We scrap for a wide variety of reasons, to document memories, to preserve our family history, as a creative outlet, and so much more. All of us agree, we want a pretty page. Just like decorating a home, or in fashion, mixing patterns can spark interest and beauty to a layout. These tips will have you mixing up your patterns like a pro in no time!

Mix Patterns within a Color Scheme

This one is an easy one to accomplish. Simply stick within a kit or collection, the Designer has already done the hard work for you. Keep an eye out for the Studio’s quarterly Coordinated Collections or Event Collections to have a wide choice of patterns in a matching palette. You can also use our handy-dandy color filter to help narrow your search.

The Rule of Three

Three is that magical number in design. Where in social groups three is the bad guy (third wheel, odd man out, etc.), in design it creates that perfect balance. One great way to apply this guideline is to mix three patterns. You can easily mix polka dots/florals/stripes, houndstooth/checks/stripes or mix three different animal prints. You can even mix different plaids, as long as the scale is different.

Papers from our LAD: Winter Cabin
Mix Geometric Prints

Geometric prints are a great way to get started on mixing patterns. There is already a logic & symmetry to the pattern that makes it easy to combine with similar looks. Connie Prince is a pro at mixing geometric patterns. Many of her collections have a geometric mixed paper set included.

Connie Princes’ TEENS: GIRL extra papers
Mix Up your Scales

Varying the size of your pattern, or the scale of your pattern will also create appeal without creating confusion. Large scale floral patterns work really well with small polka dot patterns, for example, but they aren’t the only patterns that will work. If the palette is already coordinated, the sky is the limit. Aimee Harrison is one of my favorite Designers when it comes to mixing patterns. She has the magic touch. Check out how well the different scale patterns work in this layout with her Winter Song:

Layout created using Aimee Harrison’s Winter Song
Solids + Minimalist Patterns

An easy way to get started mixing patterns is to combining minimalist patterns with a solid. This is made especially easy by many of our Designers at the Studio. They’ve expertly blended solid papers in a soft meld of colors, and coordinated them with perfect pattern partners. Erika, et designs, has gorgeous papers in her kits. She’s paired them perfectly with minimalist patterns that pop on a page.

Layout by Jacqueline using et designs Harmony
Echo It

One last tip to help you get started on matching patterns on your layouts, if you are unsure, then echo your first pattern. Simply put, repeat the same pattern. You can use the same pattern as an edge or a background paper peeping out from underneath your main paper. You can use it as border, as a frame or as a card, perhaps tucked under a photo. Try rescaling the same pattern smaller on your page.

I love the effect of this polka dot pattern on Grazyna’s page, using the wonderful new Glimmer of Hope by Thaliris Designs. She’s used it in her border, blended on the page, and echo’d as a smaller dot. The result is stunning.

Layout by Grazyna using Thaliris Designs Glimmer of Hope