Guest Post: Grungy Textural Background Tutorial by Scarlett Salamone

Ed’s note: Today, Scarlett Salamone is our guest blogger (her blog is here, her Instagram is here). Hopefully you’ve seen Scarlett’s 2013-in-Review tags over the past two weeks (part one is here, part two is here). Today, we finish off Scarlett’s three-part guest blogger feature with how to make your own mixed media tag background!

Supplies needed: VersaMark, UTEE, Gesso, Paint, Archival Ink – or other permanent ink, Stamps, Mist


Step One: Randomly swipe Versamark across your base. Sprinkle UTEE onto Versamark and heat emboss. Note: Be sure to not heat UTEE too long. You want the texture to be bumpy not glossy.

Continue to add UTEE to base until desired texture is achieved.


Step Two: Cover entire tag with a coat of gesso.


Step Three: Choose your paint colors and pounce them on the background. To do this start with your lightest color first and cover a good portion of area with it but not all. You want to leave some white area for each new color applied. You will continue adding your paints from lightest to darkest until all have been applied. Once all have been added you can go back in with each color and blend over the top until you have a look you like. If you find it difficult to blend the paints while working with them, add a little water to your brush.


Step Four: To add more interest and depth to the background apply some small stamping randomly over the area. This can be any type of stamp you desire, just be sure to use waterproof ink. This will ensure your ability to work other mediums over the stamping at a later point. Note: When stamping don’t reapply ink every time you stamp, continue stamping on the surface until the ink really fades away. This provides an extra element of visual interest.

To finish off this step add some splatters of mist across the base and allow them to dry.


Step Five: To finish off the base, add some scallop doodles in white paint around the edges. Outline the doodles with black paint and add some tiny dots in every other circle. Now your base is ready to fill in and build up with more layers of goodness.

Thank you so much for joining me here. I do hope you’ve been able to take away something new for your mixed media pleasure. If you try something out or make a 2013 tag album of your own, let me know here I’d love to come check out your work!


If you’re interested in publishing a guest post with us, please email Ellen at scrap.editor [at] with the subject SC Blog GUEST POST. (This will make sure it doesn’t get filtered as spam.)


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