One of the easiest and quickest ways to build a soft watercolour look is to use ink refills for beautiful backgrounds. Can you tell watercolour is my all-time favourite technique to use .in paper crafting?  It’s simple, fast, inexpensive, versatile and once you start playing, you’ll have all kinds of backgrounds ready to go for card fronts. You’ll find when you create spectacular watercolour washes, all you need are some simple embellishments and, Voila!, you’ve got a lovely card like this one.

use ink refills for beautiful backgrounds

I don’t usually like to play favourites, but this is probably one of my absolute CHOICE cards so far this summer. These thinlits are simply gorgeous. Since you know I LOVE brush lettering, these were in my very first order from the new catalogue. The lettering is casual but elegant, and the fit with the Layering Circles is fabulous! For this one, I cut out the hugs first then made a second pass through the Big Shot and cut the larger circle around it.  The second largest circle in the Layering Circles makes a perfect frame.

The words themselves really are sufficient focal point, but I fancied it up with a strip of designer series paper and ribbon. The lace is so delicate, it gives a hint of texture, and you can still see through to the background. The glint of gold in the natural ribbon is subtle enough to draw the eye, but not be overpowering.

But back to the wash itself, that’s Powder Pink you see, mixed with Sahara Sand over a plain water wash and allowed to dry naturally. You may even remember this very similar background wash on another card a few months ago.

use ink refills for beautiful backgrounds

So how can you achieve the same results? Here are my tried-and-true tips to use ink refills for beautiful backgrounds.

IMPORTANT: Your paper needs to be watercolour, with a good weight – Stampin’ Up!’s is 100 lb. and it can withstand a good amount of water and still dry beautifully

  • Drop a couple drops of your chosen colour of refill into the lid of your stamp pad, or into a clean paint palette
  • Use clean water in your Aquapainter and lay a healthy amount onto your watercolour paper
  • Pick up your lightest colour with the Aquapainter and touch onto the surface of your pool of water in several spots, refilling with ink each time
  • Squeeze your Aqaupainter to clean it then pick up your next colour and drop it into your water wash
  • Your colours should already be mixing together. If not, tilt your paper and allow colours to blend.  What fun to watch this happening!
  • Lay paper flat to dry.  Your paper may curl a little; if it does, WHEN DRY, place between two heavy books for a couple hours
  • Cut, stamp and embellish

When you consider that you only use a couple drops of the ink refill per watercolour page, just think how many cards are in that one little bottle! Its one of the best deals in the Stampin’ Up! catalogue!  And I’ve got other techniques to share using ink refills coming in the next couple weeks too!  Stay tuned!

I’ll bet you have most of the supplies to start making these backgrounds yourself. But you might not. Here’s everything I used and you can just click on the image to add these items to your own supplies.

use ink refills for beautiful backgrounds

Once you start playing with this technique, don’t be surprised if you get hooked! You can’t stop at just one! You’ll start to get a feel for which colours flow and blend the best together. And you’ll come up with some exciting colour combinations yourself. When you do, make sure to write them down so you’ll be able to use your ink refills for beautiful backgrounds again and again.