Art and Craft

Fast and Dramatic Backgrounds

Hi there, friends!   I have a fast project to share today which uses a great technique with salt to create a card that can stand on its own with very little extra embellishment.  It uses Core’dinations 110 lb cardstock + media to create dramatic backgrounds quickly and easily.

VivianKehMothersDayCard_1First step, stamp a lined image using watermark ink.  Sprinkle with clear or white embossing powder, and tap off the excess.
TIP: If your image is detailed like this one, I recommend using a “fine” or “super fine” embossing powder.

VivianKehMothersDayCard_2Set the embossing powder with a heat tool.  You will know when it has set, as the powder magically transforms into a hard sheen.


To encourage blending of colors, I suggest as a preliminary step, wetting your surface with a light misting of water.  Then spritz with your choice of mists.  If you use primary colors, they will blend beautifully together to create secondary colors.
TIP: Use more intense hues where you want your heat embossed stamped images to really pop.  You can see I used a bright red in the centers of these blossoms.

VivianKehMothersDayCard_4While it is freshly wet, add a dash of salt!  Then go have lunch while your dramatic background dries.

VivianKehMothersDayCard_5Lightly rub with a finger to remove the salt.  This will reveal the cool work that the grains of salt did for you, pulling in the pigment in natural, organic patterns.

VivianKehMothersDayCard_BIf you like, rim the edges with distress ink.  I chose to grunge mine up a little.  I also kept embellishments to an absolute minimum so that my background could be the star of the show.

VivianKehMothersDayCard_AI love this technique and published a video tutorial on it awhile back.  If you haven’t seen it yet, it is available on my youtube channel.  Hope you enjoyed my tutorial today and that you’ll give salt a try during your next mixed media craft session.  It’s so much fun.


Core’dinations – 110 lb Smooth Cardstock
Paper Source – Woodblock Stamp
Clearsnap – Watermark Ink
Ranger – Super Fine Embossing Powder, Distress Ink
Colored mists
Coarse Kosher Salt
Hemp Twine



14 thoughts on “Fast and Dramatic Backgrounds

  1. Vivian – what a great technique – I’ve used kosher salt with water colours before but this is a way cool idea! You are the best – thank you for sharing this one. Off to experiment!

  2. Thank you for refreshing my memories on this lovely technique. Can you use other kinds of salt or has it to be Kosher salt ???
    Love what you created.
    Hugs from SPAIN

  3. Pingback: Saturday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal | lifeimitatesdoodles

  4. Thank you for sharing this cool technique today. I was wondering the other day if the salt technique would work on paper with ink, especially distress ink. Now I know. I have used salt on fabric, but never on paper. Your card is gorgeous, I love the colours you have used, it makes me think of painted silk fabric.
    Jacquelene L

  5. What a GORGEOUS card! I LOVE the bright cheery colors and the background is truly jaw dropping. You are so blessed to be doing what you love. Despite my technical education (and I do like that), my heart flutters whenever I think of painting/art/crafts and I am so obsessed with it! I try to squeeze in some time each day to do something arty but not always possible. I often dream of just quitting my day job and do what I absolutely love doing: create.

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