Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Using Background Stamps: Part 1

Bev F. sent me a very nice email asking for advice on using patterned background stamps. That prompted me to pull out my box of background stamps and get to work, so I'm answering Bev and making headway on my Use-Your-Stamps Challenge.

Here are the stamps in my Background box. Most are from Hero Arts, with one each from A Muse, StampinUp, and unknown (the medium-size script one at top right).

I also have a lot of background sets from Papertrey Ink, but those are border stamps that build backgrounds rather than complete background stamps. Bev specifically asked about background pattern stamps, so here goes.

One particular type of background stamp is the medium-size one that doesn't cover a whole card front but is still big enough to have a real presence on a card. These medium stamps are perfect for providing ground for whatever focal point images you want. Like this:

The background covers roughly two-thirds of the card, with an even white border around three sides. You can see the rule of thirds operating nicely here in the pleasing asymmetry of the design.

With such bold background color, it's important to pop up whatever focal point image you want, and leaving a bit of white border around the heart helps avoid the awkwardness of blue-directly-on-red, which often looks weird. Two really strong colors like that make an awkward design when they touch too much.

Don't know why, but I read it on the interwebs, so it must be true.

Anyway, imagine this stamp done in green, the card oriented portrait-style, and a tall spray of flowers stamped so they stick up into the white area. Presto! Green grass ground!

stamps: Hero Arts (discontinued screen background, Year Round Sentiments)
ink: Memento Danube blue, tuxedo black, SU real red
paper: Papertrey
accessories: Cutterbee scissors, dimensionals


  1. Simply SPLENDID, thanks for sharing.

    I had to turn off anonymous comments for the same reason - such a shame


  2. Just popping by to say that I recently discovered your blog and I think it is exceptionally fabulous!!! Your cards are stupendous and I have already learned a lot!!! Thank you for sharing!!!!!

  3. Nice card - and thanks for the lesson.

  4. My internet connection and/or adapter has been hit and miss for the last week or so (mostly miss), but just wanted to jump in to say how much I like this card. That's a great background stamp and can certainly be adapted to so many uses, as you suggested with the flowers as the forefront image. Thanks for the lesson in popping up that image. It makes lots of sense now that I see it. I'll be back to catch up once I get this problem fixed. I never knew how much I depended on my computer being in good working order until it wasn't. {sigh}

  5. Thank you so much for this post. I have a couple of unused background stamps that I have been stuck how to create a card. I will be keeping my eye for these tips.
    Love the bold use of colours and the white outline really does work.

  6. Just have to say - love these tid-bit lessons! Not touching... LOVE IT :) Makes sense once you say, and show it. TFS.

  7. Great post Susan, thank you for this lesson, I'm starting to think more about what I'm doing! Cathy x

  8. Thank you, Susan ... a simply splendid card and yet more fantastic guidance ... you're a star! Anita :)

  9. I totally love background stamps. Many things you can do with them.
    Oh, by the way; you medium-size script stamp at top right is by Inkadinkado ( I have the same stamp :} )

  10. Came here thru Pinterest! Love your tutorials and its really, really helpful. The way you describe them in details is what makes me want to go and explore your sweet blog:-) Can't thank you enough!

  11. Background-stamps are on my wishlist for a while, they are such a nice add on a card. Your examples are really helpfull in using them, thanks for the inspiration! *New follower over here!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!