Today’s How To-sday comes to you from Guest Designer Kristina MacKeen. Kristina shows us what Gesso is all about! It’s certainly opened my eyes to a fun, new technique – I’ll definitely be giving this one a try! Perfect for layouts, cards, altered projects, mini albums – you name it, you can gesso it!

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Hi! Kristy MacKeen here with a quick How’s To on using gesso with a mask. I love masks. They can be used in so many ways – with ink, with chalk, and in this case, with gesso. Gesso was used to make the sunburst pattern of my MWM-Pearl 4 layout. DIY handmade tutorial for using gesso with a mask What is gesso, you may be asking? Gesso is a base coat with a slight texture. It is ideal for priming canvas, wood, metal, plastic, chipboard, paper and fabric prior to painting. Gesso adds subtle texture (called “tooth”) when applied, allowing a surface to accept paint and other mediums more easily.I decided to use gesso as a masking agent because I wanted some texture in the white spaces. Also, it allowed me to ink over the outer edges of the gessoed area to give the final product a glowing look.

For this project I gathered the following items and got to work:

DIY handmade tutorial for using gesso with a mask

For this project, I *should* have used washi tape to hold down my mask, if not, be prepared to get your hands a little messy.

DIY handmade tutorial for using gesso with a mask

Using a sponge brush, I applied the gesso over the mask. I tried using a standard paint brush, but found it left bristles in the gesso. Now admittedly, I don’t have the highest quality brushes, so that could have been part of my problem. ;-) But the sponge brush gives you full coverage, very quickly

DIY handmade tutorial for using gesso with a mask

After pulling up the mask and letting the gesso dry fully, I grabbed my inks and sponge and started layering the colors over the areas covered with gesso. I allowed the inks to overlap to give the shading affect. The advantage of using this method over spraying the mask with mists, or inking directly on the mask, is the ability to go beyond the edges of the mask.

DIY handmade tutorial for using gesso with a mask

After I was done inking, I wiped the ink of the gesso using a baby wipe, leaving it white once again.

DIY handmade tutorial for using gesso with a mask

As quick and easy as that, you have a fun background for your project. And any imperfections can be covered with your picture or other embellishments. But I live by the motto that the imperfections are just a sign that something is homemade.

Give this a try! Let me know what you think!

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Kristina, thank you so much for sharing with us today! I can’t wait to get started on a gesso project! If you have an idea that you would like to share as a How To-sday tutorial, please send your photos and directions to melodee@steals.com.

Have a great day and be sure to stop by tomorrow for my last Mid Week Mojo sketch – Amber #6!