Monday, February 22, 2016

Watercolour Effects on your Background with Mandy

Hi there!

It's Mandy with you today and I am so excited to be sharing my first tutorial here at Off the Rails Scrapbooking!

When it comes to using mixed media on your layouts, do you find it all a bit daunting and scary? I only dabble in mixed media, but I absolutely adore the beautiful watercolour backgrounds that talented scrappers such as Missy Whidden and Adele Toomey create. I wanted to show you how easy it is to create a watercolour effect on your background even for those who are new to mixed media!

I created this layout for the current 'Romance' mood board at Off the Rails...

I'm going to take you through my process for creating this layout.

What you'll need

Obviously you'll choose whatever papers and embellishments you like, but this is what I used to create my layout.

Step 1

Using a credit card or a similar type of card, start by covering your white cardstock with gesso. I used clear gesso, but you could also use white. Just swipe it over your cardstock until it is all covered (or at least the area where you want to apply the wet media). Then wait for it to dry, or use a heat gun if you want to dry it more quickly.

Step 2

Stamp your chosen colour of distress ink onto some plastic packaging a few times, then add a couple of sprays of water. I also sprayed some water onto my cardstock. Next, simply "smoosh"/smear the plastic packaging around on your cardstock. You might need to repeat this process a couple of times until you have covered the area that wish to cover. It's as easy as that, nothing difficult or technical involved!

Step 3

To add some further interest and contrast to the background I did some stamping with black ink. I stamped three plus signs to create a visual triangle on my page, but you could use any stamp you like, and you could add more stamping than this if you wish.

Step 4

Next, add a 10cm strip of patterned paper down the left hand side of your layout with another thin strip of patterned paper tucked under the edge (you could also use washi tape).

Step 5

Matt your photo, then adhere it to your layout overlapping it onto the strip of patterned paper. Next to the photo I've added a piece from one of the cut-apart sheets of patterned paper. Alternatively you could add a tag or a PL card. Underneath this I also added a strip of black lace washi tape.

Step 6

Next add your title to the page. I also added a subtitle underneath my photo as I liked that this balanced out the title at the top, as well as adding another gold element to the page. I mounted up the word 'together' with some foam tape to create some extra dimension.

Step 7

Next I added a pip berry stem over my photo to draw the viewers focus in. You could also make a circle out of twine or wire. I think that this is a nice way to frame the main subject of the photo. Because I had hot pink and white roses in my wedding bouquet, I also included a paper rose in each of these two colours on my page!

Step 8

Then it's time to add some more embellishments to your layout!

I finished my layout off by adding some glitter chipboard hearts and some gold Color Shine ink splatters.

Here's another look at my completed layout...

Here's a reminder of this month's 'Romance' mood board...

I hope that you get a chance to play along with one of our mood boards this month! Our sponsors for February are Candy Chelepy and Memory Maze.

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope that you found my tutorial useful and enjoyed looking at my layout!



  1. Fab tutorial. It's one of my favourite techniques! Love the page. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing such a useful technique, it does give such a lovely effect!