Today is the monthly Senior Design Team challenge for Papertrey Ink.

Our challenge from Nichole was to  pair four or more different patterns on a single project, making them all work harmoniously together!

I thought this was a super fun challenge, as I know many of you ask yourself about HOW to go about such a venture! I mix, match and pair patterns all the time! I began my creative ventures as a Quilt maker, and to me, that was the best part! Mixing and matching all the various fabric patterns and making them work!


Here is my snippet of patterns-up close


I used a total of 6 patterns for my creation-from 5 different paper packs.

My tips for mixing patterns:

1) Pick a main pattern as a start point.

This will help with the color palette, and will enable you to pull out other colors from that start point.

 In this case my start point began with the dotted leaf pattern from the Father Know’s Best collection.

By choosing this I knew I would pick up the Summer Sunset color from other patterns, as well as Dark Chocolate.

Also seeing the dots I knew I could pull more papers with dots-such as Chocolate Remix, and Bitty Dots 2008! 

2) Put the patterns together, and move them around. See what looks and feels like a harmonious match/mix.

For instance, I wouldn’t put the flower pattern, next to the bitty squares pattern. It would just meld together or disappear! It would also look too heave on one side of the card, with so much of ONE color in ONE area.

3) Layer more simple patterns next to busier patterns, so it looks more harmonious.

As you can see, next to my BUSY patterns, I used paper that picks up on the pattern, and is less “busy” So, since there were dots on my leaves, I layered the polka dot paper next to the leaf pattern. On the other side, I went with a faint pattern by using Bitty Boxes. Next to the dots, we get back to a faintly patterned paper, the on to a butterfly border, which continued with the dotted pattern.


4) Use a variety of pattern scales.

We have little boxes, large leaves, bitty dots, larger flowers, then little butterflies in this.

Also use a Larger portion of ONE color, then smaller portions of other colors from the main pattern.

As presented in my card above.

The eye travels from the flower on the left, over the patterns, then rests on the sentiment on the lower right.

It all just flows!

5) Don’t be afraid!

That is the #1 thing holding people back from attempting to mix and match! Just got for it. If you get a paper pad with various patterns in it, each holds some variety of the same colors, start by mixing and matching the patterns in the same pack! Then later, as you grow comfortable, mix different paper packs together, as I did here . When you have a company, like Papertrey Ink, who used similar colors in their paper pads, it is easier to combine the various patterns!

Now I didn’t want you thinking I went with a easy color combo, to make it easy on myself, so I will share another card I did for the last Papertrey ink release, using a paper pack from another company-with some Papertrey Ink paper


This used 4 different patterns!

The bitty dots and bitty sqaures from Papertrey Ink, then the striped for my panel, and some other patterned paper for the “hot air balloons” from K& Co.

This project began with the stripped paper, then moved along from there! All using the same tips I posted above. I used larger scale patterns, with smaller scale patterns,  and pulling colors from the stripes, it all just worked!


Do you realize there are color 8 color combinations in this one?

Raspberry, Spring Moss, Ripe Avocado, Orange, Black, Red, Blue, White!

All used in various scales, making it all just work!

So now it is your turn to give it go!

Be sure to check out the other  design team member blogs for more ideas!

and our Guest Designer Wendy Sue

I really hope you are inspired by my projects today! I enjoyed sharing my own tips that I use when combining patterns, colors and scale.

Thanks for stopping by!!