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One Piece Backgrounds

One piece backgrounds

As part three of this themed series about Stitchbook backgrounds, I’m focusing today on one-piece backgrounds.

What are one-piece backgrounds?

These are the simplest backgrounds in the Stitchbook world, but with the following tips they can be just as stunning as their more complicated cousins.  Simply add a single piece of fabric on top of your foundation page (see Wednesday’s post for more info on these) for a quick and effective fabric background. Who needs fancy patchwork when one sheet of fabric can look this good!

It’s a principal that is often used in Scrapbooking. A plain paper background helps to balance a colourful and highly patterned photographic section. This page ‘Dare’ by Riikka Kovasin for example has a neutral background with a bold splash of colour on top. The impact of the single colour would be must less if she has used a multiple coloured or patterned background.

Dare by Riikka Kovasin - scrapbook page with minimal background and colour burst


Read on for 5 ideas on how to use 1 piece of fabric to get maximum background impact!

5 ways to use a  1 fabric background:

1.Textured fabrics.

A fabric with a raised texture makes a great background as it provides interest without lots of busy colours which can distract from your lovely photographs.

Look out for woven fabrics with raised threads, like these curtains from Ikea, which I’ve used to create a minimal background without being boring and plain.

Woven fabric with raised threads makes this background fabric interesting even though it is plain white.

Also this patterned cotton which imitates the lace in my mum’s wedding dress.

Woven fabric with raised threads mirrors the lace on my mum's wedding dress in this page.

2. Tie Dye or other Ombre colouring

Graduated dyes add extra colour without any additional work from you. You don’t need time-consuming patches of other fabrics, just use a fabric with a graduated dye and you will have an interesting background instantly. There are many gorgeous tie dyes out there in many colour schemes from modern pastels to retro rainbows.


3. Patterns with a focus (not the same all over)

Say you want a busy, exciting page full of pattern and colour but you don’t have time to create a multi-layered image – this is the solution! Find a fabric that does all of the hard work for you.

This fabric, for example, has a very large repeating pattern so I have been able to use only one part of it on this page. This makes it look like I have created a frame embellishment with lots of complicated shapes, when it is actually just one piece of fabric!

Using a large patterned fabric this Stitchbook page from my 'This Is Your Life' book has a very detailed one piece fabric background.

4. Make a small Stitchbook

The smaller the Stitchbook the less important it is to have a complicated background as you will only see a very small part of it anyway, once all of the other elements have been added. My Stitchbook Starter Kits are perfect for this and have been designed as small books specifically because of how easy it is to create effective backgrounds in this small shape.

This  front cover for example only uses one piece of patterned fabric for the background. If this was in a larger book as a single piece the busyness of the pattern would overwhelm the photos, but used in such a small space it adds the perfect amount of colour!

5. Use a ‘mock patchwork’ fabric

Find a ‘mock patchwork’ fabric which has squares of different colours but is still one piece of fabric and therefore easy to use.  Another way of tricking your eyes into thinking you’ve added more than you have!

By using a ‘mock patchwork’ fabric you get an interesting colour range to break up the page layout without doing any fiddly patchwork yourself!

Use a 'mock patchwork' like on this page about guitars to make an easy colourful background.


I hope you feel inspired and realise how easy it is to make beautiful fabric backgrounds for your Stitchbooks from just 1 piece of fabric. – Just choose wisely, following these tips and you will have stunning results with little effort!

What next?

Read the other posts in this week’s themed series:

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