krafting with gesso...

Hello my wonderful creative friends!

I recently received a package in the mail... it contained some stamp sets from Unity that I won from a FB contest! It couldn't have come on a better day... I was really having a bad day, and it made my day a lot brighter!

Of course, I had to get some ink on them! What else do you do with new stamps????

Isn't this girl sweet? 

Yeah, I think so too. :)

While making this card, I decided to take pictures of how I make my embossed & gessoed kraft background with you... It is one of those fun techniques that I love doing... 

I start off by painting on a layer or two of gesso over kraft paper. 

Once dry, it goes into an embossing folder and through my Big Kick. The Tim Holtz embossing folders give really deep embossed images, so they sometimes tear the paper a little, but I don't mind for this technique... it just adds to the distressed look. :)

I then use a sanding block to remove the gesso from the embossed areas and the edges of the paper. I don't worry about it being perfect, just getting the basic shapes and a nice distressed look.

I stamp my image with Archival ink because it is permanent on the gesso, and allows me to watercolor over it without bleeding.

I prefer working with watercolors. Distress Markers are water based, so all you need to do is color, then use little water to blend. Super simple!

After coloring, I give it a zap with a heat gun to set the Distress ink... For some reason, Distress inks sometimes smear on gesso unless they are heat set. No idea why. 

Once the image is all colored, the edges can be finished off... for this card, I stamped a texture stamp randomly on the outer edges. I hand held the stamp so I could stamp random areas of the stamp with varying pressure. This gives it a softer look than you can get when the stamp is mounted on a block.

I then used an ink blender to add some darker inks around the edges.

I cut a mask from another piece of card stock, and laid it over the center of the embossed area, then I flicked water over the card front. The water interacts with the Distress ink leaving great watermarks behind, and the mask protects he stamped image.

To finish off the edges, I lightly ran a distressing tool over the edges to rough them up. 

Have fun with it... I love using kraft paper and gesso together to create! There is so much you can do with them!


Supplies Used:
Paper: Kraft
Ink: Archival Ink, Distress Ink
Stamps: Unity "Let Beauty Surround You", "Vintage Handwritten", & "Give Thanks"
Other: Tim Holtz "Fancy Frame" embossing folder, jute, pearl


Kimberly S said…
This is a fabulous technique Kassi, the card is so pretty! I had no idea what to do with my embossing folders that had the decorative frames, but this looks so fun that I will have to try it out! :) hugs, Kimberly
Kimberly S said…
ooops...forgot to say congrats on your win too!
Michelle said…
Wow! Fabulous! Thanks for the tutorial! Did you link this up to Friends with Flair?
Kris B said…
Awesome! I love this look! Thanks for the tutorial, hope I can try this technique soon! The image is colored beautifully!
Ruby said…
Very pretty card. TFS
So gorgeous! Love the colors - soft and sweet!
Linda said…
wow your card is stunning!
Kary said…
Lovely card, Kassi. Love the stamp and thanks for sharing how you created it.
Julie Odil said…
Kassi, this tutorial is fabulous. I have long admired your work over on the Creative Inspirations blog, so was excited to see you linked up with FWF. I'm a new follower. This stamp you won is one of my favorites.
Laura Turcotte said…
What a great technique---a definite must try! Love those stamps, and your card is wonderful!
Donna Mack said…
This is genius!! Thank you for the tutorial~PINNED! This card is GORGEOUS!!!! I love the soft, vintage, shabby-chic look!!!
Gaylynn said…
Beautiful artwork Kassi. Wonderful tutorial and very cool technique. Fit for framing!! :)
Miwa said…
What a neat technique and such a great effect - thanks for sharing your beautiful card!
Danie May said…
Wow I love the distressed effect of this gesso technique and your step by step for this beautiful card. TFS.
Lee Ann said…
Thank you for sharing this tutorial. I have always wanted to start some project using Gesso and this sounds like a great way to get started. Thank you for showing me how to do it.