Friday, September 16, 2011

Stamping with Gesso

So, I got the hint with all the comments that I was  receiving that many of you have never used Gesso before.  *oops*  Well, I used it for the first time when I stamped on the Muslin Bags that I posted earlier this week.  I have to admit I was a bit vague on how I used the Gesso.  Today, I am here to show you what I did to make the fall leaves muslin bag from start to finish as some of you inquired about the water coloring too.  *smile*

Gesso 001 Supplies needed:  Gesso, Paint brush, some cardboard scraps and your muslin bag or fabric piece.


Why use Gesso?  When you stamp directly on fabric, the ink is absorbed into the fabric and produces a very light image.  You lose most of the brightness from the colors. By using Gesso, you are creating a “canvas” or surface on which your stamps will adhere and allow for the brightness or true color of your inks to show. 

Question to ask yourself before you get started…can you be patient with drying time?  If you answered “no”…get out your heat gun now!

Step 1: Paint the Gesso Step 1: Paint the Gesso on your fabric.  Insert a piece of cardboard under your fabric or inside the bag.  Squirt some Gesso onto another piece of cardboard.  The first time I did this, I painted once in one direction, dried with a heat gun and once in the other direction and then dried with a heat gun.  Gesso 004 (I paint vertically each time and turn the fabric.) It worked.  This time, I painted twice in each direction.  So I allowed the Gesso to dry naturally 4 times switching directions each time. The second time it worked better and the surface I created was much smoother.  Play around with the Gesso until you get your desired results.  We learn by trying new things!

Starbucks Coffee in a Spritzer Bottle Step 2: Dye your fabric. So, I forgot to dye the fabric before I stamped.  I highly suggest that you dye your fabric before stamping.  Warning: My dyeing methods require spritzing or dye wash which could run your water colored image if you dye after you stamp! If you don’t have coffee or tea to stain your fabric. You can create your own dye wash with a bit of water and any of the Stampin’ Up! reinkers. Take a ziploc bag and put just enough water to saturate your fabric.  Add drops of reinker until you get the desired color. Add your bag or fabric into the ziploc and squish around until bag is colored. I hope you know what squishing is!

Step 3: Color directly on stamp Step 3: Stamp with Water Color Crayons. Select your Water Color Crayons and color directly onto the stamp. Don’t worry about coloring over the colors, just make sure the entire image is colored.  Now spritz with a Step 3: Spritz with a water bottle water bottle.  I spritzed twice about 3 inches away to get the results pictured.  Stamp on the Gessoed section. When the images were dry, okay almost dry, I stamped the other images in Stazon.

Step 3: Fully StampedIf you noticed, the images blurred together nicely and the lined images are no longer available to see. Try stamping the image with ink again over the water colored images for a more detailed look.


Gesso 017This is the completed muslin bag with the Gesso rectangle, coffee dyed and water colored with Stampin’ Up!’s Watercolor Crayons.  Because I dyed after the stamping, some of my colors ran a bit, but I still like the overall look of it.

Thanks to all of you that keep me on the straight and narrow!  *smile* 

Thanks for visiting and I always appreciate comments!


My Stampin' UP! Website


  1. I just want to say thanks for the great directions.... even better was the pictures that went along with them....

  2. Thank you so much for the great directions!! I would have never figured it out on my own!! I just love all your bags you showed us but I am going to showcase this bag on My Crafty Picks #34 with a link back to your blog on 9-18-11 because of the tutorial. Make sure to stop by me blog to check out all the picks and to pick up your Blog Badge for being featured too!!

    If you wish to decline please email me at

    Take care
    Tiffany Bauer

  3. Great tutorial! Thanks. I knew what Gesso was but have never used it and didn't realize you could use it with fabric.

  4. Great idea and very clear instructions. Thanks so much.

  5. I just love the bag and thanks so much for your helpful instructions.

  6. Great project, Linda. Thanks for the awesome tutorial. Where can we get these cool bags?

  7. I bought these bags through a yahoo group I belong to called seaside crafts. Email me privately and I'll send directions to access as is a private group.

  8. This is very handy way to get crafting cards,i want to know that how can i ordered these cards.
    print loyalty card

  9. I am so doing this project!! What a great tutorial.