Kelly Goree is back again with us today to share more secrets about using and combining patterned paper. Without further adieu, here she is:

Hi, everyone!!

Welcome back to part two of my self-proclaimed “Patterned Paper” Week! I hope you’re having a fantastic time playing along!

One of the questions I seem to get asked most frequently is how I use so many different patterns/papers on a project and how I go about choosing the ones I’m going to use. I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to share some of my favorite tips on mixing multiple paper patterns and give you a little insight into how I do my own personal paper selecting! So here we go:

1. LIMIT yourself!

One of the easiest ways to use multiple patterned papers is to stay within a manufacturer’s given paper line or “range”. This lets you know that the papers are already designed to coordinate and “go together”. This takes a good portion of the guess work out of it for you. How great is that?!

2. CONTRAST is key!

When you are wanting to put several patterns together, contrast in your colors is a necessity. Colors that are too similar or of the same intensity don’t show up very well when put together. Mix it up and be bold!

3. VARIETY is the spice of life!

To really get the most out of your patterned paper, I have found that it is essential to vary the size and shape of the patterns I’m using. For instance, I’ll use a stripe with a small dot, then add in a large floral. When the patterns are different sizes and styles, they will stand out when used together whereas several prints of the same type (ie: all florals) can have a tendency to blend together.

4. USE in moderation!

A lot of patterns out there can be overwhelming! Don’t be afraid to use a BOLD pattern, just use it in moderation. Take a strip or a small square or a circle of that pattern rather than using the whole thing!

5. FRAME it in!

This is by far one of my favorite tricks for managing lots of patterns – reign those patterns in with a “frame”. Use some dark or light cardstock around your layout design to frame in or contain your patterns! You can see I used this trick in both of the examples I’ve shared this week! (I told you it was my favorite!)

So let’s put these tips to practical use and let me show you step by step how I used each one in my layout, “Home.”

First, I limited myself to one paper line. For this layout, I choose BasicGrey’s Indian Summer line for its rich, intense hues and lots of bold patterns.


After looking through all the papers that I had to choose from, I started grouping them according to some of my favorite patterns and what I thought might work well together. I was looking for the right mix of contrast between light and dark, and size of patterns.

The next thing I wanted to do was start to vary the different types of patterns I was using. I wanted to see if I could mix some floral designs, stripes and more. Notice that while I was looking at two different florals, the scale of the pattern is so different that they still work well together.


I still wasn’t completely satisfied with the patterns I had pulled as I was looking for a little bit more “quirky” color palette, so I introduced the yellow and orange and really played around with it a bit. While those colors could have been overwhelming to my final design, I took them in bits and pieces and created a fun color-blocked background that was….wait for it….contained by both a light and dark frame! You’re shocked, I know!

So there you have it! I hope this encourages you to try your own color combos and to really play up the patterns! I can’t wait to see what you create! ~Kelly

And here is Kelly page after her process of grabbing her perfect collection of patterned papers;