Simple Brayer Techniques

  • 01 of 07

    Simple Ink Backgrounds

    Simple Ink Backgrounds
    Simple Ink Backgrounds. Kate Pullen

    On this and the following pages we look at some of the simple ways to use a brayer in rubber stamping projects. This is just the starting point, once you have sampled these techniques you will find that there are many ways that you can adapt and vary the techniques to produce stunning results. Brayers are readily available, you'll find them in your local craft store or online.

    Use a Brayer to Apply Ink Direct to Paper

    One of the most basic yet effective ways of using a brayer is to add ink directly to paper. This is a great way to produce interesting background papers. While the technique is very simple, different results can be achieved by varying the technique to add more or less ink. Grungy effects, for instance, can easily be achieved by rolling the brayer over the page randomly until all the ink has been discharged, repeating as required.

    This Technique is Particularly Good For...

    This technique is particularly useful when you are looking to create a background paper that is a specific color or shade.

    Instructions

    To ink a piece of paper using a brayer simply roll the brayer lightly over an ink pad until the surface is completely inked. Working on a flat work surface roll the brayer over the paper. Re-ink the brayer as required. The page can be stamped upon when the ink is dried.

    Tips

    Here are some tips to help you achieve great results:

    • Hold the brayer so it is flat on the page, this will ensure that the ink is applied consistently
    • To avoid lines, roll the brayer in different directions over the page
    • Clean the roller well after use, most brayers have a removable roller which makes cleaning the roller and fittings simple
    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Multi-Colored Inkpads

    Multi Colored Ink Pads
    Multi-Colored Ink Pads. Kate Pullen

    Interesting multi-colored patterns are easy to achieve by using a multi colored ink pad with a brayer. See How to Make a Multi-Colored Background for a step by step guide.

    This Technique is Particularly Good For...

    Use this technique to create decorative papers. These are ideal for projects where the paper is the star, for instance to make gift boxes or bags. See Make Paper the Star for ideas where decorative papers are the key feature.

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  • 03 of 07

    Producing Textures

    Creating Texture with Rubber Bands
    Creating Texture with Rubber Bands. Kate Pullen

    Another simple way to use a brayer is to produce textured and decorative prints by adding items to the surface of the brayer roller. In this instance we used rubber bands which were randomly wrapped around the roller. Other items that would also work well include bubble wrap, piece of yarn or remnants of lace.

    This Technique is Particularly Good For...

    This technique is ideal for making randomly patterned backgrounds and works well with bold stamped images.

    Instructions

    Remove the roller from the holder. Wrap rubber bands around the roller in a random pattern. Ink the roller as normal and roll the roller over a piece of paper to produced a textured pattern. Repeat to increase the density of the design as required.

    Tips

    Here are some tips for achieving great results:
    • Lightly roll the brayer over the paper to stop the ink from smudging
    • Try using a multi-colored ink pad to achieve interesting patterns
    • Remove the rubber bands or other items immediately after use to stop the brayer roller from becoming damaged
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  • 04 of 07

    Brayering over Embossed Images

    Brayering Over Embossed Images
    Brayering Over Embossed Images. Kate Pullen

    Using a brayer to apply ink over heat embossed images creates interesting results (see how to heat emboss for more information about embossing rubber stamped images).

    In this photo we used black ink which was applied over an image embossed with silver embossing powders. The result is dramatic and very different to that achieved had lighter or more subtle colors been used.

    This Technique is Particularly Good For...

    This technique is great for applying large swathes of color. The raised embossed image means that the ink creates a 'halo' effect.

    Instructions

    To apply ink over an embossed image, simply ink the roller and roller it evenly over the heat embossed paper.

    Tips

    Here are some tips for achieving good results:
    • To maximize the 'halo' effect, do not press down too hard with the brayer
    • Use a piece of tissue paper to wipe away any ink from the surface of the heat embossed image
    • The results will vary depending on the stamped image used, try heat embossing different images to see how the results vary
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  • 05 of 07

    Use a Brayer with Acrylic Paint

    Use a Brayer with Acrylic Paint
    Use a Brayer with Acrylic Paint. Kate Pullen
    A brayer is ideal for applying acrylic paint to a piece of paper or cardstock. The brayer will apply a thin layer of acrylic paint and can also be used for blending different colored paints on a page to create a marbled finish. The brayering process leaves an attractive texture on the surface of the paper.

    This Technique is Particularly Good for...

    Use this technique to create backgrounds for scrapbooking projects or to make embellishments for mixed media work. This technique works particularly well on thicker materials such as cardstock, heavy weight paper or fabric.

    Instructions

    Squeeze a few dots of acrylic paint onto the surface of the paper or cardstock and start rolling the brayer in different directions to spread the paint evenly over the surface. Alternatively, add a few drops of paint to a flat surface such as a tile and roll the brayer over this to pick up the paint.

    Tips

    Here are some tips for using this technique:
    • Add a few different colors of paint to create a marbled finish
    • Apply mica or pearlescent powders to give added shine to the finished results
    • Clean the roller after use
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  • 06 of 07

    Apply Ink to a Stamp with a Brayer

    Apply Ink to a Stamp with a Brayer
    Apply Ink to a Stamp with a Brayer. Kate Pullen
    One key way to use a brayer is to apply ink to a rubber stamp. This is useful for applying ink to large stamps where otherwise fine lines may be formed when dabbing the stamp with an ink pad.

    Instructions

    To apply ink to a rubber stamp using a brayer simply roll the inked brayer over the surface of rubber stamp. Use the inked stamp to stamp an image as normal.

    Tips

    Here are some tips to help achieve great results:
    • Roll the brayer over the rubber stamp in different directions to ensure an even distribution of ink
    • Try stamping in reverse by placing the inked rubber stamp on a flat surface with the inked side facing up, place a piece of paper on top of the inked surface and use a clean brayer to roll over the paper to transfer the image
    • Use a multi-colored ink pad to ink the brayer, roll the brayer over the stamp carefully so that the ink does not become too muddied
    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Use a Brayer to Create Distressed or Grungy Effects

    One of the exciting things about using a brayer is that there are no hard and fast rules. If distressed and grungy effects are your particular thing then you can use a brayer to achieve amazing results. Combine different inks and paint, use different textures and add other materials to produce your own unique effects.

    Instructions

    To produce distressed or grungy effects simply do the opposite to what you would do to achieve uniform and consistent results! Therefore apply the ink randomly, try scrunching the paper first or vary the pressure to create interesting effects.

    Tips

    Here are some tips to help you produce great results:

    • Try different combinations of ink and paper, brayering ink over decorative paper can produce stunning results
    • Use scrap paper to experiment with different techniques and materials
    • Keep a note of what works well and what doesn't for future reference