Picking your Papers
by Julie Gillespie
What papers should I use?!?!
I have found that this is one of those issues that scrappers sometimes struggle with – what papers should I use? Can I really put this pattern with that one?
I have to admit that my scrapping friends think that I have a knack for grabbing papers for a layout that they would never think of putting together and then marveling at how well it works. And I also have to admit that this is one of my favourite parts of scrapping…looking through my paper and finding great matches!
Of course, one of the easiest ways to do this is to buy coordinating papers from a specific line designed to mix and match. But even so, some scrappers hesitate to really mix it up when it comes to pairing different patterns together. So what do I look for when doing this?
I start with picking out a consistent colour, usually the one that I want to coordinate with my embellishments. Then I look for papers that have this colour in common. You can also choose different shades of the same colour (light to dark) when picking your papers.
This one was easy – pinks, browns and light greens. Polka dots, paisleys and florals - two of these papers came from the same line, but the other two were pulled from my stash. In addition, I paired it with a die cut that had the same light green on it, as well as polka-dots to tie in with the brown on white polka dot paper.
This one was a little more complex – lots of colours to choose from. Two floral patterns, polka dots and stripes! This time, using solid colours and ribbon between the different patterns helps to make it work.
This next one had even more patterns incorporated into it – plaid, diamonds, circles, stripes and geometrics. All had the same colours in them – brown, blue and a rusty orange. By separating each pattern with the solid brown the patterns don’t clash. (Although this paper came from a 6x6 stack, you can get the same effect using your own individual papers.)
Yes, size does matter! The size of your patterns also factors into how well pairing different patterns will work. Florals are usually the hardest to pair up. If you are looking at pairing two different florals , try picking one large floral with multiple colours and then a smaller floral in one colour only that matches the overall colour theme you are going for. Your embellishments would most likely be in that colour as well to tie it together. Small polka dot patterns work well with many other patterns, again, keeping them to a single colour works best.
Stripes are another of my favourite patterns to use as they provide a great way to introduce not only your “theme colour” but also the other colours that are used on the layout. I usually try to pick a stripe that has a wider band of my theme colour, with the smaller stripe bands in the secondary colours of your layout.
Choosing a two colour theme is another way to easily pick multiple patterns for your layout. Think black and white! This is a perfect colour combination to mix and match with…try pairing a paisley pattern with stripes and polka dots. Don’t forget that your papers can be black on white or white on black, giving you different effects on your layout.
The bottom line is, don’t be shy…don’t be afraid to mix it up a little!