Thursday, October 15, 2015

BS Sessions - Tutorials on Distress Spray Stain Backgrounds and Coloring with Black

Welcome, Friendly Friends to the very 
second installment of the BS Sessions!

What are the BS Sessions? Well Samantha knows how to work a marker like nobody's business and Becca loves to get messy with mixed media. We both wanted to learn the other person's crafty secrets so we're going to ask one another a question on the last Thursday of the month. Becca will provide you with some amazing Mixed Media techniques and Samantha will show you some tips and tricks about coloring! We'll both provide our followers with a little tutorial, because if we have these questions - our followers might too!

Which brings me to this month's question, asked by Sammy:

What are some good ways to make backgrounds for cards with Spray Stains?

Being the Damsel of Distressed... Yeah... I own a ton of Distress Spray Stains (I don't have them in every color.... yet!) Samantha, on the other hand, just bought a bunch of Dylusions Spray Stains. 

It's important to note that some spray stains are different. Distress Sprays are reactive to water so you can do some funky cool techniques with them that you wouldn't normally be able to do with others. Likewise, both Distress and Dylusions have really pigmented colors - meaning you'll get a much more vibrant result with them than some other brands. For example, I've tried a couple Heidi Swapp spray stains and I use them when I want more of a pastelly tone or not as vibrant of a color. 

Some of the techniques (water reactivity) will only be able to be done with Distress Spray Stains, but some can be done with all types. 

Background one - Double Dip Dyeing with Distress Stain

Start out with your blank piece of paper. Since I know I want to use a heavy spray of water with this one, I'm using watercolor paper. You can also use heavy weight cardstock, but I wouldn't try this with lightweight cardstock because the paper will pill. 

Spray your paper all over with stain - I used Spun Sugar and Dusty Concord because they blend nicely. 

Then spritz with water - you'll see your colors start to run together and lighten. There will also be "holes" in the color in places where the most water was applied. This is unique to Distress products - water reactivity.

At this point, take time to COMPLETELY dry your background with a heat gun. Then move on to the next step - There will be extra stain on your craft mat that has formed little bubbles. Press your paper color side down into these bits, give it a little bit of a wiggle back and forth and then lift. 

So for this background, the water reactivity parts are unique to Distress Spray Stains, but a similar result can be obtained with Dylunsions, Sammy! 

Background 2 - The Galaxy with Splatters

Can you all tell that I am totally making up these names? :)

For this background, we're not going to use any water. Spray stains will be more concentrated the closer the nozzle is to the paper.

So I sprayed some bits close to the paper, and then pulled back and did some sprays further away, varying the effect a little bit, getting variations in the concentration of colors.

Lastly, I unscrewed the caps of some of my metallic colors - Picket Fence which is a nice white and Brushed Silver. This part gets a little messy, so make sure there's nothing in the general vicinity (and that you're not wearing a white shirt - woops!) 

The end of the straw will have ink on it. If you position this over your paper, then tap the nozzle with your finger, it will start spraying off all over the place and you can get some really lovely splatters. 

Background 3 - The Full Mixed Media Madness

Distress Sprays work SO well with various types of media. You can blob on bits and bobs, put a layer of gesso down and then spray to get a beautiful effect. 

For this next background, however, I chose to go with some texture paste and washi tape. 

Firstly, I sprayed a nice, even spray of Scattered Straw

Then I made certain that was fully dry and added a layer of washi tape and texture paste through a stencil (for a texture paste tutorial, see last month's BS Sessions). 

Next, I spritzed with darker shades of the same tones - Spiced Marmalade and Mustard Seed. This helps to vary the colors and add depth to give a nice visual appeal. 

Lastly, I used the same splatter technique from above to add black splatters all over the place. 

(This time I also to a process photo so you could see what the straw looks like without the bottle)


So there are 3 different backgrounds for you! :) 

A couple other notes about Spray Stains:

> They are messy! I've seen people use a cardboard box to set their card bases in before spraying because it really does get everywhere. 
> Keep your paper towels on hand - You can dab up excess spray if it starts to get away from you or if you accidentally spill a whole bottle of black Distress Spray Stains all over the place after you uncapped it to take a process photo for your blog readers. 
>Keep baby wipes on hand - If you're switching from color to color, you can wipe your hands off in between.
>Your hands will get stained! So wear gloves or something if you have an important business meeting the next day. 
>Think about how colors will blend. You don't want to spray green and red in the same vicinity, for instance, because they will make brown (unless you want brown - then spray away!)
>Have fun. These things SO are not meant to be for a perfectionist. 

Now - if you're interested in improving your color skills, make sure you head on over to Sammy's blog 

because she's answered my question:

How do you color with black? I wanna know how to do hair and clothes!


  1. You are the Damsel of Distress that is for sure...gorgeous background work here Becca.

  2. Love your backgrounds and how to use these spray stains. I have just a few but have not truly tried them and now i am feeling the itch to try:)

  3. Thanks for all the info about spray stains! I really learned a lot, and I love all of your backgrounds!

  4. Wow! Thanks so much for this "ask a crafter" publication :D I don't knew all these things! Great explications and tips! Your backgrounds are fabulous!

  5. All three of your backgrounds look amazing!! You make me want to go play with my sprays!! Sadly, it's been so long with some of them, they're probably all dried up :( Awesome tutorials as always my friend!! Have a great day :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  6. Brilliant! Even though I sorta do these things, it is really good to be reminded. Cos you, I ain't gonna rhyme, BABY, cos I ain't got time....the grandboy is due..... & we've got a few....things to do......eeeeek! SOZZZY...... I promise, no more, LOL!!!

  7. Fabulous backgrounds and tutorials! The best way I've found to clean stains from hands is to shampoo your hair.

  8. Great tutorial, those BG turned out to be awesome :)

  9. This is sucha a terrific feature on your blog. And yes, you so answer so many crafty questions.

  10. Love. I know i always say it, but i should dig out my sprays, etc. And get artsy. Your backgrounds and information are fantastic. Thanks for sharing. :)

  11. Wow I need to use my inks more !

  12. Great tutuorial, Becca. I have some inks that I don't know what to do with. Now i have an idea :-)
    Lena’s Creations

  13. Thanks for all the info Becca - especially about cleaning up after knocking over a bottle of stain ;-).. Love the "Full Mixed Media Madness" background :-)... now to go and buy more sprays....

  14. What a terrific tutorial, Becca, & gorgeous backgrounds!