Recently I bought myself a new little crafty tool that I’ve had on my list for a while. It’s nothing fancy, expensive or new to the crafting world. It’s a simple rubber brayer, an art supply that’s been around for years, but is very new to my craft stash. You can use them with paint, inks etc to create all sorts of backgrounds, and if you want to, can get very abstract, very quickly!
Now, as you may have come to learn by now, my Type A personality is one that likes a lot of order and control, and that includes my card design. But, in the spirit of trying something new, I was curious about trying a brayer to push myself out of my creative comfort zone. I was also very heavily inspired by the incredible Julie Ebersole, and cards she’s created like this one.
The Pressing Thoughts stamp set and coordinating dies were part of the June Essentials by Ellen release, and after a bit of design planning in my head, I decided this was a great stamp set to try in two ways. For my first card, I went with some good old stripes in the background – something my order-loving self gravitates toward often. For the second, I tested out my new brayer along with a selection of inks for a more artsy look.
I began the brayered card by masking off a frame around the edge of a plain white card panel, then securing the panel to my Make Art Stay-tion so that it wouldn’t slip around while I applied color. My ink selections were Sparkling Berry from Catherine Pooler, Parsley and Sprout from Concord & 9th, and Candy Violet from Pinkfresh Studio.
Starting with one quarter of the panel, I rolled half of my 2″ brayer across an ink pad, then gently rolled the brayer onto the panel, away from myself with a light hand. I continued doing this a few times until the area was mostly covered, then continued to fill the rest of the white space with my remaining colors, rotating the panel each time so that I’d always be rolling the brayer in the same outward direction.
Once my background was ready, it was time for some stamping! I used the small flowers in the Pressing Thoughts stamp set to create some clusters in coordinating colors, then cut them out with the coordinating dies. For my rectangular pieces, I reached for the Essentials by Ellen Essential Rectangles die set (the name is accurate – they really are essential!) To create some dimension, I centered them on my brayered background with foam tape, then added my floral clusters on top. For the sentiment, I used the ‘hello’ from the Mondo Hello die set and cut it 3 times from silver cardstock. I stacked them up, popped them on the card, and that was that!
Moving on to the second card, I created a basic striped panel using cardstock scraps that very closely coordinated with the ink colors in the brayered background. I stamped the large flower from the Pressing Thoughts stamp set in Concord & 9th Evergreen and Catherine Pooler Sparkling Berry ink, and cut it out with the coordinating die.
Back to those Essential Rectangles, I was able to use the remaining cardstock from my first card to make the thick outer frame shown here. I embossed a ‘Thanks for Everything’ from the Pressing Thoughts stamp set in silver, die cut a rectangle around it, and just as before, mounted the frame and the central rectangle over my striped panel. To finish off the card, I adhered the flower and a few sparkling clear sequins.
I’d love to hear – what look do you prefer? Are you more into the artsy look of the brayered background, or the more orderly look of the stripes? If you’re interested in doing a bit of shopping, I’ve linked up the products used below. As always, thank you so much for stopping by!