Creating Your Own Backgrounds Tips

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What can I do with a brayer?

Creating resist with the Versamark Pad

You can create an original background by using a Versamark Ink Pad. This ink is clear and can be used as a "resist" medium. Just ink up a stamp with the Versamark ink and multi-stamp it onto your paper or cardstock. Then ink up your brayer, or a craft sponge, with dye ink in the color of your choice and roll/run it across the cardstock. The images that have been stamped with the Versamark will not "hold" the top layer of ink and will stay uncolored - it's a great look!


Tissue Paper and Bleach Background

For an interesting and easy background, wad up a tissue, dip it lightly in bleach, and blot on a piece of colored cardstock in a random manner. To achieve even more depth, wad up a new tissue and pat it into a contrasting colored ink pad, then randomly blot
it on the cardstock.

How do I use liquid applique?

Liquid Applique Suede Effect

You can create a suede effect for backgrounds by spreading liquid applique in a thin layer onto your card/paperstock. The best way to spread it is to use a brayer. Once you have a very thin and even layer of liquid applique you can leave it to dry and then heat with your heat gun.


Marbling Technique with Shaving Cream!

Use shaving cream to create a marbled effect! Spray some onto a cookie sheet, spread evenly to a depth of about an inch and large enough for the paper you will work with. Drop re-inkers on and swirl and comb with a fork or other instrument. Lay cardstock on top of the foam and push into foam, pressing evenly to ensure even coverage. Lift and scrape off with a spatula. Set aside to dry.


Polished Stone Technique - Variation 2

Try this for a marbling effect:
Daub metallic ink randomly onto glossy cardstock. Take a large cotton ball, dampen with rubbing alcohol, then add a drop or two of re-inker in the color of your choice. Daub over the metallic ink - and watch for interesting effects! Seal your project when dry.


Versamark and Pearl Ex

Stamp with versamark onto your card first, and then brush over with Pearl Ex for a beautiful effect. You can use just one color of the Pearl Ex, or try using multiple colors to create a more colorful background.


Sponging - Ripped paper technique

You can create a great "wave" effect by combining dye ink, gloss cardstock, and a piece of roughly ripped cardstock! Rip a piece of cardstock so that you have a nice long "roughly" ripped edge. Ink up your sponge with dye ink, in the colour of your choice, and then hold the piece of ripped card on the gloss card surface and rub the ink from the piece of ripped card and onto the gloss card. Continue doing this all over your gloss cardstock, moving the ripped piece around and changing the "direction" of it each time. This can give you a wonderful wave effect.

versamark ink pad?

Embossing Versamark

Use your versemark pad and stamp anything you want. Then you can emboss the stamped image. If you use a glitter or clear emboss, it still gives a subtle background, but with a little sparkle.

What is repeat stamping?

Repeat Stamping

To create a simple background you just need one stamp and some ink (this can be dye ink or pigment ink, but remember that pigment ink won't dry on gloss card/paper). Just ink up the stamp and then, without reinking, stamp about 4 images randomly around your paper. Make sure that some of the images "fall off" the edges of the paper as this gives it a more professional look. Also make sure that you turn the stamp so that you stamp the image in different directions.


Gluestick and Ink Marblized Background

Create a marblized effect with a glue stick! Stamp your cardstock with a glue stick, and while wet brush with an ink pad (direct to paper style.)


Using Bubble Wrap

A very easy and effective way of creating an interesting background is to get a piece of bubble wrap and press it onto your ink pad. Then just press the wrap across your card/paper stock and you have a very interesting "honeycomb" effect.


Wax Paper Resist Technique

For this technique you need a sheet of waxed paper, which you scrunch up into a ball and then smooth out again. Lay this over a piece of cardstock and place a scrap piece of paper over the top.
Iron this "sandwich" with a hot iron (no steam) making sure that you are pressing down rather than running over the paper. It only needs around 5-6 seconds pressure all over.
Separate the layers and then you can ink up a brayer or a very slightly dampened sponge with the dye ink color of your choice. Roll this gently across the cardstock and you will have a great background pattern! Set it aside until the ink has dried completely.


Flora's Background

Soak a piece of cardstock in water and spread on a table. Drop two or more metallic acrylic paints on it - just a few spots. The paints begin to spread. While the paper is still damp, mix gold poster paint in a spray bottle with water. Then spray this mixture onto the paper covering the whole paper. This leaves puddles on the paper. Use a heat gun to push the gold water anywhere you'd like, so that certain parts have a layer of gold whereas most of the paper is covered with a thin film of transparent gold.

polished stone technique?

Polished Stone Technique - Variation 1

Try this technique for a multi-colored or tie-dyed effect:
Take two sheets of a non-absorbent material such as acetate, wax paper, vinyl report cover...lay one sheet down over a well covered work surface.
Select three colors of alcohol based re-inkers, and randomly drop inks around on the sheet. Lay the second sheet over the top, and press or brayer until the inks have covered the entire surface of both sheets.
Now separate them, lay each flat and place a sheet of glossy cardstock over each. Press to ensure full coverage of the cardstock. Lift cardstock off carefully - straight up to the best of your ability, and set aside to dry. Buff with tissue paper. Stamp and embellish to your heart's content!


Use Wallpaper!

You can use wallpaper to create background papers for your cards! Just cut a piece of textured wallpaper and brayer or sponge some dye ink over it. This can look really pretty (or very striking).


Wallpaper - another use

To create another interesting background effect, you can take a piece of textured wallpaper and spread ink onto it (use a brayer or sponge or just dab the ink pad straight on to it). Then press the inked side down onto your card/paper stock and you've got an interesting background.


Sponging - how to use a sponge.

Sponging is very easy and quite within everyone's capabilities! Just choose your sponge and your ink, then pat your sponge onto the ink so that you get a SMALL amount of ink on the sponge. Then "pounce" the sponge onto the card making sure that you turn your wrist every now and then so that the sponge "marks" face in different directions. You can also "wipe" the sponge across the cardstock to create a different look.


Sponging - using templates

Don't forget that you can use templates for sponging onto your card to create backgrounds! Just ink up a sponge with dye ink. Place a template over a piece of gloss cardstock (or matt if preferred) and pat the inked up sponge over the template so that you get a nice even coverage of ink onto the cardstock underneath. You can even create your own templates so that you can create checked backgrounds; dotted backgrounds etc etc.

How do you use webbing spray?

Webbing Spray

You can create a very simple and effective background by spraying your piece of card/paper stock with mettalic webbing spray. This is sold in hardware stores and some craft stores in a spray can. You just spray it onto your card! Just make sure that you wear a mask and work in a well ventilated area when using this product as I understand that it can be toxic if not used carefully.


Marvy Metallic Markers - background technique

Just scribble random squiggly lines on glossy card then mist with water and turn the card so the
colours run into each other. Then allow to dry. Give a great marbled

Draw randomly with your pen onto glossy card. Mist with water and tilt the card so that the colors run into each other (you can use as many colors as you want, but 2 is usually a good number to start with). Allow to dry flat once you have achieved a look that you like. This can make great "marbelized" backgrounds!


Sponging - using on gloss card

You can use dye inks and sponges to create great backgrounds on gloss cardstock. Just pat the sponge onto your ink pad to pick up some of the ink and then wipe it across your gloss cardstock. This really works well if you use a rainbow dye ink pad and a damp sponge (very slightly damp!).


Marvy Metallic Markers - use on black cardstock!

Marvy Metallic Markers show up beautifully on glossy black cardstock! Just splotch some colors across the gloss black and tilt till you're happy with the result. You can also give them a spritz of water and they will run into each other even more.


Marvy Metallic Markers - rolling a background

Splotch some random patterns on some gloss cardstock with your Marvy Metallic Markers, and then roll your brayer across the card. The colors will blend together and create a great metallic background. You can also do this on matt cardstock, but you have to work quite quickly before the inks dry into the card.


Sponging - what sort of sponge do I use?

Well, there are so many different sponges out there, but there are two types that are my absolute favourites! They are the compressed sponge make-up type of sponges (usually wedge shaped) and the natural sea sponges. Both of these are very robust and don't "flake" off onto your work.

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Ray Lokar