Creating a Decorative Mat Tutorial

For the purpose of this tutorial I am using an 8" x 10" ready made mat.  The stencil being used is my Vintage Charm Petite stencil (ST-812).

  • Measure to fine the center of each side of the mat.  The mat is stenciled one quarter at a time because the chosen stencil motif fits this area without modification.  All of my stencils are designed to be masked and/or repeated as pieces and parts to add unique elements to your art.  I rarely use them as-is.

  • Position the stencil on one corner of the mat and secure with removable tape.  Gently spread the gel mixture over the stencil to the depth of a credit card.
Secure the stencil with removable tape

Gently spread RB Gel
  • To embellish the mat combine about 2 tablespoons (visually estimate) of RB Clearly Elegant Stenciling Gel with a large pea size mound of Mink Pearl-Ex powdered pigment.  Apply as directed for Clearly Elegant Embossing. Reclaim excess gel by placing the stencil on a flat surface and, using the same tool you used to spread the gel, gently scrape up the excess.
  • Rinse the gel from the stencil between each application and pat the stencil dry.  If you try to reuse the stencil without cleaning it, you will smear get onto the mat when trying to reposition.
  • As each application dries, mirror the stencil motif to complete the remaining corners.  To hold the gel mixture between applications, wrap it in a square of plastic wrap.
Before drying, RB gel has a milky appearance
The fact that RB Stenciling Gel dries perfectly clear makes it the perfect carrier for just about anything you care to mix in, including beads, powdered pigments, glitter, ink, paint, etcetera. Choose micro beads that are small enough to fit through the openings of the desired stencil and create your own color combinations. Powdered micas, like the one shown, will produce iridescent, pearlescent and metallic effects. Adding glitter results in just the right amount of sparkle, because it is determined by the quantity of glitter that you decide to add.
Using the RB gel as your all-purpose carrier allows you to mix just the color or amount needed, limiting waste as well as the expense of an endless assortment of individual colors cluttering your shelves. 
After the RB gel has dried the pigment sparkles
The RB Stenciling Gel is also an effective adhesive, allowing you to sprinkle glitter or other additives on top as an alternative to mixing them in, producing yet another effect. 
The possibilities are endless.  Just make sure you only use additives that are water-compatible (no oil paint) and don't thin the gel when using it for stencil embossing or it will bleed under.  Experiment to see what happens and be sure and share your ideas.  We'd love to hear about them.
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