Prompt60 #33: Bubble Wrap Printing

"Complexity excites the mind, and order rewards it. In the garden, one finds both, including vanishingly small orders too complex to spot, and orders so vast the mind struggles to embrace them."
Diane Ackerman

Your challenge? Stamp a surface with bubble wrap and incorporate the stamped material in your art journal. Use any type of paper - a page from a book, an index card, a collage, the cover of your journal. Or stamp directly in your journal to make a background for collage or words. [These examples are from a bubble wrap stamping extravaganza in 2009.]

You'll need bubble wrap, any type, a brush or brayer, paper and acrylic paint. This process will work with fluid acrylics, heavy body acrylics and block printing ink too. Cut the bubble wrap down to about 6x6" or whatever size you wish, to make it easier to manipulate. Then take a brayer or a brush and paint the section with acrylics. You can cut the bubble wrap into shapes - hearts, circles, ovals, stripes, squares, etc. 

Press the bubble wrap, paint side down, on your journal page or loose piece of paper. Instant bubbles! Ideas? Make these bubbles a background for collage... or use light colors so that you can write on top... or doodle in the circles with a white gel pen. 

The periwinkle dots on the top right and middle left were made with bubble wrap.


To stamp rectangular sections in this old moleskine datebook, I used a piece of scrap paper as a mask/block and moved the paper as I went along.


Moleskine journal cover {front & back} stamped with block printing ink & bubble wrap. Isn't that a fun Moleskine hack, by the way?

The examples were created with Speedball Block Printing Ink and a Speedball 2" rubber brayer. If you are going to stamp or do gelatin printing, I would highly recommend getting two brayers. That way you can use one brayer to apply paint to your surface, whether that's bubble wrap, a gelatin printing plate or even a hand carved stamp. That brayer will get wet, and you can rinse it as you go and then pat dry with a paper towel or rag. Then you can keep the other brayer dry so that you can roll it across the back of whatever you are using to make the print impression to provide an even print. Brayers are quite useful tools. They can be used to paint art journal backgrounds too.

The index cards were stamped with Golden fluid acrylics. The block printing inks have a matte look and feel. The inks feel like acrylic paint. Be careful rinse your brayers before ink/paint dries or else it's a pain to clean-up. Although I like fluid acrylics, block printing ink is more suitable to this type of work because they do not dry as quickly as fluid acrylics and are less expensive. 


You can layer the bubbles - for example, start with bubbles of green and then paint another section of your bubble wrap blue and stamp that at a slightly different angle or location on your page to get a layered look. Acrylics can be layered, just wait a few minutes for a layer to dry before stamping the next, that way you'll get crisp differentiation between your colors. You can also paint something on top of the dots with a brush and more acrylics.

Lots of options. Have fun with this one!

Daisy Yellow5 Comments