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Old 02-12-2011, 07:33 PM   #1
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Question Advice on Matching Patterned Paper

I love the look of mutiple patterned papers on one card but I struggle with trying to find patterns that look good together. Any tips?
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:09 PM   #2
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I also struggle with matching different patterns together. I don't have a natural ability like some have for pairing different patterns together. So for me the easiest thing to do is to purchase different papers from the same product line release or patterned paper packs. Those papers are meant to coordinate. Another tip is to pair busy patterns with subtle patterns or neutral colors. I find patterns like stripes or plaid with dots work well together. Try a large pattern with a small pattern. For me I like to stay within the same color tones (warms, cools). I personally find it more pleasing to pair two warms together than say a warm and a cool colored pattern.

There really aren't any hard and fast rules for pairing patterns. Every day I see beautiful samples with pattern pairings I would never think to put together. So I advise that you start by studying some cards you like and figure out what it is that you like about the pattern pairings. Then get some coordinated paper packs and start pairing. As you get more confident, start branching out and trying unexpected things together. I always hold my papers together and look at them from a distance for a while before deciding if they work well together.

Just have fun with it. My favorite part of the card making process is finding papers to work together. I get so much satisfaction when I find different patterns to work together, especially when the paper is from different companies and not made to work together. It is like completing finally completing a complicated puzzle.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:28 AM   #3
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I'd start with buying a couple of the 6 x 6 paper pad collections. All the papers included are meant to coordinate with the others. Use the collections to learn what kinds of patterns and colors go well together. Eventually you'll start to get used to what goes well with what and be able to choose your own patterns/colors.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:46 AM   #4
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I think Elizabeth (luckygal) summed it up perfectly.

I find that tight patterned papers work best with a looser pattern with the same colors or a few of the same colors, at least.

One thing I like to do is first look for pp that has the colors in it that are going to be in my image. Then I hold them together to see if they are compatible. I also take in to consideration what embellishments I would like to use.

Take a trip to your local craft store. Spend some time looking at the papers (they generally group them together). It might be helpful.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:47 AM   #5
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This is a reason I don't buy alot of paper sheet by sheet and try to stick to collections and stacks...then there are always several sheets that match up perfectly.

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Old 02-13-2011, 08:16 AM   #6
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In addition to using papers from a collection, you can also use papers from other collections by the same manufacturer since they sometimes use the same colors in more than one collection.

Small polka dot, striped, gingham, houndstooth papers work well with larger patterns.

It sometimes helps to mat each layer in a common color or to edge the papers with the same color ink. Ribbon or colored twine works well to tie it all together (pun intended).

Have fun with it!
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:41 AM   #7
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I always struggle with this as well. I read somewhere a long time ago in a quilting magazine a trick for matching patterns on fabric. I use it when matching patterned papers. The trick is to use one large scale pattern and then a small scale pattern. The small scale will read as a solid. The article said if you squint your eyes and look at the small scale and it blends away, then it will work with your larger pattern. And then you can use a co-ordinating or contrasting solid to tie them together. I sometimes get this to work for me, but I don't have much success in pairing patterns, I rarely use more than one patterned paper on my projects.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:59 AM   #8
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I always struggle with this as well. I read somewhere a long time ago in a quilting magazine a trick for matching patterns on fabric. I use it when matching patterned papers. The trick is to use one large scale pattern and then a small scale pattern. The small scale will read as a solid. The article said if you squint your eyes and look at the small scale and it blends away, then it will work with your larger pattern. And then you can use a co-ordinating or contrasting solid to tie them together. I sometimes get this to work for me, but I don't have much success in pairing patterns, I rarely use more than one patterned paper on my projects.
This is a good point. I often look at quilts for inspiration.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:02 AM   #9
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These are great tips!

I, too, love paper packs, esp. the six by six inch pads for card making. The smaller sizes usually have smaller scaled prints, making it easier for cards. It's pretty easy to match when they're from the same pack.

Once I pick out the paper, then I match cardstock. Finally, I match the stamped image to all of the colors. I either stamp in black/brown and color the image with markers that match the papers, or I find a coordinating ink color. Makes it so much easier than stamping and coloring saomething and then trying to find paper that matches.

(Actually, I used this method recently in my guest room! I picked the new comforter first, and then picked the paint colors for the wall to match. It was a lot easier than trying to do it the other way around!)
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:44 AM   #10
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I've learnt over the years, and after wasting many hours, to pick my papers first, as said from co-ord packs like basic grey and making memories, and then to colour my images. the hours i've spent looking for papers that match my colouring!!!!
i often use a geometric pattern with a floral rather than 2 florals which can overpower each other.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:49 AM   #11
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I have given up on trying to match patterned papers. It just doesn't work for me. I seldom use it now, although I continue to collect it because it's just so pretty to look at LOL
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:57 AM   #12
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If I see a color combo I like in a magazine I either write the colors down or take out the picture. That way when I'm stuck I dig out the file. I'm as I like to put it color phobic.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:02 AM   #13
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I oftentimes use a solid color and stamp with a coordinating ink using a small design stamp, such as the SU 2-inch square background stamps. Or some of the inchie stamps also work. You can also use the watermark stamp on some of the darker papers to make your own patterned paper which will look good with the fancier paper you have chosen. Make your own BP by adding color to the CB folder before embossing. Or run the plain paper through the corrugating roller and highlight the ridges by gently rubbing the stamp pad over them.

I even save the used security envelopes with their black and blue insides, and have found ways to pair them up. They can give you very interesting backgrounds.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:05 AM   #14
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That's why I gave up on pattern papers. I now will only use Stampin' Up's pattern papers, since it tells me the coordinating cardstock colors in the catalog. Plus, the patterns in the pack will coordinate with one another. I no longer waste my time trying to put together papers that don't match.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:15 AM   #15
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These are great tips!

(Actually, I used this method recently in my guest room! I picked the new comforter first, and then picked the paint colors for the wall to match. It was a lot easier than trying to do it the other way around!)
LOL. We did this in our bathroom. Had the shower curtain first and picked the paint to go with it.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:18 AM   #16
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That's why I gave up on pattern papers. I now will only use Stampin' Up's pattern papers, since it tells me the coordinating cardstock colors in the catalog. Plus, the patterns in the pack will coordinate with one another. I no longer waste my time trying to put together papers that don't match.
I'm with you on this; the papers in an SU pack always coordinate with each other, plus, as you say, it lists the coordinating solid colors. Plus, use of the color coach and you can never go wrong.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:28 AM   #17
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I only use 1 pp on each card. If I need more papers on the card then I will use solids. Easier to match and looks cleaner. I prefer CAS look.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:24 AM   #18
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I have spent way too much time trying to find the perfect combinations. My new theory is that if it makes me happy then it is right. And usually the ones that I think are gonna look horrible, but make me happy anway are the ones that everyone seems to love. GO WITH WHAT YOU LOVE!! Make you happy!!
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:34 AM   #19
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I read somewhere that it's a good idea to pick one "organic" pattern (flowers, clouds, leaves, etc.) and mix it with something "geometric" (squares, stripes, circles, houndstooth, etc.) That advice has helped me a lot. Also, there is the design concept of "contrast" which includes mixing papers that will have sufficient contrast when paired together. If they are too similar, the whole card will just look muddied (it took me years to realize this!)
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:01 AM   #20
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Many times if the patterned papers have the same colors, they will work well together such as in this example.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:50 AM   #21
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I think 90% of the cards on my blog have more than 1 patterned paper on them, I LOVE to use different patterns together!!
Like everyone else has said if they are together in a pad together then they go together so I always buy the pads...if I absolutely have to buy it by the sheet then I make sure I can buy at least 2 of the same line so they go together.

here are a few examples.
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1-10-11-009.jpg   1-21-11-pc-004.jpg   2-11-11-005.jpg  
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:52 AM   #22
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crazystampchick love your idea about if it makes you happy. I've done that on a few of my cards and if I liked it I went with it. I sent a bunch of cards to my mother to keep on hand. I got a call a few days later asking me if I still can dress myself. I have to admit some of what I came up with were a little crazy.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:16 AM   #23
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I sometimes rely on the principle that quilters use of color family with small patterns to compliment 1 large pattern. If color becomes an issue, you can always use inks to color a paper. Lord knows there are plenty of inks out there!
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:33 AM   #24
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I agree--If it makes you happy-go for it. I belong to Club SEI and my daughter belongs to Club Scrap. I am often surpised by some of the papers they put together in the kits that I would never have thought went together. When the projects are done, they look great. Who knew?
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:29 PM   #25
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crazystampchick love your idea about if it makes you happy. I've done that on a few of my cards and if I liked it I went with it. I sent a bunch of cards to my mother to keep on hand. I got a call a few days later asking me if I still can dress myself. I have to admit some of what I came up with were a little crazy.
That is so funny!!!! I used to spend hours trying to come up with coordinating patterns and just ended up frustrated. Then I decided to just pick papers I liked, put them on a table and mess around with them. I got some neat combinations and have learned to just go with what I like.

One tip is to put what you like together on a table and walk away. Come back in 5 or 10 and your 'fresh' eyes will see whether it works or not. I often do this with my hair and it works a lot better than screaming ...
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:28 PM   #26
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One way to do it is to choose a colour, so for example there is a blue in the paper, then find some other papers that the same or close to it with the same blue.

Or you can use colours that are from the same colour family or if haven't tried a colour wheel these help.


Another trick I have used is that the paper doesn't neccessarily match, so I use a plain cardstock to layer with that is the same that helps tie it all together.


Have fun with it.....it doesn't have to be matchy matchy
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:34 PM   #27
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Scrapbooks, etc. April 2011 magazine has a really great long article on mix and matching PPs. It has tons of great tips so you might want to check it out! I learned a lot from reading it. I have always struggled with patterned papers too!
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:55 PM   #28
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I tend not to match patterns as much as colours. I will find a paper I like and then find another paper with the same colours or one that is fairly one colour (although it might have a dot pattern in a different colour or it might be a print but all monocromatic) and they tend to go together beautifully. I was never taught, but I have a knack for colour. It extends well to home decorating and wardrobe as well. I just got lucky that way! One thing I always keep in mind is that if you use a bold pattern and the only other coordinating paper is also a bold pattern, don't worry! Just cut your image and layer it over one of them so only the edge is showing. It cuts the pattern down to a hint and blends it beautifully. I do this with scrapping as well. I've given people empty scrapbooks (no photos) before and they were like whoa! looking at a page, but when I put sample photos on the mats they were oh, cool!
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:56 PM   #29
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I hope that makes sense!! I reread it and got confused myself LOL!
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:00 PM   #30
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It's also a sure bet to go with colours that nature matches. For instance, you can use brown and navy and a lot of greens with ANYTHING because they're neutral. Any colour with coordinate. So say you have a red rose pattern, pick a green dot pattern to match. If you have yellow strips, pick a blue swirl. Things like that. Think of what you are wanting the page or the card to say. Red rose and green dots say flowers, roses, peace, garden, thinking of you, love you. The yellow strips and blue swirl say summer, at the beach, fun in the sun, vacation, happy, cheery. Let the colours relay your message.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:48 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by maryrose View Post
These are great tips!

I, too, love paper packs, esp. the six by six inch pads for card making. The smaller sizes usually have smaller scaled prints, making it easier for cards. It's pretty easy to match when they're from the same pack.

Once I pick out the paper, then I match cardstock. Finally, I match the stamped image to all of the colors. I either stamp in black/brown and color the image with markers that match the papers, or I find a coordinating ink color. Makes it so much easier than stamping and coloring saomething and then trying to find paper that matches.

(Actually, I used this method recently in my guest room! I picked the new comforter first, and then picked the paint colors for the wall to match. It was a lot easier than trying to do it the other way around!)

THANK YOU for taking the time to write this. It has helped me so much, you just don't know how I have struggled with putting a card together. I am excited now to have a recipe I can use.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:07 PM   #32
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Default I am not very good at matching so...

I bought myself a color wheel. It helped me a lot even with printed papers.

Hope this helps!

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Old 02-16-2011, 06:22 PM   #33
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I love mixing it up. Here are a few tips that work for me. Combine different types of patterns. For example, don't try to mix polka dots with other polka dots, or flower patterns with other flower patterns. Combining polka dots or plaids with flowers works great. Same idea with big patterns and small patterns - don't mix big patterns with other big patterns. Also, keep your colors to a minimum, no more than three colors or your project will be too busy. Finally, have a solid color border/frame/mat between layers so patterns aren't directly touching each other.

Here's a card with plaid, big polka dots, and small flowers. Have fun!

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Old 02-16-2011, 06:43 PM   #34
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I don't have time to read the whole thread so forgive me if I am repeating. I like mixing florals with stripes or dots and text paper. Always works! In addition, if you have papers from different lines, don't try matching. Just mix a neutral and a coordinating paper. Coordinating isnt quite the same as matching. or see if you have any mathing/coordinating ink and make matching paper by repeating small stamps or using s background stamp.

You can always go with embossed neutrals too so no 'matching' required.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:02 PM   #35
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A good rule is a "rule of 3" so just choosing 3 colours that compliment... Say Red, White and Blue, and use it for everything, image, embellishments etc.

And also using the same shades, unless your going for monochromatic.

But a lot of it can be HOW it goes together, so sketches help, at least for me.

Hope that helps. I certainly struggle with this too.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:42 AM   #36
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Great thread. I have always had trouble matching pattern paper. Thank you OP for asking and all those who answered with ideas. Very helpful.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:14 AM   #37
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I really found this article by Julia Stainton to be helpful
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:19 PM   #38
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Thank you to all you wonderful cardmakers for the hints! Maybe I'll get brave and try mixing patterned papers now!
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:58 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirley6176 View Post
I oftentimes use a solid color and stamp with a coordinating ink using a small design stamp, such as the SU 2-inch square background stamps. Or some of the inchie stamps also work. You can also use the watermark stamp on some of the darker papers to make your own patterned paper which will look good with the fancier paper you have chosen. Make your own BP by adding color to the CB folder before embossing. Or run the plain paper through the corrugating roller and highlight the ridges by gently rubbing the stamp pad over them.

I even save the used security envelopes with their black and blue insides, and have found ways to pair them up. They can give you very interesting backgrounds.
I do all these things, too. Sometimes just using an embossing folder is enough. I recently made a St. Patrick's Day card with Garden Green embossed with the houndstooth folder and the variety of shades created was all that was needed. Don't have too much patterned paper as I used up too much time trying to coordinate and would rather stamp my own anyway.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:13 PM   #40
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This is why I stick almost mainly with Close To My Heart paper packs. They coordinate lovely together. Also you can get cardstock, ribbon, markers and ink to all match all of the papers as well.
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