The 10/30/60 Rule

During National Scrapbooking Month, we’ve shared tips with you for mixing patterned papers and balancing the colors on your pages. Today we’re going to build on these tips, as well as share a few more—because you can never have too many ideas when it comes to scrapbooking!

First, let’s review what we’ve learned so far:

  • When you want to highlight a specific color, start with a neutral background, limit your chosen color so it really pops, and add a complementing color for contrast.
  • Choose one pattern to be the hero. Choose one bold pattern, one or two medium patterns that support the bold pattern, and then choose papers with very subtle patterns or solid cardstock to round off your page. And don’t worry about being too matchy matchy—contrast is good!

Today we’re sharing another way to remember these two principles—the 10/30/60 rule! For optimal pattern and color balance, make sure your pages have the follow percentages:

  • 10% of your pop of color, 30% of a connector color (goes with the pop, but is a different color family) and 60% of a neutral color
  • 10% hero pattern, 30% mellow patterns, and 60% paper with subtle patterns or solid cardstock

Let’s dive into some artwork examples so we can see this rule in action!

The 10/30/60 Rule is the key to balanced scrapbook pages. Learn more on the blog! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhappytimes #scrapbooking #scrapbookingtips

Forget the 10/30/60 rule—this page is more like 100/100/100! It’s a wee bit noisy. 🙂 The individual elements are beautiful, but they’re just not working in harmony together like they could.

The predominant color here is pink, but with such a dynamic background and pink elements all over the page, it doesn’t really take the spotlight. It’s definitely showing up in more than 10% of the page.

We also have several papers fighting to be the hero. The eye doesn’t know where to look! It’s like when several of your kids are all fighting for your attention at the same time. 🙂

The 10/30/60 Rule is the key to balanced scrapbook pages. Learn more on the blog! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhappytimes #scrapbooking #scrapbookingtips

This page is getting warmer. As far as patterns go, we are much more on track, but colorwise, our base page is a bit too bold for the 60% neutral we’re looking for. It would work better as a connector color, which should be kept closer to 30%. Let’s look at another page that follows our rule more closely:

The 10/30/60 Rule is the key to balanced scrapbook pages. Learn more on the blog! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhappytimes #scrapbooking #scrapbookingtips

Ah, can you feel that 10/30/60 balance? It’s scrapbook nirvana. 🙂 We’ve reduced our hero paper slightly so it’s closer to 10% of the page. Also, do you notice how placing it horizontally lends more balance to the page? To tie in the pink colors of our hero paper, we have a pink paper working nicely as a connector behind the photo, along with a few other hints of pink here and there, giving us roughly 30% of the page. The base polka-dot paper has enough white in it to give us the 60% neutral foundation that we are looking for.

As you can see, following the 10/30/60 rule can really help in creating beautiful pages without taking away from your creativity. Here are a few additional tips from our Art Studio to keep in mind as you create:

  • Keep the focus on your photos!
  • Use your embellishments strategically to direct the eye to focal points
  • Make sure your title and journaling are legible
  • Don’t place journaling or stamping on your hero paper—they will get lost!

We’ve loved sharing tips about how you can enhance your scrapbook pages on the blog this month—and we want to keep sharing ideas like this with you!

Tell us in the comments below what scrapbooking tips you’d like to hear!

Also, remember that our Scrap Happy contest is going on right now. Create a scrapbook page using Close To My Heart products that explains why you love scrapbooking. We will randomly select three winners to get a ton of scrapbooking products for free. Learn more here!

Now go balance those pages like the scrapbook master you are!

12″ x 12″ Endless Summer Page (most balanced)
CC1064 My Acrylix® Happy Times, CC1063 Happy Times Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2650 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2193 Cotton Candy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2644 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3089 Grey Enamel Gems, Z3115 Instalife™ Roller Stamp Day-to-Day, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shape:
1 ½” Title <Family> (p. 67)

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12 thoughts on “The 10/30/60 Rule

    • We’re so glad, Natalie! 🙂 Feel free to leave a comment with more things you’d like to learn!

    • It really does work so much better! 🙂 Thanks for the comment, Thersia! Feel free to leave a comment with more things you’d like to learn!

    • Thanks for your enthusiasm, Marguerite! 🙂 Feel free to leave a comment with more things you’d like us to teach our readers!

    • You are so welcome, Shelley! Thanks for the comment! Feel free to leave a comment with more things you’d like to learn!

  1. I personally felt the yellow base looked best, that the white washed out the pictures and didn’t define them as well. I get the premise though. Nice layout!

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