Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Greetings to You! Thank you for being here.

Today’s post is about playing with stencils, paint, Posca Pens, copy paper, and deli paper, to create transparent layers that are interesting to the eye!

Step 1:

Use the Coral Series: Star Coral stencil on a Gelli Plate.

Place a sheet of deli paper over the stencil while it’s still on the plate.

Use your fingers to rub through the spaces in the stencil.

Lift the deli paper off the plate and let dry.

Step 2:

Use a Posca Paint Pen to create a focus area, like the blue circle shown here.

Step 3:

Use the Sacred Hearts Series: Divine stencil with acrylic paint and a stencil brush.

Step 4:

Remove the Divine stencil and clean it off with a baby wipe on a piece of white copy paper.

Step 5:

Use the Jill K. Berry-Texture Series-Rivermap stencil around the heart on the copy paper.

TIP:The stencil brush or a cosmetic wedge could be used to apply the paint through the stencil. Try to allow for a variety of color variation, meaning, some areas are darker, while other areas have a lighter application of the paint. The eye likes variety!

Step 6:

Use Collage Pauge –Matte to glue the deli paper on top of the copy paper.

Step 7:

Use a paint scraper to burnish out any air bubbles and then wipe away any glue that seeped out the edges.

Step 8:

Enjoy your layered artwork!

Put it in your journal, hang it on your wall, fold it into a book cover or a card! I wonder what you will choose to do!

Thank you for playing along with this transparent layers tutorial!

-Briana of

As a follow-up to my last post about using those stencils in your stash, I thought I would continue the story of how I turned my stenciled and painted paper into mail art! If you look on Instagram at the hashtag #artistcellarstencilchallenge, you’ll see the blank address side of the following mail art cards I am about to share with you. (And it’s not too late to post your art with your unused stencils. We’d love to see what you’re up to!)

Supplies Used:

I facilitated a workshop at our monthly Visual Journal Collective meeting this past February. We meet at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. It’s an awesome and amazing place. If you come to the Twin Cities, you’ve got to check it out. They have an inspiring shop filled with handmade books, zines, cards, pens, books, stamps, paper, and book making supplies.

My purpose here is to inspire you to make some mail art and send it to family, friends, or other mail art fanatics!

Here are the results of the post cards I created:

The above post card is one I sent off as part of the Secret Message Society post card exchange.

Here’s my final post card, which I sent off to one of the participants at the February Visual Journal Collective meeting.

It was pretty awesome to hear that the recipient’s birthday is February 27 (2/27), and the mail art arrived in her mailbox on 2-27. I love such synchronicities, don’t you?

Can you spy the Star Coral stencil in the background of the above mail art post cards? I love stencils soooooo much!

In summary:

Use your stencils and art supplies.
Make someone’s day by sending some art in the mail.
Enjoy your life.

May it be so.

In Gratitude,


Do you have any stencils in your collection that you have not used yet? Oh my, can I relate! We simply have our go to favorites, right? I would like to put out an unofficial challenge to you. Look through your collection, grab a stencil you have yet to try, and make something. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If you want to play along, you can use the following hashtag on Instagram, #artistcellarstencilchallenge. It will be so fun to see what you come up with! (And if you don’t have any unused stencils, maybe it’s time to buy some new ones from artistcellar! A brilliant excuse for purchasing new supplies, don’t you think?)

Here’s what I did with my unused stencil. It’s from the Coral Series, 12 x 12 set, called Star Coral. I adore circles, so I am surprised I have not used this one yet. I am so excited to give it a try!

First of all, I love the 12 x 12 stencils artistcellar carries. They are made in the USA; they are sturdy, and well designed.

I am working on a large 12 x 18 sheet of 140 lb. watercolor paper, as I will eventually cut this up to create Mail Art postcards.

When I first started with my stencil on my paper, I thought I might do the cosmetic wedge and paint technique for application.

I quickly realized that this would take forever and a day, so I put on my thinking cap. Aha! I could use a foam roller!

I found this faster application of acrylic paint much more satisfying.

I appreciate seeing the variation in texture from the sponge roller. (See above)

Next, I flipped the paper over and scraped some new paint I purchased at Michaels. It’s called Color Shift, by FolkArt. It has kind of a smell to it, so if you are smell sensitive, you may not approve.

However, that color sure is pretty!

So, I rinsed the sponge roller, squeezed out the excess water, and applied a new color of acrylic paint over the color shift paint.

But first, with the stencil on top, you can see how the color shift paint is red on the top, and sort of pink on the bottom. OOOH AAAAH! I just had to show you!

I rolled out a periwinkle blue acrylic paint with a wet sponge roller. It looked like this.

Then I used the best invention for using with stencils, a baby wipe.

When you use a baby wipe over stencils, you clean your stencils and fill in new areas on your paper simultaneously. It’s the best!

When I lifted the stencil off, it didn’t look like much. No worries, as this is just a background for more scribbles, collage, and pen doodles to come!

I flipped my paper back over and added some colorful scraped paint stripes.

First yellow.

Then red.

Finally, I added magenta and greens.

Now I have two sides painted and ready for crayon scribbles, random collage, and pen doodles.

If you are in the USA, you want your postcards to be at least 3 ½ in. x 5 in., and no larger than 4 ¼ in. x 6 in. There is also a thickness restriction, but the 140 lb. watercolor paper meets the limit. When in doubt, add extra postage, or go to your local post office to see what they require.

I am off to turn this paper into Mail Art, and then I will post pictures to our artistcellar stencil challenge hashtag over on Instagram. Remember, your creation does not need to be anything fancy. Simply make something with a stencil you have yet to use. See you over on Instagram at the hashtag #artistcellarstencilchallenge.

All of my best,

Briana of

Hello beautiful souls,

OMG.. did we get some amazing new toys in our most recent Artistcellar box! Are you excited to follow up on my last art piece? I knew you'd be sitting by your computer eagerly awaiting the cliffhanger reveal. LOL. So without further adieu, may I present my most recent masterpiece, The Flower of Life Heart Chakra with Heart Chakra Sanskrit Center!

I used: 12x12 Flower of life stencilheart chakra stencil, and sanskrit anahata. I used the viva decor inka gold to really make anahata sing. Isn't it beautiful?!

Next up I wanted to play with the Japanese Geometric Series

so I did some little 4x6 water color cards. I used some red, orange, and yellow as the base colors, then shifted the order, used some distress inks for the stencils, and the sanskrit and outlined them in gold. I added some white ink for a lighter contrast with the halftone dots stencils. I didn't intend for it to look Christmasy, but it kind of looked snowy with the white ink. I called this series "SeaZens Greetings"

I wanted to create another one of my mirrors using the labyrinth series stencils, but this time I did it on black. I really dig how the colors look much more bold rather than pastel by changing the base color.

My MMM was in the studio with me again this time creating lots of layers with his piece. I took 3 shots to show the progress as his artwork changes so much with each step

Christian used the 12x12 star coral with some ranger texture paste.

Since I was feeling the mirror thing I was excited to do a chakra and sanskrit mirror series. I did a little paper template first to plan out my design.

I like to do a little template first to get the "design bugs" out before moving on to the finished product. Generally I tend to do some problem solving in this step and find this to be a helpful tool as not to "mess up" my final piece. I decided to use the 6x6 chakra series stencils and repeat the crown chakra stencil since my spacing involved 4 characters per mirror. I did the design so that the mirrors can be hung side by side and follow along the chakras in order :D I like organized design like that. I did the sanskrit in some gorgeous metallic gold paint marker to make the design pop. Could you totally see these in a yoga studio?!

I made so much art recently with the new batch of goodies I have to wait til the next blog to show you all just what a blast I had with the speedball lino cutter and speedy carve blocks we received. I learned so much about myself and design too, so stay tuned for next weeks blog!

Have a wonderful start to your new year and we will see you soon!

Love, peace, and art,


Howdy, Ya’ll! It’s Briana here from Today I am going to share some stepped out photos of how to create a dynamic background page using Dye-Na-Flow, the Star Coral stencil, black acrylic paint, Dylusions Spray Ink, and neon embroidery floss!

I am using a 9x12 loose sheet of 140 lb. watercolor paper.


First, I painted and dripped some yellow Dye-Na-Flow on the paper.

Star Coral Stencil with Black Acrylic Paint

Second, you’ll want to use the Star Coral stencil (from the super awesome Coral Series), a cosmetic wedge, and black acrylic paint to start creating some contrast.

As you can see in the photo above, I did not use the entire stencil; I just used parts of it, here and there.

Dylusions Spray Ink

Next, let’s spray some ink!

TIP: You’ll want to either clear the area, or set up a spray station. These spray inks have been known to spray in directions you are not always intending for them to go!

Sometimes you might not want the edge of the stencil to show on your page.

TIP: Use post-it notes or papers to block out certain areas. (See below).

TIP: Use a roll of paper towels to soak up excess ink.

Check out how awesome the Dylusions Spray Ink and the Dye-Na-Flow work when layered on top of one another.

Isn’t that delicious?!

Neon Embroidery Floss

You don’t have to be good at sewing to add interesting stitches to your page. I am using a couple of colors from this neon embroidery floss set I found at a fabric store.

TIP: Look in the children’s art supply section, as “friendship bracelets” use the same thread.

You’ll want to also gather a pair of scissors and a sharp needle. I am using a bookbinding needle, but a hand embroidery needle would work, as well.

TIP: Here’s a great hand needles guide by Jo-Ann.

Start sewing from the back of your page. Be sure to create a knot at the end of your thread. I also make a loose knot near the eye of the needle.

TIP: Use a light source to help you see through your paper as you determine where to stitch

You might consider stitching around some stenciled shapes, or create your own shapes with your stitches, such as Xs or crosses.

I hope you give some of these ideas a try!

In case you are wondering what you might do with this loose background page, here are a few suggestions:

Add collage images and rubber stamp words to complete the page


Cut it up and create a handmade card


Cut it up and create gift tags

Of course, you can always simply leave it as is. For me, the process of making art is the most important part. Enjoy playing with the supplies and materials. Soak in that playful color. Simply be with it all and feel the positive energy art making brings.

Blessings to you,