Tag Archive: Dye Inks

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:


What I love so much about the Faux Batik Technique is how wonderful the colours always are in the finished pieces. I am such a lover of handmade backgrounds and love nothing better than to sit and play with different inks and mediums and let the colours do the work all by themselves. What I love best about this technique is how you can see all the gorgeous handmade fibers in the mulberry paper, even after you have added all the inks!

Faux Batik allows artists of any skill level to sit and play with colour, and create a masterpiece!

Traditionally Batik is created on sheets of Indian silk; a tool is used to draw patterns onto the silk using clear wax which acts as a wonderful resist. Wherever there is wax on the silk sheet, the dye cannot penetrate, giving the artist free reign to create wonderful pieces of resist art in their silk sheets. Once the wax itself has dried, the silk pieces are dipped into silk dyes to create a wonderful backdrop of colour. Once dried, the wax is removed using a heat process to reveal a wonderful resist object d’art!

That’s a little history about the traditional method, now I will explain about the Faux Batik method which stampers of any skill level can re-create using tools and equipment found in every stampers tool box.

Tools Needed To Create Faux Batik Art:

White Mulberry Paper: If you don’t have it you could substitute with white tissue paper or any pale handmade papers.
A Spray Bottle filled with water

Clear Versamark Embossing Ink Pad By Tsukineko: If you don’t have one you can use any generic embossing inkpad for this technique

Clear Embossing Powder: I used Stamps N Stuff, again substitute using the brand name you do have.

Artists Paint Brush

Posh Impressions Rainbow Inks: I used the Floral Brights set, you can substitute using your preferred colours. If you do not own Posh Impressions inks you can use any Artist Ink Mediums. For example inks by Daler Rowney or Winstor and Newton work well for this technique.

Embossing Heat Tool

Ordinary Household Iron

Sheet of Plastic to protect your work surface with

Plain Unprinted Newspaper or Blotting Paper

Baby Wipes or a glass of clear water for cleaning your paint brush out with

Creating Faux Batik Art:

First of all before you begin; completely protect your work surface with sheets of clear plastic (I use cheap food bags for this purpose and bin liners) This technique can get messy to better to protect against accidents.

Before I began adding colour to my sheets of mulberry paper, I tore the large sheet into smaller manageable sized sheets. To do this I dip a brush in clear water, and paint along the mulberry paper with the water where I want to tear the sheet. The water softens the paper and allows me to tear the sheet cleanly to create a nice feathery edge.

Once you have got the mulberry paper the size you want it, you need to stamp it! I find it best to use stamps which are bold and don’t have too much fine detail in them.

Stamp onto the mulberry sheet using a clear embossing inkpad, sprinkle on embossing powder and immediately apply heat from the heat gun to emboss the image.

Take an extra sheet of plastic, and squirt a tiny puddle of Rainbow Inks in the colours you wish to use onto the plastic; this will act as your artist palette.

Place embossed mulberry paper onto plastic covered work surface.
Next soak with entire surface of the mulberry paper with water from the spray gun.

Dip your brush into any colour of your choice from your handmade artist palette and working quickly brush the ink over the entire surface. Apply as many different colours as desired until you are happy with how it looks. Remember to clean your brush between colour changes!

Carefully lift your sheet of ink soaked mulberry paper and place it onto a sheet of unprinted newspaper or blotting paper. Apply heat from an embossing heat gun to dry the inks.

Once the inks have dried; place another sheet of newspaper or blotting paper over the top of the sheet of mulberry paper. Turn on your iron onto cotton setting, let it warm up first. Then quickly iron over the surface. The embossed image will start to soak through the surface of the newspaper. Once it has done that, carefully remove the newspaper from the mulberry paper.

Notice how the embossed image is shiny no more! All of the clear embossing powder has been removed and soaked into the newspaper! The image on the mulberry paper now resembles that of traditional silk batik art!

That’s how easy it is to create Faux Batix!

Tips For Using Inks On Faux Batik Backgrounds

You get a more striking contrast if you use darker ink colours over area of the embossed image.

Do not use too many colours on one faux batik background as you will end up with a muddy colour. Try to go for 2 or 3 colours. Choose colours which compliment each other; for example hot pink, blue and magenta, green and yellow and magenta.

Draw a line of colour around the entire edge of the mulberry paper to create a ‘frame’ of colour around your artwork!

Do not be afraid to experiment with colour combinations and movement with the brush. You can splash the paint on, swirl it, squirt on more water, drip the paint and generally go wild playing with the colours!

Faux Batik is a fun technique where there are no rules and everyone can be an artist! I hope you have as much fun creating them as I did!

This technique shows you how you can create fantastic looking collage cards using the humble craft punch!

What You Need

Craft Punch: I used squares and tag shaped punches
White Card
Masking Tape
Dye or Pigment Ink Pads for DTP
Black or Brown Memories inkpad for stamping
Rubber Stamps of Your Choice
Double Sided Tape
Card for Layering
Card Blank

How To Create

1. Using your craft punch, punch out approx 10 shapes from the white card stock.

2. Take a strip of masking tape, de-tack it first onto a piece of fabric, and then place it on your work surface sticky side up.

3. Position one of the craft punch shapes onto the top half of the masking tape, taking care to leave a small strip of masking tape exposed at the bottom of the punch shape.

4. Next position the second craft punch shape underneath the first, lining it up exactly with no gaps.

5. Continue for the other craft punch shapes.

You are lining up all your craft punch shapes next to each other, without any gaps along the entire strip of masking tape. At this point you can add as many or as little punch shapes as you wish, adding more rows too if desired.

6. Once you have your rows of punch shapes you are ready to stamp! I stamped using a memories inkpad, stamp various images to a specific theme across the entire blocks of punch shapes. Allow ink to dry.

7. Once ink has dried, apply inks from inkpads using a sponge direct to the card shapes to ‘direct to paper’ the background. You can add further detail using watercolour pencils if desired. Allow ink to dry.

8. Once ink has dried, carefully remove the stamped craft punch shapes, and assemble them onto card using double sided tape (or glue if you prefer). Leave a slight border between each block as you assemble.

9. Layer onto a single fold card blank, your Punch Art Collage is complete!

Punch Art Collage Gallery

For this outing into the world of collage I thought a good place to start was using the ’10 Minute Collage’ Technique (sometimes known as Take 10 Technique or 10 from 1 Sheet Technique)

For those of us who are afraid to try collage I think this is a very good place to start because you don’t feel like you are actually creating a collage!

The reason Ive called it the 10 Minute Collage is because when you stamp your collage sheet you need to work as quickly as possible – no thinking allowed. Just stamping 🙂

I find it best to work as quickly as possible because it adds to the randomness of this technique and you dont stress over the small details, instead you are concentrating on filling in all the small spaces on your card sheet.

However when it comes to making the actual cards you made using this technique it will take you a little longer than 10 minutes 😉

Read on for more details on what to do…

What You Will Need:

  • A4 Sheet Cream Card Stock (average printer sized sheet)
  • Black Dye Based Ink Pad (I used Memories)
  • Rubber Stamps to a specific theme – pick out approx 5 – 8 different stamps in different sizes. (I chose a time theme)
  • Cosmetic Sponges
  • Colorbox Options Paint Box Inkpad – or any rainbow or pigment ink pads (for the coloured background)
  • 10 Minute Collage Template
  • Paper Trimmer or Craft Knife, Cutting Mat and Ruler
  • Black and Dark Colour Papers (for layering)
  • Card Blanks
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Embellishments

How To Create:

First of all you need to print the 10 Minute Collage Template onto a sheet of paper. Set this aside and don’t think about it till after!

Secondly; Ive named this technique the 10 Minute Collage because it enables you to stamp and create collages in under 10 minutes – please note however it depends on how fast you can stamp!! The actual card making and assembly time will take a little longer! 🙂

Stamping The 10 Minute Collage:

Now take your large sheet of CREAM card stock – you are going to STAMP it 🙂

First of all let me explain why you are working with cream card stock instead of white.

I’ve found when making collage type cards that it’s better to stamp on colour card stock as opposed to white.

The reason for that is – when you smoosh and add your inkpad colours to the card – you don’t have to work quite so hard to get a nice even background colour.

If you use white – the background is very stark and you need to add a LOT more ink to cover this up!

Therefore if you use colour card stock you don’t have to work quite so hard; the added bonus is that you don’t run your inkpads out as much either! Any light colour card stock will do – or darker for that matter; tan, pink, blue, green etc etc. Cream is my favourite so we are using that!

Right now to STAMP….

1.     On your sheet of cream card, start with your largest rubber stamp, and randomly stamp the largest stamp on your sheet of card stock approx 3-4 times – less if it’s a very large stamp.

Stamping Tips:

You want the images to be really spaced out, vary the angles which you stamp at – i.e. move the stamp around in different directions. Don’t be afraid to stamp UPSIDE DOWN! Remember you can stamp OFF the card stock too! Don’t over think – just stamp!

2.     Next take the next size down stamp and stamp this a couple of times across the sheet – again vary the angles you stamp at and don’t be afraid to stamp upside down! Repeat this step using the next size down stamp and continue until you come to your smallest stamps – the small tiny stamps will be your ‘space fillers’ use these to stamp in the blank un-stamped areas to fill them out a little.

Using this method you wont need to create ‘masks’ for your images as you are not overlapping any of the stamped images, also by working from the largest down to the smallest you are making sure the stamps will fit together in the spaces. If you use unmounted stamps you can control the positioning a lot better especially if you use a clear acrylic mounting method.

Allow ink to dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next step to add your background colour…

Adding Colour To The 10 Minute Collage:

Colour is the most important part of collaging – pick the wrong colours and you can end up with a colour clash! You want the colours to blend and compliment one another – you don’t want one colour fighting for attention over the others. Some people use a colour wheel to help them choose their colours – I opt for an easier method! I tend to use colours which are ‘made up’ of other colours – this is my own ‘family colour theory’ and it works for ME!

Yellow Family – Colours Are: Yellows, Oranges, Browns and Greens – all these colours work well together because they are all yellow based colours – in other words to get the colour orange you need to add red and YELLOW. To mix green you need to add blue and YELLOW – they share the colour YELLOW. I call this my ‘Yellow Family’ and use these types of colours together…bear in mind there are plenty of different shades of yellows, oranges, browns and greens so you can come up with lots of different styles and colour schemes.

Red Family – Colours Are: Reds, Purples, Oranges and Pinks – This is my ‘Red Family’; all the colours in this family have the colour RED in them and therefore they go well together and compliment one another.

Blue Family – Colours Are: Blue, Purple, Greens – My ‘Blue Family’ all of these shades of colours use blue so therefore they work well together.

Finally you can mix your families together! But be careful not to cause family rows 🙂 as not all colours are compatible! However both the blue family and the yellow family get along well with the Red family!

White and Black can be added to any of the colour families – they are neutral colours and therefore don’t clash instead they highlight and bring contrast to the colours. Don’t be afraid to use black and white – remember they are colours too!

Starting with your lightest colour first, tap your cosmetic sponge into your inkpads and apply colour over the entire surface of the card – literally rub it all over – don’t be afraid of adding colour – the more the better!! I tend to start with a nice yellow and then work my way up in darkness’s, after yellow I tend to apply random areas of orange, and greens and browns – smoosh a little here and a little there so that you have little bursts of colour over the page. Don’t be afraid of adding colour – it won’t hurt you J It’s your friend! The more colour you add the more striking your overall collage. See below to see what my collage sheet looked like after Id stamped and added colour to it:

Now for the FUN PART!

Cutting The Collage Sheet Up:

1.     Take the sheet of paper with the printed template on it which you printed earlier and place it over the top of your collage sheet so you can see the lines.

2.     Now if you are using a paper trimmer – place both the printed template sheet and the stamped collage on your cutter and cut along all the lines on the paper – the jagged line is a TEAR LINE so you need to tear this to separate (don’t be neat when you tear!)

If you don’t have a paper trimmer – do the same as above only with your craft knife and ruler!

3.     Once you’ve cut apart your collage sheet you then use the cut out sections to make at LEAST 10 different collage style cards! See all the card samples on this page for examples on how to layer. I find you get a better contrast if you mount the collage pieces onto black or dark card stock.

This is one of the very easiest ways to make collage cards and is perfect if you have never tried collage before and have always wanted to try! I hope you enjoy it!

10 Minute Collage Card Gallery

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