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5 Tips for Using Multiple Patterned Papers

5 Tips for Using Multiple Patterned papers on a Scrapbook Layout. https://scrapbookwonderland.com

5 Tips for Using Multiple Patterned papers on a Scrapbook Layout. https://scrapbookwonderland.comPatterned Papers 5 tips imageDo you have a collection of patterned papers? I know I do! Do you struggle to combine patterns? Do you avoid using your patterned paper?

Let’s take the intimidation out of combining patterns and get you comfortably using multiple patterns on your layouts!

Welcome to Scrapbook Wonderland! I’m Alice Boll the chief creator and director of fun and useful ideas here.

Here are 5 simple tips for using using multiple patterns on one page.

1. Use papers from one pack/kit/designer/line.

The easiest way to combine multiple patterned papers is to use pre-planned papers. When a designer creates a kit or a coordinated line of papers it is easy to use the patterns together on one page. Why recreate the wheel?

When you try to mix and match papers from different designs or packages it takes more work and more time to make sure the designs will go together. You have to worry about colours, shades, patterns and more.

Designers are paid to make sure the patterns work together. They use a matching palette of colours. Make it easy for yourself. Let the designers do the work and use a kit!

Brushed patterned paper from Close to My Heart. Using a kit makes combining patterns easy.

These papers are part of a kit called ‘Brushed’ from Close to My Heart. They are designed to coordinate together perfectly.

2. Find your patterned ‘neutral’.

One or more of the patterns you use should work as a neutral paper. This is the paper you’ll go to for matting, journaling or titles.

It’s also good to break up two strong patterns using a neutral pattern.

In the example below I would use numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 as possible neutrals.

patterned paper picking

3. Choose your base.

The base of the layout can be a fairly busy pattern. You’ll want to consider what is being built on top of the base/background. If you have a busy base paper you’ll have to layer more neutrals on top.

5 Tips for Using Multiple Patterned papers on a Scrapbook Layout. https://scrapbookwonderland.com

4. Layer.

Use patterns as layers on your page. Once you determine your base you can layer the other patterns.

If a pattern has a really overpowering design try to use it in small doses.

Remember to use a variety of colours and patterns to add variation to your page.

5 Tips for Using Multiple Patterned papers on a Scrapbook Layout. https://scrapbookwonderland.com

5. Allow each pattern a chance to shine.

Every pattern has a special attraction and adds character to your page.

Using different patterns you create a textured page with a lot of visual interest.

Be sure to give each pattern a chance to shine and show how beautiful it is!

5 Tips for Using Multiple Patterned papers on a Scrapbook Layout. https://scrapbookwonderland.com

I hope I’ve inspired you to use your patterned paper! It shouldn’t be intimidating if you follow these 5  simple steps for using multiple patterns on a layout.

If you are finally ready to share the story of your life try Scrapbook YOU! In this class you can use these 5 patterned paper tips to help you create an album all about yourself! Click here to finally tell your story.

If you feel overwhelmed by embellishments and I’ve shared 3 Tips for Easy Scrapbook Embellishment in THIS POST.

Would you like even MORE tips to put your patterned paper to work? Try THIS POST.

Be sure to check out the next stop on the Make It Monday Blog Hop where Alison from Alison Day Designs is sharing how she turned an inspiration prompt into a Fall-themed decoration perfect for her Canadian Thanksgiving. Click HERE TO HOP.

Thanks for visiting. I’d love to hear your tips for using multiple patterns. Please leave your tips in the comments!


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  • Beth 13 October, 2014, 6:14 am

    Great tips Alice I always struggle with using more then one patterned paper on a layout.

    • Alice. 13 October, 2014, 6:54 am

      I had the same problem before I learned these tricks. I hope this will make it easier for you Beth. Thanks for commenting!

  • Jen Wright 13 October, 2014, 6:51 am

    Your paper choices are so great! That’s a tip I think many need to learn and be reminded of…sometimes it can get overwhelming. you did fab job on this! Thanks

    • Alice. 13 October, 2014, 6:57 am

      Thanks Jen! I’d love to eradicate that overwhelming feeling. Scrapbooking should be fun, not stressful! Thanks for your comment.

  • Kristie 13 October, 2014, 6:36 pm

    Alice, that is great advice for people struggling with paper choices when using patterned paper. Yes, why invent the wheel when papers are designed together! However, for those times when people are combining random papers, you have provided excellent guidance!

    • Alice. 16 October, 2014, 8:31 am

      Thanks Kristie! I know how it felt when I struggled with patterned papers, but the more I played the better it was. I’m so happy to share the tricks I use so other scrappers won’t have the same problems.

  • Melissa Shanhun 15 October, 2014, 7:42 am

    I love these ideas. I’m a bit scared of mixing patterns, even in a kit!! So I’m pinning the post to refer back to later 🙂 Thanks Alice!

    • Alice. 15 October, 2014, 10:22 am

      I’m honoured! Don’t be scared about mixing it up. Testing things out is where you’ll find the magic! Thanks for your comment Melissa!

  • Connie Hanks 16 October, 2014, 2:58 am

    Fantastic tips Alice! Love the examples you’ve used and great idea to share these wonderful tips. Patterned paper, as pretty as it is, can definitely be intimidating when trying to pull several looks together! Thanks for breaking it down and making it approachable! And of course, thanks for playing along with the Make It Monday hop! xoxo

    • Alice. 16 October, 2014, 8:35 am

      Thanks Connie! I love being part of the Make it Monday hop.

  • Pamela 3 December, 2015, 4:29 am

    Good tips. Another good tip I use, and I notice you do as well, is to ink the edges of your patterned paper when putting up against another patterned paper. By doing this you are creating that neutral color edge in between the two patterns. This has the same effect as putting neutral paper in between the patterns. Sometimes when putting two patterns together without that hint of a neutral in between them can look busy. I think inking makes a huge difference.

    • Alice. 3 December, 2015, 11:19 am

      That’s a fantastic observation Pamela! The inked edge shows your eyes where one pattern ends and the one begins.

  • Nancy 11 April, 2016, 1:51 pm

    Great advice and samples Alice. I would often get out all my papers and try to match and/coordinate the colors only to become overwhelmed!

    • Alice. 11 April, 2016, 10:51 pm

      I’m so happy to help! Don’t let the papers overwhelm you. Follow my tips and you’ll create some pages that you love… with lots of colour and pattern and fun!

  • Aura 7 May, 2018, 8:29 pm

    Hi Alice, I’m planning to buy a paper trimmer scrapbook guillotine and I would like your advice about it. Thanks