Ombre color

Dear Fellow Crafters,

In our neck of the woods, winter takes on a dreary and dull finish over everything. While snow is kind-of pretty when falling from the sky and I am looking at it from a nice cozy warm kitchen, snow becomes black when it sits too long after being plowed, melted and driven on. Our senses, if we let them, can become dull and gray too in this winter season. So when I read an article recently about a new trend in coloring our card stock, I immediately became intrigued. Color, lots of color!

Ombre, by definition, means the gradual blending of one color hue to another, dark to light and vice versa. So how does one use this new technique, you ask.

Paper companies are smart. A few of them jumped on the proverbial, “band wagon” and have put papers on the market that are printed with ombre color designs – no guess-work for the consumer. All you have to do is glue stick or Xyron the papers to your card stock. You can, of course, die-cut or hole punch them as usual. Ink companies, not to be outdone, have ombre ink pads too. There are dye and pigment versions and the color is graduated from darker to light on either end.

Crafters, being creative, have come up with ideas to make their own ombre colored paper. Here are some of the more ingenious ideas:

Paper strips– the idea here is to use up your paper stash. On your craft table, lay out strips of the same color family, varying from dark to light and then paste onto card stock.  An ink version is to take an ink pad and using a foam blending sponge, swirl the ink with a light pressure on one end of the cardstock, gradually adding more pressure. Pigment and dye inks work well with this technique. This is akin to coloring a sky for an image.  The final technique is called dip-dying. I saw this technique done using heavy-duty water-color paper years ago. My son attended a school camp one summer and all the parents had to participate in at least one activity. Of course, I volunteered for the arts and crafts program.  At the time, I had no idea that years later I would be advocating this technique for my blog! What you do is mix fabric dye as directed on the box. You can use paper or canvas for this technique. After mixing, lower the paper into the dye. The longer you leave it in, the more intense the color becomes. One of the camp instructors used a popsicle stick to swirl the color and we put the papers in, one at a time only on the surface to create a tie-dye effect.

You can, of course use markers, watercolors or even acrylic paint to achieve ombre colors for your artwork. Experiment and have fun!

‘Til next time,