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Creating Texture with Rubber Bands: A Guide to Mixed Media Resist

Hi friends. Here is another fun technique using everyday materials. In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to use rubber bands and spray ink to create a resist effect on your mixed media backgrounds.

This fun and easy technique will add some texture and depth to your artwork while utilizing things you have around your house.

So grab some rubber bands, and let's get started!

use rubber bands in mixed media

But first, you might have this question...

What does resist mean in art?

A resist technique refers to a process where a resist material is used to create patterns or designs on a surface by preventing the application of a medium like paint, dye, or ink in certain areas.

The resist material creates a barrier between the medium and the surface, preventing the medium from reaching the areas covered by the resist. This allows the artist to create intricate and detailed patterns or designs by selectively applying the medium only to certain areas.

In some cases, resist material can be removed or washed off after the medium has dried, revealing the pattern or design created by the exposed surface. You can see how in my tutorial that uses rubber cement as a resist medium. You could also use wax or special masking fluids. I also have a tutorial on making a batik effect on fabric using gel glue.

In other cases, including in the tutorial you’re about to see, the resist medium does not get removed but can still be seen after applying paints or inks on top. You can create resists like this using colored pencils, oil pastels, and even glitter glue.

rubber band resist supplies

Step 1

Twist the rubber bands around your rolling pin. You can also use an adjustable brayer if you have one.

Space the rubber bands out and make sure they crisscross for the best results.

rolling pin with rubber bands

Step 2

Roll the rolling pin across clear embossing ink.

You want the ink to get on the rubber bands.

roll rubber bands through embossing ink

Step 3

Roll your inked rolling pin with rubber bands across some white card stock. You will want to add ink to the whole page. Changing directions gives it a good look.

You'll probably have to re-ink the rubber bands after each roll on the paper.

roll rubber bands over cardstock

It might be difficult to see, but this is how it should look:

rubber band markings on paper


Step 4

Next, pour a light-colored embossing powder over your entire page so it sticks to all your marks.

Remove the excess powder by using a runner funnel tray or a folder piece of paper so you pour it back into its container.

embossing powder on resist markings

Step 5

Use a heat gun to melt the embossing powder.

heat gun melting embossing powder

I have found that it takes a little longer to melt my embossing powder after I turn my heat gun on.

This is a picture of melted powder vs. unmelted:

melted and unmelted embossing powder

Step 6

After all the embossing powder is melted, spray the paper with ink sprays.

ink spray resist

I like to use a combination of colors.

resist showing through ink sprays

use multiple colors of ink spray

Step 7

After the inks are dry, you can choose to rub the paper with a tissue to make the resist effect more pronounced.

You can also use a baby wipe to really remove the ink from the embossed markings as I did:

In this picture, the bottom half has been rubbed with a paper towel:

embossing powder resist marks

Here are some examples that used other colors of embossing powder:

examples of embossing powder colors

embossing powder examples

Go give it a try!

Have you tried using everyday materials in your mixed media art? What other simple items have you repurposed to create unique effects in your artwork? Share your experiences and ideas in the comments below!

Visit my create mixed media page for examples of how you can use these backgrounds. And then check out my other background techniques.

If you loved this resist background technique, please share ❤️❤️❤️

rubber band resist for mixed media

rubber band resist effect


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