This is easy, messy but the results can be very,
very, GLAMOROUS indeed!
I was first shown this technique by the original creator - Mary Jo McGraw during
a 3 day seminar at Judi-Kins. Even though the technique is simple,
it lends itself to variations, such as the types of colours used (inks or
paints), the number of colours used (from 1 or 2, to multi colours), the way in
which you swoosh the colours together (blobs, or swirls, or waves, or dots etc
etc), with or without glitter, even how much you crinkle the tissue and then pat
it down flat will affect the result. So my suggestion is try it out first, then
Acetate (aka overhead transparency film that is suitable for
laser/photocopiers ie heat resistant IF you want to emboss or heat set it,
otherwise other OHF is fine)
Ink pad and stamps
Colours - you can use either re-inkers for stamp pads, or other ink like
drawing ink or fabric dye ink, or acrylic paints, or folk art paints, or
Lumieres paints, or whatever! Inks will give a thinner more translucent effect,
paints will give a thicker more opaque look (tho' the paints can be thinned down
first with water)
Tissue paper - white is probably best, so take a sheet that is slightly
bigger than the piece of acetate you wish to cover, and crumple it up really
tightly so it is very rumpled, then smooth it out a bit again so it is still
wrinkled but back in shape as a sheet of paper
Glitter or confetti (optional)
- usually this technique calls for Judikins Diamond Glaze, but Crystal Glaze,
Plaid Dimensional Magic or similar glue/sealant would be suitable. You can also
use floor polish which is much cheaper - the one recommended in Australia is
Pascoe's Long Life Self Shining Polish (in USA it is called Future Floor Polish
or FFF) - warning: this is a runny milky liquid so don't just pour it out
of the bottle, put a little into a spritzer/mister bottle for easier less messy
application! DG is magic but it does start to 'set' quite quickly which means
you have to work fast; however the floor polish doesn't dry as quickly allowing
you to work with your colours much longer, and it dries clear and is much
cheaper so it has become my top recommendation!
You can decide to either cut out a small piece of the acetate, suitable to use
as a card front and slightly bigger than the image you want to use, OR use the
whole A4 sheet and cut it up later into the size you want (I do a whole A4 sheet
to save time, but for your first effort you might want to try a smaller piece
until you get the hang of it.)
Again you have 2 options - either to stamp the image now, or do the background
first then stamp the image when it has all dried. If you want to do the
background first and stamp later, skip this step. If you want to do the image
now - stamp your design on the front of the acetate with ink: either (1) a
permanent ink that will dry on glossy surfaces eg Brillance or Ancient Page
black (this will take a few hours to dry by itself but you can heat set it with
the heat tool, and it only takes a few seconds) or Stazon; OR (2) use a pigment
ink and then emboss with clear/or black EP to 'set' the ink (as it will never
dry on the glossy film by itself.)
Wait till it's dry, then place it face down (ink side down) onto a piece of
wax/baking or scrap paper, and tape it down to the paper (this is mainly to stop
it moving around). NB If you are using the floor polish, since this is so runny
it might be best to run tape all around the edges of the film, sealing it
temporarily to the paper so the liquid doesn't seep in underneath and ruin the
stamped side (masking tape is good.)
If you have stamped an image first, and wish to colour/highlight any particular
parts, this is the time to do it. I prefer to lightly sponge some colour,
allowing some see-through for the later background stuff to show through. This
step is optional, as you will get wonderful serendipitous results using random
If using floor polish put it in a spray bottle & spray generously over the whole
sheet/piece; or decant into a small container and spoon it out or dab it on with
a sponge. Or if using Dimensional/Diamond Glaze etc, dob a few 1 cents blobs
around. You may need to experiment with the amount used, I tend to be very
generous with it!
Choose some colours (inks or paints) that look good together - eg purple, pink,
aqua, gold - you can use any number of colours, or only 2 if you want, like red
and black, or gold and green, for a dramatic look.
Add some blobs of colour either right on or very close to the blobs of
glue-y/glaze stuff, as the 2 mediums have to be mixed together slightly.
Kind of spread it around with either your fingers or a cheap foam brush (I find
You need to schmoosh the colours and glue/glaze together but not too much as you
don't want the colours to get too muddy - just go easy, and add more colour/ink
and glue/glaze if necessary. If you are using your fingers you can create
different effects with the motion you use - blobs, swirls, waves, streaks, etc.
The idea is to fill in the sheet with colour, but leaving little gaps so the
glitter and tissue will show through. Spread the colour right to the edge of the
sheet so you get the maximum use out of your acetate.
Sprinkle some glitter over it, wherever you like (it looks great sprinkled in
the gaps between the colours.)
Lay the crumpled sheet of tissue paper over the top of everything and pat it
down so that the gluey/painty mixture is soaked up into the tissue, but make
sure the tissue maintains the crumbled look, this is part of the effect.
Try and pat down air bubbles, but if you find you have bubbles or bits of the
tissue paper are still dry-looking, add a bit more glue/glaze and pat it into
the tissue. In fact another light coat of the glue/glaze is not a bad thing to
do to make sure everything is going to stay 'stuck'. Another option with the
tissue paper is to leave it very crumpled and don't pat it down completely flat,
this will give a more textured effect.
Now leave it to dry before cutting or stamping onto - this is very very
difficult to do, the hardest part of the whole process - WAIT! I hate waiting ..
When you turn it over (removing the tape that is sealing it to the scrap paper)
you will be amazed at how gorgeous it looks now! Trim the excess tissue paper
from the edges. If you find the edges have stuck to the scrap paper on the shiny
front side, try removing these marks with some gentle eucalyptus or tea tree
oil, or even a baby wipe.
Have all your materials at the ready, as you need to move quickly once the
glue/glaze has gone down - DG tends to start solidifying quickly, but you have
more time to linger if you use the floor polish.
As I mentioned above, some people cut the piece of acetate at the beginning of
the process into approximately the size they want for a card. I prefer to use
the whole A4 size sheet of acetate and do it all at once. If you want to do a
particular design, or multiples of them, on the A4 acetate sheet, then draw a
grid on the scrap paper first so you know where to lay your stamped images, and
when you turn it over, put the acetate back over the grid so you know where you
want any particular colour to go.
If you are stamping first, and want to overlap or 'mask' images so they overlap
correctly, you should heat set the first image before masking as the ink will
not be dry and will smudge. Then you can use a post-it note with the sticky bit
to mask over the first image with your second image, and so on and so forth.
When you are smooshing the colours together you will collect a lot of excess
paint or ink on your fingers - instead of wiping it off your fingers, keep some
bits of scrap card beside you and daub/wipe/dab/splash or brayer the excess
paint from your fingers onto the card - another instant background done!
If you want to, you can add another piece of acetate to the back of the first
one - I did this to make some translucent bookmarks. The trick here is to wait
til the first layer is completely dry (one day or overnight).
Then you can dob on some more Diamond Glaze and maybe a bit more colour
and glitter to cover the first layer of tissue paper, then put down another
sheet of acetate and smooth down, trying to get rid of all bubbles so that the 2
sheets will 'seal' together properly. Then you could add more stamped images if
you like, or
leave plain so that you can see the colours and glitter on the 'backside'.
NOTE: the ONLY glue that will seal and dry between the 2 sheets of acetate is
Diamond Glaze - I have experimented with the floor polish and other glue, and it
never ever ever EVER dried! And another note - I used both coarse and very very
fine glitter between the layers, and the coarse glitter seemed to deter the 2
sheets from sealing completely as it was a bit lumpy I guess. When I used the
very fine glitter it seemed to seal better, or maybe I was just more generous
with the Diamond Glaze!!!