7 on Sunday…Tips for using patterned paper

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Isn’t all the new stuff Mary Kay posted about exciting? The manufacturers put out so many great lines each season it’s hard not to get lost in a sea of patterned paper.  Scrapbook Destination to the rescue…here are 7 tips for building your confidence with patterns.  Hopefully, you’ll make enough of a dent in the stack you have sitting in your scrap space and make room for new papers.

1. Let the manufacturers do the work for you.  Most companies coordinate several papers in a given line so you can be confident that the color, style and scale of the print will work together.

2.  Choose the mood.  Look at your photos or other design elements and think about the story you what to tell. Then match the mood of the paper.  For a recent ATC swap, I wanted to make a card that matched my sentiment stamp ‘Be happy everyday’  Nothing says happy to me like yellow polka dots.

3. Use portions and a common denominator to balance your page.  Mix and match blocks and stripes in the same size proportion of patterned paper.  Throw in a common denominator (remember when you were learning to add fractions) and you’ll have a perfectly balanced page regardless of the patterned paper.  In this example I used two blocks of pattern in about the same size and off set the blocks just a little,  I used the pink polka dot as the common denominator.

4. Combine bold pattern, with a smaller scale print that reads like a solid.  Notice in this example I used a lot of the bold clock paper, but mounted my photo on a pink text paper to help it stand out.

5. Cut key design elements out of the paper and mount on a solid color.

6. Choose colors and patterns that visually connect to each other and your photos.  In this example I was looking for patterns that connect to the wonder of winter.  I chose a very subtle snowflake print and combined with a vertical stripe that stretches the eye through the photo.  I used the polka dot paper as a frame so the eye won’t wander of the page.

7. Relax and have fun. It’s ok to experiment with different colors and patterns.  Think of it like your closet: every once in awhile you find two items that you bought at different stores work perfectly together.

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