Today I have a few tips for you about mixing patterns in scrapbooking. This can often be the trickiest part for people when picking out which papers to use on a layout! Typically if you pick papers from the same collection, like Confetti, which is the line I am using for this layout, you can rest assured that the papers are all designed to coordinate and work together. So you at least have a starting point and a pool of a bunch of papers to pick from. Then from there, you do want to be a little careful in your selection so that your choices don’t fight or compete with each other on your project.
>> Here are my 4 tips for mixing patterns <<
1. Start with a collection or one product line that is designed to coordinate and work together. This one is not a must because if you follow the rules below you can still make it work with lots of different papers, from different manufacturers even. BUT, if you do start with one collection, you can pretty much guarantee that the next steps will be easier because you have some of the work done for you.
2. Choose papers that have the same tone or feeling when it comes to their saturation, style and design. What I mean here is that you want papers that have the same “mood” to them. For example all of these papers have bright colors, but with a slight distressing to them that makes the brightness or saturation feel a little more toned down. The brightness or pop of color is comparable across the papers. You don’t want to pick one very vintage muted feeling paper along with a paper that is super neon, bright and trendy. Basically lay the papers together and see if they fight or if they play well together. It’s a hard concept to describe but something that you should be able to see as you pull papers and start mixing things together. This is also the step that can be hard for some… so that’s where step 1 would come in handy for you. If you go with a collection that is already designed to have a flow of papers that want to be with each other, you don’t have to worry about this.
3. Choose papers that have some contrast. You want things to work well together but you also don’t want the papers to just blend right into each other and get lost on the page, so this is where contrast comes in. When you put two papers together, do they blend too much visually or can you see a distinct end/beginning as you move from one to the next? For example, here, the white/aqua paper up top contrasts well next to the yellow floral, which then contrasts well next to the black and white polka dot paper. Think lights and darks here and even using different colors next to each other like I’ve done.
4. Pick a variety of pattern sizes. When you look at a paper you should be able to categorize the patterns by size — small tight patterns, medium patterns and large patterns. It’s a good general rule to pick a variety here instead of picking all small patterns or all large, etc. My polka dot pattern at the bottom is a smaller pattern. Next to that is the floral that has a very tight polka dot background (which is a smaller pattern than the dot below it), but it is also larger visually in that the flowers are more spread out. And then up top you have a medium pattern that is not super tight/small and not really large either. I don’t necessarily follow this rule specifically but if you get stuck, try picking one large, one medium and one small pattern and go from there.
Once you have all of your papers picked out, the fun part is embellishing and adding all of the little decorative elements! I like to add mine in little clusters like you see below!
I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any questions! The great thing is that you can apply these same tips for mixing patterns in anything you do, whether it is scrapbooking, card making, sewing or home decor!
Supplies Used >> Maggie Holmes Confetti Collection / Confetti Standouts / Confetti Puffy Stickers / Confetti Black Thickers Alphabet / Confetti Chipboard Stickers / Confetti Sequins / Confetti Stickers / Confetti Hardware / Confetti Paper: RSVP, Garden Party, Jubilee, Cloud Nine, Anniversary