Textured Backgrounds for Journal Pages

Hello again Get Messians, Tanyalee here with another tutorial post. This week I am going to show you how to use household items to create texture on your pages. I wouldn’t normally use all of these techniques on one page, but after finishing it, I am actually pleased with how it looks anyway. Texture adds a lot of interest to the page and makes you want to reach out and touch it – kind of like a kids sensory book.

What you will need:

  • Carpet anti-slip tape (or you could use joint tape for joining plaster board)
  • Modeling paste (or texture paste)
  • Cling wrap
  • Elmer’s glue (or hot glue gun would work well too)
  • Tissues
  • Gesso
  • Matte gel medium
  • Stencils
  • Paint and
  • Any ephemera you want to add at the end.



Step 1:

I always start my pages by covering them with gesso, especially if the paper is particularly thin – as it is in the journal I am using.


Step 2:

Start by laying out your stencil and spreading the modeling paste over it. I did this on both sides of my page so it made a border or sorts.


Step 3:

Then I freehand added some more paste to make it look like the paste had bled out from under the stencil.


Step 4:

I wanted to include random squiggle shapes with the elmer’s glue. It didn’t quite dry how I anticipated, but it the effect is still nice. I think hot glue would work better and would create more texture.



Step 5:

This double sided sticky carpet tape is great for making marks when using the gelli plate, but it is also great for creating texture. I stuck it down and then peeled off the plastic backing. You could also use joint tape as well for this.


Step 6:

Add some matte gel medium and stick the tissue down. I didn’t separate the tissue layers out, and it probably would have been easier to stick down if I had. I just has to keep adding gel until it was fairly solid on the page.



Step 7:

Wait for all of the layers to dry and start adding paint. You can do this in whatever style you like. I was after a fairly clean white look with pops of pink for highlights. I blended the paint a fair bit though, so it turned out mostly pale pink. It’s all on big experiment as you can see.


Step 8:

Add blobs of paint the page and lay cling wrap over the top. Manipulate the paint and squish it around so that the cling wrap puckers up. Then carefully lift the cling wrap off. The paint should stay with lots of ridges and lovely texture. You could also add gel medium or modelling paste to the paint for a more dramatic effect.



Step 9:

I didn’t want to waste the paint on the cling wrap so I used it as a stamp in other places on the page as well.



Step 10:

Once you are happy with the look of your textured background, you could add highlights with ink, stamps, washi tape, or any other ephemera that you might have. Here is my finished product.



And that is my tutorial done for the Messy Lists season. I hope you have enjoyed it, and perhaps learnt some new techniques to take you pages to a different level. If you make pages using these techniques, please use the tag #getmessytexture on Instagram so I can see what you make.


Tanyalee is a mum to three grown up kids, a wife to her childhood sweetheart, a full time graphic designer and a part time crafter/art journaler. She loves growing veggies to feed her family, she loves raising her fur babies (cats, rabbits and guinea pigs) and she loves spending her spare time just pottering around her house. Tanyalee LOVES being at home more than anything else – as long as her family is nearby.


  1. Katie Smith

    Wow, so many gorgeous textures on one page, Tlee! And they don’t clash, you brought them all together so well!

  2. Stephanie manic

    Really fun! I think to try this soon!

  3. Talia carbis

    Oh this is beautiful Tanyalee! I’ll definitely give this a go hopefully tonight!

    I also have a question – do you have trouble writing on surfaces you’ve textured like this? If you wanted to add words would you just leave a section not textured?

    • Tanyalee Kahler

      Thanks Talia. Yes it will be harder to write if the surface is very textured. Leaving some areas flat would definitely help with that. Can’t wait to see your pages.

  4. Emily@squiggleandswirl

    Great tutorial Tnayalee, so many ideas on one page! I’m looking forward to getting out my as yet unused texture paste . Thank you 🙂

  5. notjustyna

    That carpet tape is BRILLIANT! I can’t wait to try these techniques in my journal tonight!