The A – Z of Artful Journaling: O is for Outline Stickers

When creating backgrounds for your journaling, there are lots of things you can do to add interest to your page before you lay down paint. One of these things is to mask areas using outline stickers. These stickers are mostly used as embellishments in their own right, but I prefer to use them to create interesting shapes on my pages. A sheet usually costs about £1 in craft shops, but I get mine from my local haberdashery, where they sell partly-used shetts for 10p each. Can’t say no to that!

You’ll need:

  • your journal
  • two pots of clean water
  • watercolour paints
  • a brush
  • outline stickers
  • a pair of tweezers and
  • a hairdryer or heat tool


First, use your tweezers to remove the stickers from their sheets. Dot them about the page on the areas you want to mask. Press them down so they’re firmly stuck to the paper – you don’t want paint sneaking under the edges!



Second, use a clean brush to spread clean water all over the paper. (For more details about creating simple watercolour backgrounds, see Background Basics.)



Third, splodge your watery watercolour around the page. Have fun! Let the colours play together.



With this technique, it’s probably best to dry the paint with a hairdryer or heat tool because the page needs to be bone dry before you remove the stickers, or it might rip. You can also dab the stickers with paper towel to pick up unwanted beads of paint.


Once dry, carefully remove the stickers using your tweezers. This will reveal the white of the page below. Top tip: one of the advantages of using heat to dry the page is that it softens the adhesive on the back of the stickers and makes them easier to peel off.


And here’s the finished product! (Click on the image for a closer look.) I left a few of the stickers on the page to act as sparkly highlights. Before I journal on this background, I might draw some outlines around the white shapes, or I might even doodle over and around them and turn them into flowers with stems and petals. I quite like the look of them as they are, though, so I’ll probably leave them.

How about you? Have you used stickers to mask your backgrounds before? What other things make good masks?

Thanks for stopping by! See you soon.

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