The A – Z of Artful Journaling: I is for Ink Pads

It’s February Half-Term, which means my children are off school and at home with me for the week. They’re 16 and 12 now, so we don’t go on the same kind of adventures we used to when they were younger – they’d much rather spend the days doing their own thing than visiting farms and museums with their old mum, but we’ll still go out together for a few trips I’m sure. To record our frolics – all the more important now that they are older and will be leaving home and school in a few years – I’ve set up a double-page spread in my journal. The main media I used was Distress Inks, but you can use any water-soluble inks for this. Click on the images for a closer look.

To create this spread, you will need:

  • your journal
  • three ink pads (in colours near each other on the colour wheel)
  • a craft mat
  • a spray water bottle
  • a hairdryer or heat tool
  • a paper towel
  • a stencil
  • babywipes
  • ink applicators
  • alphabet stamps
  • a date stamps
  • a snowdrop stamp
  • acrylic block
  • metallic blue brush pen

 

 

 

 

To begin, stamp your inks directly onto your craft mat. Spread them about and overlap them as desired. Next, spray the ink with a little water, so it forms small coloured droplets.

 

 

 

 

Smoosh your journal down onto the droplets of watery ink, and then dry this first layer. To add more colour and some depth, smoosh more ink on top. You can apply the journal to the mat, or the mat to the journal as above.

If any areas of colour are too flat, you can spray them with water, leave them a moment and then mop up the water with a paper towel. This will give the flat areas a speckled look.

 

 

 

 

 

To add more texture you can wipe a babywipe over a stencil. This will lift the colour from the exposed areas of the page – don’t be too rough though as it could damage the paper. You can also apply ink through a stencil using a foam applicator. If you use the same colour ink for this as you did for the background, the colours will harmonise nicely. If you want the stenciling to stand out, choose a colour from the opposite side of the colour wheel, but make sure you apply it carefully so as not to make mud. I used Peacock Feathers Distress Ink with my stencil, which reminded me of my peacock feather washi tape, so I added it down the outside edges of both pages.

 

 

 

 

I bought some new stamps yesterday, one of which was a snowdrop, which is a February flower, so this spread seemed the perfect opportunity to test it out. You can obviously stamp whatever image you wish. I used Faded Jeans Distress Ink for this image. Again, this was one of the colours I’d used for the background. This made the image recede rather than stand out, which is what I wanted as our half-term souvenirs and photos are to be the focal points of this spread. Finally, add the date and title using the alphabet stamps and the date stamp. This time, I didn’t used Distress Inks; I used a metallic brush pen to colour the stamps before stamping because I wanted this to stand out a bit from the background and have a little shimmer.

Now it’s finished and waiting for me to record our half-term frolics. How do you record your family adventures?

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