Tips for Mixing Patterned Paper
by Lisa Truesdell | 10 years ago
Hey Big Picture friends! I'm Lisa Truesdell (aka gluestickgirl), and I'm thrilled to be visiting the BPC blog to talk a bit about mixing patterned paper. I LOVE using lots of colors and patterns on my pages - and enjoy finding just the right balance to fit the theme of my layout. Here are some tips for getting an eclectic mix without overwhelming your project.
1. Go Coordinated
If you're new to using 5+ different patterned papers on your page, here's a great way to ease in - stick with using just one line. Manufacturers put together collection packs that are perfectly coordinated, so you don't need to worry about pulling together your own mix. There are eight patterned papers on this page - all are from the American Crafts Chap collection. You'll notice that I used smaller scale patterns for all of the larger paper elements - this is a great way to add a little balance and calm to a page with a lot of pattern.
2. Stick with a Kit
Scrapbook kits are also a great way to test the waters on mixing different papers. Someone has already put together a coordinated collection of papers and embellishments from other manufacturers - all you need to do is pull out your photos and start scrapping. Taking a closer look at the sorts of patterns that are grouped together in these kits can help you get a good feel on how to mix them yourself. Studio Calico makes awesome kits with unexpected paper combinations - I used their Elmwood Park kit on this page. I started with a large block of a netural paper, then used small pops of different colors all around the page.
3. Busy + Plain
Once you're ready to start putting your own paper combinations together, a good way to keep things cohesive : pick ONE multi colored patterned paper, and then pull in a mix of monochrome patterns. I started this page with the map patterned scalloped sticker from Crate Paper, and then pulled in several papers in colors that were within that sticker. I treated the brighter colors - pink and yellow - as accents, and made sure those colors were spread out around the page in visual triangles. To finish the patterned paper combination on this page, I pulled in a red and navy airmail stripe. It really doesn't match the rest of the papers, but it provides a perfect unexpected pop. I love adding a bit of unexpected color in small amounts - it can give a project a little extra energy.
4. Stay Neutral
I use a lot of smaller patterns when I'm mixing papers, but sometimes I fall in love with a BIG pattern, like this pie chart. Committing to one busy paper doesn't mean you can't bring in a few others - you'll just need to choose them carefully. On this page, I offset the large pattern with several neutrals and tiny bits of tone on tone papers. On this page, as in all the others, I used a neutral background - it's a good way to counter all of the color going on elsewhere!