Guest Author - Sarah Roop
Stamping with bleach is a simple and unique way to make stunning cards with little effort. This method works best with dark colored papers. Depending on the paper used you will achieve many different effects with the bleach as different manufacturer’s dyes and ingredients used in the making of the paper differ.
The easiest way to stamp with bleach is to take a paper towel or piece of white felt and put it into a shallow pan or other waterproof container. I use one of the plastic containers my Stampin’ Up! Stamps came in. I can snap it closed for later use without making my studio smell like bleach. Add a small amount of bleach and you can use it like a traditional ink pad. You will only want to use bold stamps however as bleach has a tendency to run a bit. Depending on the type of paper used, a minute of two you see the paper lightening up. This gives a great aged look with more traditional designs and gives the feeling of elegance and permanence. The zebra card pictured below is an example of using bleach in this way.
Another easy way of using bleach is to stamp and heat emboss your design and then using a brush, paint the bleach in the embossed areas as you would when using watercolors. The card pictured below is an example of this technique. The flower area has two coats of bleach on it giving it a yellower appearance than the stem and leaves, which have only one coat of bleach, leaving it with a greener appearance.
Once you have bleached out these areas you can leave them as is or color them in using your choice of mediums. PearlEx, Twinkling H2O’s, and Perfect Pearls are wonderful in this technique. They will show up wonderfully on the bleached areas of the paper, giving a beautiful, glowing look against the dark paper.
You can also put some bleach in a small mister bottle and spritz it over your paper, either before or after you stamp your image on it, depending on the look you with to achieve. Be careful though, that you do not spray anything but what you actually want bleached as you can easily ruin anything that gets in the way of the bleach. On paper before you stamp it makes a great background effect. It you spray after you stamp your image it will fade your image as well as the paper, giving an older, used feel to the image.
If you dilute the bleach you will get a softer look than with full strength bleach. Try spritzing some papers with bleach full strength, then diluting and spraying it again. You will get a spectacular variegated effect.
Once you are done stamping with bleach, it is very important that you clean your stamps thoroughly. Bleach left on the stamps can damage them. Experiment and have fun, with this technique you never know exactly what you are going to get.