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Kaleidacolors Background Fun

Fun stuff with Kaleidacolors!Making backgrounds with Kaleidacolors rainbow dye inks and Perfect Pearls
Part 1 of 2

As an avid stamper (and multi-tasking crafter), I love playing with inks on different papers and cardstock.  I have experimented with them so much that I am kind of into the 'science' of stamping now!  Being a collector of papers for many years and being a watercolor and pastel artist, I have many different surfaces to play with. 

This project is one of my favorites, because it combines my love of stamping and the look of watercolor painting without all the concentration required for a watercolor painting.  This could almost be considered a semi-mindless activity, which is what makes it easy and fun!  There is no right or wrong way to do it, just a sequence of events.  You're never exactly sure what you'll get, and that adds a little mystery to it.  The only real 'rule' would be that your paper or cardstock needs to be heavy enough to withstand being wet.  Experimenting with different (heavier) papers gives you endless possibilities.  Your stamp image also should be a solid or fairly solid image without a lot of detail.

This first part (of my very first ever 'blog'!) will explain the process and show you what this background looked like as it progressed.  I tried to remember to scan it after each step, but got a little carried away and skipped scanning the second step before I moved to the next one!  You will still be able to see what the missed step looked like though.

Part two, which I will post later this week, will feature the original background I made with this technique (three years ago!) as well as the two cards I actually made with it.  I will also have cards made with this one as well, so you'll have to come back if you want to see what I did with them!  I also plan to do another image with a different rainbow pad on heavy cardstock for another new background sheet.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A solid stamp image (my Pressed Gingko Leaf is from Rubber Stampede)
  • Kaleidacolor Rainbow inkpad (Tsukineko) I used Creole Spice for this sample
  • Perfect Medium inkpad (Ranger) or VersaMark inkpad (Tsukineko)
  • Cold Press Watercolor Paper (9"x12" Strathmore 300 Series pad)
  • Small Mister Bottle with water (not your everyday spray bottle!)
  • Perfect Pearls Mica Powders (Ranger)  Perfect Copper was used on this one
  • Detailed Clear Embossing Powder (Ranger) (Optional)
  • Soft Bristle paintbrush (that comes with the Perfect Pearls) or a cheap makeup brush
  • Blow dryer or heat tool
  • Iron (Optional)
  • Paper towel


1.  Cut a sheet of watercolor paper in half to 9"x6".

2.  Slide the rainbow inks together and, stamping on the left half of the rainbow ink colors (the lighter side), repeatedly stamp the image all over the sheet until it is completely covered. (Photo 1 with the leaf image I used)

Step 1, stamping image all over the sheet

Photo 1

3.  Now spritz the whole sheet with the mister bottle until the colors start to run together.  (This, by the way, is the step I forgot to scan!  ;o)  You will be able to see it in the next photo.)  You don't have to completely saturate the paper, just wet it enough to blend the images. 

4.  When you are happy with the 'blending', you can either let it dry for a few hours, or you can dry it with a blow dryer or a heat tool.  If you use a heat tool, be careful not to dry it for more than a couple minutes at a time or you could possibly burn out the heating element.  You also don't want to get too close to the paper with the heat tool or you may start to burn it.  Keep it moving to prevent this, and dry it from both sides with either tool.

5.  Once you've gotten the paper fairly dry, it will most likely be a little warped.  You can iron it on the back on the 'cotton' setting (if you have an iron!), or press it between some heavy books.  You'll want it as flat as possible for the next step.

6.  This time you'll ink up the stamp using the right side of the rainbow pad, which is usually where the darker colors are (depending on the Kaleidacolor pad you use).  The ones with dark ink colors in them work better for this because it's the contrast in the colors that you want.  Stamp the image randomly, turning it in different directions and without the images touching. (Photo 2)  You can also see the second step of the background after it was blended by spritzing.

Photo 2

7.  At this point, you can either spritz the images with water again to blend the colors a little (which I did on this one), or move on to the next step.   This is where you get to add the powders.  This has to be completely dry, so if you do wet it again, you will need to dry it again.

8.  You will now overstamp all of the individual images with the Perfect medium  (or VersaMark).  Don't worry about getting the images lined up.  You actually want them off centered.  I find it easier to do three or four at a time and then brush on the Perfect Pearls powder before moving on to the next few.  When you're done adding the Perfect Pearls to all of your images, take a paper towel and wipe over the whole sheet to remove any excess powder.

9.  As an added touch, once you're finished with wiping off the excess powders, you can toss on some detailed clear embossing powder and heat set the Perfect Pearls.  This would be a good thing to do if you use VersaMark instead of the Perfect Medium, because the VersaMark will not 'set' the powders which means they can rub off.  Embossing them will eliminate that problem.The finished background!

Here's the finished background again (so you won't have to scroll back to the top!)

Don't forget to come back later in the week to see the cards made with this background!

Happy stampin,

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3 Responses »

  1. This is beautiful! I love doing my own background papers. Show us more!

  2. thanks for reminding me of this wonderful technique! fall is the greatest time to use any leaves with the autumn colors. and embossing them makes them stand out so nice!
    tfs, sandyh

  3. Regena, great job on your first tut. Beautiful background. You covered all the details and later, I will try to attempt it. Will keep checking for the #2.