Variations on Cascading Designs


If you have read Alison’s or Nikki’s blog posts this month, then you know we are talking about cascading design layouts for February. Both of my fellow team members explained the concept of cascading design so I don’t need to cover that. Instead I’ll show you some tweaks to the concept to help you implement this idea into your layouts.

Keep it Simple

Cascade layouts don’t have to be complicated (though I will get to one of those later!). This layout took me all of 10 minutes to put together. A handful of larger embellishments sprinkled down the page and a couple of photos makes for a simple yet full layout. The cascade of snowflakes adds movement and energy to support the story.


Keep it Simple, part 2

This cascade was accomplished by swiping ink cubes down the page. A set of colors pulled from the photos adds texture and motion in a very simple way. Plus it leads the eye right to the photo.


Keep it Simple, part 3

You don’t have to design your cascade. There are products on the market that do it for you. Here I used a pre-made pattern paper that took care of the cascading for me. While this paper is older, you can go paper hunting in your stash or online for a pattern that can do the job for you.


Minimize It

For this one I kept the cascade to just some hand drawn gold arrows and added in some enamel dots to emphasize the arrows more. This isn’t a bold design like some of the other layouts. It is a subtle way to lead the eye.


Kick It Up

Part of what I personally like about the cascade design it how well it plays with mixed media. Alison’s post and accompanying videos shows you just how fun cascading mixed media can be! While Alison had messy mixed media going on, if that isn’t your thing, Nikki takes the challenge in a tidier mixed media direction. Be sure to check out both of their posts.

For the mixed media in this layout, I painted through a stencil and then let gravity do the rest of the work for me with drippiness. I think this is part of the success of cascade design. Our brains are already used to how gravity pulls things downward and so it feels natural to see layouts with those types of elements.


Go Unexpected

While using the natural flow of gravity is successful in it’s own way, turning it on it’s head can be equally successful. Here, the upside down cascade is surprising and offers a different mood to other cascades. For me it sets a bit of a magical mood to tell stories of wonder or excitement or surprise.


Go Unexpected, with a literal twist!

While this next (new!) one may no longer be called cascade design, since it doesn’t follow the flow of gravity, it offers another perspective on this type of idea. Just a simple 90 degree twist of the paper opens up other options for story telling. Perhaps a stormy weather story, or a day at the river, or even a metaphor for a story of change. 

Here my sideways cascade is both a metaphor for change and imagery for my hair! I let my hair grow a lot during the pandemic years and I was so tired of it and ready for a change that I just hacked it all off! This sideways cascade design style works great for this story.

That wraps it up for February. Stay tuned for a new topic in March! Until then if you have a way that you have implemented cascade design, do share your ideas with us! You can tag @scraphappy or use #scraphappy, or drop a link in the comments to your projects! Happy Scrappin’ !

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