Mixed Media Morsels: 29 & 30

Technique 29:  Sponge Painting

Here is a technique you can use with materials you find around your house.  You can cut kitchen sponges, cardboard, fun foam, etc. to make shapes, letters, numbers, or even simple images like leaves, fish, trees, all sorts of cool stuff.  I have done this many, many times.  Using all handmade “sponges” or stamps.  Here’s how we do this:

  1.  First cut your item into the shape you want.  Since this is called sponge painting, let’s stick with kitchen sponges for this example.  I cut out the shape and I also leave the scruffy, scrubby part on to use as another texture from the same piece.
  2. Dip into your paint.  I often daub off the excess on scrap paper or my drop paper.
  3. Press onto your paper, tag, card, or journal cover.  If you use all one shape, you can paint the background one color and make the stamp another, leaving “grout” lines between your images.  This is sort of a cool look and one I have done several times.
  4. Wash your sponge out well, as the paint will dry and harden in the sponge which will make it pretty difficult to reuse.

Really easy and fun technique.  Good for an all over background, borders, focal points, journaling spots…If you make one inch sponge images, like squares, circles, hearts, etc. they’re perfect for ATC’s, inchies, twinchies, and rinchies.  I have a drawer filled with homemade stamps/sponges.

Technique 30:  Shaving Cream Marbling

This is a great technique to do with your kids.  They will love it!  It’s simple and the results are often stunning.  Here’s how we do this one:

  1.  You need shaving cream.  Not the gel kind, it has to be the foaming from the can kind.  I bought mine at Dollar Tree.  Scented or unscented-matters not.
  2. Shake the can well and spray shaving cream into a shallow pan.
  3. Smooth flat with gift card scraper or something similar.
  4. Dribble paint, inks, food coloring-something colorful-over the shaving cream.
  5. Using a craft stick or skewer, swirl the paint through the shaving cream.  You don’t want to mix it so the colors blend, but just enough that they are swirled through eachother.
  6. Lay your paper down on top of the shaving cream.
  7. Lift.
  8. Remove excess shaving cream with a flat edge-a spatula, ruler, something like that.  I put the excess back into the pan along the side by scraping it off.
  9. Let dry.

I reloaded my pan with more shaving cream and more paint for even more pages.  I made 10 or 12 8 1/2″x11″ background pages with this one pan of shaving cream.  Rinse down the drain when finished.

I used watered down craft paint for this and it worked great.  The colors were Thistle Blossom, Ripe Tomato and Bright Yellow.  The second time around I added Laguna, which is a darker turquoise.  Gorgeous!

I love this technique and had forgotten how much fun it was to do.

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Mixed Media Morsels: 26, 27, & 28

Technique 26:  Stenciling

We use this technique quite often in art journaling.  Normally we would use modeling paste or gesso through the stencil, but you can also use paint to stencil the image or letters onto your page.  Here’s how:

  1.  If you’re stenciling with paint, remember you want very little paint on your stencil brush.  The reason for this is the paint, being liquid in nature, will want to seep beneath the stencil.  Use very little paint and rub most of it off on scrap paper before you begin to stencil your image.
  2. You can always go back and add more color if you wish, but once the paint seeps you’re sort of stuck with it.
  3. Use modeling paste through your stencils for a textured image or word on your page.
  4. You can also use gesso through a stencil for some interesting effects.
  5. If you wish, you can use glitter glue through a stencil as you would paint.  This is a subtle look, but can be very effective when used on black or dark backgrounds.
  6. If you’re using cardboard or paper stencils, just let your paint dry on it.  This will stiffen the stencil and often times will make it as sturdy as the heavy plastic ones.
  7. You can make your own stencils by using the flat, clear plastic from packaging.  Put your image behind the clear plastic and trace the image onto the plastic.  Cut out carefully with a craft knife.
  8. I have made stencils from hot glue as well.  Just draw out your shape or design onto a silicone mat with your hot glue gun.  Let cool.  Works great and I have a drawer full of these types of stencils.
  9. If you are cutting out a design from card stock (or whatever), use the empty space left from cutting out your design as a stencil.  Works great.
  10. Plastic mesh from onion or oranges bags also works as a stencil.  Lace, paper doilies and other items with holes and spaces work as stencils too.

Technique 27:  Crackle

Another technique I’ve covered in the past, but since I’m following Cat Hand’s mixed media morsels, I will include it.  You can use a crackle medium if you wish.  This works well but is more expensive than the craft glue method.  I use the kids glue from Dollar Tree for this technique.  Here’s how:

  1.  I like to use a dark colored background as my base for this technique.  It will show through somewhat, unless you plan to paint over the crackle…that’s up to you and what you want it to look like.
  2. I use a thick coat of PVA glue.  I apply the glue with a brush, going in one direction (usually up and down).  You can go in all different directions if you wish.  I have and it turns out rather cool.  The glue will take some time to dry, so I use my blow dryer to help it along.  I also dry the backside of the paper.  The thicker the glue, the wider the cracks.
  3. This will dry and create cracks which could be used as a wood fence, tree bark, or simply as a cool texture.
  4. You can also add paint to the glue.  Once you have the glue smeared onto your page, go over it with a generous layer of acrylic paint.  I use craft paint for this purpose.  You will pick up some of the glue, of course, as it is wet.  But this will dry with your paint color on top.  It’s nice to have a coordinating color to your base color, as both will be seen together.
  5. This is also a cool technique for a vintage style page.  It really looks great with some vintage ephemera on top of it.

Technique 28:  Scribble Scrabble

Here’s one I had not tried before.  It’s very simple, and one anyone can do.  Here’s how:

  1.  On a plain background paper, use a black marker and make squiggly lines all over the page.  I left an edge all around the squiggles.  Make sure the lines cross often, as you want small sections all through the squiggled part.
  2. With markers, colored pencils, gel pens, paint pens-whatever you have-fill in each space within your squiggles with color.  Use several colors to give a random, stained glass effect.
  3. I colored the outside edge of mine with a solid color to give it a border.
  4. Cat Hand had apparently done this quite often as a child and wrote Child’s Play in the center of hers.  It was cute, so I did the same with white paint pen then outlined the letters in black.  It turned out really cute.

This is a technique best used in small areas, I think.  My sense is it would be very easy to overwhelm a page if it were entirely made up of this technique.  You know, a border around a finished page would be terrific!  It is a very striking look and one that would work for any number of themes or styles.  This one was fun and relaxing to do and turned out really well.


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Mixed Media Morsels: 23, 24 & 25

Technique 23:  Hand Painted Tape

This is a technique I’ve shared with you before.  I called it DIY Washi Tape. It is a fun and easy way to make your own low-tack decorated tape.  Here’s how I do this:

  1.  I purchase the least expensive, beige/off white masking tape I can find.  Usually from Dollar Tree.  This tape comes in different widths, which is nice for variety.  I lay out several strips of the tape onto waxed paper.  I don’t make the strips extremely long, usually about a foot or so in length.  I fill the piece of waxed paper with the tape.
  2. Now that you have the tape laid out, you can begin to paint/decorate your tape.  I use paints, inks, stamps, markers, metallic markers, some glitter, whatever you have that you think looks good.  I just begin by adding color to the tape, let it dry and then add the details.
  3. I make three pieces in the same design.  I find that us usually plenty of one type for me.  I get bored easily and would rather make more tape than use the same stuff over and over again…
  4. Once I have the tape finished and dried, I cut them apart but leave them on the waxed paper.  You just pull off the tape you want from the waxed paper as you need it.  You can store it in an old Velveeta cardboard box, or roll it onto empty ink pens or markers and keep your tape that way.  This is so easy to do, and you can make any color combinations and patterns you like.

Technique 24:  Pretty Posies

Torn Paper Posies are easy to make and use up lots of scraps.  Here’s how we make these charming little flowers:

  1.  Gather scrap paper.  Any kind will do.
  2. Tear the paper into different sized circles.  The rough edges are what make this such a cute little embellishment. You can use a paint brush handle to dent the inside of the circle, making your flower a bit more dimensional.
  3. Begin with the largest circle, lay the next largest size on top of that one (preferably in a different pattern and color) glue them together in center.  Add next smallest size on top of the second layer, and so on and so on, until you have a flower which is the size and fullness you want.
  4. You can ink the edges of the circles for detail, doodle on the flower petals, add glitter or paint spatters, whatever you want to do to the scrap paper to make it interesting as a flower.
  5. Add buttons, flat backed gems, melted Perler beads, something to the center of your flower.
  6. You can tear leaves from other scraps of paper and glue them beneath the flower, making sure the leaves are large enough to show past the flower.

Adorable and another wonderful use of scrap papers.  If you want you can add lace and ribbon to the flowers (as a layer or glued to the edges of the petals).  You can use these flowers on tags, as garland, as ornaments, as embellishments, as bows on gifts, there are lots of things you can do with these cute little posies.

Technique 25:  Ransom Note Lettering

We have talked about this technique before.  You use letters cut from magazines, books, newspapers, junk mail, wherever you find interesting and different fonts.  Here’s how we do this:

  1.  Cut out random letters from a variety of sources.  I keep my letters separated in those 100 calorie snack bags.
  2. Once you have finished your art journal page and need a title, grab your letters and spell out what you want to say.
  3. Use as many different fonts, colors, sizes, capital and small letters you can.  Glue the word or phrase onto your page.  The randomness of the letters is what makes the Ransom Note look.

Another easy way to add interest to your page.  If you don’t want to cut out letters you could use random letter stickers or random letter stamps.  Either would work to give you that unusual look.  Now go forth and cut apart your magazines and junk mail!


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Mixed Media Morsels: 20, 21 & 22

Technique 20:  Tissue Paper Images

Here’s how we do this one:

  1.  I began with a plain background, as I wanted the tissue paper colors to show well.
  2. I cut out the shapes I needed to make my image-in this case flowers.  (When don’t I make flowers? LOL.)  I stacked the tissue paper because it’s much easier to cut several sheets rather than just one.
  3. I laid out the shapes until I was happy with the look, and then I mod podged them to the background card.
  4. Let dry completely and trim any overhang.
  5. Doodle to further enhance your image.

One of the cool things about this is you can layer different colors of tissue papers to make other colors.  Really cool effects.  I have used this technique to make stained glass windows in art journal pages, for rocks, trees, grasses, water, clouds, whatever comes into your head can be made with this technique.

Technique 21:  Doodles

I admit, I struggle with doodling.  I just become frustrated with the time and tiny details needed to make really cool designs.  Here are some easy, simple doodle ideas you can use in your art practice:

  1.  I began with my extra smash paint cards I made earlier.  They were in a variety of colors and would be perfect for making into a flower for this doodle technique.
  2. I cut out the shapes of the flower, stem and leaves and stuck them to the background.

One of my frustrations with doodling is what I have to doodle with.  I have, primarily, medium point Sharpie markers.  These work very well, don’t misunderstand me here, but I find the tip is a bit large for fine line doodling.  A couple weeks ago I went to Walmart and found fine tipped paint pens in black and white.  I also have some gel pens and metallic markers.  Let’s see what we can make with these items…

3.  Once the flower was dry, I began my doodling adventure.  I recommend you begin small and practice on a scrap piece of paper until you feel comfortable with the pen and the doodling.  A few very simple doodles are:

a.  lines.  Broken, straight, curvy, wavy, multiples, varying thicknesses, different colors intertwined, endless options with lines

b.  dots.  Dots can be applied randomly over a page, in a pattern, using paint and the end of a paint brush handle, spattered on with paint and a tooth brush, as highlights for your image, as corner details, in varying sizes and colors, interspersed between your lines…Again, a very versatile doodle option.

c.  Teardrops.  perfect for flower petals, leaves on stems, rain drops, corner details,

d.  Squiggles.  This can be a bit more challenging if you’re determined to have the squiggles exactly the same size, shape and space apart.  If you’re okay with imperfection this is another fun doodle option.  I like to begin with a dot on my page, then I slowly draw a round and a round the dot, making a cyclone looking image.  Sometimes I pull the pen from the edges of the cyclone and make other cyclone “branches”.  Curlie-ques, wiggley lines, elaborate font-style embellishments are all possible if you can get the squiggle down pat.  I am still working on this, as my lines are never equally spaced and that bugs me…Don’t be like me!  Let your doodlely skills blossom and shine without worrying about perfection.

With these four doodles, you can make just about anything.  If you’re uncomfortable practice on scrap paper for awhile before you doodle on your page.  Just have fun and let go.  Doodle to your hearts content!

Technique 22: Outlined Handwriting

This is a fun technique!  I have had a lot of fun with this one.  It’s really simple to do, which is always a bonus.  Here’s how:

  1.  Write a word or phrase on your background in pencil.  Use cursive writing, as you want the letters to connect to each other.
  2. Take your pencil and outline your cursive words.  You can make your word as thick or as thin as you wish, just try to keep the distance the same on both the top and bottom of the word.  You don’t want your word distorted by way to thick outlined area over here and then really thin outlined area over there…
  3. If you have letters with open space like an “L” or a “P”, outline the open areas as well.
  4. Now you have a word in your handwriting in bold, rather than just the thickness of your original pencil line.
  5. Use markers, paint pens, whatever you want to color the word.  Once it’s all dry, erase the pencil marks.
  6. Now go around each of your words with a thin pen outline in whatever color you wish.

This is a perfect technique for a quotes and phrases page, bible journaling, titles, etc.  It’s fun and it’s also a nice way to use your own handwriting in a layout.  It’s so important to do that, even if you hate your handwriting.  My grandfather won blue ribbons at the fair for his beautiful penmanship and I don’t have one sample of it.  This breaks my heart.

I was very fortunate my dad had a father’s day card from my brother which Jeff signed.  I was able to use that as the base for my tattoo on the inside of my left wrist.  It’s a turquoise angel wing, because my mom says he was an angel on earth, Jeff’s name in his own handwriting, and watercolor splashes because the night of his death I began watercolor painting for the first time…Remember, just because you don’t care for your handwriting doesn’t mean your loved ones won’t treasure it.

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Mixed Media Morsels: 18 & 19

Technique 18: Wavy Writing

  1.  Begin with a page or card with a background on it already.  Some sort of color…
  2. Make wavy lines across the page in pencil.  Add a second line, about an 8th of an inch or so, beneath the first to give space between your rows.
  3. Keep adding wavy lines, thick to thin, thin to thick, across the page and the length of it.
  4. You can write your words or phrase in with pencil as well, then go over it with a permanent marker.
  5. Erase all pencil lines.
  6. Add embellishments and doodles.

This is great fun and so easy to do!  Just remember to leave that space between your rows or your eyes will have difficulty picking out the words.

Technique 19: Silhouettes

Another technique that is really simple to do.  Here’s how:

  1.  Cut out an image from a magazine, newspaper, old book, coloring book, whatever you like.  Keep it fairly simple, as you want to be able to know what it is when it’s in silhouette.
  2. Paint the image black.  Let dry completely.
  3. Adhere to a background of your choice.

Easy way to make a silhouette image for any art journal project you might have.

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Mixed Media Morsels: 16 & 17

Today’s technique is the same one I told you about before.  It’s so incredibly simple and fun to do!  Each one you make will turn out differently, and beautiful.

Here’s how we make Technique 16:  Paint Smash

1.  Since I am making my mixed media morsels on 3 x 5 index cards, this is what I will be using for my paint smash.  I begin by dribbling two or three colors of paint over half a page or card.  For the small techniques cards I only used two colors.

2.  Fold the non-dripped half of the paper over onto the painted half.

3.  Squish.  The paint will gush out the sides a bit, but that’s okay.

4.  Once you have the paper pressed together, open.

5.  Now you have an interesting pattern made from your squished paint.  Lay this aside to dry completely.

Since I can never make just one of these paint smash papers, I made eight of the 3 x 5 index cards, using different colors for variety.  Once your paper is dry you can use it to make all sorts of cool embellishments.  For example:

flowers and leaves








the possibilities are endless with this technique.  You can use whatever cheap paint you have plenty of, even the stuff you hate…No, especially the stuff you hate!  Mix those disliked colors to make something truly spectacular!

Cat Hand used this technique to make butterflies.  While that’s a delightful use of the smashed paint papers, it is by no means the only way to use them.  (I really think this was my favorite technique for 2016, but I’ll have to check)  I’ve used this to make ATC’s, art tiles, art journal covers, inspiration tiles, tags, tabs, bookmarks, backgrounds, borders, inchies, twinchies, rinchies, frames, flowers, mats, charms, pendants, and key chains.

Not to bad for one little ‘ole technique, huh?

Technique 17:  Napkin Backgrounds

Another technique we have visited before, only with tissue paper.

  1.  This time we are covering our card or page with our preferred adhesive-mod podge, gloopy glue, clear gesso, mat medium, whatever you want to use.
  2. Separate your napkin.  The printed side from the (usually white) back sheet.  You won’t want to use both for this.  Save the extra piece of white for another time.
  3. Lay your napkin on your card or page, centering the image if desired.
  4. Gently press your napkin onto the card.  If you’re careful you can use a gift card scraper to remove any bubbles or wrinkles.
  5. Proceed with whatever you have planned for your page.  You can stamp on it, add sprays, inks, paint, glitter, whatever you want can go over your napkin.  If you want the napkin as a focal point, cover with mod podge or clear gesso to protect it a bit.

As I’m sure I mentioned earlier, I am not completing these techniques cards.  My goal is to have a large, handy selection of techniques available to look through should I get stuck or bored.  Cat Hand is completing her techniques pages.  They are adorable and I highly encourage you to check out her channel.

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Mixed Media Morsels: 14 & 15

Technique 14:  Easy Borders

This is such a simple technique, we often forget it is one.  Here’s how to make quick and easy borders for your art journal pages:

Magazine Pages

1.  Use colorful magazine pages and cut off the edge with a decorative edged scissors, trace circles or hearts and cut around them to make a very quick and easy border.

2.  Use your favorite adhesive to stick to your page.

Painted Papers

Use the above technique with any of your painted papers.  These make charming borders.


Here is another fun option for a border.  Often magazines have large words which you can use as they are, or cut out individual letters and make your own border word or phrase.


You might find lovely trees, flowers, doors, a piece of music, a paint brush, a train…all these images can be used as a border on your page.  Look through old books, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, look for copy-right free images on the internet.  It’s a great resource.

Stamped Letters or Numbers-you can find inexpensive stamp sets at Walmart and Michael’s for a buck.

Ribbons and Lace-adds a lovely texture to your page.

Punched out Design-use your punches to remove that image from your page.  You can add a colored piece of paper behind the punched images (say green for a Christmas tree or gold for a star) on the backside of the page.

Stitch or Sew Fabric to your Page.  Another textural option and one I use often.

Add eyelets or grommets. Metal is always a nice addition to an art journal page.

Use Modeling Paste through a stencil to create a beautiful border.

Technique 15:  Mosaics

A mosaic is very similar to what we did in technique 2 which was collage.  The difference is with mosaics you leave a thin border between you collage pieces.

Let’s get started:

  1.  Begin with your page or card in the base color you want your “grout” to be.  This is the space between your collaged pieces similar to the grout line between tiles.
  2. Using whatever scraps of paper you have, cut them into random triangular pieces.
  3. Now you begin adding them to your background.  I like to keep my spaces between the mosaic pieces pretty uniform.  Use mod podge, gel medium, whatever your adhesive preference is to attach the pieces to the paper.
  4. Once you have filled your paper with your mosaic pieces, cover the whole thing with your sealant or adhesive.
  5. Once it’s all dried, you can doodle and embellish your mosaics for more fun and interest.

Another very easy way to use up some of your scraps.


Technique 14, with two border examples. And Technique 15, mosaic




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