The Craft Room 20th February 2016 – Back to basics stamping with brayered backgrounds

Hello again, if you have been following my blog posts you will know that this year we have gone back to the basics with stamping techniques.

For some in our group it is a case of refreshing the memories of techniques tried long ago and forgotten and for others its is introducing techniques they have never tried before.

This week its brayered backgrounds and silhouette stamping


These backgrounds are so simple to do and can be batch made – once you have mastered using a brayer that is.

Now, the brayer, I had  encouraged  some of the ladies in the group to buy one of these and a blending mat  a couple of years ago in order  to try some of Barbara Gray’s brayering techniques, and yes, still in the box lol. So I thought that this would be a good opportunity for them to find them again, get them out of their boxes AND GET THEM DIRTY.


All you need for this technique is – a speed ball brayer, blending mat, distress (or other water based dye inks) and  water. The best card stock to use for this is coated card stock as the ink does not soak into the card and you get a smoother finish but stamping card will work well too.

You will need 3 colours of ink that tonally match, ideally a dark, medium and a pale one. Now normally you would start with the lightest colour first but for this technique we are starting with the darkest one.

Taking the darkest colour first dab the ink pad onto the blending mat 5/6 times


and blend out on the mat with the brayer, try to keep the ink central on the brayer and the edges clear.


with you piece of card, on some scrap paper, at an angle so when you start brayering you are starting across a corner and not a straight edge


start brayering across the card back and forth with long sweeps off the card and lifting the brayer – forwards and lift backwards and lift- keep going over the same part of the card until you get a lovely deep colour laid down – re-inking from the blending mat as you go.


You want to colour approx a third of the card,  then onto the next colour, you may want to clean your mat and brayer first using water and kitchen roll if there is a big difference in the colours, but before you clean your mat, spitz it with water first and taking some scrap paper/card mop up the excess ink. If you keep doing this each time you change colour onto the same piece of scrap you can end up with some interesting background papers –


With the second colour on your brayer start by over inking the colour already on the card and work further up the card blending as you go. Again with the third colour starting by over inking the colours already down blend the colour up to the top of the card. you may want to turn the card around so you can work the top corner more easily. (Sorry got carried away with the brayering and forgot to take a photo at the end of second colour)


finally taking your spritzer bottle  and have a piece of kitchen roll to hand, spray some water into your hand and then flick onto the card lay kitchen roll on top quickly to mop up water (the longer you leave the water on the card the bigger the water marks will be)


These backgrounds, once you get the hang of brayering, only take minutes to make so give yourself an hour or so to play. Its good practice using the brayer, you can experiment with different colour combinations and you get a set of backgrounds ready for stamping onto.


For stamping, if you use the coated card stock like us you will need to use Archival ink to stamp images on with for the best results (we tried Memento which worked but not as well as the Archival)

I let the Ladies loose with a selection of  silhouette stamps from various companies to mix and match together, they included


Lavinia Stamps, Clarity Stamps


Visible Image

20160220_182506and Tim Holtz

20160220_180653 20160220_180717

Depending on the stamp, you can also take a water brush ( or a damp paint brush) and take out some of the colour blotting frequently with some kitchen roll to give a bleached effect as above (Lavinia Stamps and Visable Image)

So go have yourself some fun, my group certainly did and hopefully their brayers will now get a bit more use too lol.

20160220_164402 20160220_164444

apologies for the long post this week, making up for lack of previous posts lol,


1 Comment

  1. Lisa MacGregor

    Beautiful results ladies, I must get my Brayer out xx

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