Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wacky Wednesday: Sponge & Shimmer

I want to share with you today a background technique I love to make that I call it Sponge & Shimmer. It's very straightforward and only requires a sponge, ink pads and some Shimmerz paint. Here's a card I made using this technique with an image from the Happiness plate by Artistic Outpost.

I make my backgrounds on pieces of neutral c/stock measuring 5.5" x 4.25" - I find this is a managable size. If you plan to stamp an image that is larger than this, then by all means make your background c/stock bigger.

Choose two colors - I chose purple and pink on the butterfly card and blue and green in the tutorial below. Then select various shades of dye ink in those colors - I use dye inks (ie water soluable) so that they can be blended in the final stage of the technique.

1. Start by covering the piece of c/stock entirely with the lightest of one of the colors. I usually brayer it on, although as you can see from the photo my brayering technique is not great. Alternatively, you could sponge the whole piece if you're brayer-phobic.

2. Either at the top or bottom of your panel, start adding layers of one color from lighest to darkest using a sponge.
3. Move to the other end of the panel and start sponging on the other color from lightest to darkest.

4. Take a wide, damp brush and paint a thin layer of Shimmerz. on top of your sponging. The damp brush will help to blend the inks further and in this sample it will get rid of that nasty line left from my poor brayering.

5. Allow to dry completely before stamping on it.

For maximum contrast, I like to use a strong black or brown ink, such as Memento or Stazon for my stamped images. On this card I actually embossed the image with black embossing powder. The image is from the Bluebird plate by Artistic Outpost.

I hope you give this technique a try - it's a lot of fun. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment. Come back tomorrow for another card using this technique and featuring another Artistic Oupost image.


  1. What a great titorial, Ali! The effect is gorgeous! Too bad I don't have any shimmerz. Thanks for the tutorial!!!

  2. Fabulous technique, Ali! I am definitely going to try this one. Thanks for putting in instructions for brayer-phobic folks like myself!

  3. These are gorgeous. Thanks so much for the tut!

  4. WOWZER!! This is so gorgeous!! Thanks for the fun tutorial!! :)

  5. I absolutely love the look that you accomplished using this technique!! It is beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  6. Forgot to said to paint a thin layer of Shimmerz over the top. Is their a specific color you used? A pearl, a clear? I have never used them before...many thanks!!


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