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Fri 10

Alcohol Scrunch Backgrounds Video
by Dave Brethauer

Hello all you amazing paper crafters!

I am excited to share a simple and amazing background technique today that I had fun playing with. The nature of the technique gives unexpected results each time - so it always ends up feeling new and fresh. Lets get started!

To view this video in HD click here

You will need a couple of items for this technique - some alcohol based inks and some Yupo paper. Yupo paper is synthetic - so the alcohol ink travels and spreads in interesting ways on the surface.


I wanted to share pictures of some of the backgrounds I create in the video - they really are beautiful and the texture that is created from the dried lines of ink is stunning. I think it looks crystalline in nature - almost as if you cut some agate or quartz, and saw all of the little fractures running across the rock.


This second background had the same color scheme as the first - but there was a change because there were different amounts of the colors applied. You can still see the cool lines - but the edges of color are a lot more subdued.


Once the backgrounds have dried (more on that in the video) then you can start using them on your cards. I chose a craft die that had a lot of open area so that I could really showcase the beautiful colors of the alcohol technique.


The 99823 Gentle Valley Oval has a large open area that was just right for this application - so I used that along with the 94011 Jotted Thanks die. The background ends up looking like the northern lights! 

The Jotted Thanks comes with a background die that outlines the words - so I cut the "thanks" in white and then layered it onto a black cardstock outline. This really makes it stand out on top of the card.


I had a little bit of that particular background left over, so I put it behind a cutout using the 94018 Elegant Holly Double Frame. There was a lot of open space in the middle - in fact, just enough room for the Poppystamps 2066 Hello Folksy Script!


This is a good picture to show how deep the color can get - one of the things I learned doing this was that if you put a few drops of a dark color into the mix, it can create a lot of contrast. The lines along the seams of the plastic wrap really intensify. Without the dark color, the background becomes more pastel - which can be good too! You can decide what works for you!


The die cuts almost float on top of the dreamy background! You will love it!


Now here's a good example of a mistake! I couldn't wait to lift off the plastic wrap to see if things were dry...and they weren't!

The result?

A couple drops of alcohol ink spread out across the scrunched background - erasing the crackly lines a bit. However - these drops dried up and in the end I loved how the layers overlapped! There really are no mistakes!


I used the 94018 Elegant Holly Double Frame again - this time I added the outer frame to the card, and then used the Birch Press Design Hugs die in the center.

I kept using some plain white on white color schemes - so that the background would really be noticed.


During the process I realized that I had started the experiment with 4 or 5 colors that were quite different from each other.

What, I wondered, would happen if I used colors that were close to each other?

Even that color scheme is interesting! The scrunch technique separates the color a little - so that there is texture even with a single shade.


I really love how it turned out! I glued the 94040 Wrapped Holly Circle Frame over the background - and it looks like a pattern of rubies underneath! 


I realized at that point that the ink was going to make an interesting pattern whether I used 1 or 100 colors - so I experimented some more.


In the end, I made about 2 dozen backgrounds! It is easy to start making them - and then try different things as you go. More color, more scrunching, longer drying times, shorter drying times, etc.


I had plenty of backgrounds to work with after awhile! They are all so striking - and it was fun to use bits and pieces of them to create different little masterpieces.


The Poppystamps 2002 Double Stitched Scalloped Rectangle Frame cuts out a frame and also the inner portion of the frame. Here I used the center portion for the background - adding the Birch Press Design Big You Sugar Script die to the center. It is so easy - and looks so good!


As a bonus, I had the frame portion left over, so I could use that on a second card! The words are stamped from the Birch Press Design CL8125 Hooray for Everything Clear Stamp Set.

I hope you like the video - it is definitely one of those techniques where you will walk away with inky fingers, so consider yourselves warned!





Great video, Dave. While the alcohol was still tacky, you could have pressed some foil paper to it...the foil would adhere. Great dies as always! Thanks for sharing your talent.

Lots of fun and wonderful creations!

These are really cool!

Not heard of the Yupo paper before and like the looks of how it reacts to the ink.
"Sunshine HoneyBee"

Great to know the cling wrap technique works with AIs. Lovely cards. Really love the red/pink one as it kinda looks like a mountain / village scene(?).

These backgrounds are beautiful. I love the color combos.

Wow! Amazing technique.I can't wait to try it. Gorgeous backgrounds!

Woww simplemente hermosos!!!

Absolutely gorgeous. I really love the red it like a beautiful ruby crystal. Definitely going to try this technique.

These turned out beautiful!

Thanks for the how to! Can’t wait to try it

What a wonderful technique! Thanks for the inspiration, I want to try it ASAP 😁

That's super cool! Really like how the backgrounds turned out. These would look super cool on canvas as well. Thank you for this. :)

Wow, the intense colors combine with simple white die cuts so beautifully!

Stunning cards, these backgrounds look amazing and those gorgeous diecuts really pop, Cathy x

Wowie, such pretty backgrounds and very interesting.

Thank u for sharing,Dave. Love the vibrancy of the colors against the white!
Simply put: I LOVE your companies!

Wow, cool technique and cards. Hugz

Amazing backgrounds & how I love all the dies you've used!

Just beautiful backgrounds!!! I do have the Pin Point Snowflake Circle Frame and want to try this. Not familiar with Yupo paper, would glossy photo paper work as well? Please reply, Dave

I have to try this! These are all gorgeous! Love the vivid colors and all the beautiful dies!

Gorgeous cards and fabulous technique!

Very cool technique!!! I just recently bought some YUPO paper so thanks for another technique to try!!! Fabulous cards!!!

Absolutely stunning cards. This technique is especially beautiful behind these gorgeous dies.

Wow, this is so cool and makes some really interesting backgrounds! I love the red combination.

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