Thursday, July 13, 2017

Second Thursday Tutorial: Spray Starch Backgrounds


Happy Thursday everyone.  Are you ready for the monthly tutorial?  I've wanted to try this background technique for YEARS.  I finally decided it was time to bite the bullet and see if it would work.

The original concept of this background came from Jo at JoZart.  If you go there to see the link to her tutorial, you will be overwhelmed with all those Photobucket images.  It's such a shame.  The post you want is right above Blog Archives and is covered with the Photobucket "pay up or we hold your images hostage" emblem.  But, I'll share it with you, so you don't have to hunt for it: Spray Starch Backgrounds.

To be honest, I didn't follow her instructions at all, except I used spray starch, mica powders, and paper.  Other than that, nothing was the same.  However, I was still happy with my results.  Her technique is a lot different, and if you want to make spray starch backgrounds, you should at least compare her tutorial to mine.

Supplies from back left clockwise:
Spray Starch, any brand, any strength
Liquid Starch*
Plastic Spoon (hidden behind the liquid starch)
Mica Powders (your choice, ones that do NOT have binder)
Foam Brush
Black, White, and White Glossy Card Stock, 110 lb weight

*The liquid starch was there as back-up in case the spray starch I got several years ago at my local Household Hazardous Waste Swap and Shop didn't spray or was defective in some other way.

I have white and black card stock, and I firmly believe in using what I have.  I don't buy products to create these tutorials. 

Make sure your two papers are the same size and approximately the same weight.

I began with the white card stock.  Just my choice, but for no particular reason.

I sprayed the starch on the paper.  You need to be quick when you do this, so I wasn't sure this first batch would work well.  At least the spray starch worked fine.

I opened one of the mica powders and placed some on the tiny plastic spoon.

I tapped the mica powder on the page

then swirled the mica powder around using the foam brush.  Remember, you can use ANY mica powder you own, but if you have powders that DO NOT have binders, now is the time to use them.  The spray starch acts as a binder holding the mica powders on the page.

Lay another page on top of the first one.  I placed mine slightly off center so you could see I laid the black on top of the white page that had been sprayed and mica added.   Press the top page to the bottom.  I started in the center and pressed outward, but you could press top to bottom, or right to left.  It makes no difference, just whatever works best for you.

Remove the top paper and turn right side up.  Admire, then set aside to dry.  Return the lid to the mica powder and start again, using different colors.

For the next pages I created, I used more than one color.  I tried to be careful so I didn't create mud when I was making these.

I made a few of these, but none of them inspired me very much.  I think they will make decent backgrounds or they can be cut into smaller pieces, but they simply didn't enthuse me.

One thing I didn't like was how much mica powder I ended up using on each of these pages.  I can make my handmade shimmering mists using far less mica powder and get pretty stunning effects.  I just don't get the swirls I got with this technique.

However, the last one I made, which was the one on the right, gave me an idea.  I finally had one that inspired me.  Too bad my anti-static mats are so paint stained.

Since Bleubeard and I are hosting Art Journal Journey this month, I wanted to use one of these finished papers to make something that would go with our theme of Summertime Love.

Did you ever look at a finished entry and ask why you didn't quit sooner?  Well that's how I felt about this finished entry.

The lovely background lent itself well to these words, from what I could gather, was an old wives tale.

I was very happy with this background, and don't think it would have looked as great backed with white card stock as it did with black.

I live in a land locked state.  There are no navigable lakes, oceans, or rivers near me, but I seem have a "thing" for boats on the ocean.  They seem to say summertime to me.

Why I added this fabric printed light house is beyond me.  Somehow, I thought it would be a good addition to the page.  However, after I ironed it on, I wished I had left it off.  It simply didn't fit the style, size, or composition.  Live and learn, I always say.  And I can't rewind the day.

After all, the real star was supposed to be the spray starch background.

Materials used include one of my spray starch backgrounds, pink card stock, computer generated text, washi tape, sandpaper, and an iron on fabric lighthouse.  Have fun trying this technique, and if you like it, once this post goes live, you'll be able to access it any time on my tutorials page.


Bleubeard and I are thrilled you are joining us for this monthly tutorial, and glad you could brave the waves with us today at Art Journal Journey.  Hope you'll join us there, too.

18 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

You made a gorgeous page with your background, and you found the right words to go with it. Love all the shimmering colours in it. Thanks for sharing the tutorial! Have a fun day, hug, Valerie

Helen said...

Love the background! One more technique to cross off your list!

Cindy McMath said...

Gorgeous background! I enjoyed reading about your technique too - I had not heard of this. I love the lighthouse by the way! And I like that you've echoed the pattern (but not erxactly, which is good) on your boat's mast.

chrissie said...

What a great tutorial for anyone who likes new background ideas--that'll be me then for one.

I just love the page with the stormy sea and the little boat and a suggestion that it may need help from the light of the lighthouse and even a rescue boat at some point. It really paints a tale to me.

Thank you for sharing the tut

Love Chrissie xx

Dortesjs said...

great work on this, love your backgrounds. always fun to try someshing new do you think ? I love to find new ways to.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I love this shimmmer all over the page! You make amazing pages for your theme Elizabeth - Thank you for showing your always interrstingg techniques to us!
Happy Thursday!
oxo Susi

Caty said...

Your page is just AMAZING Elizabeth !!! I love it, this bothe looks so happy !! Love the colours you have used, and love your so good tutorial!! thank you for sharing it. I ´ve liked your expression of " I can't rewind the day " , it´s great ! Sometimes I also would like to rewind the day, jaja... But we are always "learning". Wonderful artwork ! I wish you a very nice day, besotillos (kisses)
Caty

CJ Kennedy said...

That background turned out great. I think the lighthouse fits well with the composition of your page. After all, a sailor who didn't take warning and went out on rough, ocean water would need the aid of the lighthouse to get him back to shore safely.

Sami said...

Your page looks wonderful Elizabeth, I like the shimmering background.

nanskidrewski said...

Thanks for sharing this cool technique. The background looks stormy and crashing rough seas. The peaceful lighthouse scene provides a great contrast of the elements. I look at as an implied metaphor for the complexity of life. I love it, such a feeling of hopefulness conveyed.

Rike said...

This is a fantastic tutorial, thank you!
And your end-result with the cute boat is really wonderful, the background is shimmering in a fabulous way!

*Vicki* said...

Oh my this is absolutely stunning!! I have TONS of those Pearl Ex powders!! Last year I used some glossy card stock and sprinkled with these powders and then sprayed it with the starch and used some platic wrap to "smoosh" it around and let it dry that way...very interesting results indeed!! I love the fact that you don't need a sealer when doing this either! :) Thanks so much for sharing this!! :) HUGS

Jeanie said...

First of all, I really admire your experimentation and trying the new techniques. This is a good one -- I've never done it but it's kind of exciting to see. I especially loved the pink one and how the darker one looked in your collage.

And thanks for the nice words on the fishing lure wreath. It feels so good to have it right here where it belongs, in a spot dad loved and a place where I see it and am reminded of him every day!

Meggymay said...

That is a wonderful background technique, very effective on the black base cards.
The journal page is fantastic, I like the idea of the lighthouse being there so the boat can travel safely.
Yvonne xx

Rita said...

The backgrounds on black are really eye popping--wow! :)

Carol said...

You've created a beautiful collage page with your backgrounds. ♥ Looks like fun messy time ♥

My name is Erika. said...

I've never heard of this technique, but it really makes the mica powder stick, doesn't it? I think the sailboat was the prefect idea since the the sun on the water does make it shimmer. And this also looks like there-s enough wind-I can tell because the water looks like there's wind. Great page Elizabeth. I really like the overall effect. Hugs-Erika

pearshapedcrafting said...

I read your tutorial avidly - this looks such a great technique - will be looking out for some cheap spray starch for sure! The light house is there for a reason - those seas can be very deceiving - the sunlight shining on it may look lovely but any time now the weather could change! (says she, who went one way on a ferry -fine - coming back a storm blew up and all but our boat cancelled!) Hugs, Chrisx