Tips for Using Blending Brushes for Depth and Dimension on your Projects
Dec 21, 2023
stampin' up! blending brush with ink on them - two

Stamping with blending brushes can be a creative and enjoyable way to add depth and dimension to your projects. Here’s a list of tips to help you make the most out of stamping with blending brushes:

  1. Choose the Right Brushes:
    • Select blending brushes with soft, synthetic bristles for smooth blending.
    • Use different sizes to accommodate various stamp sizes and details. Stampin’ Up! offers small and large, plus a storage rack for them.
  2. Prep Your Surface:
    • Start with a clean, smooth, and dry surface to ensure the best results.
    • Ensure the surface beneath is also smooth and clear.
  3. Ink Selection:
    • Use dye or pigment inks that work well with blending brushes. Stampin’ Up!’s inks are almost all water-based and rich in color for maximum versatility.
    • Experiment with different ink colors to create gradients and ombre effects.
  4. Tap, Don’t Smear:
    • Gently tap the blending brush onto the ink pad to pick up color. Start with a little – you can always add more to the brush.
    • Avoid smearing the ink; tapping helps control the amount of ink on the brush.
  5. Build up Colors Gradually:
    • Start with a light application and gradually build up color for a seamless blend.
    • Layering allows you to control the intensity of the colors.
  6. Circular Motions:
    • Apply ink in small, circular motions for a smooth and even blend.
    • Keep a light touch to prevent harsh lines and uneven coverage, and tap off your project once or twice before applying to your project.
  7. Masking Techniques:
    • Use masking techniques to create layered or overlapping stamped images.
    • Mask off areas you want to protect from additional ink. Masking Paper is an excellent tool for this!
  8. Clean Between Colors:
    • Clean your blending brushes between color changes to avoid muddying the colors. Also, dedicating brushes to a “color family” (like greens, blues, etc.) is helpful.
    • Simply rub the brush on scrap paper until no more color comes out to “clean” the brush between shades.
  9. Experiment with Pressure:
    • Vary the pressure applied to the blending brush to achieve different effects.
    • Light pressure is ideal for soft blends, while firmer pressure can add intensity.
  10. Try Different Surfaces:
    • Experiment with different paper types and surfaces to see how they react to blending. Basic White cardstock is perfect for everyday blending as it is super-smooth.
    • Consider using specialty papers like watercolor paper or cardstock.
  11. Use a Light Hand with Detailed Stamps:
    • When working with detailed stamps, use a light touch to avoid over-blending and losing details.
    • Use a smaller blending brush for intricate areas.
  12. Embrace Imperfections:
    • Don’t be afraid of imperfections; they can add character to your stamped creations.
    • Mistakes can sometimes turn into happy accidents, leading to unique designs.
  13. Practice on Scrap Paper:
    • Before working on your final project, practice blending on scrap paper to get a feel for the colors and techniques.
  14. Combine Stamping and Blending:
    • Experiment with combining stamped images and blending techniques for dynamic results.
    • Stamp a focal image and blend around it to create a cohesive background.
stampin' up! enduring beauty blending brush flowers on white and lavender with flowers and leaves colored green and lavender using masks
stampin up blue and white card with blending brush background and black silhouette of stem of leaves
Sunflower masks with blending brush with yellows, greens and browns Abundant Beauty decorative mask

Remember, the key to successful blending with brushes is practice and experimentation. Have fun exploring different color combinations and techniques to discover your unique stamping style!

I use Blending Brushes often in my virtual and in-person classes. For info about my upcoming in-person and virtual classes, check out my class descriptions here and my calendar here. I hope to see you at a class sometime soon, but you can always find ideas here on my blog as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

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