Monday, September 12, 2011

Art Journal - #1 - Faux Rubbing Technique

Hi Friends!

Are you all ready to get started on our first spread of our brand new Art Journal????

I had planned on posting this earlier today but I got busy organizing things and by the time I finished up this technique dh called to say we needed to go to Fort Wayne.  Soooo, I'm finally back and have a fun technique for you to try.

This technique uses basic supplies that are most likely already in your stash and it puts a new twist on using your stamps for something fun and different.

Faux Rubbings

Today I wanted to start off with a technique that I think most people have tried at some point in their life - Rubbings.  You remember - you place a sheet of paper over a monument, headstone, plaque or other item, rub the paper with a crayon, colored pencil, lead pencil, etc. to transfer the design onto your paper so you can carry it home with you. 

I love the organic, distressed, grungy feel the finished rubbings have.  The images transferred are no where near perfect but the images come through good enough that we can tell where we were and what it was all about. 

Did you get that Ahhh Hahhhh moment??? 

These primitive rubbings are so similar to life I thought it would be the perfect way to start our Discover Art Journals off!!  Life for the most part is no where near's messy, a bit blurry and more than a little distressed BUT even if we don't know where we're going the path is clear enough that we keep on keepin on.

So, I added my own twist on this simple, I'm not going to make you run to the nearest historical monument to create a rubbing....  We're going to be making our own personal monument from Ink, Embossing Powder and Stamps! 



Rubber Stamps
Embossing Powder (any color)
Embossing or Pigment Ink (any color)
Medium to Light Weight Cardstock/Paper*
Heat Tool
White Crayon or Candle
Ink of some sort - Distress Ink & Ink Blending Tool; Perfect Pearl Mist; Glimmer Mist; Self-Mixed Ink Spray; Distress Stain; etc.  Use what is in your stash!

*O.k. I wanted to talk a bit about the paper I am using for this technique.  My art journal is going to be loose leaf while I'm making it and I'll think about binding it some time later down the road.  I know at some point there will be holes or something punched along the edges so I am going to keep that in mind as I work on pages.

This technique requires a light to medium weight paper for the finished page so if you are working in a fixed/bound journal I would suggest that you use separate sheets of paper and add them to your journal as a "Tip-In".  If you have a copy of my book this is addressed in the Altered Book section if you'd like to check them out.  If you don't have a copy of my book, a Tip-In is basically a page spread you create on cardstock or other paper out of your journal.  When finished you will adhere the finished lay-out where desired in your journal with a good collage glue or your favorite adhesive.  To help keep your book from looking like an exploding firework for every set of "Tip-In" pages you will need to remove that many from the journal.   If you don't mind your journal having  a fan effect then don't worry about removing any.

Now I also mentioned that I was going to be using a variety of papers and ephemera for my journal pages.  Well today since it's the beginning of my book I thought I would use two sides of an envelope I recently rec'd in the mail.....  (the 2 splats are photoshoped to hide my addy)

It is a lighter weight paper and I thought the butterflies were just took cool to toss :)  (Thank you Sherry!!)   I covered the butterflies with a layer of Rock Candy so I can't share my finished pages with you until tomorrow when the butterflies are dry.  ;)

On to the Technique....

1. Stamp and emboss desired images onto a piece of cardstock.  Use images that speak to you...something you love, something you associate with your life.  Remember ~ this is an art journal.  It doesn't have to make's art for the sake of art!!  We're going to break the rules here :)

I am using a Happy Birthday stamp for the examples....


2. Cover the embossed image with the light/medium weight cardstock.  As we are going to be using a whole page, position the image(s) as desired on your page.  For example on my pages I'm going to be using a few flourishes for the corners so I need to pay attention to the edges of my paper when I position over the embossed image.

NOTE: The embossed images can be used more than once for this technique.

3. Rub the white crayon or candle over the paper/embossed image pile.  The wax will highlight the embossed image even if you can't see it at the time.   If you are planning on using more than one rubbing on your page spread you should repeat step #3 as many times as necessary.  I am using several on my page to help fill it out.


4. Add ink - This could be in the form of an Ink Blending Tool & Foam; a mist either pre-mixed or mixed by yourself; a Distress Stain; etc.  I have tried them all and each one works great on this technique.

For this example I am using Distress Inks & the Ink Blending Tool.

And here are the results.....


Glimmer Mist
(also Perfect Pearl Mist; Distress Re-Inker; Dye or Pigment Ink Re-Inker; etc.)


(Fired Brick, Worn Lipstick)


Now, if desired, you can add a bit of journaling....yes, you have to do some writing....about why you want to start this journal or just a few facts about yourself.  I am not very good at expressing my thoughts out loud as I'm sure many of you aren't.  This gives you a bit of an outlet to get some things out... Remember an art journal is the merging of Art, Words and Images. 

As far as the writing goes I think it's very important to put some things in your journal that is written by you.  In this age of computers, smart phones, tablets, etc.  the written word is becoming scarce.  I know I would love to have something written by my past generations so I could get to know them better....remember this isn't just for today ~ it's for the future as well :)

Now it's your turn!
You've got the supplies
(remember, use what you have)
You've got your assignment
Go forth and Create!

I will be sharing my set of pages tomorrow....
I hope you will share yours as well!


  1. This looks like so much fun. I will not be able to try it until later in the week, but I am looking forward to giving it a go.

  2. One of my favorite things about this post is your fabulously inked heating tool. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who transfers a little creativity to my favorite tools. Great tut!

  3. Can't wait to get started!

  4. Of course I am already behind...but not to worry I am going to do this! There...I've said it and I am committed!!!
    Fun. FuN. FUN!!! Really, I will have fun with this and not stress. Excited to begin my life journal with you Miss Roni.
    P.S. I am glad to see you using those pink butterflies.

  5. Thanks so much for this art journalling advice. I shall follow with great interest and incorporate your suggestions into my own journal.What an adventure!

    Janet xx

  6. LOVE the way this looks! The slightly messy, slightly grungy look of the embossing resist is wonderful and this technique would make cool background paper as well! Can't wait to give it a try tomorrow!

  7. Oh my goodness, you just keep on inspiring us with new techniques! This looks so awesome, I'm definitely going to try this one!

  8. Wonderful fun technique, I've had a few trial and error attempts, many using stamps with too much detail but I have one sheet that is drying that I love. Thank you for the fun.

  9. How cool!!! I will have to catch up this weekend! I can't wait!

  10. Roni -

    Now that really looks like a lot of fun. Although I do live near a fairly old cemetary that I could take some rubbings of. That sounds like fun too. Thanks for sharing.

    Elaine Allen


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!