Thursday, November 16, 2017

Second Thursday Tutorial: Easy Backgrounds


I apologize that the second Thursday of the month came around before I realized it, so I was definitely unprepared to create a tutorial.  I was looking for an easy tutorial, but when I couldn't find one, I came up with this one I call "easy backgrounds."  Not sure how easy they are, but they were certainly messy.

From an easy standpoint, these are all the materials you will need.

I'm using distilled water because it's all I use in my art, but I'm sure regular water would work just as well.

Although made by different manufacturers, these are ALL dye re-inkers and kept in the same containers.   Seems I have more dye re-inkers than any other type.

Besides dye re-inkers and distilled water, you will need a craft sheet.  Mine is a bit worse for wear, I fear. 

You will also need some paper.  I used 110 lb card stock and used file folders.  You should use whatever you have on hand, but I don't suggest lightweight paper, like copier/printer paper or thin scrapbook paper.

Once you have placed drops of various colored re-inkers on your craft sheet (I suggest monochromatic, or colors from the same family), spritz with water.


Continue spritzing until some of the colors blend together.

Lay your substrate face down in the mixture of re-inkers and water

You can twist the substrate slightly, or use your hands to spread and pick up all the color.

Lift and enjoy.   I had so much excess water and dye on my page, I grabbed another used file folder and swished the two together.

Then I did the same thing a second time.

You can see the two pages I got from one swipe.

Next it was time to clean all the ink from the craft sheet using a baby wipe (don't confuse these with wet wipes which are more plastic and less cloth).  Unfortunately, it did nothing for my fingers

and some of the ink on the craft sheet.  But don't throw that baby wipe away.  If I'd been thinking, I would have dyed some lace, too.  But hindsight is always 20/20.

I did the same thing using green dye re-inkers.

Unfortunately not all that ink was green.

I got these from those drops of green and turquoise re-inkers.  I keep reading my British friends tell they used a mop-up page, but never really understood what they meant until I mopped up the last of the ink on the sheet of white card stock on the far right in the second row.  Now aren't you glad you saved that baby wipe? 
Although I don't hang out at the Ranger site, I remember reading that distress inks take water well and don't dilute.  After checking all my distress inks, this was the only green or green-ish I owned.

I'm fairly certain I've mentioned this before, but I will reiterate that I sort my inks by TYPE, NOT BRAND.  I have dye re-inkers, pigment re-inkers, chalk re-inkers, distress and vintage re-inkers, specialty re-inkers, and Staz-on re-inkers.  I don't care who made them, just that they are in their correct storage space.  After all, each has its own special use and need. 

For someone who is not known for my stamping abilities, I have a lot of re-inkers.  I use them in techniques like these easy backgrounds, and for dyeing fabric and lace.  I use them in resist dyeing, too.

I admit, I was wasting time because I wanted the other background papers to dry before I continued.  I have very limited space in my main floor craft room, unlike in my basement studio, where I have a large concrete floor space.

When I first saw this page, I was shocked.  I thought the paper had pilled, or broken down due to too much water.  But that was not the case in the other card stock backgrounds I had created, so I decided it must be a by-product of the distress ink.

I got two decent backgrounds and two not so decent.

After I looked at this a bit, I decided it was a bird sitting in an evergreen tree.  Yes, I have a wild imagination.

Thank you for joining me today for my second Thursday tutorial which was a week late.  Once this goes live, you will find it on my Tutorials page under Easy Backgrounds.

This is also Day 16 of AEDM.  I created my monthly tutorial, which I hope you will try.  These can be used as backgrounds in altered books, art journals, cards, postcards, ATCs, scrapbooks, or as embellishments.  The possibilities are endless.

19 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

I am sure you will get some fab projects from those re-inker backgrounds. I will be looking out for them!

Valerie-Jael said...

You got lots of colourful backgrounds, have fun using them. Have a nice day, hugs, Valerie

RO said...

I like that you show the steps of how you come up with some of your beautiful background creations. It really pulls me into your art world a little more. Happy Thursday! Hugs...RO

My name is Erika. said...

The messier the better in my mind.:)I always have paint or ink colored hands at the end of a good play session. I haven't done any ink and water backgrounds for years. I forgot about the technique. Thank you for reminding me. Your backgrounds came out great. Can't wait to see what you make with them. :) Happy Thursday. Hugs-Erika

CJ Kennedy said...

Interesting technique. I don't have re-inkers, but will have to try this method with some dye based inks I have that are hanging around.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Great backgrounds - I don't own that much reinkers but I made similar backgrounds for cards just with swiping the inkpads on a teflon sheet or glass plate or on the acetat stamp block and spritz them wirh water.
For bigger backgrounds your methode is for sure much more effective!
You got great backgrounds! Super to use!
Thank you for sharing this with us!♥
Always fun to get messy, I got messy a few days ago, since I got an original Gelli Print plate as a present and wanted to test if it is much better than my faux gelli printing methods.
Not so very much differences in the results but I think the original plate has really the exact softness in it, so I am quite happy to finally own one - even though it is too expensive in my mind.
oxo Susi

Jeanie said...

You do wonderful backgrounds, Elizabeth, and it's fun to see your tips! Plus, you remind me -- don't forget the spray bottle!

Thanks for your Southern Exposure comments! I thought of you with the rocking horse. On the terracotta pots with the salt -- you make a good point about the pots chipping but I have lots of the faux terracotta pots (the plastic ones that look pretty real) and I think those would work fine; they tend not to crack and if they do, you aren't out a whole lot. I was thinking I might try it and paint them red. We'll see! And the lace ribbon/strings on the mantle -- could be a problem with a working fireplace; you'd have to make them shorter, which I probably would anyway, and that might solve the cat problem. It would for Lizzie, but as you know, all cats react differently! I might try this one, too and if I do I'll let you know how it goes. (My fireplace at home doesn't work so it just has lights in it!) Thanks for the nice words on our baby. Love the little one!

pearshapedcrafting said...

How happy you must be to have a pile of lovely backgrounds ready to use! I have a few reinkers, but like Susi usually used my ink pads on my mat! You have shown how great the reinkers work so I'll be giving this a try for sure (may have to buy more - tee hee!) Thank you so much for all the kind comments about my pages - you make me blush because I'm having so much fun!Off to the caravan for a few days! Hugs Chrisx

Darla said...

You now have a nice collection of backgrounds and we have a great tutorial. Win-win!

Divers and Sundry said...

When I think of how many file folders I've had through the years I'm sorry I didn't keep them. At least they were in good enough shape so I donated them. I like to think someone out there is following your tutorial with one of my old folders :)

nanskidrewski said...

Great back grounds. looking forward to see what you create with those pieces. Happy Thursday!

Birgit said...

I love the distress inks but I have the distress ink pads and press them on some wipeable surface and then water it down. One can have so much fun as long as one doesn't mind dirty fingers. One thing...never place your drink beside water with paint in it..like I did. Even though I spit it out, my tongue was green for a while

Meggymay said...

Your experiments are wonderful, you have had just the kind of messy inky day that I love.
It was also good to see that you have a mat that looks a bit like mine.
You have some fantastic background pages to use, 'm sure we will be seeing some of them here soon.
Yvonne xx

Dianne said...

You do seem to have a lot of inks! surprisingly enough, I don't have any. Guess I've resisted the temptation for another type of supply. I think these are wonderful backgrounds!...I would be adding paint too, but you know how I am. ;) I actually agree with you about the bird in an evergreen...that color of green reminds me of a blue spruce! fun tutorial!

da tabbies o trout towne said...

this reminds me of tye dye fabric in a way; the backgrounds turned out really neat and the nice thing is you'll never have two the same !!! ☺☺♥♥

Rita said...

I like the effects of the distress reinkers. Fun to play like this. :)

Let's Art Journal said...

Beautiful backgrounds and I enjoyed following along and seeing the technique you used 😁. It's such a fun and messy way to create backgrounds, isn't it! Hope you are having a lovely weekend! J 😊

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

It may be messy, but I'd say you made a beautiful mess!

NatureFootstep said...

wow, never seen it done this way. But it seems like a good way of doing it.
Thanks for sharing :)