The South Burlington stamp club group met last evening, and this is the first card that we made. The time consuming part of this card is the background, and oh my are they fun to make! It has been a while since I taught the gals a new technique and we had a great time. When I designed this card I knew that I wanted to use Fall inspired colors, and the group loved the color combination. And they excitedly talked about other combos that they could use for other occasions: blues with snowflakes, reds and greens for Christmas, pinks and reds for Valentine’s Day. The opportunities to create with this technique are limitless! Stampin’ Up! has the gorgeous Expressions in Ink Specialty Paper which replicates the look, if you want something a little quicker.

If you want to recreate this yourself you’ll need a few supplies: Stampin’ Blends markers, Vellum Cardstock and alcohol. You need alcohol that is AT LEAST 91%, if you can get a higher percentage it’s even better. I was fortunate to find 91% alcohol in a spray bottle at Walgreens. If you can’t buy it in a spray bottle, you will need a clean spray bottle to spritz your alcohol. There are lots of videos on the inter-webz that show various ways that people have created these backgrounds. I watched a few of them, experimented and adjusted a little bit to get a result that I liked. Here are my steps:

  • Cut vellum cardstock a bit larger than the finished size you’ll need
  • Scribble randomly with the brush tip of Stampin’ Blends
    • You don’t have to completely cover the vellum
    • Distribute colors around so you’ll get some variation on your art
    • The dark shades of the blends are best to get more intense colors
  • Spritz with alcohol so that it’s fairly wet
    • Let the colors flow
    • If you get color collecting at the edges, use paper towel to soak up the extra
    • Use a heat tool to expedite drying
    • Don’t worry if your vellum looks kinda bland right now
  • Scribble over spots with the same color so that you add color intensity
    • Don’t completely color over, your adding small spots of additional color
    • Spritz lightly again with alcohol – this gives you the spots and interesting pooling
    • Hold the edges down while the vellum dries to prevent the alcohol from flowing too much
  • Once it’s dry, trim the edges to the size that you need for your project
    • This will remove edges that may still be muddy
  • Enjoy, and have fun experimenting!

Thanks so much to the TGIF team for the challenge that inspired me to finally give this technique a try! I hadn’t really thought about giving this a try, but the challenge was the little nudge that I needed to give it a go. I am so glad that I did, because I can’t wait to make some more of these great backgrounds for other projects!

One other tip that I want to mention – you may be wondering about the bow that you see on my card. Last evening I said that this card is all about the amazing thing you can do with Blends, and the bow is another item. I colored Linen Thread with the Dark Cajun Craze Stampin’ Blends marker so that I could have thread that stood out from the background and coordinated with my card. It’s so quick and easy to do, and it really stretches your ribbon/twine supplies for any project.

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