Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Postcards - Prepping the Bases

I'm still working on organizing my studio. I know. It's been about 4 months since my stuff arrived and about a month since I've really been creating on a regular basis. Most of my things are in places, but since I've started working in the studio, I've realized I need some major tweaking to improve my workflow (pictures of the 'workflow' tomorrow!)

Stamp storage and lighting are at the top of my list. When that happens you may actually be able to watch projects from start to finish! I love watching others create and I'm excited about sharing my how-tos with you!

Okay...onto the postcards bases. I followed a similar process for my first iHanna Swap. You can see those posts here:

I started out with some glossy 4.25"x5.5" postcards I had around. (I have ALOT of these. I used to be a SU! demo years ago and had hung on to these just for such an occasion! I used these in 2011, too. I did say 'ALOT'!)

I had already started making bases when I remember to take the photos!

I used some fine grit sandpaper and sanded the cards in one direction and then the other. I wasn't trying to take off the entire layer; I wanted to give the layer some tooth so that the next layers would stick.

The sanding left this great crosshatch design. Very Vintage.
Now for the first layer: gesso. I save old gift cards, credit cards, and even those thin cardboard coupon/discount cards. They are fabulous for laying down a thin layer of paint, gesso, gels, etc. Scoop a dab of gesso onto the postcard and then use the gift card to spread it out.

With the gesso I use (whatever's on sale at my local craft store) I have to use a very thin layer, if I want it to be smooth. Otherwise, when it dries it will have cracks. I used thin layers first and then varied it a bit on the last layer.

Don't worry about cleaning off the card. It just adds more variation.
Be sure to let each layer dry in between for the best layered effect. It usually only takes about 10 minutes, if it's thin. When dragging the card to spread the gesso, the edges left lines and marks. Leave them! They add great texture and interest.

Love this layer!
Gesso layers: done! Notice that I didn't completely cover the original layer. It's peeking through! Amazeballs, right?! The postcard is already looking kind of artsy.

Now I wanted to add some text. Here's my En Francais stamp from Stampin' Up! It is my most used script stamp.

I used Archival Ink because I knew I would be adding more water-based mediums and didn't want the ink to smear. However, I did want the script to be lighter and heavier, so when I inked up the stamp I randomly pounced it on the rubber.

The gesso layers are already textured, so when I stamped it the script varied. I stamped it once and then turned and stamped it again without reinking. Then I set it aside, did the rest of the postcards and then took a second look. If it needed more, I added more.

I put the decal on upside down!
The bases took about two hours (I made about 20 bases.) including dry time. I worked assembly line style. I did the first layer on the first card, then moved to the second card, etc. By the time I got to the last card the first card was almost dried. Then I repeated the process for the next layers. This really works well when prepping the bases (or any kind of project you are working on in multiples!)

Does it look anything like it did? Gorgeous transformation!
I really enjoyed prepping the bases. I watched a few episodes of Masterchef and tried not to think too much about it and just work the process.

This is definitely a project you just need to get busy and do it! You may be surprised at just how good your bases look! And just wait until you add more layers...

More postcard goodness coming soon!

2013 (Autumn) iHanna DIY Postcard Swap

Inky hugs,


  1. Great and inspiring post Angi! Love recycling when it comes to postcards! And yours are sooo beautiful! Thanks for joining again!

  2. These are fab ! Love the effects you have created x

  3. Love these! And they look like SO much fun :)

  4. Love these & great tutorial Angi :o)
    Merry Christmas!


Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit! I read all of the comments and appreciate your thoughts. May all your Mayhem be crafty messes...inky hugs!