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Brayering 101 Tutorial

Hello Stampers,

When I first started stamping many many years ago I had two techniques that I just couldn't seem to master.  The first was Embossing - I burnt more than my share of paper and the second was Brayering - I just couldn't get a consistant result.  I did overcome my Embossing issue and my Brayering problem with some help from other talented stampers.

My friend, Erin saved me from my Brayering issues when she just said "okay, show me what you're doing and I'll tell you what the problem is"....the problem was that I gave up too soon.  As soon as it looked streaky or blotchy I would stop.  Her advice...just keep on going.  So now that's what I do and tell my customers to do...just keep on rolling, add colour, roll and so on until you achieve the effect you want.

Here's a little tutorial using the Brayering technique:


First, gather up your supplies - ink pad, brayer and cardstock.  In this example I've embossed the Fresh Cuts image in black so you can see the technique easier.

Embossing an image before brayering resists the ink so you have a coloured background and your main image pops off the page.  The embossed image resists the ink and retains it's colour.


Next take your brayer and roll it "through" the ink pad making sure you are covering the entire brayer with ink.

If you roll the brayer back and forth you will only get ink on the bottom part of the brayer.  You need to "load" the ink like you would load paint on a roller.  Roll from one side of the ink pad to the other and then back to the front and so on until your brayer is completely covered with ink.


I always brayer on an angle although it's not necessary.  I find that I get less areas of overlapping this way.

Start off the project and roll the brayer back and forth to the opposite corner (again slightly off the project).  Just keep rolling back and forth without lifting the brayer off the paper.

If you find you want more coverage just reink the brayer and continue.  Once the center is covered move the brayer over slightly to get the other sides of the image. 


If you wish you can "buff" the embossed image with a tissue to bring out the embossing.


Here is the finished project - (sorry Typepad wrecks havoc with my images ever since they switched over to new features). 

I used Soft Sky ink on this example and although I only used the black embossing powder so it would be more visible in the tutorial I was pleasantly surprised by the effect.

100_7048-2 Here's a finished card using the same technique - in my card I used the River Rock ink brayered over the image which has been embossed in White.  This is one of the cards from my Stamps in the Mail class using the Fresh Cuts stamp set and notecards.  Information about the class can be found here.  Please note that the Fresh Cut notecards have been backordered by Stampin' Up! and should ship by July 14th - so factor this in when calculating shipping and receipt of the class.

My classes include step-by-step instructions for making the cards and where necessary tutorials for special techniques - like brayering, watercolouring with blender pens, tying bows, etc.

Happy Stamping,


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