My favourite time of the year has to be Autumn; I love nothing better than to dust off my leaf and foliage stamps and go crazy!

Aside from stamping Au Natural style, my other favourite passion is creating and inventing colourful new background techniques.

Any excuse to make a mess!

I’m the type of person for whom pink stained fingertips have become an everyday fashion accessory!

With Nature in mind I felt challenged and started thinking of ways I could bring both nature and backgrounds together and incorporate them into one technique. That is how I came up with this new background idea, Faux Leather Backgrounds!

The best thing about the ‘Faux Leather’ background technique is that it not only looks like leather, it also has the texture and feel of leather! In fact I was truly amazed at how real it looked.

The magic ingredients used in creating this rustic background technique are none other than tissue paper and glue!

Supplies Needed For Faux Leather Backgrounds

  • White tissue paper
  • Modge Podge or white glue
  • Paint brush for applying glue
  • White card stock
  • Dye inkpads of choice:

For the backgrounds you see in all the card samples I used:

Memories Permanent Inkpads: Chestnut Brown, Brown, Art Print Brown (Stewart Superior) and Archival Inkpads: Sienna and Henna (Ranger)

Household sponges for applying ink from inkpads (I used car sponges called ‘Cellulose Sponges’, as they retain more moisture/ink than normal sponges)

Heat gun (optional)

How to Create Faux Leather Backgrounds

1. Take white card stock, sponges and inkpads, apply inks ‘direct to paper’ over the entire surface of the card stock. I built up the colour with different shades of brown inkpads to create shading and texture on the card stock. Allow to dry.

2. Take sheet of tissue paper slightly larger than that of the card stock used, I tore the tissue roughly to size. Crumple the tissue paper into a tight ball and open up again.

3. Apply Modge Podge or white glue using the paint brush over the entire surface area of the card you have just ‘direct to papered’. Press the tissue paper down onto the glue to stick to the card stock. You will need to work quickly as the glue dries quite fast. When pressing the tissue paper onto the glue, you want to make sure it has plenty of wrinkles and texture, so don’t flatten it out too much.

For this next step the tissue paper and glue needs to be completely dry, I left mine to dry for several hours, but if you are impatient you can hurry it along with the help of the heat gun!

4. Once the glue has dried you will notice how the tissue paper has muted the brown inks on your card stock, they are still visible, only not as strong as they were before. Now to add more colour!

Using the sponges and the dye inkpads; direct to paper onto the tissue paper until you have an even coverage of ink. I find it best to apply the browns in clusters rather than flatly, as it looks more like worn leather that way. Pay particular attention to the wrinkles and textures in the background, these can be highlighted and accentuated using the darker brown inkpads such as ‘Art Print Brown’ and ‘Chestnut Brown’, to add a kind of authentic leather look. Allow ink to dry.

5. When the ink is dry, apply a light coat of Modge Podge over the entire surface and let dry. The glue dries clear, and gives your faux leather background wonderful shiny waxed leather sheen.

You don’t HAVE to add a final layer of glue to complete these backgrounds; I created backgrounds with and without glue. Both variations turned out different creating different effects. So I recommend you try BOTH and compare!

That’s how easy it is to create these fantastic authentic faux worn leather backgrounds! Please click on the pictures throughout this article to see my card samples and directions for stamping on faux leather backgrounds and creating cards.

The best thing about this background technique is that you don’t have to create brown leather! You can really let your imagination run wild and create deep mahogany leather, or leather in shades of blues and greens! They would make fantastic covers for handmade books too! Your only limit is your imagination.