Today I thought I would show you what I did with the gel prints I made a few weeks ago in this post about monoprinting with chipboard. Anything can be used as a stencil, it doesn’t have to be a branded mylar stencil. I often use die cuts, the negative space leftovers, or just stencils cut from paper, and of course chipboards. So first we make the backgrounds and then we turn them into the cards.
Introduction and Collage
If you do a lot of art journaling then it can be helpful to have a set of journal prompt cards handy for those times when you might have a creative block or simply want to have some fun by following some random prompts with no plan or destination in mind. There’s no shortage of ideas for journal prompts and card how-tos going around at the moment. If you search around the internet you will probably find many different options available and in my experience they also turn up pretty frequently in many online classes, all variations on a theme. It’s funny how that happens with things isn’t it. My post is less about the prompts and more about the decoration because I wanted to use the gel prints from the last tutorial and some other things that were lying around my desk. So here we go!
I started by gathering the monoprints I made in the previous post. These prints could be used as is, but it can also be fun to tear them up!
I made two bases using 300gsm watercolour paper, mine was cold pressed but it doesn’t matter which one you use, hot or cold. For the first one, I chose three of the backgrounds in complementary colours and torn them up and arranged them on the watercolour paper. I took a photo at this stage to remind myself of the layout in case any of them moved.
When I was happy with the layout, I pasted them all down using matte gel medium.
Next, I moved on to the second background and repeated the process. As you can see I used three prints for each base, so I have a few more prints leftover to use in another project.
Repeat the same process as above, tearing up the prints and laying them out on the watercolour paper until you are happy with how it looks. Take the photo! Then paste them down using matte gel medium same as before.
Once they were dry, I used some gold size to cover all the white bits not covered by the collage. If you don’t have gold size, you can use glue that dries tacky.
Adding Gold Leaf and More
This can get a little messy, so if you don’t like messy, this might not be for you. Or if you don’t have gold leaf and want to try something else instead, you could try gold acrylic paint and paint around the collage instead. Or you could try gold paper and add that as collage to fill in the white bits. Assuming you have gold leaf and like mess, proceed to add the gold leaf on top of all the parts that are sticky from the gold size/tacky glue. I use my hands for this and then brush off the excess with a paintbrush.
It all starts off quite clean when you are using whole sheets of gold leaf but that only lasts a few minutes and then it gets a bit chaotic once it starts breaking up lol.
Use the brush and your fingers to rub the gold leaf down into all the sticky bits and off of the collaged bits.
When you are done, it should look something like this. The texture of the cold pressed paper shows through the gold leaf so if you don’t like that, use hot pressed paper.
I felt like my backgrounds needed some black so I took a black stabilo and scribbled on it.
Then I activated it with water and a brush.
I did this to both pieces and left them to dry. Please note: stabilo pencils are water activated so you may want to seal them with a spray sealant at this stage or you may want to wait till the end and spray both sides. I did not use a sealant on mine as I don’t anticipate them getting wet.
Decorating the reverse side
As the reverse side is where the journal prompts will be written, it needs to be decorated too. I chose some chalk paints in complementary colours. Chalk paints are very matte so if you don’t want the matte look, choose a different kind of paint, or add a gloss varnish at the end.
I added the paint and then smoothed it out using a brush and then a brayer.
Then when they were dry – they dry very quickly on their own or you can speed it up with a hairdryer – I added some stencilling in white chalk paint using a sponge.
The stencil I used is A4 size, the same size as the paper.
Here’s a look at the first page after stencilling.
And the second page
And both after they were dry.
Making the Cards
Now to turn these masterboards into cards. If you are also using A4 paper you will be able to get 10 cards out of each sheet if you cut your cards to be 2.25 x 3.5 inches. This is a little narrower than the standard ATC size which is 2.5 x 3.5 inches, so if you want ATC size, you will only get 8 cards per sheet. If you are using a different paper size, you will have to do some calculations!
I don’t mind the narrower size and I didn’t want to waste any of my paper so I cut them at the smaller size by first cutting them into 5 x 2.25 inch wide strips, and then cutting those into cards that were 3.5 inches long.
So now I have 20 cards ready to go.
Here’s a closer look…
And the reverse side looks like this…
I like to round my corners, so if you have a corner rounder, do that now.
To hide the white edges and tie them in with the front of the cards, I dry brushed some gold acrylic paint along the edges. This is easy to do if you hold all your cards together and using a dry brush with very little paint on it, carefully brush along the edges.
Then just leave them to dry which should only take a few minutes.
Journal Prompts and how to use the Cards
Using a black waterproof pen, write your prompts on the cards. If you don’t want to hand write the quotes, you could type them up and print them off on white paper, then glue them on. Here’s a look at the prompts I chose but yours can be anything you like.
There are two colour cards, one offers a choice of black or white and the other has six colour options – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet – and for this one you can either choose your favourite or roll the dice!
To use the card, shuffle them like a regular deck of cards and then select the top one and follow the prompt. You might want to decide on a set number of prompts or you might want to just keep going selecting prompts until it feels done. The cards can also be hole punched and stored on a ring or you could keep them in a box or a small bowl. They would also make great gifts for a crafty friend.
Thanks for making it all the way to the end. Let me know what you think in the comments and as always, thanks for reading!
PE126ES Seaweed Circle *coming soon*
PE129ES Oceanic *coming soon*
watercolour paper, matte gel medium, gold leaf, gold size, stabilo all, Paperartsy chalk paint, stencil, black waterproof pen, gold acrylic paint,
Other: paper trimmer, corner rounder (hole punch and metal ring optional)