Stitching, Stamps and Stencils, Oh My!

using stencils in art journals

Three of my favorite techniques to use in my visual journals are stitching, stamps and stencils. As you can guess, today is letter S of the ABCs of visual journaling. Part of the fun of visual journaling is trying out new techniques and practicing them on the pages of a personal journal.

This playful experimentation and practice gets translated into my teaching, improves my confidence and influences my paintings on canvas.

My visual journal is both playground and therapy, it’s where I work through what’s on my heart or what I am wanting to learn. In the image at the top is a page I created in a wonderful class with my friend Andrea. I loved learning how to create layers with paint, collage, stamps and stencils. The alphabet letters are a stencil that Andrea created for a class.

Making handmade stamps

Making my own stamps has been really fun and I feel like it adds originality to my piece. No one else is using the same stamp as I am.

stitching stamps and stencils

Stencils are also a favorite go to in my visual journals for building up patterns and layers and creating contrast.

One of my favorite parts of the visual journaling process is creating the backgrounds. Sometimes I can get stuck wondering how to finish a page and I let it sit for a while until I figure it out.

Letting go of perfectionism or the pressure of finishing has been a powerful part of the visual journaling process for me. Working in several journals at once and creating many backgrounds that I can return to over and over until they are complete has been a rewarding part of my practice.

Slow Stitching is my new obsession!

There is a new trend called slow stitching that is my current obsession. Similar to embroidery, it offers hours of stitching fun, mostly done by hand. I’ve never loved to sew using a machine, but I’d forgotten how much I enjoy working with hand stitching. Below are a few samples I’ve been working on. There are some great beginner classes on Skillshare.

slow stitching art journal

Do you have a favorite tool or technique that you love to use in your visual journal pages? Or a new obsession like slow stitching? Using stitching, stamps and stencils in unique compositions and layers makes my pages more personal and helps me to discover my personal style of creative expression.

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  1. Janet Miles on November 11, 2021 at 10:34 am

    I use stamps a lot and sometimes stencils but I haven’t done any stitching on my projects yet. Sometimes I use a pen to go around the edge of a card to make it look like stitching. Love your pages.

    • minette on November 11, 2021 at 11:12 am

      Thank you Janet! I love the idea of using pen marks to imitate stitching.

  2. Kate Loving on November 11, 2021 at 11:29 am

    I want to learn how to make stamps. I guess I’ll google it!

    • minette on November 11, 2021 at 11:47 am

      Hi Kate, It’s super simple. There are some great youtube tutorials on creating foam stamps. This is a really good one:

      • Francine on November 12, 2021 at 10:26 am

        I recently discovered slow stitching, so have been exploring it of late.

  3. Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA on November 11, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Simply satisfying

  4. Angie on November 13, 2021 at 10:56 am

    I admire those who do mixed media. I am just not good at it. I do water coloring on my handmade cards (and stamping!) and that is the extent of it.

    • minette on November 14, 2021 at 6:13 am

      Hi Angie, I’m glad you found what you love to create, that is what matters the most! Watercolor is one of those supplies I keep playing with and hoping to get better at!

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