All posts by Lesley

Mark Making Ideas 1

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I will be posting a series of posts here over the coming days with ideas of mark making tools that you can easily make for yourself. I hope you find it useful.

Since beginning my voyage into mixed media art I have been continually in search of different ways of mark making. Flora Bowley, Alisa Burke and Tracy Verdugo have all inspired me to use mark making in my work. Mark making produces such interesting elements into a painting. There are endless methods of introducing exciting marks into your work but I thought I would share some easy ways that I have found of making my own mark making tools. These are tools that I constantly dive into when trying to introduce exciting elements into my art. I mostly use items that are knocking around the house or if I buy something it is never anything expensive.

Today I will show you my home made mark making roller. This is so easy and inexpensive to make and has endless possibilities. It is one of my favourite tools.

Mark making roller

First of all you need to buy yourself a cheap foam paint roller. You will find them in DIY or hardware stores. They are usually used for small or difficult areas of painting around the house, like for radiators or tight spaces. Here is the one I bought. I think it was around 4 Euros.


Then you will need the cardboard inner of a paper kitchen towel plus some bubble wrap (used for packaging delicate items) for your first roller attachment.

Paint Roller Materials

You may want to check that your cardboard roll fits over the foam roller nicely. Mine was the perfect size! Cut your kitchen roll inner cardboard into lengths the size of your paint roller.

Cut kitchen roll cardboard

Now cut a piece of bubble wrap the size necessary to cover one cardboard roll. Glue in place. I used tacky glue. Here you have the first roller attachment for your paint roller.

Bubble Wrap

Now let’s make some more. The next two I have made are using non slip matting. The rubber type that you buy for putting underneath items that might slip. This comes in various designs and is inexpensive. I had two that were different so I used one of each. Attached with glue, same as before.

Paint roller with attachments.

Here you will see three more ideas for your cardboard rolls. Sorry, I forgot to photograph them before I used them.

Mark Making Roller

The two in the bottom middle are just rubber bands stretch wrapped around the cardboard. No gluing necessary. The top one is made up of two wide rubber bands and the bottom one has several thin bands wrapped around. Make sure to overlap the rubber bands here and there to create more interest. Then bottom left you have the clingfilm (food wrap) wrapped roll. Again, no gluing necessary. just wrap around and let it cling to itself. Make sure it has lots of lovely wrinkles in it.

To use them just roll them in your acrylic paints. I squeeze my paints out onto a heavy sheet of glass that I have on my workspace and clean it up at the end of the day with a paint scraper.

Now shall we see what types of marks these roller attachments produce?

Bubble Wrap
Bubble Wrap
Roller 3 marks
Non slip rubber matting – type 1
Non slip rubber matting - type 2
Non slip rubber matting – type 2
Roller 4 Marks
Rubber bands large
Rubber bands small
Rubber bands small
Food Wrap
Food Wrap

They have created some pretty interesting marks and textures, huh? And all of the cardboard attachments are interchangeable as you paint. I don’t wash my cardboard attachments in between use or after, so they really are maintenance free. And of course easily and cheaply replaced when they wear out.

And here I have just used the paint roller with the attachments shown above to create a textured background. A quick easy way of creating an interesting first layer for a piece of artwork. Notice how I only used small sections of the roller in order that the designs were not too uniform. Little short bursts of the roller randomly here and there.


Well, I hope this post has inspired you to make your own paint roller. Do leave me a comment below to let me know what you think and if you use the idea, let me know how you got on. And also let me know if you come up with some more ideas for covering your cardboard rolls to create interesting texture. I am always keen for new ideas.

Tomorrow I will be posting an idea for another mark making tool and more during the coming days.

If you are enjoying this series and would like to make sure you don’t miss future posts may I suggest you subscribe to posts in the top right hand corner of the Home page or follow on your RSS feed.

Happy Mark Making.


Mark Making Series

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As from tomorrow I will begin a mark making series of posts for the coming days. I will be showing a selection of mark making tools that you can make very easily (and cheaply) for your artwork, with details on how to make them. Mark making is fun and can produce interesting aspects to your artwork.

If you would like to follow this mark making series and don’t want to miss any of my posts may I suggest you either ‘subscribe to posts’ in the top right corner of the ‘Home’ page or follow me in your RSS feed.

I have some great ideas to share with you. I hope it will inspire you.

See you tomorrow with some exciting ideas!


Paint Storage & Display Idea

I have just had this great idea which I thought I would share with you.

Here is a photo of my stencil display rack in my art room.

My Stencil Display Rack
My Stencil Display Rack

My stencils are stored on a rail from Ikea and the hooks are from Ikea too. This is one of the best bits of organisation I have done in my art room. The stencils are so convenient to sift through and find easily. But that isn’t the great idea I had today. THIS is my great idea for today.

Idea for storing and displaying acrylic paints
Idea for storing and displaying acrylic paints

Why not use another rack like this for storing and displaying my acrylic paints? Why didn’t I think of that before? My paints are currently in a drawer and it is always a pain sifting around trying to find the right colour. But with this method I will be able to see the colours easily and have quick access to them too. So, it looks like I will have to have another trip to Ikea. I then plan to display them all in a row in colour order.

Golden Paints Display & Store
Golden Paints Display & Store

Wow! I sound like such an organised person, don’t I? But in fact it is just another of my attempts to make my life more organised and to be more practical. My theory is more organisation should lead to more time for painting.

However, I do still approve of the saying ‘ Creative clutter is better than tidy idleness” which is certainly my motto where housework is concerned!

If you like my stencil storage or paint storage idea and are now feeling the need for a trip to Ikea you would probably like to know that the rail is called BYGEL and the clips are called RIKTIG hooks. Good old Ikea!

And happy shopping!



Welcome to my Art Happy World.

These pages, posts and musings are my attempt at sharing my art journey with any fellow travellers who wish to explore their creative side. As you travel through my pages I hope I can provide inspiration as you watch my creative process unfold. Each work of art I produce is truly a voyage of discovery for me. I have no art training and am only feeling my way as I go. Each piece of work is indeed a mystery to me until it is finished. I have no idea where I am going but am enjoying feeling my way along the route. I believe the creativity is somewhere within me just waiting to be unlocked. I have been inspired by so many artists through endless hours surfing through the internet and maybe ……just maybe ……I can inspire others in a similar way. I hope you enjoy your journey through my pages.