Stamping Technique: Bokeh



I have been feeling very brave this year, to the point where I have been actively searching out new techniques. I’ve found some wonderful tutorials on YouTube (I will link to this one in particular), but sometimes the host(ess) can ramble on when I really just want the steps laid out. Next! Next! Okay, moving on! (Thank you, ADHD.)

Watching the video I was not convinced that my result would even be passable (I’m pretty hard on myself), but I was very much surprised with the results. I made more. Then a couple weeks later, I did the technique again. Here’s what you need to know:

You will need cardstock. A template (thin sturdy cardboard, plastic, whatever floats your boat. You won’t want it to bend or fold when you’re spreading the ink!). You’ll need at least two ink colors, plus WHITE (I used Stampin’ Up!’s Whisper White). You need a way to spread ink: sponge, daubers, felt, foam- whatever works best for you. My first time out the gate I used felt, second go found me with the little finger-dauber-sponges.

1. Cover your cardstock (mine’s cut to  1/4 x 4) with your multi-inks. You can go stripes, tic-tac-toe, criss-cross, but whatever you choose you’ll want to lay it on well. No white showing through. Or very, very little.

2. Wait. You have to let the ink dry. It’s better to wait a day than it is to use your embossing gun to speed the process. Just trust me. Or not, and then I get to say “I told you so!”

Too much fun!

Too much fun!

3. Is it dry? Okay. I made my circle template using a spare plastic sheet (the kind that clear/cling stamps are usually affixed to) and stamping out my two smallest punches – 1″ and 3/4″. The video creator used Sizzix thinlits, but they would not cut through the plastic all the way no matter how many sheets of paper i bribed my Bigshot with. These should be relatively small circles. Put your template over the dried cardstock, get out your ink applicator and white ink. Gently apply the ink in the circles. Do as many or as few as you like. Overlap ‘em, bleed off the edges – this is a beautifully imperfect and imprecise technique. After you’ve done one size, move to the second.

4. Bonus if you use the little finger daubers – put the template aside and just plant little finger dots on the paper.

5. Let it dry. Again. (You have to be really patient for this technique, I know).

Contrasting colors work well, too

Add some rhinestones for extra bling!

6. Use as you see fit!


Have you tried this? Do you have any tricks or tips to add? Let us know!

Lessons Learned

Oops, melty sequins!

Just a quick post, I’ve been very bad about updating! Thought I should share what I’ve learned from my recent experimentations. 1. While you can kinda use an embossing/heat gun to dry clear school glue, you *will* MELT your sequins … Continue reading 

Gesso Resist

It is no secret that I am in love with my distress inks and the resist techniques that go hand in hand with them. Recently, i tried my hand at gesso resist – and think it turned out pretty well. It could well be a new favorite. Well, after faux watercolor, perhaps. Because we ALL know that I am in love with faux watercolor. It’s true. It’s true. Anyhow, let’s talk about THIS technique, yes?

Gesso Resist (on shimmer paper [I wish the photos did the shimmer bit justice.])


Pretty, isn’t it??

Let me show you how it is done, eh?

Supplies needed:
paper (i used shimmer paper in this batch)
distress inks
ink blender tool
flat spreader – an old credit card or the stiff packaging from … anything


On a clean sheet of (shimmer) paper, spread a thin line of gesso across the width. Not too much, not too little – the goal is to have an uneven coverage across the paper for the ink to grab onto – or not, as is the case of resisting.


Spread it back and forth using your stiff flat … thing.

IMG_0361 Add more gesso as needed or desired for the sort of grungy resisty look you may be going for. It is best to start with a little and build up from there as it is next to impossible to remove it should you decide you want less. Remember that you want the paper to get some of the ink, too – and not simply have a flat nondescript layer of gesso.

IMG_0344I know it is difficult to see as it is white on white, but this is the result I ended up with after my spreading of the gesso.

Next, pull out your favorite combinations of distress inks. Apply the ink randomly across the surface in varying patterns and mixtures of color. The shimmer of the paper underneath really adds an extra POP to this project. I promise.


IMG_0351I like to do several at once, since it can be messy and i like to limit the amount of mess-time. Plus, the gesso dries pretty quickly so it doesn’t have a lot of wait time before moving on to the next step.

Which is stamping! Pick your favorites, and stamp to your heart’s content.


IMG_0353This technique also woks nicely on black paper and gives a particularly grungy sort of effect:




Enjoy playing with your newly-learned technique!



BONUS QUESTION: Do you pronounce ‘gesso’ with a ‘g’ sound or a ‘j’ sound?