Mixed Media: techniques to try

Camp Scrap is coming to an end soon – but don’t despair!! For a few reasons.

  1. This is my blog and lovely readers, I have HUGE plans for its future and the continued sharing of tutorials and inspiration!!
  2. You can always take a class from me for more – including the FREE ones at scrapbook.com (affiliate links used in this post) like my new mixed media class. 
  3. You can always access the archives! This blog has YEARS of projects, my YouTube has over 400 videos – I’ve got you covered!

All that said, I want to use today’s Mixed Media post to share some techniques you wanna use no matter what kind of paper crafting you’re into. So enjoy this round-up!

1. Distress ink (on a gesso surface) + water

This one above is shown off in my mixed media free class. Basically applying assorted distress inks then stamping into them with water is always a good idea. SO FUN! But add in some gesso and a lot of times the surface takes better. Play around and enjoy – great technique for any craft.

2. Stencil + Paste, Embossing + color

One of my all time favorite cards (it has a video) I made as  a guest post for Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. You can check it out here and I hope you enjoy. I love mixing different techniques and this card was so easy – and it reminds me it is a good idea to combine, mix, and match simple techniques like these.

3. Test your surface

Gesso vs no gesso, smooth vs textured… it all matters. From gel smoothness to rough pastes – play with how materials look on various surfaces. You might be surprised how much better (or worse) techniques get.

4. Color all the things

This might sound silly… but keep the stash simple and light, and add your own color! Ribbons to cardstock, flowers to leaves I can’t tell you how much lighter my stash of things is since I basically color my own ribbons, flowers, and more now. So often I even die cut plain white paper then work out the coloring later.

5. Put it all down… then cover it in paint.

I do this a lot. Maybe too much but who cares it’s crazy fun. Throw down all your embellishments glue them good. Then coat in gesso or paint. Then add more paint.

This is actually a lesson I do cover in my mixed media class – that class has a TON of inspiration! (here’s that link again) But truly from journal covers to tags  to décor items – it’s super fun because you can use up a hodge podge of things in any color you have and then reimagine the colors. It’s all about texture, baby!

Want more? Here are some past favorites that might get you creating! Including:

Game of Thrones image transfer wood panel

Rainbow watercolor canvas that is inspiring a mini online class… 

Stamping + creating on wood slices is inspiring me for future classes as well… 

mixing fabric into my crafting and onto my cards

and a tutorial for my #1 favorite thing to do with gel medium

I hope I’ve inspired you to worry less about “what that does” and jump into creating with whatever materials inspire you. What are YOUR favorite techniques? Do share!

23 thoughts on “Mixed Media: techniques to try”

  1. I used to hoard, always was afraid to use something that I may want later. Now if I get a piece of wood veneer, some cool die cuts or even journal cards with great sayings, I scan them into my computer.
    Then I have a backup, so I don’t fear using anything. I do like digitizing too because it gives me the opportunity to change color and size as well. That is my goto technique. Use it, don’t lose it.

    I am going to miss camp. But I am in Picture this class.. I can stay involved.
    Thnaks for opening your Facebook group too. I have found a lot of inspiration from the scrap community there.

    1. What a great idea! I am alos bad about saving things for something special. Love this idea.

  2. I’ve really, really enjoyed Camp Scrap this summer! Thank you so much for this amazing free content. I have had to prioritize other projects than scrapbooking recently, but your posts have really made me think and dream about what I’ll do when I get back to focusing on my memory-keeping (the artful side of it!)
    P.S. I’m signed up for your mixed media class at Scrapbook.com and I look forward to it. Mixed media is way outside of my very type-A personality, but I definitely want to give it a try–perhaps it will help me to relieve some of my tension and anxiety to just PLAY!

  3. Thank you! As always! for the amazing inspiration you share with us! It is so greatly appreciated!

  4. Love all the reminders to dig into my stash and try out these different techniques. Love all the inspiration you share on your blog. Thanks so much for doing this.

  5. Thank you so much for your amazing Camp Scrap. It’s been a lot of fun, and super inspiring, too. I love my Distress inks (I still refer back to that Distress class you had, it was my first from you), I also love a gesso surface, and do that most of the time. I also like stencils and texture paste. I also love to make my own journal cards with stamping and sometimes heat embossing. Anyway, have a great rest of your summer! Love, Michelle t

  6. Thanks for the inspiration! Sometimes I collect these items with good intentions of trying them out… but somehow never get around to actually doing it! This is a good reminder of why I bought them!

  7. I haven’t created much these past few weeks-but I have organized, watched you tubes on techniques I liked, planned some projects, and generally been more interested in creating again. More than I’ve done in years-so I count it a big win.

  8. I love all your classes, May, and have tried at least a little of each mixed media idea. My favorite is stencil + paste + coloring with ink or watercolor!

  9. I don’t do much mixed media, but I’m trying more and more techniques, usually after watching a May Flaum video 🙂 I would really like to try the “glue everything on and then paint it” type project on a book cover. I think that looks fun. And I love all the classes I have taken from Craft With May, I think they are all great!

  10. May I want to come play with you in your craft room. LOL!!! You are full of inspiration. Thank you so much for all the free tutorials!!!

  11. I have tried a lot of these. I have started watching your free class too on scrapbook.com

  12. Thanks for all the fun you shared in Camp Scrap this year. And for free!! I love all your classes and have signed up for them all. Your free mixed media class at scrapbook.com is really, really awesome. See you on FB!

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