Making Messy Page Backgrounds

Today, we’re gonna do a couple things for making those gorgeous messy backgrounds for your mixed media pages. Let’s grab a plain piece of paper. This one is from the Mythos kit. And an edge, this one from the Urban Fairy at



Lay the edge over the paper background.


Click on the LAYERS palette and you can try each blending option, but I like the OVERLAY option.


You can also do this directly on top of the layers palette:


This is good for quick and easy blending without all the other stuff. Just make sure you are on the correct layer.

I’m adding in a lace piece from the Mythos kit next.


And in the LAYERS palette, I’m clicking on the MULTIPLY option. But it’s very faint, as you can see.



So I bring up the HUE/SATURATION palette (CTRL U) and play with the sliders for a darker effect.  Usually, a white element will not darken well. If you darken it, it will show up better against your background. Then you can play with each of the sliders to get your desired effect.



I’m adding in some star elements onto the background, but it doesn’t look right yet.



Click again on the LAYERS palette and click MULTIPLY and this time, bring down the opacity by using the slider directly underneath. My point with the background is to make it look a bit faded into the paper. I’m not looking to make a focal point. That’s for the images later on. This instead, is for the background.



So most of what you do in creating those messy backgrounds is the same. Place an element on top of the paper, go to LAYERS palette and change the blending option.

This element is also from the Mythos kit. The purple does not look right at all.


But, with changing the blending mode, then, changing the HUE/SATURATION…the element blends in better.



So that is the way to messy up a pristine piece of paper in a subtle, dirty way. You can mix and match your kits to find the right paint or gesso or element to blend into your backgrounds!


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