Background Techniques

Have you ever been working on a project only to find that you don’t have the right color paper on hand to complete it?  Here are some fun and easy techniques for creating your own background papers.  In many cases these can be done with inexpensive items you already have on hand.

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Top Row:  Plastic Wrap, Log Cabin, Faux Webbing, Faux Webbing
Bottom Row:  Heated Oil Pastels, Heated Oil Pastels, Bargello, Crayon Shavings

Plastic Wrap

  • Plastic wrap
  • Cardstock
  • Stamp pads in 3 coordinating colors

Tear a strip of plastic wrap off and scrunch it up.  Press the plastic wrap against the stamp pad and then pounce it randomly around on the cardstock.

Log Cabin

  • ½ inch strips of paper in 3 shades or prints of the same color
  • Removable double sided tape
  • Coordinating color stamp pads
  • Stamps of small solid leaves and flowers
  • Gold or silver stamp pad
  • Adhesive backed paper (cut to 3-3/4 inches by 5 inches)
  • Cutter
  • Adhesive
  • Coordinating cardstock

Place 2 or 3 strips of removable double sided tape on a large piece of scrap paper.  Alternating the 3 shades or prints of ½ strips, position across the tape to temporarily hold in place.  With a coordinating color of stamp pad, randomly stamp leaf and flower images all over the strips.  With either gold or silver, stamp one of the flower images randomly over the strips.  Peel backing off adhesive backed paper and position sticky side up on work surface.  Starting with the first color/pattern strip, place it across the top of the adhesive backed paper.  Take the second color/patter strip and place it down the left side of the adhesive backed paper perpendicular to the first strip.  Continue placing strips across and down alternating the 3 colors/shades until the adhesive backed paper is covered.  Trim ends to be even.  Mount on coordinating color cardstock.

Faux Webbing

  • Cardstock
  • Plastic wrap
  • Versamark ink pad
  • Fine embossing powder
  • Heat tool

Tear a strip of plastic wrap off and scrunch it up.  Press the plastic wrap against the Versamark pad and then pounce it lightly around on the cardstock.  Sprinkle with embossing powder and heat with a heat tool.

Heated Oil Pastels

  • Teflon craft sheet
  • Cardstock
  • Oil Pastels
  • Iron

Use the craft sheet to protect your work surface.  Heat the iron.  Take an oil pastel and rub directly on the iron to melt.  Iron the melted pastel onto the cardstock.  Repeat with coordinating colors until the background is sufficiently covered.

Bargello

  • Strips of paper or cardstock in ½ inch widths – use the same weight paper or card stock for the same card
  • Adhesive backed paper (cut to 4-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches)
  • Cutter
  • Adhesive
  • Coordinating cardstock

Peel backing off adhesive backed paper and position sticky side up on work surface.  Place ½ inch strips side by side on sticky side of adhesive backed paper.  Trim ends to be even.  Going the opposite direction, cut into ½ inch strips.  Adhere to coordinating color cardstock shifting each strip slightly up and down to create a “wave”.

Crayon Shavings

  • Teflon craft sheet
  • Cardstock
  • Old crayons
  • Plastic knife
  • Waxed paper
  • Iron

Use the craft sheet to protect your work surface.  Place the cardstock on the craft sheet.  Using the plastic knife, shave bits of crayon randomly over the cardstock.  When the cardstock is covered sufficiently in the crayon shavings, place a piece of waxed paper over the top.  With a medium heat iron, iron slowly over the surface to melt the crayon shavings into the cardstock.

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