Monday, April 5, 2010

Sharon Briss: Bubble Wrap Backgrounds

This month, we are focusing on recycling items to use in our art and using up our scraps. Today, I want to have some fun with bubble wrap! I seem to get some more every time I go to the mailbox or buy something at a store.

I'm going to show you the 4 different ways I play with bubble wrap to make fun and quick backgrounds. For all these backgrounds, I have used glossy paper cut into 4.25" by 5.5" rectangles.

To begin, I like to cut a piece of bubble wrap a little bigger than my biggest acrylic block. I then tape the bubble wrap to the block so that it is easier to control pressure and impression when I am stamping.

When inking and using, make sure you don't press too hard as you don't want to pop the bubble wrap. Yes, I know it makes that fun sound......

Do check that your bubble wrap has not been "pre-popped" before using it for backgrounds. I had a lovely background going only to discover that some small family member had popped two rows flat and rendered them uninkable.

Basic Bubble Wrap Background

We've all seen basic bubble wrap backgrounds which are very pretty simple. Simply ink up your bubble wrap as you would any other stamp and then press down with even pressure onto the glossy cardstock. For this particular piece, I have used Fired Brick Distress Ink from Ranger for a bold look.

The resulting background is simple but has a lot of interest as each bubble makes a slightly different impression.

Stamp: Penny Black

Kissed Bubble Wrap Background

I love this way of using bubble wrap. I hadn't put the Fired Brick Distress Ink away yet so I decided to use this vivid color for the Kiss technique.

First, apply your distress ink over the entire piece of glossy cardstock.

Once you have good coverage, spritz your paper with a little water so that the ink pools ever so slightly.

Press a clean piece of bubble wrap over the paper, press down and wait a moment before peeling off. Set aside to dry thoroughly before using to create a card.

To finish my card, I overstamped my images using the same distress ink.

Stamps: fairy from Alpha Stamps; sentiment from Invoke Arts

Embossed Bubble Wrap Background

This next version is also pretty simple as well. Using a clean piece of bubble wrap, ink it up with Versamark ink and press against a new piece of glossy paper.

Cover the paper with clear embossing powder and tap of excess. Heat set your background.

Using a second piece of bubble wrap, attach to acrylic block, ink with your desired color (I used Teal) and press onto embossed background slightly off-set to your embossed bubbles. Dye-based inks work best for this step. Finally, take a cotton ball and gently rub in circles over your cardstock. This will rub off any ink that adhered to your embossed bubbles and will soften your inked background.

Voila! Bubbles with a hint of dimension. I coupled this background with a simple image framed with gold Shimmerz sheet run through a cuttlebug machine using the Swiss Dots folder.

Stamp: Paperbag Studios

Bubbled Chalk Background

I do love my chalks but rarely find a perfect image with which to use them. My solution - chalk a background. Once again, ink your bubble wrap with Versamark ink and press against your glossy cardstock.

With your chalks out, take a cotton ball and pick up a generous amount of chalk and rub as desired over your bubbled cardstock.

The bubbles will start to appear as the color is chalked on. I started in the center with a bright yellow.

Then, I applied a medium orange on either side of my yellow stripe, being careful to overlap the yellow slightly.

I added a red stripe to the edges of the orange and then reversed the pattern until the card was filled.

Once my background was completed to my liking, I sealed the piece with some hairspray which can be used in a pinch if you have run out of sealer. Do seal the piece though as it makes it easier to stamp on and increases its longevity.

I overstamped my chalked bubble background with StazOn and used some of the scrap to make coordinating tags.

Stamps: bees and tags from Invoke Arts; alphabet from Hampton Art

Hope you enjoyed these quick and easy ways to use bubble wrap!

Don't forget about our Once in a Blue Moon Challenge: Take on a Technique where you can enter by using any of the projects or techniques featured in our Tutorial Guide to make a creation.


  1. Great technique, off to have atry :) Thank you

  2. I think there is no end to what best u can put your scrap & imaginations to use.... Through out the read I was like WOW!!!!!! I loved it simply because....never thought, that piece I love to pop on every time I lay my hands on them... could be used in such an awesome manner too..... KUDOS & God Bless!!!!!


  3. Fabulous tutorial and such a lot of things to try. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Thanks so much, fab ideas I certainly will be trying these out soon.

  5. Great ideas, definitely will try out the last one. Thanx for posting.

  6. This is the coolest tutorial ever! I love how you taped it to the block - I would never have thought of that. You're awesome!

  7. What a great post. I think I'll try all of these ideas!

  8. WOW Sharon! Love the look of these cards! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Bopped over from Linda's Studio L3 ... and couldn't be more pleased!

    BUBBLE WRAP! Oh boy! I know I've got some of that stuff around here somewhere ...

  10. These techniques are lovely. It always feels so good to use what we have and make something others like too. Happy creating...

  11. Excellent tutorial -love this idea ,can't wait to try it :)

  12. These are all just FABULOUS!!! I can't wait to put all my hoarded bubble wrap to good, artistic use!

  13. Totally gorgeous, I am going to give it a go.

  14. Sharon, Thanks so much for sharing your creativity and a very easy to follow tutorial. I tried doing this the other day, Boy, what a mess I did. Going to try this, your way, right away! :)

  15. What a great tutorial, thank you!

    Lucy x

  16. That is really awesome. thank you for sharing with us.


Thanks for your wonderful words!

Other Articles Which May Interest You:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin