Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bubble Paper: my first tutorial

A few people have been asking me to explain how I make my bubble paper. So, I thought I'd try my hand at a tutorial. I picked the right technique to start with, I think, because it couldn't be easier.

These cards both have bubble paper on them. My favourite way to use it is with fish, of course. (Click on the pic to get a fish-eye view!) :0)

CARD INGREDIENTS: Soft Sky, Blue Bayou paper, designer series paper; stamps: "Baroque motifs," "Alphabits," "Beyond the Basics," & "Very Punny;" Not Quite Navy craft ink & clear embossing powder.

Here's a variety of papers you can make with this
technique. From left to right they are done with:
1. Soft Sky reinker leaving no white space.
2. Blue Bayou reinker background leaving no white space then adding drops of reinker direct to wet page and sprinkling salt.
3. Tempting Turquoise reinker (no white space.)
4. Blue Bayou & Soft Sky reinkers mixed and watered down (no white.)
5. Blue Bayou full-strength (with frequent loading of reinker on brush.)
6. Blue Bayou watered (with white space left.)


1. Glossy card stock,
2. Reinker
3. Aqua painter

You definitely need glossy cardstock for this. (Start by cutting small pieces if you like, so you can get comfortable with the technique.)

It's fun to mix reinkers of similar hues--like Blue Bayou & Tempting Turquoise, for instance. They dry sort of separately (with a ring of subtle turquoise in this case.)
However, you'll want to test out a patch to be sure that the mix won't look muddy.

Fill your aqua painter with water & you're set to go. No need to squeeze the aqua painter (unless you want a wash look)

This is what the bubble paper looks like while you're making it. So, How do you make it? Just pounce the brush on the paper. You can hold your
brush straight up and down (at a 90% angle) or another angle to get a variety of looks.

This example [above] was straight up and down. If you click on the picture it will enlarge & you can see the detail. When the bubbles pop, they dry leaving darker concentrations of the pigment. (And they blur a little giving a softer look.)
The bubble paper with white spaces [below] was done at more of a 45% angle and spaces were left.

I did it at an angle. I've yet to use it on a project, since I think I'll need a beach stamp set. (It reminds me of waves washing up on the sand.)

Hope you try making bubble paper; it takes no time to whip together (just takes a while to dry). If you do try it, I'd love to see any variations that you make or projects using it. Please leave me a link! :0)

Thanks for checkin' this out,


Anonymous said... are good at have inspired me to make more cards. Thank you for your energy and insight.

~* Tracy *~ said...

you clever cookie :) I will try this when I am better :)

Fairle Beaman Carroll said...

I love this look! Simple & beautiful. Does the pouncing damage your Aquapainter?

Melissa M. M. McCarthy said...

Thanks Tracy. Get well soon!

Thanks Fairle,
And great question!
I thought about that, seems to be o.k. I think that the synthetic bristles are much stronger than other natural bristle brushes, and you actually don't have to pounce hard at all (especially when you use lots of reinker.) Pouncing was the only term I could think of to describe the motion, but this would probably qualify as pouncing for wimps. :0)Mel

Joanna in Ohio said...

Hi, Mel!
First, thanks for all the info and inspiration! You're amazing!
I LOVE the bubble paper, but have one question. Do I put the reinker on the paper first and then use the aquapen? If so, do I just squirt it wherever I want it? And do I swirl it or anything before using the pen? Thanks for any info you can pass along, at your convenience, of course!
Thanks for sharing!