Scrapbooking, Art Journal Style

Artful Adventures scrapbook layout using art journaling techniques.

If you are at all like many people I know, you have more things you like to do than you have time to do them! Any of you who have visited my Artful Adventures site before, know that I enjoy a variety of crafty fun. So what do you do when you get tired of picking and choosing what you’ll spend time doing? Give up because you just can’t decide? Of course not! I decided to combine some art journaling and stamping techniques into some scrapbook layouts. Since I know that many of you have basic stamping supplies, I decided to use just a few things, in hopes that you will give this a try!

I already have an art journal that is well suited to mixed media. However, if you don’t get your paper too wet, you will do fine with heavy card stock. You could also use mixed media or water color paper, and then just put them in page protectors when you are finished.

Since I wasn’t sure what colors or how bright my backgrounds might turn out, I opted to print my photos in black and white. I used “presentation paper” to print them. Presentation paper is a great option for getting great printouts without the expense of photo paper. Plus, it is more friendly for many projects you may want to use a printed piece for; easier to score and bend.

To start the background, I selected several colors and started with the lightest. I rubbed a small sponge on my ink pad and just began to randomly rub and swirl color in different areas of the page.

art journaling style scrapbooking background
Begin with the lightest color.

I then blended each of the other colors on the pages. Using a separate sponge for each color, or at least each color family. This was a blue color, which blended with the first color creating several green colored areas.

Second back ground ink applied to background
Added second color which was a little darker.

The third color was another blue, a bit deeper.

Another blue, and then a sunset hue.
Another blue, and then a sunset hue. Notice the blending of the inks.
Two facing inked pages for the scrapbook backgrounds
Here are the two facing pages.

I left it fairly light and airy. I find that if my pages get too much color on them, I end up adding something in white paint to lighten it up. This time, I decided to make sure I left more white area to start with. Besides, we are going to be putting photos on, which cover a good amount of the space.

Next, I began to stamp some interesting patterns on the pages, using two of the background color inks. They would become part of the background. When you are stamping backgrounds, you don’t need to make perfectly inked impressions. In fact, I like many of my images to be rather sparsely inked.

Imperfect inking on stamps can be fine for your backgrounds
You don’t have to always worry about perfectly inked stamps on your background.
Imperfect stamping
Imperfect stamping
chicken wire stamp used on background
This chickenwire look was fun to use.

Once I was happy with some texture on the background, I decided to use a stamp for a title for the layout. This time I wanted the stamp to leave a clear image. Often, when art journaling, it can be difficult to create a clear stamped image because of all the layers you have added; especially if your layers are more dimensional than ink. To take care of this, you can stamp an image on tissue paper and you’ll get a great image. Then you can adhere it to your page with matte medium, or even a thinned down glue that will dry clear. NOTE OF CAUTION: when you begin to use anything with water, you are going to activate any water based products. If you are using  dye based inks they will run, unless you prep them first. You can use a spray fixative or even hair spray to set your inks. I am not saying that hair spray is something you’ll want to use in your scrapbooking to keep it looking good over hundreds of years. However, if you want to create some fun pages like this, and you’d just like them to last through your life — go for it!

Get a clear image by stamping on tissue paper.
Get a clear image by stamping on tissue paper.
Once you adhere the tissue, it will blend into the background.
Once you adhere the tissue, it will blend into the background.

You’ll be able to arrange your photo, title, and anything else at this point. Simply use your regular adhesive on the back of the photo. I decided to use a heart stamp on the page. Then I did journaling.

Adhere your photo into place and add journaling
Adhere your photo into place and add journaling.

I adhered the other photo to the right side of the layout. Then I added a bit of stamping on top of the photo.

Background stamping can extend over your photos.
Background stamping can extend over your photos.

Rubb-ons are a great element to add to art journal-style layouts! If you have some rubb-ons that you can’t figure out what to do with, here is your chance!

Rubb-ons can create additional layers of interest.
Rubb-ons can create additional layers of interest.

I think we are ready for the reveal! You’ll notice another phrase stamped on tissue added on the right hand page, along with little clusters of hearts stamped in the darkest blue, stamped right on the page. A little row of the clustered hearts was also stamped on tissue and adhered with matte medium to the bottom of the left page.
Artful Adventures scrapbook layout using art journaling techniques.

I hope you’ll give this technique a try. If you’d like to learn more about art journaling, I am offering Scrapping Wonders readers a special 30% discount code for my Art Journaling Basics online class, good through February 28th, 2015. Use code: SW215

Cheers to YOUR Artful Adventures!


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  1. Gina Karas

    Loved your pages and all of the techniques that you used! Thanks for the inspiration about the rub-ons. I have tons in my stash that I need to use.

    1. Beth

      Thank you Gina, Kristie did a fabulous job on her art journal page.

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