Fun Mixed Media Art Techniques to Try On Your Next Project

Last Updated: July 11, 2023

Are you ready to take your DIY endeavors to the next level? If you've ever wanted to experiment with mixed media art on your projects, now is the perfect time! Mixed media techniques can amp up your crafting game, and playing around with different mediums is fun!   

A gorgeous embossed card with white pigment ink highlights

Cloud White Pigment Ink

In this blog post, we'll delve into a world of vibrant possibilities and explore some exhilarating mixed-media art techniques that will breathe new life into your next project. Whether you're a seasoned crafter or just starting your creative journey, these innovative techniques will ignite your imagination and inspire you to experiment with various materials, textures, and styles. So let's dive in and get artsy! 

How to Know if Your Project Is a Mixed Media Project

You may think you've never tried mixed media before, but most of the innovative card and scrapbook designs you probably create are made with mixed media techniques! Mixed media simply means using two or more mediums on a single project. These kinds of techniques help develop unique patterns and textures on different arts and crafts projects, such as paintings, scrapbooks, greeting cards, and art journals. 

A beautiful layered floral die-cut on a mini canvas

Layered Wood Flower Die Set

So, for example, if you combine both gouache and watercolor paints to color your stamped images, then that's already considered mixed media artwork! 

Easy Mixed Media Techniques to Try On Your Next Crafty Sesh

When it comes to paper crafting, there's a plethora of exciting mixed-media techniques that can elevate your projects to new heights. Here are some creative techniques to try:

Create Raised Highlights With Pigment Ink

Have you ever tried pairing your embossed images with pigment ink? You can easily create gorgeous highlights on your projects with this unique trick! To do this, you just need to go through your regular embossing process:

  1. Create a sandwich of your cardstock, embossing folder, and plates. 
  2. Run it through your embossing machine. 
  3. After embossing your cardstock, lightly swipe some pigment ink over the raised parts of the card’s embossing. 
  4. Voila! The pigment ink has transferred to your cardstock, creating stunning imprints that mimic highlights.

A beautiful card with subtle embossed highlights

Perfect Poinsettias 3D Embossing Folder

To get the most out of this technique, we recommend using colored cardstock, and using either Cloud White Pigment Ink or shimmery colors, like Antique Gold or Rose Gold Pigment Ink, to create awe-striking highlights. 

Play With Vintage Letterpress Designs 

Do you love the elegant look and feel of letter-pressed designs? Now, you don't need to go to a specialized factory to create custom invitations, greeting cards, and other projects for that fancy effect. You can do it in your very own crafty space, thanks to Altenew's Betterpress collection!

A beautifully letter-pressed card with vintage-like floral designs

Floral Engravings Press Plates

The Betterpress collection features a fun collaboration with Spellbinders as we release our first two press plates alongside Spellbinders' BetterPress Letterpress System. These press plates would enable you to create letter-pressed designs with the nifty and convenient Letterpress System.

An informational picture showing the Spellbinders x Altenew Betterpress Letterpress System

BetterPress Letterpress System

Designed meticulously, the Dainty Flower Garden Press Plates and Floral Engravings Press Plates showcase breathtaking floral arrangements and heartwarming friendship-themed sentiments. With their intricate folds and delicate petal and leaf designs, these plates are perfect for unleashing the vintage-like beauty of letterpress techniques and elevating your project with new dimensions (literally!)! 

  1. Begin by placing your press plate onto the Chase, a magnetic platform designed to hold the press plate in place securely. 
  2. Next, position your chosen card panel onto the Platen, a clear top plate with registration marks that ensure precise alignment. 
  3. Now, it's time to apply ink onto the press plate, allowing the intricate design to come to life. 
  4. Finally, create a letterpress sandwich by assembling the plates and card panel, then run it through a manual die cutting machine.
PRO TIP: Pair these press plates with Altenew's signature inks to achieve flawless letterpress results!

You can see the process here:

Make Colorful Gouache Backgrounds for Your Cards 

Looking to add a burst of vibrant color to your card designs? Look no further than the captivating world of gouache! Even if you're not a pro at painting, you can easily create stunning and colorful gouache backgrounds for your cards.

A colorful rainbow card featuring a gouache background

Artists' Gouache Set - Strolling Through New York

Gouache, a versatile and opaque water-based paint, offers a wonderful opportunity to infuse your projects with rich pigments and a smooth, velvety finish. With its ability to blend beautifully and create bold, opaque layers, gouache is a perfect medium for creating eye-catching backgrounds for all your mixed media cards. Pair them with die-cuts, stamped images, and stencils - the possibilities are limitless!

  1. To begin, gather your favorite gouache paints in a variety of colors. Prepare a palette or mixing surface to blend your colors. 
  2. Start by moistening your brush with water and loading it with the desired gouache color. 
  3. Apply the paint onto your cardstock or watercolor paper using broad strokes, creating a vibrant base layer. 
  4. Experiment with different brush sizes and strokes to achieve your desired effect. You can create vertical stripes, horizontal patterns, repeated dots, loose flowers, broken lines, and many more. 

Personalize Pouches and Purses With Pigment Ink 

Do you have old purses that you want to revamp? Or perhaps some plain fabrics that you want to add new life to? If yes, then time to bring out your stamps and pigment inks! 

A lovely pouch decorated with stamped hearts

Frosty Pink Pigment Ink

Pigment ink offers vibrant, opaque colors that are perfect for fabric applications. With its slow-drying properties, pigment ink provides excellent coverage and adheres well to various surfaces, including fabric. Plus, it's available in different colors, and with the plethora of stamp sets you have, decorating your tote bags, purses, and other fabric-based accessories will be fun! 

Create Stunning Home Decor Art With Embossing Paste 

Up for a challenge? Try creating a piece of artwork using only cardstock, inks, and embossing paste! Take a look at Joy's enthralling home decor artwork below:

A mixed media home decor art made with embossing paste

Embossing Paste

She made a stunning beach scene with die-cuts, watercolor, gouache, and embossing paste. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to recreate this gorgeous artwork to hang on your wall:

  1. Trace the outer circle of the hoop onto a watercolor sheet and fussy cut it. 
  2. Die cut a moon shape from a masking sheet and adhere it to the watercolor panel. 
  3. Ink the sky using Tide Blue, Ultraviolet, Azurite, Jet Black, and Fresh Lemon Crisp Dye Inks. Use mini blending brushes for smooth blending.
  4. Create stars by splattering water onto the panel and dabbing off the excess with a paper towel.
  5. Splatter Sterling Silver Metallic Watercolor and white gouache onto the panel to add more stars.
  6. Die cut three circles from white cardstock and adhere them together using precision glue.
  7. Stamp the detailed layer from the Mini Moon Stamp Set onto the circles using Citrus Burst Crisp Dye Ink. Adhere to the moon to the panel.
  8. Die cut mountains from watercolor cardstock using the Mountain Builder Die Set
  9. Mix embossing paste with Minty Mint, Hunter Green, and Just Green Crisp Dye Ink re-inkers. Apply the mixture to the die-cut mountains using a palette knife for coloring and texture. 
  10. While the mountains are drying, trace a little more than half of the inner circle of the hoop onto a watercolor sheet and fussy cut it.
  11. Mix Espresso Liquid Watercolor with embossing paste and apply it to the panel. Smoosh Espresso Crisp Dye Ink on your work surface, mix it with textured sand and dab the sand on the embossing paste.
  12. Apply a thick layer of embossing paste to create waves on the panel. Use the palette knife to add texture. 
  13. Randomly add drops of Turquoise, Tide Blue, Aqualicious, and Starlight Crisp Dye Ink re-inkers onto the waves. Spray water using a mister bottle to blend the colors.
  14. Once the panel is dry, use a round brush to add shadows using Aqualicious and Starlight Crisp Dye Inks.
  15. Add embossing paste on the waves to create ocean foam.
  16. Stick seashells onto the sand to add dimension.
  17. Once all the panels are dry, assemble them using foam tape to create layers and depth.

A DIY home decor wall art made with embossing paste and inks

Mountain Builder Die Set

And there you have it! Follow these steps, and you'll be able to recreate the process of making colorful hoop art with various elements and techniques. Enjoy your artistic journey! 

Embellish Your Cards With Patterned Fabric

A colorful window card featuring fabric designs

Dreamy Bouquet Fabric Fat Quarter Collection (5 pcs)

Embellishing your handmade cards with patterned fabric is a wonderful way to add texture and visual interest! Simply choose a patterned fabric that complements your card's theme and cut out fun shapes or designs from it. 

Secure the fabric onto your card base using fabric glue or strong adhesive, and consider adding extra embellishments like buttons or ribbons for added flair. You can layer it underneath a window, a cover die, or use it as a background for outline stamps. Whatever you choose, the fabric will create a tactile and eye-catching element, making your cards stand out and delight the recipients with their unique and personalized touch.

PRO TIP: For easier cutting of fabric and adhesives, we recommend using the Fine Blade Scissors. Thanks to its non-stick Teflon coating, you can say goodbye to slow, sticky blades!

Create Unique Mixed Media Art Projects With These Tips!

All in all, exploring mixed media art techniques can truly bring a whole new level of creativity and excitement to your next project. From vibrant gouache backgrounds to personalized pouches with pigment ink, the options are endless!

Fabulous Florets

Don't be afraid to get messy. Remember, the beauty of mixed media lies in the freedom to combine various mediums, textures, and styles to create something truly unique! Don't forget to check out the July 2023 Release - it's full of fun items to complement your mixed-media projects! 

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