I love creating fun backgrounds for my tags and other mixed media projects. I love a background that is interesting but not so detailed that it detracts from my embellishments and themes. Of course you can create great backgrounds with embossing folders, stamps, and stencils, but my first background love is creating something interesting with inks and paints.
One thing I like to do is to ask myself “what if?”. What if I combine these two colors? What if I use this product with that one? After all, it is just paper, ink, and paint. If it turns out ugly it is ok, I have more paper and tons more ink and paint. Who knows, you might discover the next great art technique!
Not too long ago I was using a face scrubby and found myself wondering what kind of texture that would add to paint. Then I looked at my foam cosmetic sponge and wondered if it would be good to apply paint. If baby wipes are great for applying paint, surely these sponges would be too. The next thing I know I am in Target scouring the Health & Beauty department looking for art tools.
With that, Medicine Cabinet Mixed Media Week(s) was born. Over the next two weeks I will be sharing a series of background tutorials featuring tools that you would normally find in your bathroom! Some were really fun discoveries, some were kind of duds. I will share them all!
First up, painting with a toothbrush…
Not only do I love a background that is interesting, I like it fairly quick and simple to create. Out of all the backgrounds in this series, this one is my favorite. Not only because it is so simple, it also creates a perfect weathered wood look which is one of my favorite background looks.
Begin by squeezing out Distress Paint onto your craft sheet. Pick the paint up with the toothbrush and brush it down the tag in a straight line. The paint is the heaviest where it starts and skips out into just small faint specks and you move down. The toothbrush I used has staggered brush lengths. If you use a flat brush, you may get a slightly different look. You could certainly use a used brush, I didn’t have one so I used a new one. This one will be saved just for art now. 😉 (Color shown: Peeled Paint Distress Paint.)
Begin some stripes from the bottom of the paper and swipe up. Keep adding swipes of paint until you are satisfied with the look.
Dry the paint with a heat tool.
Paint creates a resist from ink. To add an inked edge to the finished tag, sand the edges to expose the paper under the paint.
There are several ways to add color to the background. You could start with a painted tag. If you start with a plain tag like the one shown, you can mist the surface with Distress Spray Stain or apply ink with an ink blending tool. If you mist, spray the surface and let the color sit a few moments to soak in. (Color shown: Tumbled Glass Distress Spray Stain.)
Blot the excess mist with a dry cloth (or blank paper or Crinkle Ribbon). If you applied Distress Ink with a blending tool, buff over the painted areas with a dry cloth to remove the ink from the top of the paint.
Dry the surface with a heat tool. Do you see where the ink absorbed on the sanded edge? The sanded raw paper pulp absorbs the ink more readily. The color will be more intense where ever you sand.
Finish the tag by inking the outer edges with Distress Ink using an ink blending tool (Color shown: Gathered Twigs Distress Ink.)
Soooo easy and so quick! I love how the paint looks like weathered wood. It would be so pretty in shades of brown and rust and with two colors that are in the same color families. I chose colors with more contrast so that you could easily see the difference (and because I have a huge love of blue and green together!).
I will be back on Wednesday sharing another idea for toothbrushes. I hope you will check back for it!