Helpful Tip Tuesday – Sponging

Today, I wanted to share some tips on sponging. To start with, I wanted to show you a number of tools you can use to sponge with. Sponging is a easy technique that can be used to enhance your cards and give each one a unique look. There is really no right or wrong way of sponging, however you will find that using one tool may be easier for you to use, then another kind. I recommend you have a variety on hand.

Blending Brushes (153611). This is a new product for Stampin’ Up! and I am very impressed with how they work. The Blending Brushes blend the ink beautifully and allows you to apply extremely light shades of ink with no lines. They come in a set of 3 and they can easily be washed out afterwards.

NOTE: After washing, they do need time to dry before using again so if you plan to use these a lot, buy a second set of 3.

These are two card fronts I started, just sponging over the beautiful Designer Series Paper. I love how the colours give some added dimension to the paper instead of a just plain white background. By sponging, you can make the paper background as subtle as your want (Pool Party colour) or a pop out the designs on the paper with a more dramatic ink colour (Bumble Bee colour). You can also use your blender pens to colour over the backgrounds if you want.

Sponge Brayer (#141714). These brayers are great to use on a background of your card. Each purchase includes 2 Brayer handles and 4 sponges. The sponges will easily snap in and out as you change colours. Once you have completed your sponging, just rinse them out and let them dry for next time.

Stamping Sponges (141337). These sponges, which are just under 3″ in diameter, allow for an easy way to apply Stampin’ Ink for a coloured effect. These are great to use on both small and larger projects. The rounded edges mean no ridges when you are sponging. Each purchase includes 3 sponges and each sponge can be easily cut into 4 quarters or even 6 wedges to maximize usage.

Sponge Daubers (133773) I like these a lot. Each Dauber fits on your finger for great control when sponging. It also keeps fingers clean from getting inky. Personally, I keep each dauber as a specific colour but that’s just me. You can rinse them out to reuse. To use, just ink and lightly daub touches of Classic Stampin’ Ink on stamps or directly on projects. Each purchase includes 5 daubers.

When sponging an area such as a card front, first place your cardstock over a piece of paper. Now ink up your sponging tool and start running your sponge in small circular motions over your card base. If you are using the Sponge Brayer, I recommend you run your brayer in one direction ONLY when you ink up your sponge. If you run the sponge back and forth, you could create lines of ink on your sponge.

When sponging, start off sponging OFF the card stock and then gently move over your card stock in a circular motion, to obtain the look you are going for. Don’t press too hard, just keep going over our card stock until you have the density of colour you want. Make sure you overlap the inks a little so you have a muted look between colours and no harsh lines unless that is a look you are going for.

For this card, I used two different colours. I created a template from some thin cardboard, to block off the area I wanted to sponge then taped it down over my card stock.

This is the template I used to make the card above. It doesn’t look pretty with all the ink overlapping but it does make for a clean edge on your finished project. I used this template several times before tossing it. After sponging, I stamped my image in regular Momento ink.

HINT: I don’t remember where, but I saw someone had created their templates from Mylar paper, which is paper that is coated with or made from a polyester film. I believe this allows you to wipe off the ink and reuse the template over and over again. I plan to try covering my templates with a self adhesive laminating sheet and see if it gives more durability so I don’t have to toss them each time. I’m not sure if it will work but I won’t know unless I try it, right?

Below are a couple of other cards I sponged with my template. I was also playing around with the bookmarks. For the Dragon Fly I used the Blending Brushes for the background then stamped the images over it. I used the Sponge brayer for the background of the flowered bookmark for a more even look. It looks a lot lighter in the picture but it has a nice pale yellow background. I then stamped the flowers and coloured them with my alcohol blender pens.

Well I hope you have enjoyed this post and will give sponging a try. I would love to see your finished project.

As always, if you are enjoying these posts, please leave a comment to let me know. Would you like to see tips on something specific? Let me know that as well, I welcome your feedback.

Have an amazing day and Happy Crafting!

Sue