Monday, 20 August 2012

Tutorial - Creating a Mixed Media Background/Making Your Own Stencils

Hi ! I have a really simple idea for you today.  I'm going to show you how anyone can create a mixed media background using 2 simple supplies. Gesso and an inkpad. If you don't have these you can simply 
use different coloured paints for a very similar effect.  I don't always use gesso, in fact I often use white acrylic paint by Dala, which is readily available here in South Africa very inexpensively. 

I do prefer Gesso though & recommend you use a good brand. I have used cheap gesso before & there isn't any point as it is all one solid shade, whereas good gesso shows up light & dark & really adds depth to a project.  I have acquired quite a few of these Prima inkpads designed by Ingvild Bolme & they are cheap & magnificent.  They are so WET & don't dry out half as quickly as the Color Box ones, I am a huge fan!

Now that weird thing above is actually an ant zapper!  It contains a
spongy pad drenched in insecticide aimed at driving ants out of
your home (some type of repellant) & it actually works!
 Anyway, I've been dying for it to "expire" & waiting patiently
to cut it up! As you can see I opened it up  (It opens up easily
with a simple hinge) & I cut out the centre with a strong
 pair of scissors.  See below to see what I ended up with.

Voila!  What is it?!  Well it is a stencil!!  And it is also 
a stamp!  It is actually quite thick plastic so it doesn't work
 very well to ink over it (between the holes) as the little ink
 pad struggled to reach the paper.  So I used the gesso, 
with a paint brush, to get through the holes & then I used it 
as a stamp (after wiping quickly with a baby wipe).  I inked it
 up all over, flipped it over & pressed down hard.  I kept 
repeating the process until I ended up with the background 
I showed you above.  Here it is again.

I had already assembled my "paper stack" complete with photograph
so I placed that on my backing paper first & marked off some 
points with a pencil so that I knew roughly where to ink/
stencil. A little background interest is all that's needed to
 take your layout to the next level - the more you do it the 
easier it becomes - follow THIS BLOG to become brave!

I really recommend you look around your home for everyday 
things you can use as stencils.  There's mesh from vegetable
 packaging, fridge egg trays (yes I have used those before, 
washed them & put them back - shhhhh...) & chipboard makes
 great stencils too!  Even punched paper works well as a one-off.

I always make my stencils do "double duty" & serve as messy
 stamps too - once I am finished spritzing or painting through 
them I flip them over & press them onto my paper to use up 
every last bit of ink rather than washing it down the sink.  I 
can't justify buying tonnes of stencils either so I'm always on 
the lookout for what I can use to improvise!  I hope my 
little tutorial has sparked some ideas for you today :)


Desire Fourie said...

Great tutorial Helen. As you know I am not into the painting stuff, but you might be convincing me to give it a go.

tania said...

lol!! ok i had such a waiting for the insect mat to expire!! you certainly have the ability to reinvent something!! thanks for the share,i really like this layout:)you make it look so easy:)

Kerryn said...

That is SO cool Helen!!!!!! Paint always scares the heck out of me LOL. LOVE the layout too.

Dale Tiernan said...

Great tip.

Laurence said...

I love to recycle, I also made my home stencils ! I've seen your page on creative scrappers, didn't make the link with you on Pandore ! It's beautiful. And thanks for your kind words about my pages.

Lizzy Hill said...

Fab idea - this works really well. I love making my own masks/'s fun & no two ever turn out the same! TFS:):):)

sandi said...

Fabulous lo and tutorial! You go girl with the upcycling...yeah, awesome idea!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I loveeeeeeeeee how you made that background!!! I was noticing it the other day when you shared this lo and was wondering how you did it!! Thanks for the tips!!!!


I am a big fan of Ingvild's inks and swear by them! TFS the tut :)

Chantelle said...

Fantastic Helen - I love your idea of 'home' stencils - very effective. TFS :)

Marelize said...

What a wonderful layout Helen! Love how you've created your background. Thanks for sharing. xx

Marjie Kemper said...

You get a prize for spying the texture in the ant trap! I am all for it... just don't think I would've seen that one. And I agree, it's all about texture! Love Julie's blog, too. I am taking an all-day class with her next month!

MarĂ­lia Lopes said...

Great tutorial Helen and layout is gorgeous!!!

Lynette said...

Awesome tips...and gorgeous, gorgeous layout Helen.

Mitra Pratt said...

Lovely color choices with the pale pale pink, gesso, light blue flower, and that gray. WOW, stunning page! Love the concept with the big hands too. Daddy hands.

juscrap said...

Great tutorial Helen! so beautiful layout.

Alison said...

Love to think of you watching the ant trap, and willing it to be ready!
Alison xx

Jan Hennings said...

love this idea :)

Tracey Sabella said...

Ok, I need one of those ant trap things for the stencil - LOL!! I love to use unusual things in my scrapping too!! Thanks for the fab tutorial!! ~ Blessings, Tracey

yyam said...

Cool technique. I'm always on the lookout for things to use as stencils. :)

yyam said...

Cool technique. I'm always on the lookout for things to use as stencils. :)

Cassandra aka Scrap Savvy said...

Wow this is just brillant! I love that background and who knew it was an ant trap. LOL! Great tutorial and TFS.:)

Lynnda said...

Beautiful layout!!! And great tutorial... Thanks for sharing... hugs...xoxo

Jasmine S said...

Wow, this page is fabulous. The colours are just divine and I love that photo. You are such a good girl giving tutorials. So good to see how someone else does it.

Eila Sandberg said...

Tee hee you are CLEVER Helen!! *smiling* whaddya know, an ant zapper! Haven't tried Ingvild's inks yet but if you say they are good, I know they really are. Do I spy a Green Tara bloom in there? this is such a beautiful page, love the colours against the gray background and that darling photo too! xoxo

Keren Tamir said...

another gorgeous layout! and great idea with the ant trapper!!

Fi said...

This is one of my faves of yours, the colours are beautiful and I love how you used these papers and how the photo still catches your eye and is the focal point.

Fi said...

This is one of my faves of yours, the colours are beautiful and I love how you used these papers and how the photo still catches your eye and is the focal point.

Sharm Nidyanandan said...

Awesome tute Helen! Love ithe LO is beautifully put against the background..a work of art for sure! :)