Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seriously Subtle

Hi All!

I am back again to share with you another fun little tutorial- this time how to create a beautiful background on your layout. I have been asked a lot recently about how I create a homemade background and I swear it is easy. Serious!

I originally was going to share with you how to create a background using wet mediums-primarily acrylic paint, but I since have found something even easier. I have decided to use pastels in this tutorial to achieve a more subtle background. Obviously, using paint you will get a more dramatic effect. But the particular picture I wanted to scrap today steered my towards pastels. Okay, so here we go!

Supplies you will need;

  • Cardstock or a subtle/light colored patterned paper
  • Pastels
  • Makeup sponge
  • Gesso
  • Homemade Mist
Okay, First you need to find you inspiration. I chose a photo that I just love of Karina and used that as my starting point. My picture is not black and white but sepia, which goes well with pinks and peach colors, so I pulled some patterned papers and paper flowers from my stash to help guide me.

Next I choose the pastels that I am going to use. This palette of pastels looks bright to the eye, but on paper it becomes much more subtle. 
I take my makeup sponge and just start filling it up with pastel. I then begin to work on the paper. I have chosen to use the three far right colors and the orange color below my thumb.

I begin with the first color, blending it into the paper alternating back and forth motion and swirling motion, stopping briefly only to check the color accuracy. I do this because I want to make sure that the colors on the paper are going to look great with my paper flowers.

 I begin to just go about blending, spreading out the different colors haphazardly about the page. Some of the color patches are bigger than others and I just continue this process.

Then you will want to softly blend the color patches together. I blend this time in a swirling motion to get the colors to blend for me. Sometimes you will want to add a bit more pastel as you work them together.

Now finally you are done blending. Look how beautiful it looks! Just a touch of pretty and nothing too over powering! LOVE! I also just adore how my patterned paper shows through ever-so-slightly. By the way, you can find this beautiful paper at the STTG shop.

Next, I chose to spread some Gesso across my page. I spread it by pouring it on in SMALL puddles and working it out across my page using my fingers. I have found that fingers work best when I blend most any  paint-like medium.

Almost done! Finally to finish my background I spritz some homemade mists across the page just for an added effect.

Then, my favorite part- embellishing! And then you are done! You can find the gorgeous Dusty Attic chipboard frame, blooms, and leaves here.

"Little Beauty"

And lastly, speaking of backgrounds I tried something totally awesome last night- using bare cardboard as my background. I spread LOTS of Gel Medium through the slits with an old store credit card and then when over top with Gesso. When it was dry I sprayed on homemade mists and some Glimmer Mists to get the awesome colors. Be sure that the mediums in the background are completely dry first before misting! The gel medium tends to soak up the mists and the colors aren't as vibrant. My impatient self learned this the hard way! ;)


Thanks for stopping by!




  1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Adrienne! I love these layouts of yours. Great tutorial for Little Beauty - I admired it over at DA and it is pure beauty!! Love your Spring-page too - amazing colors!

  2. Gorgeous layouts Adrienne. I especially love what you have done with the gesso and mists in the 2nd one The colours are stunning x

  3. Love all of your work, Adrienne! I've enjoyed looking at your lovely blog! I'm your newest follower! Fantastic work!