Herringbone Technique – The Vibrant Power of Repeating Pattern

Image of card using herringbone technique

The herringbone technique is a great way to use up leftover bits of pretty printed cardstock. You know, the kind that’s too pretty to throw away but too small to use any other way. It’s fun to mix and match to make this unique, snazzy background. Let me show you how!

No need to plug your nose

There are no smelly, fishy ingredients in this recipe. The supply list is as follows (it’s short!):

Step1. Trim the adhesive paper to the desired size of your background.Step 2. Trim 3 or 4 patterned papers into strips between 1/8″ and 3/8″ width. Trim a dark color into one of those sizes. I trimmed my dark brown into 2/8″ width.
Trimmed patterned and solid papers

Step 3. Take one of the dark strips of paper and adhere it diagonally across the adhesive paper. Do the same with two more strips of dark paper. You have now divided the base (adhesive) layer into four rough triangles.

Step 4. Roughly trim the paper strips. This will make the next steps a bit easier. Do NOT trim up to the base layer just yet. (You can see two of the dark strips trimmed shorter.)

Note: Don’t worry about being precise when laying out the dark strips. There is no certain way or pattern for doing this. The right way is YOUR way.

Dark strips adhered to adhesive base layer
The foundation

Step 5. Pick one of the four triangles and start filling it in. Choose one of the patterned paper strips and adhere it next to a dark strip. Choose another of the same pattern and adhere it next to the dark strip on the opposite side of the section.

Step 6. Repeat Step 5 until the entire section is filled in.

One section filled in completely with patterned strips
One section down, three to go

Step 7. Flip layer over and trim paper strips close, but not all the way to edge yet.

Back side of layer with strips trimmed down
Trim close but not all the way… yet

Step 8. Fill in the second section with paper strips.

Fill in the third section. Use longer leftover strips for this section.

Step 9. Fill in the fourth section.

Step 10. Trim the strips close to the base layer.

All layers trimmer close to base layer

Step 11. Burnish strips firmly to adhere all strips to adhesive layer. This ensures smaller strips will stay adhered. Turn over and trim again if any “stretching” has occurred.

Using the bone folder to burnish the strips to the base layer
Burnish firmly

Step 12. Use background on finished project.

Image of card using herringbone technique
A fun way to use leftover bits and pieces of patterned paper

This sweet baby card was finished off with a bird stamp colored with chalk pastels applied with Q-tip cotton swabs onto white cardstock and layered onto two doily diecuts. A stamp die cut tag attached with the tiniest clothes pin onto a green seam binding bow finishes this card off with sweet effect.

This herringbone technique doesn’t need much flash or sparkle – it stands on its own quite nicely.

Now it’s your turn

Give this clever herringbone technique a try and share it with us on Facebook. We’d love to see how you use YOUR leftover patterned scraps!

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