Glue Background Techniques

This is part 2 in the Background Noise Challenge Series!

These backgrounds are both very VERY easy to make, the hardest part is waiting overnight for the glue to dry!!! – impossible if your impatient like me 🙂

For these backgrounds all you really need to have is some cheap white gloopy glue – or PVA glue as it is otherwise known. All other ingrediants can be improvised for items you DO have so dont worry if you dont have all the bits and pieces…

First of all there are 2 variations of the glue background techniques, the list of supplies needed below applies to both technique variations.

You are getting real value for money because technically this is two background techniques in one!

What You Need:

  • PVA Glue – or any cheap white clear drying school glue.
  • Quarter Sheet White Card Stock (matt)
  • Plastic credit card or scraper tool (see below for more details)
  • Plastic Fork (optional)
  • Pigment, Dye Or Chalk Inkpads
  • Paper Towel (kitchen roll type)

Both of these techniques CAN get messy in the first stages so protect your work surface with either newspaper or a nonstick craft sheet.

Glue Resist Background Technique One:

These backgrounds use glue to create an unique distressed resist effect on your backgrounds – kinda shabby chic like!


First of all before you begin you need to get a paint scraping tool – you can buy one, or you can make your own! I use a fake plastic credit card ie those store loyalty points cards are perfect.

On one side of the credit card cut some teeth into the edge using scissors, this transforms your credit card into a combined combing and scraper tool.

See picture below for what mine looks like:


Once you have your scraper tool you are ready to begin.

1. Squirt a generous dollop of white pva glue onto the centre of your card stock, use the credit card scraper tool to spread the glue all over the card surface.

You want the glue to be thick and gooey, use the scraper tool to lift off excess glue here and there and wipe it onto scrap paper to discard.

Use the comb part of your tool to drag the points through the glue to create texture, lines and cross hatches etc (you could use a plastic fork if you prefer)

Once your happy with how it looks, leave it overnight to dry.

Tip: Because it takes so long to dry, why not prepare lots of gluey backgrounds ready for a background making session the next day!

Once the glue has dried your ready to begin!

2. Take either a chalk inkpad or a dye inkpad

Note: if your using chalk pads you can dtp direct to the surface. If using dye inks you need to use a sponge to transfer the ink.

Swipe the inkpad color of your choice all over the surface of the glued background. Be generous with the ink as you want it to seep into all the nooks and creases. Dont worry if its too dark.

3. Use a paper towel to rub over the surface of the inked glue background, rub off excess inks here and there to create a distressed resist effect. Keep going till your happy with how your background looks – its finished when you like it!

Tip: A tiny splash of water on the background will help remove even more colour – dont use too much water as it can make the glue sticky. If this happens just set it aside to air dry.

Heres some scans of the backgrounds I created earlier – these were all made using Chalks Inkpads:





Gloopy Glue Background Technique Two:

For these backgrounds you use the glue to make random swirls and drips on your backgrounds, they are really fun and easy to make!


1. Take your card and sit it on the work table, gently squeeze the bottle of glue and use it to randomly sweep glue lines and dribbles all over the surface of the card.

Dont worry about neatness or how they look – just swing your wrist and let the glue fall where it falls.

Set aside your background to dry overnight – as before make up a batch so you have plenty to work on the next day!

2. Using a pigment inkpad – the reason I chose pigment is because it doesnt dry on the glue at all and therefore enhances this background even more. Rub the pigment inkpad all over the surface of the card – be generous. Use several colours if you wish.

3. Take a dry paper towel and rub it over the surface, pay particular attention to the glue patterns as you want to buff and remove the pigment ink from the glue to create an unique resist pattern.  Your background is complete!

Heres scans of my gloopy backgrounds all created using pigment pads: 





I hope you have fun making these 2 glue background techniques!

As always please share what youve created and leave a comment to let me know what you think or if you have any questions!

6 thoughts on “Glue Background Techniques

  1. Those gloopy loops look terrific. Can’t wait to try them. Will a heat gun hurry the drying process or just make the glue runny? I used Elmer’s glue thinned down with water a couple of years ago and then stamped into the glue and then onto glossy paper and let dry, which didn’t take very long. Then sponged on ink. You could remove a little or a lot of glue and color with a damp paper towel or baby wipe. The effect was really cool. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Ohhhh… looks fun! I love glue and these seem like they’ll be fun to play with and a snap to make. Can’t wait to get started!

  3. Looks like fun – I just cleaned up my work area, but it won’t stay that way for long. Off to make a gluey mess so it can dry overnight. I might try to use the heat gun on one sample just to see what it does. I think we did that with heated pearls.

  4. Pingback: #15 - Board Book Page 4 « tRish bEe’s aRtbUzz

  5. Trish,
    Thanks again for this tutorial. I will print it out and add it to my book with the card so I can refer to it.

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