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We’re at the end of the stencil techniques and today is my favourite way to use stencils – with modeling pastes!

I love texture and dimension on my work, especially little pieces like tags. On a small surface, it’s hard to add lots of embellishments so extra texture adds interest without overwhelming the piece. Today, I’m going to show you some of the pastes and gels I use and the difference between letting them air dry or heat drying them.

First, here are the supplies I’ll be using:

Either a stiff card (like an old bank card or hotel key), a palette knife, Light Molding Paste, Flexible Modeling Paste, Coarse Texture Gel, Coarse Pumice Gel, and Clear Gesso.

First take whichever medium you want to use and spread it over the stencil. I like to go heavier in some areas and lighter in others for extra texture but it looks great all flat too.

I chose to work with the pastes from lightest to heaviest so light molding paste is up first:

I heat set the left side and let the right dry on its own. You can see that the left is puffy and a more even looking layer:

The second paste I tried was flexible modeling paste:

I again heat set the left and allowed the right to air dry, and again, the left is puffier and smoother:

Next up was Coarse Texture Gel:

It was really hard to get a good picture of this one, but the left side, which was heat set, went translucent and although it puffed up during heating, flatten when it cooled. The air dried right side is more opaque in colour and less shiny:

Finally for the pastes, I used Coarse Pumice Gel which is so thick it’s almost not spreadable:

It’s very cool though, and the difference between heat setting and air drying was minimal. The heat set left side was slightly lighter in appearance:

Finally, I used clear gesso, which is much runnier than black or white gesso, just to see what it did:

Once heat set, it puffed up but then, instead of falling flat, it fell down all wrinkly (kind of cool), while the air dried side was clear and rough:

Finally, I misted them all:

I found that the mist did soak into the air dried pastes more, whereas I noticed I could get more ink off the heat set side, almost like it was a resist. I didn’t do this with the Coarse Pumice Gel for two reasons: 1. It wasn’t dry, that stuff takes hours! and 2. I’ve tried it before and it always looks awful. I have been told that mixing colour in first works well though.

Speaking of mixing in colour, I’ve been trying to find a pigment to mix with pastes so they’re coloured without getting runny. Remember, the drier the better for stencils and clean designs! The best colour I had found so far was Golden Heavy Body Fluid Acrylics, and it was just ok for me, maybe I need more colours to experiment with. Today I tried my Perfect Pearls Powders – in a word, awesome!

All you have to do with any pigment is take some paste out and plop it on your craft sheet, then add (or sprinkle!) the pigment and use your palette knife or card to mix it up. Then smear it over the stencil like usual. My only complaint about the Perfect Pearls? Once mixed in they’re not shimmery! But the colours are great and because they’re a powder there’s nothing to liquify the paste.

For my finished tag, I used Flexible Modeling Paste which I air dried almost completely, then heated to get fine little bubbles on the surface – more texture! 🙂

And see that quote? I had the card done, then found that on a sticker sheet – perfect!

Love the texture…

If you have any questions – let me know. If you try out modeling paste in a project, link me up in the comments – you know I love to see them!