Have you ever noticed how the edges of many digital scrapbook papers are darkest at the edges and become lighter toward the center of the page? The variation may be very slight, but it is present in most papers. One of the reasons designers create pages this way is because our eyes are naturally drawn toward the lightest part of the page, so the viewer is drawn into the layout from the edges. Another reason for darkening the edges of papers or other objects is to create definition when there otherwise would be very little or none at all.
I use the inked edge technique in many of my hybrid creations and I think it may be one of my favorite techniques. It is a quick and easy way to add interest to an element on a project, and I am going to show you just how simple it is to ink the edges using a piece of sponge and an ink pad.
I love creating these altered 4″ bar coasters. They are great to showcase a quote or Bible verse and make a nice little accent decoration for a bookshelf or corner of a desk. They’re also wonderful for quick, easy, and inexpensive gifts.
To create the coaster I made today, I used the Around The World collab that will be available starting June 23 at The Daily Digi and then at The Digichick in July. This kit is absolutely packed with some of the most beautiful papers and detailed elements I’ve ever seen! I had a hard time deciding which pieces of the kit to use and ended up creating two coasters. In addition to papers and elements, I also used some of the cutting files from the kit with my Silhouette.
- Digital scrapbook kit
- Photo editing program (I use Photoshop CS5)
- Epson Premium Matte Photo Paper
- Matte Mod Podge
- sponge brush
- inexpensive synthetic sponge (I get mine from Dollar Tree, there are 8 in a package for $1.00)
- brown ink (I used Close to My Heart Desert Sand)
- coarse sandpaper
- straight pin
- Tim Holtz Regal Flourishes embossing folder by Sizzix
- Sizzix Big Shot
- embroidery floss in white
- Clear Zap Dots by Helmar
I bought my bar coasters in packages of six for about a quarter on clearance at Michaels. They always have new designs in the dollar bin, or you can ask your server next time you go to a casual dining restaurant if they would please give you a few to take home with you. These particular ones were pretty glossy, so I sanded the front to help the Mod Podge adhere the paper better.
After sanding the coaster, I used the sponge brush to apply a fairly thick coat of Mod Podge. I recommend using a piece of wax paper to protect your work surface (Notice what is not present in the photo below!).
Next, I placed the coaster onto the back of the background paper. I turned the whole thing over and applied firm, even pressure to the front, paying special attention to the edges and corners.
I’ve found the easiest way to remove the excess paper is to run a straight pin around the edge against the edge of the coaster.
After making a rough cut in this manner, I took my sandpaper and brushed it against the edge of the coaster at about a 45° angle in one direction only, from the top of the paper toward the floor. If you go the other direction, you run the risk of separating your paper from the coaster.
You’ll end up with a nicely distressed edge once you’re finished.
Now it’s time for my favorite part! I cut off a new piece of sponge and dabbed it onto my ink pad. I brushed the sponge along the edges and corners of the coaster using the same motion as I used for sanding the edges – at approximately a 45° angle and from the top of the paper toward the floor. I reapplied ink as needed (every 3-4 brush strokes).
I just love the extra touch the ink adds!
After placing my clouds on the background paper, I could see they needed some additional definition. I added ink to the edges in the exact same manner as I did with the coaster. You can see here what a difference just a little ink makes in the definition of the edges! The top cloud is inked, the bottom one is not yet.
I wanted my large cloud to have some additional pizzaz, so I used one of my embossing folders to add a swirl texture to the cloud. I placed the cloud into the embossing folder and ran it through my Big Kick die cut machine.
With just a few turns of the crank…
I’ve added an awesome texture to my cloud. How cool is that?!
Of course I couldn’t leave this cloud with bare edges, so I broke out the ink pad and sponge again. After that, I adhered the clouds to the coaster using a dry line adhesive.
I took one of my clear Zap Dots adhesive squares and cut it down to fit on the back of the airplane. I took one strand from my DMC embroidery floss and placed the center onto the adhesive. Then I put the plane onto the coaster on top of the largest cloud.
Next, I put adhesive onto the Adventure banner and attached the tails of the floss, trimming the ends.
I placed the banner onto the coaster and called the project complete!
I mentioned earlier that there were so many fabulous things in the kit that I couldn’t stop at one coaster. Here’s the other one I made. I simply added some of the word art to one of the journaling elements, cut out three of the flowers and layered them using a brad in the center and cut out three butterflies for the top right-hand corner. It went together very quickly and I love how these turned out!
I also inked the edges of this coaster and probably could have even inked the journaling oval and the butterflies, as well!
I hope you’re inspired to try this quick and easy technique to add dimension to your next project!