Make Background Papers


As a paper artist, there are many times that I get very frustrated because I just cannot find the perfect coordinating paper for a card or layout in my stash.  Let me tell ya….it is quite an extensive stash too!  To deal with this issue, I keep a lot of white and solid colored cardstock in my studio so that I can make my own handmade background papers.  Here are a few samples that demonstrate some quick and easy techniques with product that you probably already own.

Rainbow Floral Paper

This colorful sample was inspired by the negative of a Sizzix die cut.  Using the die cut as a template, Tsukineko Chalk Inks and stipple brushes, I created this rainbow floral pattern.  I began at one corner of a piece of white paper.  Each time I moved the template, I switched colors.  I accomplished this using a stipple brush.  The rest of the white space I stippled on a light coating of a complimentary color.

Polka Dot Background Paper

This polka dot paper was created using Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks, The Crafter’s Workshop stencils and stipple brushes.  This was so simple to make.  I used white paper as my background, but you can easily switch that out with another pale colored paper.  I placed the stencil over the paper and stippled in my first color.  I then moved the stencil so that it slightly overlapped the first color and stippled in my second color.  Then I repeated that with the third color.  Quick, easy and fun!

Printed Background Paper

This faux printed background paper was a little trickier to make, but load of fun!  I actually used rubber stamps to create this background.  There are SEVEN separate stamps used in this background.  I started with plain white paper and Stazon Permanent Ink in Timber Brown by Tsukineko.  It is really super important to use permanent ink because you don’t want anything to smear or run once you being to colorize it.  Starting with the largest stamp, I began to collage the paper’s surface.  I worked to the smallest.  Once I had a pattern that I really liked, I filled in any wide gaps with the gingham style stamp.  Finally, I used a textured stamp to randomly stamp all over the entire collage.  Finally, with my stipple brushes and Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks, I added color over the entire collage…beginning with the lightest and working to the darkest, which I kept closest to the edges of the paper.

Monochromatic Background Paper

This is probably the easiest effect to accomplish when creating your own background papers.  It is quick in that it takes very little time to get done, but a little longer because you have to take drying time into account.  This background paper is monochromatic.  Monochromatic means, in it’s simplest of definitions, one color family.  For example, the sample above is a sort of study in pink.  I’ve used pink cardstock and acrylic paint in another shade of pink.  To keep with this monochromatic theme, I could have added another size heart in yet another shade of pink!

Achieving this background is simple.  You will need a solid colored cardstock of your choice, an acrylic paint color that is in the same family as your cardstock…perhaps a few shades lighter or darker than your paper…and foam stamps.  In the example above, I used pink paper, a heart shaped foam stamp and pink acrylic paint.  All I did was stamp the image in a pattern.  Really simple and way cute!

Hope you enjoyed these examples and that you are inspired to go and create your own background papers.  Keep us posted with your progress!!

Artfully yours…..Theresa 🙂




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