papertrey ink throwback thursday: favor it box 9 dies
traveler's journal: booklets

papertrey ink design team tips: drips, splatters & splats


Adding splatters, drips, and splats of color to your paper crafting projects is very on trend right now. It can add some great texture and depth to your projects. It seems simple enough to do, but sometimes that unpredictability of splattering ink or paint can deter you from tackling this fun look. I have a few techniques and tips to share to help you have confidence to play and use this fun trend on your next project.


First, let's talk about doing a basic splatter with some ink and a paint brush. I am using a water brush here, but you can just use a brush that you have dipped in water. Put your ink (or paint) onto a surface so you can pick it up with your brush. I pressed my Fresh Snow ink pad onto an acrylic block here. Pick up the ink with your wet brush.


Then take your brush and tap it onto your finger over some cardstock. You could just flick the brush, but I really find that tapping it on my finger really helps with being able to get a more even splatter across the cardstock and I feel like I have more control over what I am doing.


I did a bunch of splattering with the Fresh Snow ink and then switched to Cocoa Bean ink. Don't be afraid to play around with using multiple colors.

When you are finished with all of the splattering, let your cardstock dry completely. You can use a heat tool to speed up the process if you want. You won't want to chance smearing your pretty splatters (I know, that really sounds funny! Don't smear your splatters!)


Here's a look at the card I put together with my splattered cardstock. I used my new Courage & Kindness set and coordinating dies on all of the projects that I am sharing today. I wanted you to see the different effects you can get using the same basic elements on each card.


If you look closely (click on any picture to view it larger) you can see that I also spattered Berry Sorbet ink along with the Fresh Snow and Cocoa Bean inks. This splattering is something that I use on all of the projects that I am sharing today. There's something about it that just adds a great finishing touch.


I really love how this turned out - especially on the Kraft cardstock. Don't be afraid to try out different colors for your projects.

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One of the trendy things to do on your project is to add an inked area to your cardstock, with either a ink blending tool or adding ink by smooshing it onto the cardstock from some acetate or an acrylic block. For this project, I am using a blending tool and added some Berry Sorbet ink to white cardstock. 


After you have applied the ink, drip and splatter some water onto it. My favorite way to do this is to spray some water into the palm of my hand and then flick my fingers over the inked area. You can use a wet brush and splatter water like I explained for the previous card. As the drips and drops of water dry, they leave some great marks in the ink that you originally applied to the cardstock.


You can use add more splatters with your brush like I did here. I added some splatters with Berry Sorbet and Cocoa Bean inks.


The great thing about adding an inked area is that it becomes a great base for your card design. I added a flower cluster with the Courage & Kindness stamp set and coordinating dies and then added the sentiment using the inked area to pull together the focal point of the card design.


Look how great all of the drips, drops, and splatters work with the card design.


I think the trick to using a background like this is to embrace the imperfectness about it. Remember that if there is a drip or splat that you don't like, you can adapt your card design and move elements around to cover and hide that part. 

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If you are really wanting to do that splatter look on your projects, but aren't totally comfortable with creating your own splatters, there are stamp sets that you can use with paint and splatter types of images. I used the Watercolor Wonder and Drips & Dribbles stamp sets to create the splatters and drips on the white cardstock for this last project. You can stamp the images with straight ink colors if you want or you can allow the colors to flow a little bit more on the cardstock by spritzing the inked stamps with some water before stamping them onto the cardstock.


Here's my last project put together with the stamped splatter background. I did add some more splatters with my water brush like I shared on the first project, but you don't have to add that part of you don't want to.


 Like the previous project, the stamped splatters make a great base to build the focal point of the card design.


The card looks like you had fun playing with spattering ink and paint, but you can keep the secret that you carefully stamped the spatter designs right where you wanted them. I promise, I won't tell...

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Thank you so much for joining me today to share some tips and tricks for adding drips, splatters, and splats to your next projects. I hope you had as much fun as I did. If you create a project using drips, splatters, and splats I would love to see it - share a like in the comments below. Happy splattering!