colors to use for a project?


Let’s dive a little deeper in the subject of color. Depending on what type of project you want to create, the colors that we choose either…

…reflect our mood, reflect the season, or reflect the occasion. It can be a very daunting task.

Let’s break this down more. We need to remember that colors fall into two categories…warm and cool.

Warm colors have a yellowish tint.

  • yellows
  • reds
  • oranges
  • browns

Cool colors have a bluish tint.

  • blues
  • greens
  • purples

Are you still with me? We are going to dive a little more deeper. We can even divide warm and cool into two categories…true and muted.

Typically we think of TRUE COLORS as the colors in the rainbow, they are more of a pure color. For MUTED color, just think of them as being a lesser intense shade or subtle version of the true colors.

Okay, so we have discussed some about colors, now let’s discuss how to choose colors.

After choosing the type of color you want to use, true or muted, the next decision would be the type of color scheme you would like. Do you want to go the Monochromatic scheme route or the complementary color scheme route.

Monochromatic color scheme is the easiest route. You can achieve this in one of two ways. You can choose two or three different shades of the same color (dark blue, blue, light blue) or you can achieve this by using the “stamping off” technique.

This technique is where you stamp your image two or three times in between inking your stamp. This gives you a different shade of the same color.

It is fun to go the complementary color scheme route too. Complementary color on a project create a vibrant look. You would pair together a warm color with a cool color.

If you are new to rubber stamping and paper crafting or even just getting back into stamping, here is my recommendation. Start by combining colors from the same family. What I mean by this is to pair true colors with other true colors, or pair muted colors with other muted colors.

Stampin’ Up! has done a great job of paring up colors with the different color families.

  • Brights
  • Neutrals
  • Regals
  • Subtles


  • WARM: Colors that have yellowish tent: reds, oranges, yellows
  • COOL: Colors that have a bluish tent: blues, greens, purples
  • TRUE: Colors of the rainbow with the purest color: red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange
  • MUTED: Colors that are softer or more subtle versions of the true colors
  • MONOCHROMATIC: Using a different shade of the same color
  • COMPLEMENTARY COLORS: Use contrasting colors, a warm and a cool color together.

Do you have any questions about rubber stamping or paper crafting? Email Jill and I will answer it soon.

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