Just Be Happy: Rubber Band Background Technique

When I was heavy into stamping many, many years ago, one of my favorite background techniques was to randomly wrap rubber bands around a wood block, dip this combination into some ink and then stamp away. Oh, what fun! It creates an abstract smear of streaks and lines – perfect for showcasing a simple sentiment or a bold image. I haven’t seen this technique used since I reentered the stamping world, so I thought I’d give it a try to share it with you.

I made this card with the calming (yet energizing) and classically beautiful combination of Calypso Coral and Lucky Limeade:
stampwithbrian.com - rubberband background technique
And here’s a closeup of the beautiful mess I made:
stampwithbrian.com - rubberband background closeup

Easiest step-by-step tutorial on Earth:

Make sure you print this off or write it down. I don’t want you to forget these lenghty steps:

  1. Grab an acrylic block.
  2. Randomly wrap some rubber bands around the block.
  3. Dip the block in ink.
  4. Stamp the inked rubber bands randomly onto paper.
  5. Done. Enjoy your masterpiece.
  6. Oh, wait! Carefully remove and dispose of the rubber bands, and clean your block [and hands (if you missed the word “carefully”)].

Here’s a photographic, still life representation of a rubber band background technique I did with Early Espresso:

stampwithbrian.com - rubberband technique supplies

Stamp sets: Pursuit of Happiness Papers: Lucky Limeade, Calypso Coral, Very Vanilla Inks: Lucky Limeade, Calypso Coral Accessories: Acrylic Block (I used “I”), Labels Collection Framelits, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!


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  1. People it’s 6:30 wake up!
    I’m late, I’ve been busy -Cool technique! And one I might add would be great with children! Funny, it’s still “rubber stamping” Ha! So, question, did you ink in Lucky Limeade and then “rock n roll” in Calypso Coral? The colors are not blended so my guess is you randomly stamped twice, each in a different color. Sorry to make this so complicated!

    • Good morning!!! I did the latter. I inked in one color. Disassembled. Reassembled. Inked in the other. I tried to clean in between but was too nervous I would transfer color to my other pad. Me scared.

  2. Way. Too. Cool.

  3. What a neat idea. I have been awake since 5am. I got you both beat. Brian you have the best ideas. Keep them coming!!!

    • Ha, Vicki! I’ve slipped into that “early to bed, early to rise” phase of my life. Up between 4:30 and 5:00 every morning. In bed by 9:00 each night. Life is wonderful. Thanks for your compliments. Keep THOSE coming. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. What a cool technique thanks for sharing:)

  5. This is a great project for the new juicy stamp pads ….I like your color combo …Wonder how this would do with Triple Time …probably be a bit too messy and blobby ..is that a real word ? I may give a try… fun fun fun!

    • Perfect for the new pads! Since the background is so random, it probably won’t show up in triple time, but give it a try. Shoot me a picture of what you make! Would love to see it.

  6. Gosh!! what a fantastic idea, Brian. You have a wonderful imagination, to be able to think of rubber bands, of all things, and make this gorgeous card. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  7. I’ve been stamping for quite a long time, have heard of this technique, but never really tried it. (Where have I been??) Now I will – your cards look absolutely fabulous! Rubber banding a couple of different sized acrylic blocks (if one is so lucky as to own more than one) could give a different effect as well as eliminating the problem of “color contaminating” the ink pads by having to dissassemble between colors. This IS such a fun and happy place !!!! Thanks Brian!

  8. Thanks for bringing this technique back, Brian! I too did this one years ago, but on a brayer. Yours looks so much easier, because I have trouble taking apart the brayer and re-doing it. LOL! Have a wonderful day!

  9. I love revisiting old ideas-I always seem to do a better job the second time around!!

  10. A technique that is brand new to me! So cool. Your photographic still life reminds me of aspen trees! TFS!

  11. Great technique! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Love it Brian! It like, totally has a gnarly 80’s vibe going on. I heard Flock of Seagulls in my head when I saw this. And that s said in a really good way. It has a very cool retro-y feel to it!

  13. So that is how you got early espresso ink on your white jeans!

  14. I have never known about this technique…but I’m fairly new to stampin (maybe 5 years or so)….but will definitely share and try this – it’s wonderful and will be great for masculine cards!!!

  15. What a fun technique to try with my grandkids–thanks, Brian!

  16. Brian you just keep ‘bringing it’! I love this technique and the dual color combo! Definitely saved to the must try list! My list just keeps getting longer and longer. Have you tried crayon resist yet? I am getting frustrated … can’t seem to get it right. Would love to see you take on the technique!! Happy stampin’!

  17. Brian, I have to tell you that your posting is the first thing I look for in my emails. You always amaze me with your ideas and creations. You inspire me to get in my craft room and try all these new things, at least new to me. Thank you for that.

  18. Me like

  19. Brian, I love this and just had to try it. I used it in black and white for the http://cas-ualfridays.blogspot.com/ challenge. I wanted you to know I gave you credit. While I had the messy rubber band block, I stamped several pieces of cardstock. I suppose if you are careful, you could do 2 colors by turning the block over for the second color. I may try that next. Have plenty of handi-wipes ready! It is quite messy cleaning up.

  20. You just keep amazing me.Thanks for this great idea!

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