Tag Archive: Brayering

I’ve decided to go right back to basics and revisit one of the very first background techniques I ever tried! Elastic Band Brayering!

This is a background that everyone can do because everyone has elastic bands in their house, if you don’t; chances are the local postman has dropped some in the street recently (that’s how I got mine!)


  • Thick Elastic Bands
  • Brayer – with removable roller (Woodware or Ranger)
  • White Card Stock
  • Versamark or Embossing Inkpad
  • Embossing Powder – Metallic, Clear or White
  • Newspaper
  • Adirondak Colorwash Sprays – any colour (I use them all!)
  • Sponge
  • Kitchen Towelling


  1. Remove roller from brayer, take 2 rubber bands, wrap and twist around the roller, spread them out to cover the entire width, re-assemble brayer back together again.
  1. Place white card onto newspaper, ink brayer with versamark inkpad, randomly roll across the surface of the card. Repeat this step, each time rolling in a different direction. Don’t worry about overlapping as you want to be completely random, continue until you have completely rolled the entire card surface.
  1. Pour embossing powder over the pattern and heat set. White or clear creates a more traditional faux batik effect. I used gold on some backgrounds, on others I used a white pearl as I wanted a shimmer effect.
  1. Once cooled; take 1 colourwash spray and lightly mist over the surface of the card, use a sponge to spread the colour across the card and remove all traces of the white card base colour.
  1. Next take 2-3 different colours of colourwash sprays: stream, wild plum and butterscotch work well together, as do raisin, eggplant and terracotta. Squirt 3-4 times with each colour randomly over the card, you want to have little bursts of colours. Don’t worry about the colours overlapping as they will blend together nicely.
  1. Heat set inks, once dry take a kitchen towel sheet and rub across the surface of the embossed pattern to remove some of the ink, you can control how much ink you remove with pressure. If you want to completely remove the ink from the embossed areas to create a faux batik effect you can use a moist baby wipe to lift the ink. Your background is complete.

Textured Variation:

This is an interesting variation of this background which creates a lovely texture.

Follow the directions above from Steps 1 – 3. Once the embossing has cooled; crumple the card into a tight ball, twisting and turning  the paper to create lots of creases, don’t worry if some of the embossing flakes off or if by twisting it you break the embossed areas; this is normal. Flatten out the card again, and then apply the inks following the main directions from step 4 onwards above.

This variation will not only create a brayered band resist, but the inks will seep into all the creases and folds in the card and breaks in the embossing to create a more textured background.

Background Samples:

Brayed Bands Cards:


We tend to stamp our photo art style stamps in darker ink, which got my thinking what they would look like if they were stamped in light ink. As you can see the results are rather like photo negatives. I really need to experiment with this idea some more but I ran out of time!

Supplies Used

  • White Glossy Card Stock
  • Brayer
  • Purple Dye Inkpad (Embossing Arts)
  • Heat Gun
  • Brilliance Inkpad Snow White (Tsueneko)
  • 4 Paper Brads
  • Ready Mixed Walnut Inks In Spray Bottle (available from Innovative Stamp Creations)
  • Double Sided Tape
  • White Matt Card Stock
  • Peel Off Sticker Borders (Stampendous)
  • Purple Card Blank
  • Rubber Stamp Used:

  • Wedding Photo Art (Hearts In Touch)


1. Brayer purple Inkpad onto glossy card and heat set to dry.

2. Stamp Wedding image onto brayered card using white inkpad, heat set.

3. Pierce 4 holes into card stock and split a brad into each hole.

4. Spray Walnut Ink onto White Matt card stock. Heat set.

5. Tear off section and affix to the front of purple card blank with double sided tape.

6. Layered stamped card stock over the top and affix with double sided tape.

7. Add highlights using gold peel off border stickers.

Your Card Is Complete.

These two tone cards are very simple and easy to make, they look like they are actually made up of 2 layers when in actual fact they are not! The illusion is created by the use of sponging and stamping on different portions of your card front. I used bright vibrant card blanks for this project to create a stark contrast when I sponged over the top of the clear embossing resist.

The beauty of this idea is that you don’t actually have to sponge at all because the two tone effect will take place all by itself by the use of embossing powders!

Try it yourself and see!

    Materials Used:

  • Clear Embossing Powder
  • Embossing Ink Pad
  • Embossing Heat Tool
  • Scrap Paper
  • Black Pigment Ink Pad (I used Brilliance)
  • Cosmetic Sponges (or stippling brush)
  • Dye Ink Pads in colour of your choice – I used Art Print Brown (Memories) and Peeled Paint, Dusty Rose Distress Ink Pads (Ranger)
  • Colour Card Blanks in bright colours (I used blue, orange and yellow)
  • Embellishments (optional)
  • Rubber Stamps Used:

  • Large Word Background (Judikins)

How To Create:

1. Take your scrap piece of paper and tear it in half, this will be your mask for your embossing on your card blank.

2. Place torn mask over your card blank front so that half of it is covered up. See sample scans for example.

3. Ink your rubber stamp up with the clear embossing stamp, and stamp over the top of your card front – you want to overlap the design slightly on the scrap paper. Continue stamping until the entire exposed card area is stamped.

4. Pour on clear embossing powder and heat to melt.

5. Once embossing powder is cooled, take your sponge and ink it up with your dye inkpad. Rub the sponge over the front of your card blank – there are 2 ways to do this; you can either keep the mask in place and only sponge over the top of the stamped area OR you can sponge over the entire front area of your card blank – theres no rules here and its entirely up to you!

6. Once you are happy with how the front of your card looks, take your scrap paper mask and cover up the area you have already stamped on to protect it.

7. Next stamp on the unstamped area with the black inkpad – you can clear emboss if you wish or not – I did both to test out the different contrasts.

8. Your card is complete, you may add embellishments if you wish.

More Two Tone Cards

You can buy sheets of metal by various companies for stamping onto, I used the ‘Metal Quilting’ metal by Comotion.

Traditionally you stamp in on and then use a stylus tool to add dimension to the metal.

This variation of the technique looks good, but I wanted to achieve a more traditional embossed metal effect like that what you see on real metals and tins, and so this idea was born!

What You Will Need

Sheet of Metal used for Stamping Onto (I used ‘Metal Quilting by Comotion’) Scissors
Scotch Tape or Masking Tape
Stained Glass Style Rubber Stamp
Rubber Brayer
Stylus Embossing Tool:
Ideally you need 2 sizes: one with a fine ball end and one with a bigger ball end

Single Hole Punch, or a darning needle to pierce a hole.
Eyelets or brads to attach your metal embossed art to your card blank
Double Sided Tape or Glue
Black card, Papers for layering and Card Blank

How To Create:

1. First of all you need a stained glass style rubber stamp, one that doesn’t have a lot of fine lines and detail on it. I used stamps by ‘Carolines’ a UK rubber stamp company (http://carolinesrubberstamps.com/)

2. Place your stamp onto the sheet of metal, using the scissors cut a piece of metal sheeting slightly bigger than the wooden handle of your stamp. You need perfectly un dented and straight metal sheeting, so if it is dented you can now flatten it out again using your rubber brayer.

3. Place your stamp onto your work surface rubber side up, next you need 4 pieces of masking or scotch tape, you are going to temporarily stick the metal down over the top of the rubber die with the tape. The tape can be secured onto the wooden handle of your rubber stamp to hold the metal in place.

4. Take your rubber brayer, and firmly rub over the top of the metal which you have just stuck down on your stamp. You will need to do this several times, in each direction. As you do this you will notice the outlines of the rubber stamp become more and more visible in the metal, almost as if they have been embossed!

5. Take up your smaller ball ended embossing tool, using the lines in the metal to guide you, gently outline within the lines so that you get the basic shape of your rubber stamped outline. Do not worry about damaging your stamp as you are pressing into the part of the stamp where there is no rubber design to damage!

6. Once you have outlined your design you can now add texture by hammering and embossing!

In the traditional metal embossing craft, the metal sheets where so tough you had to use a hammer and chisel type tool to create a ‘hammered’ effect. Since the metal which is used for stamping is much thinner we can hammer with our big ball stylus too! To do this simply tap in and up and down motion within the lines you have just outlined to create a hammered effect.

You can also emboss the metal, again this is done within the outlines you have drawn and it is similar to embossing onto parchment paper and vellum, only metal is a little thicker. Simply rub your tool within the lines to press the foil inwards.

The embossing and the hammering can be alternated around the image to create a pattern. If you look at the card I created above you can see how I used both these to create texture and patterns.

7. Once you have finished hammering and embossing, remove the metal from the stamp carefully, and peel off the tape. Using either ordinary scissors or craft scissors cut around your design to trim it.

8. Next I punched holes in each of the four corners using a hole puncher, and used either eyelets or paper brads to attach the embossed metal to a piece of black card stock. I chose black card because it enhanced the metallic colours more prominently. If you don’t have a hole puncher you can use a darning needle to pierce holes instead.

9. Crop around your black card if needed, and layer it onto background papers, I used handmade papers, with double sided tape, finally mount onto a card blank to finish.

More Tips For Metal

De-bossing and Embossing

You can attach the metal to the card using either sides of the metal, if you look at both sides of your design you will notice that one side is ’embossed’ and the other side ‘de-bossed’. I created cards using both sides of the metal as you can see from the cards below:

Embossed Metal:

De-Bossed Metal:

Metal Alternatives

Don’t have any metal quilting sheets? Use the leftover empty tubes from your tomato puree and garlic paste! Or left over foil tins from pies!

Colour Metal Sheets

Want metal sheets in different colours? No need to pay out for different colours, you can change the colour of silver metal yourself by colouring with glass paints, or ‘Overhead Projection Pens’ which are used for writing on acetate.

Box Lids

This technique would look especially good attached onto the lids of wooden boxes.

This Project Is Dedicated To Princess Georgina; who has gone to the plot in the sky. Sleep tight angel.

Joseph Coat is a Brayering Technique which I think Ive fallen in love with! I love how it can be adapted to use on either gloss or matt card, I even tried it on vellum too! The overall effects are so different depending on the surface you stamp on. Experiment and see for yourself! Be careful you dont get hooked!

Supplies Used

* White Card Stock: Matt and Gloss
* Vellum
* Assorted Colour Card Blanks
* Clear Embossing Powder (Stamps n Stuff)
* Heat Tool
* Gold and Silver Leaf Pen (Krylon)
* Versamark Inkpad (Tsukineko)
* Memories Black Permanent Inkpad (Stewart Superior)
* Memories Hunter Green Permanent Inkpad (Stewart Superior)
* Rainbow Dye Inkpad: Kaliedacolour Desert Heat and Blue Breeze (Clearsnap)
* Adironrack Rainbow Dye Inkpad: Winter Sky (Ranger) (available from: Innovative Stamp Creations)
* Big and Juicy Rainbow Inkpad: Waterfall (Ranger) (available from: Innovative Stamp Creations)
* Tea Dye Distress Dye Inkpad (Ranger) (available from: Innovative Stamp Creations)
* Soft Kitchen Towelling
* Dye Inkpads in: Green and Magenta (Embossing Arts)
* Rubber Brayer
* Paper Trimmer
* Bone Folding Tool
* Double Sided Tape
* Gold Peel Off Corner Stickers (Stampendous)

All Rubber Stamps Used By Innovative Stamp Creations

Joseph Coat Brayering Technique Directions
For reference: I used Gloss Card Stock to create the Dragonfly card seen below. Matt card stock for the Leaf Nature Card seen opposite (left). And Vellum to create the Blue Art card above right. I recommend trying this technique using all 3 different papers so you too can compare the results!

1. Take your sheet of gloss (or matt or vellum) card stock, and brayer over the entire surface using a Rainbow or dye inkpad. Let dry.

2. Stamp image over the top of the brayered background using a clear versamark inkpad (or embossing inkpad), sprinkle over clear embossing powder and heat to melt image.

3. Next brayer over the entire surface of both the brayered background and stamped image using a dark inkpad: Black is good for this. I used ‘Winter Sky’ Adironrak inkpad for this because it was dark and was the shade I was looking for. (I wanted it to be dark, but not black; kinda offblack)

4. Gently rub the stamped image using a soft kitchen towel tissue to remove the ink from the embossed areas of the image itself.

Notice how the brayered card creates a kinda cool reverse resist brayered effect 🙂

Your card is complete.