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Brayer Techniques

There are 4 basic types of brayers, sponge, soft rubber, hard rubber and acrylic. Each has very different uses and each (except the hard rubber brayer) is a wonderful tool for rubber stampers. Speedball has come out with a plastic handle that works with snap in brayer rollers in each of the 4 types -- one handle, 4 brayers!

Sponge Brayer: The sponge brayer is for getting a nice, even sponged looking background. I also use mine to color a piece of paper with brown ink and then stamp my House Mousy on it and cut him out. It gives him a kind of furry look.

Soft Rubber Brayer (red rubber): The soft rubber brayer is my most indispensable tool. I use it to:

  • Ink up the really fine Magenta stamps

    This Magenta stamp was inked by running a brayer over a Kaleidacolor rainbow dye ink pad (Royal Satin) and then using the brayer to ink up the stamp. Change directions while inking to prevent straight lines of colors but don't mix the colors too much or it will all be mud.

    Stamper: Christine Cox

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  • Make rainbow backgrounds (by running the brayer directly onto the cardstock)

  • Make backgrounds by inking a stamp, stamping the brayer and then running the brayer over the cardstock
  • Applying Liquid Applique directly onto the cardstock for that suede feel
  • Running the brayer through a rainbow pad and then over bubble wrap on cardstock
  • Smoothing out the tissue paper after I've covered my cardstock with it for a cool background
  • Smoothing shrink plastic down on the inked up stamp so that the image won't have any air pockets in it
  • Running the brayer over a rainbow pad, spritz the brayer with just a little water and then apply the color to the cardstock for a watery looking background.

    This effect is achieved with more of a roll-and-smear-a-little, pick up the brayer, change direction, roll-and-smear-a-little method. The ink on this card is a Kaleidacolor rainbow dye ink pad (Caribbean)

    Stamper: Christine Cox

    Stamp credits: Fish by Fred Mullett, plant by Rubber Stampede

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salt.jpg (22762 bytes)

  • Running the brayer over an ink pad (rainbow or single color), running it over wet cardstock and then putting rock salt on it. Let it dry 24 hours,
    wipe off the salt and you have a great background.

Artist (ha!): Christine Cox

Note: The ink used was Kaleidacolor's Calypso rainbow dye ink pad

Hard Rubber Brayer (black rubber): The hard rubber brayer is used in print making (I think). I don't know how
one would use it in stamping. Any ideas?

Acrylic Brayer: The acrylic brayer is my newest love! It's great to put either rubber bands
or cellophane around and make really cool backgrounds using either rainbow
or single color inks.

Back to my little rubber stamping page

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me

The small print: The card designs on this page are the property of their respective owners. Likewise, the stamp images are copyrighted (in most cases) by their legal owners. None of these images should be reproduced in any form without prior consent of their owners. I am not making money from this effort and I will always give credit where credit is due. If you have a copyrighted image on this page and want it removed, please email me at and I will be happy to comply. You may want to consider, however, that this is free advertising to a pre-qualified group of potential buyers. Conversely, if I missed giving credit to someone, email me so that I can correct my oversight.