Hi! Today I am back with art journal 101. I am going to share an easy and fun step by step method that you can all follow to create a colorful booklet full of mixed media backgrounds. Then I will create my own focal points to turn two of those pages into finished layouts.

For all my pages today I am using my Nuvo Aqua Flow pens but you can use your watercolors and to demonstrate my techniques I use the new Backgrounds and Borders stamps and dies by Tonic Studios.

This is part of a blog hop, so join us for lots of inspiration and giveaways!

video tutorial

You can enjoy the video below or at my YouTube channel

close-up photos

Make sure to watch the video for the two-color method that will give you stunning and colorful backgrounds. The technique is so simple and fun you will want to go and create right now! Use stamps and stencils to add interest as well as splashes… and I take you through all the steps in the video.

Here are some close-up photos on the background whereyou can see all the visual texture that I got

For my red and orange background I created a daisy as the focal point. Used stamps for the borders and dies to add interest to the page with litttle holes.

I also used the dies to cut out the word LOVE and combine it with stickers.

For my green and yellow background I played mainly with the hexagons for the background and cut out elements so the focal point had to be a bee. Again I created that on my own and you can see how easy it is on the video.

For my motivational quote again I die cut the word YOU and combined it with a sticker.

How adorable is that bee?!


Below you can find a list of all the products used today. Links to multiple online shops are available, just click the logo below each item. Affiliate links used at no extra cost to you.

-Backgrounds & Borders – Stamp & Die…
aqua flow pens
Arteza – Expert Watercolor Pad
[ ARTZ ]
Advantus – Tim Holtz – Idea-ology…
[ SBC ]
Disc Bound Die
[ SBC | SSS ]
Disc Bound Punch
[ ACH ]
Nuvo – Deluxe Adhesive
[ SBC | SSS ]
Uni-Ball Pen Signo Gel WHITE UM-153
[ SSS ]
Sakura – Gelly Roll Pen – Classic -…
[ SBC ]
Black Pen Set
[ SBC ]
Ranger Ink – Fude Ball Pen – Black
[ SBC ]
Tonic Studios – Tim Holtz – Non-Stick…
[ SBC | SSS ]
[ SSS ]
Tonic Studios – Tim Holtz – 8.5 Inch…
[ SBC | SSS ]
Tonic Studios – Tim Holtz – Glass…
[ SBC | SSS ]


One lucky winner will win a £50/$50 Giftcard to Tonic Studios and the Backgrounds & Borders Bundle! To enter comment on every blog in the hop by 11:59pm PST on February 3, 2021/ 7:59am GST on Feb. 4, 2021

Winner will be announced on February 5th, 2021 on IG and FB so make sure you’re following all Tonic accounts!

blog hop order

Amber Rain Davis
Channin Pelletier
Daniel West
Erica Andersson-Burke
Ilda Dias
Jen Kray
Laura Bassen
Maria Willis
Marie Heiderscheit
Vicky Papaioannou


  1. Your video and art journal pages were amazing, as always! I usually only comment on the videos, but wanted to take a chance at this awesome set from Tonic. Thanks, Vicky!

  2. Nice set with a great price point! I would love to win this set. This would be perfect for making one of Vicky’s awesome mixed media pages… at least casing one of hers. I am so new at SUCCESSFUL mixed media ages that don’t turn murky!

  3. Vicky, I love your Art Journal posts. I have tried more of your techniques than any other. I am in the US .

  4. I love your art journals and your videos! I usually run out of time to do art journaling but it is so fun! Thanks for sharing these great new tonic products in your work!

  5. Oh wow! These are gorgeous and seem doable! Of course until I try to do them lol. You are wonderful at providing inspiration!

  6. This video was so helpful! I’ve been having trouble getting motivated and this was exactly what I needed to get me started! Thank you so much! I love all your videos! You are so creative and I learn so much from you!

  7. I’m really loving these pages more and more. I may venture out of just cards one of these days.

  8. Iam in awwe of your capability to bring to life a stamp set or a die. You inspire me every time I watch you create. Thank you Vicki.

  9. This was so helpful and inspiring! I am do glad I watched. Journaling has seemed so intimidating but I have been longing to try. You gave me courage.

  10. I love this stamp & die set from Tonic because it is so versatile! Your backgrounds are organic and lovely. Love the punches of black to make some of the elements stand out!

  11. I really like these backgrounds! I could try this method on my cards even! Thank you for the inspiration!
    ~Vanessa Wachlin

  12. Great tutorial! I just love your art journal page creations!!! Please do more! Love the Tonic Studios stamp and die set! I had to order it!

  13. Gorgeous as always, Vicky! I love the bee one, but my favourite is the yellow-orange background! I hope you will create something beautiful with it soon!

  14. I juat love watching you craft Vicky, especially your art journals. You inspire me to give more things a go. I just love that cute bee too :).

  15. I love all your art journal posts! I really looked forward to them. You inspire me to work more on my own journals. Keep them coming.

  16. I love your work and your explanations are always so clear. Very inspiring to me so I must try your methods. Thank you!

  17. Oh Vicky, you amaze me every time and definitely inspire me! You made me laugh when you said “ there is no card Police” you are right there is no right or wrong!
    Yes keep these videos coming, I love watching them!
    Thank you so much for this inspiration!

  18. Thanks Vicki… great idea to get me started. Would love to see a part 2 where you finish the pages and other pages with similar ideas.

  19. These were great ideas to help get started. I always love the way you explain what it is you are doing and why. Always want more..

  20. Vicky – thank you so much for doing this video. I am a huge fan of your journal pages and I think this video will certainly get me motivated. I would love to see more of these videos. Thanks for the opportunity to win this great stamp and die set.

  21. I don’t journal but these would make beautiful cards! I love how you mixed the watercolours with the water. I love the bee too!

  22. I always enjoy watching you create art journaling pages- these are gorgeous! This stamp and die set is perfect for your backgrounds!

  23. This video is so encouraging for anyone to try out art journaling. I hope many crafters will share their creations with you!

  24. I moved into a new home this morning and had to take a break from moving in to watch your video!!! What a fantastic idea for video — going back to basics. As someone who struggles with background techniques I appreciate this video so much, and would love to see what you do with the rest of the pages you created backgrounds for. Also, I would love to see more of this type of video where you create backgrounds and your own focal points. I’d like to do more art journaling and yet still feel a bit intimidated by it (for some reason). The more videos I watch the more courage I work up to give something a try! Thank you so much, Vicky, for another incredible and inspirational video! I LOVE your bee!!!

  25. Hi, Vicky –
    You know I love your work! It’s always fabulous. This edition is no exception. OK, OK… you all win. I just ordered the kit b/c I love all these designers’ submissions to the blog hop!!
    Have a great weekend. It will be snowy here very soon. I am excited for it. I need at least one good snow per winter. And it will keep people at home, which is a fringe benefit.
    Lori S in PA (USA)

  26. Lovely layouts using these fun background images. Thank you for sharing the process video for making these fab designs.

  27. Hello Vicky
    It’s been a while since I last left a comment.
    Your art journaling has always been my favorite. The Bee You is my favorite of the two.
    I know you’re not done yet. Per your inspiration I’m going to try the rainbow ? colors.

  28. This video has been very helpful. Beautiful bright colors! I did want to ask you, how long does water paper take to dry on its own? Vicky you make it look so easy. ?

  29. Well Vicky, I know this is supposed to be a “where to get started” tutorial, but even those of us who has been journaling for some time can still benefit from your tips and tricks. I love your little bee too. Thanks again for the inspiration and guidance.

  30. I’m not an art journaler myself but it just occurred to me that it would be a great way to enjoy my paper crafting instead of only making cards and then sending them to everyone else. What gave me the idea was seeing the cards for a binder that you used for these pages. I’d only seen videos of people using books and that never appealed t me. But this does appeal and even a books of several pages could be a great gift to give.

  31. Such a helpful post! I’ve been telling myself I’m going to start journaling for two years now! Maybe by starting small like this I can finally do it.

  32. I am so happy that you are doing more mixed media and journal pages lately. Your work is always inspirational and fun.

  33. your creations are the best! I love your detail. Please consider making pages from the rest of those backgrounds. Such fun!!

  34. Great video as usual. Everyone can benefit from all your tips and tricks. It’s a good reminder that art journaling doesn’t have to be complicated. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  35. You make it look so easy I am inspired to give it a try! Bright beautiful colors and such a cute little bee. Thank you for sharing.

  36. Absolutely loved this video Vicky. I enjoy learning all your processes with art journaling. Keep up the great work.
    Keep well.
    T x

  37. Hi Vicky
    ❤? these pages so much..I would absolutely love to see how you do the others you created..Thankyou so much for sharing your talent & kindness with us..????????

  38. I adore what you have done here – such a clever mix of handmade focal points – you always inspires me!
    I’d live to see more pages!

  39. Great video! As a cardmaker and want to be art journalist, I love the idea of starting on a 4.25″x5.5″ journal. The space is much more workable and the products I own are scaled to that size. Thanks for showing that focal points can be handmade and easy, even if you aren’t crafty in that way. I would love to see you finish off the other pages.

  40. This is a fantastic release! Thank you so much for this tutorial, Vicky! Your art journal tutorials are my go too’s for inspiration. Love these pages!!!

  41. I love watching your videos and learn something new all the time! I probably wouldn’t make an art journal right now but I would use your wonderful suggestions for backgrounds for the cards I make for my large family!! Thank you so much for all you share on your blog!!!

  42. Hi.

    This was a really fun lesson in color combing and using multiple easy techniques.
    Definitely will put this great information to work..


  43. Thanks for showing us how to make an art journal! Great new stamp set that would work well for making masculine cards.

  44. Thank you for showing us how to use this bundle as additions to other types of paper crafting. Subtle stamping but adds such a wonderful effect.

  45. Can anyone tell me how to comment on Daniel West’s blog post ??… there is no option or field for posting comments ?

  46. Tonic is a great company. Through your blog I discovered their Deluxe Adhesive, which is the only liquid glue I use, and bought my first Tonic craft kit after seeing it on your blog a few years ago. I love their tools and the Nuvo product line. I recently received a stamp club (stamp and die set) Shoot for the Moon, which is stunning.

  47. How beautifully done- and you made it look so darn easy : ) Love your pages- Yes please, lets see more like this!

  48. I always enjoy your multimedia project videos and watching you create textured backgrounds. As for focal points, either method is fine w/ me. Three of my favorites you created were the “leather” suitcase, the watermelon, and large moon.

  49. Love the vibrant colors. Also your step by step makes it easy to follow. The stamp set and die from Tonic are perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Your mixed media is so creative and I enjoy ever one you make. Please do more of
    the ones you did today. I have been watching you for a long time.
    Thank you

  51. This is totally out of my comfort zone but your video really breaks it down. Can’t wait to try this and LOVE your end results!!!

  52. Awesome video Vicky. I love how you show art journaling 101. I always learn so much from you.
    The new Tonic background and border bundle is great for card making and art journaling, so versatile.
    Thank you so much for sharing your great inspiration, stay safe and have a wonderful weekend.

  53. Love your sharing tips and ideas and using different mediums, I would never have thought to use my watercolors.? utiful

  54. Wow! Your pages are simply great! I love the size, the colors, the focal point and the quote… you are so talented ?

  55. Thank you for sharing your talent. Your pages were so bright & cheerful…how could you have a bad day after making something so happy. Also for a beginner everything seems so hard ..so thank you for showing us beginners that it really isnt that hard & that it doesn’t have to be perfect …just make something that makes you happy. I will say I would like to get some of the watercolor brushes like you used.Thanks again

  56. Thank for sharing this background is what I strugle the most. They look so beautiful. Tonic studio products are excellent love them, Hugs

  57. Art journaling is new for me. I really enjoyed your video and this post. I am looking forward to trying your background techniques!

  58. I don’t have trouble making the backgrounds, I have trouble finishing the pages off. I don’t like my hand writing and I can never find the right sentiment.

  59. As always, you have great ideas that help us to create an art journal background and the finishing touches! Thank you Vicky.

  60. Oh my gosh! I love your work Vicky! I’ve followed you on you tube for awhile and your art keeps getting better and better! This stamp and die set is amazing! I can think of so many uses for it. Tyfs

  61. Your additional of the bee to the hexagon shape was inspired . Such an adorable embellishment. I love anytime you add the black & white to your pages- that is my go to touch anytime I can add it. Thanks for sharing.

  62. I love how beautiful all your designs are. I right away got out my supplies and tried to come close to your ideas as possible. I don’t have any of the same supplies but that is the beauty of creating from inspiration. Thank you Vicky

  63. I really enjoyed your video. Both of your projects turned out great and love the products you used. Thank you!

  64. Love your videos and inspiration! Tonic Studio’s are the best. Thanks for each and every video. You are one my very favorite artists. Wishing you the best!

  65. I love the stamps and dies that are geared to mixed media! I hope you’ll do a video on completing the other pages.

  66. Hi there Vicky I love how you show us that you really don’t need a lot of supplies to be creative, just your imagination. Thanks.

  67. So pretty! I am directly going to watch part two! Love the bright and colorful backgrounds and that bee is so cute ?
    Thank you for sharing!

  68. wow, I love how organic your art pages look. But yet still so elegant, I never thought about using water colors to color the pages. I’m inspired!

  69. The journal pages are simply stunning. I know all the details really add to the completed pages. Lots of great tips and I love that you encourage us to create with things we already have. I will definitely try this technique ?.

  70. Your pages are so fun!
    They took me back to my childhood with the bright and vibrant colors. I cant wait to try my hand at creating some cards.

  71. Like these mixed media ideas too. I myself am a cardmaker, but these ideas make me want to try this out. Thank you for the inspiration

  72. Always LOVE your videos and artwork! And that bee you created is adorable. Really lets people see they can make stuff of their own if they don’t have a certain stamp or die cut.

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