Reported By: Tami Bayer
When I first started stamping I bought a cheap 4″ brayer with a metal handle from a discount store. The metal handle was uncomfortable in my hand, and it always squeaked when I used it, so I didn’t use it much. Recently, my husband was placing an order with Dick Blick Art Supplies and asked if I needed anything. I took a peek on the website and spotted a Speedball 6″ Soft Rubber Brayer which looked like a much better tool than the cheap squeaky brayer I currently had. I paid the Blick discount price of $11.49 which is almost $5 less than the retail list price of $16.39. It also comes in a 4″ and 2″ size at a lower price.
As soon as I opened the box and held this brayer in my hand, I knew I was in for a whole new background making experience. This brayer has a nice sturdy plastic handle that fits in my hand perfectly. I inked it up and found that the width of the brayer is so fantastic for making backgrounds. All I have to do is run it over the inkpad twice, once on each end to ink up a 6″ wide background in one pass. The best part is, no squeak. It feels like magic that I can pick up a piece of white cardstock and use a brayer and a bit of ink to create something colorful and unique.
Now, if you are not familiar with using a brayer with your ink pads, just know that there are a ton of techniques you can create with a brayer. You can do everything from resist techniques to the more complex Jacob’s coat technique. You can even use it simply to color your backgrounds with ink to match your project. The other thing that I love to use my brayer for is those tricky large background or collage stamps. I ink up my stamp and then lay the stamp down face up. Carefully place the cardstock on top of the stamp and hold it with one hand. Then take your brayer and roll over the cardstock. Perfect image nearly every time.
This is an ATC I made using the crayon resist technique. It starts with glossy white paper and an image stamped with staz-on. The fun part is coloring with white crayons. Then the ink is brayered over the whole thing.
This is a gothic arch I made using the plastic wrap technique. It starts with glossy white paper brayered with ink, then sprayed with water and plastic wrap is scrunched up and put over the whole thing, then left to dry.
I’d love to hear any brayer tips you have to share with us. Do you use it for a special technique? Do you have a favorite brand or size brayer?