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My favorite free tool is the corrugated cup holders from Starbucks. I've been known to adhere it to my art and also the bumpy side makes for some great "stamping" texture.

Sarah Martin

I recently used Mardi Gras beads as a stencil of sorts. I sprayed over it and then lifted them off for a cool pattern of circles on my page!

Jade Scarlett

I love to use my flipflops, the soles make really unique marks.


I have a small toothpick plastic holder with a lovely pattern on its sides. I spread paint on it and then roll it on the paper. It leaves a nice texture.


I love doing "sgraffito" with the wrong end of a paintbrush. I paint the background in bright or dark colours, then paint over it with a different colour or colours. I then scratch off paint in designs to reveal the colour underneath while the top paint is still wet. I do this on canvas and paper. I also just found some Martha Stewart sponge polka-dot makers of various sizes that I am having fun with.


I love waxed paper! Besides using it to protect surfaces from glue love to crumble and smoosh it to add texture to my painted surfaces.


Maggie M

One of my fav tools is empty prescription bottles for making different size circles. You can use the caps and the containers:) Great giveaway, Treci, count me in!

Meghan Thimjon

Well I am just getting started at all this fun art journaling, mixed media stuff! So far I have just used things I found around my house. Love using the Starbucks holder and cutting out shapes. Love using doilies since they come in so many different patterns. I just started after watching your fun starthmore series. So I am on the lookout now everywhere I go! I love it. Your style is so effortless!


I have used rope to add texture to paintings. Just lie it on the surface, making twirls and loops. Then, spray some liquid watercolor. Thanks for the giveaway!!

susan schultheis

One of my favorite "found" tools is a flip-flop bottom. They have really unique patterns that look great on any of my mixed media pieces. (and of course rubber bands now from your Doodles Unleashed class!)


I love reading your blog Traci. My favorite tool is spider webbing (Halloween). Tack it down onto h2o paper and spray h2ocolors over it for a cool technique.


my favorite found item is either cheesecloth - you can paint over it, dye it, glue it, sew it, clean up with it, spray it lightly- or drawstring ribbon- i hate it when my decorative drawstring from my pj pants bunch so I preemptively pull them out (its usually a nice cotton grosgrain) I use it to embellish, tie supplies together, and tie up my hair as I work if I forgot to before sitting down
my favorite created items are my eraser stamps

Heather Basson

I Live in Cape Town South Africa and did your Strathmore workshop and loved it. I learnt so much, THANK YOU for sharing and encouraging. I have just received you book in the post from Amazon and all i can say is WOW. Many things for theCreative Soul are not available here in South Africa so we have to "make a plan" as we say and this encourages creativity and thinking out the box.

My favourite found item is dowel sticks of various thickness, toothpicks with the points cut off etc to use for making beautiful dots. So go out and find some wooden dot making implements
to dab in the paint and print with.!!!
Thanks for all the sharing of ideas everyone.

Zoe Ford

My favourite found tool for printing is bubble wrap - I LOVE that stuff!!
And my favourite handmade tools are my own hand-carved stamps made out of cheap erasers - so much fun to make and use, and you know you're always getting a completely unique pattern that no one else has :-)

Melanie K

I love making my own stamps with foam shapes, using old cards as 'brushes', I use a lot of caps, etc for stamps, I use a lot of found things in my work!


Hi Traci! Enjoyed the online Strathmore course you gave for us. Thank you! I use lots of found objects, limited to my surroundings, but interesting for mixed media work. Love it!


sweet giveaway ty my fav found tool is yarn wrapped around a block as a stamp for paint or ink


Right now it's all about masks and stencils, using anything and everything I can find, plus paint daubers and sponge brushes. SO much fun to just go crazy with it!


You know, there are so many free found tools around the house I like to use which many mentioned already--bubble wrap, sponges, old credit cards etc.... but one that I plan to use in my art journals is my own children's art work, letters, and drawings. xoxo


I use lots of found stuff, but my most used are junk mail cards and old nuts and bolts and other little metal bits. I use them to smoosh into gels and caulk for texture.
Awesome giveaway, thanks for the opp!
xoxo MotherDana

Jennifer McLean

what a wonderful idea with the snowflakes! I'll have to try that around christmas. My very favorite texture maker is the lowly tissue. I love how when it's crumpled up and dabbled over laid down paint, it gives a wonderful texture. So simple and totally cheap. I don't know what that says about me but whatever. I'd love to win your giveaway, to try some of your techniques would be such fun!
Jenn of www.justaddwatersilly.com


Ok, so this one is going to be a little silly. My favorite new found texture tool is rubber bands around a foam block, so cool. I also adore the foam that can be heated with a hair dryer and pressed against kitchen tools, like my Mom's old potato masher. Ooh! One more-- the soles of new sneakers! Plus, I just got an idea for a new print tool: I'm going to TRY to cast my cat's paw and use one of the easy melt goop (it's late!) to make a paw-print stamp and texture item for rubbings. Now I just have to convince Zoe, the feline! Miaow!

teri l pastorino

i love bubble wrap and the corrugated inserts from my sb's coffee huggies. also i rummage through my kids' things and find lots of bits and scraps!


I love plastic wrap and foil as well as small spray bottles

Kiki Halbert

My fave found item is embroidery thread that I drag into paint and onto the page, or add into the paint and gesso for texture.

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