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Bodacious Backgrounds — Part III

Finished Card Size 5.5" x 4.25" 

Today we're going to work with inks and water and card stock to make some really easy backgrounds for bodacious cards.  This is another Tim Holtz speciality, with a twist at the end.  As usual, when you are making backgrounds, you don't want to make just one.  So let's get started.  Here is what you will need: 

All stamps by Northwoods Rubber Stamps Inc.
     M7534, Pumpkin and Black Cat
     BB7501, Happy Halloween Sentiment 
     M7519, Witch and Cauldron
     D7578, Brewing up.. sentiment
Distress Ink Pads in a variety of colors (Ranger)
     Soot Black
     Spun Sugar
     Milled Lavender
     Bundled Sage
     Stormy Sky
     Weathered Wood
     Wild Honey
     Peeled Paint
     Mustard Seed
Tuxedo Black Memento Ink Pad (Tsukineko)
Onyx Black Versafine Ink Pad (Tsukineko)
Plain white card stock (Staples)
Black Card Stock (Bazzill)
Orange Card Stock (Bazzill)
Non-stick craft sheet (Ranger)
Craft Iron (Clover)
Mini Spritzer filled with water (Ranger)
Paper cutter
Glitter (Art Institute)
Quickie Glue Pen ((Sakura)
Copic Alcohol Markers
Clear Embossing Powder (Judikins)
Heat Tool (Milwaukee)
Cosmetic Sponge
Double-sided Adhesive (Glue Glider Pro)


  1. For each background, you will need one quarter sheet of plain white card stock.  Wad the card stock up into a ball, getting it all crinkled.  Smooth it out partly, and using a distress ink pad, (I used Black Soot on this one) apply the ink lightly to the crinkled paper so that ink sits on top of the folds. 


  2. Place the card stock on your craft sheet and spritz liberally with water until the ink starts to run.
  3. With craft iron on high setting,  (no steam) iron the card directly on the craft sheet until it is dry.  It will look like this: 


  4. Try this with other colors as well.  You can also do more than one color.  Apply one color, iron dry or almost dry.  Re-crinkle and add a second color.  Spritz and iron dry again.  Repeat for as many colors as you like.  Be careful that you don't leave paper damp enough in between colors that it rips the paper when you iron.  (Ask me how I know this.)

  5. Another variation is to apply some inks direct to paper first, crinkle, and use black or a dark color to distress the crinkles.

  6. That worked so well, I wondered what would happen if I used other inks.  In the picture below, the three shown on the left were done with Adirondack dye inks, and the two on the right were done with Marvy Matchables.

  7. When you get tired of  making the backgrounds it's really simple to turn them into fabulous cards.  I did 16 backgrounds in about 20 minutes, then I made two cards.
  8. For the card shown above, I chose the black inked background.  I stamped the pumpkin and cat onto a white piece of card stock, colored the pumpkin with copics, added glitter to the eyes on the pumpkin and the cat; and distressed the edges of the image with sponged-on black ink.  Then I layered it onto black stock, trimmed the background to 5.0" x 3.75" and layered it to another piece of black stock.  Then I added the backed stamped image, stamped the sentiment in memento ink directly onto the background and layered the whole piece onto orange card stock scored and folded into  a 5.5" x 4.25" card blank. Easy card, but eye catching.
  9. For the second card (shown below) I stamped the witch and the brewing up sentiment with Versafine Onyx Black, and embossed with clear EP.  I cut both pieces out free hand, colored the image with copic markers, added glitter to the steam, and distressed the edges with sponged-on black ink.
  10. I adhered each piece to a scrap of black card stock, which I trimmed closely.
  11. I picked a background with colors I liked, cut the background down to 5.25" x 4.0" and adhered the image and the sentiment to the front.  Then I backed the whole thing with a slightly larger piece of black card stock and adhered that to a half sheet of white card stock scored and folded down the middle.  

This is one of the easiest background techniques I've every tried, and yet, I think they do deserve the title "Bodacious".    I hope you will get inky and try some of these techniques.  Always be sure to sign your work when you are finished.  Happy Halloween.



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3 Responses »

  1. A great and easy way to make fun backgrounds. They can be used for so many things. Thanks!

  2. easy and impressive when done

  3. Thank you so much for this! The timing is perfect - I have to produce a DTP card for a swap ... tomorrow. My brain was stumped and the ideas I've found so far on the web have left me going ho hum!