At Ashtead Craft Club last week we learnt how to crackle. We used chipboard diecut shapes pre-cut or cut using the Cuttlebug and the big steel edge dies from Sizzix. Chipboard is advised as the paints are quite wet and thinner card can warp too much. Cardboard box card is fine.
We tried the Tim Holtz crackle paint which comes in a pot and you just paint it on with the brush provided in the lid and wait (or use heat tool carefully if impatient!). I did the 2 seahorses with this medium. After it had dried and crackled nicely we used some metallic rub-ons on top which emphasise the cracks and adds further dimension.
I only have the clear rock candy crackle paint so it was good to try the coloured versions. Bet I could just mix some paint in mine though, even distress paint (must give that a go).
The other technique was using PVA glue and acrylic paint. First you cover your chipboard piece with a darker coloured acrylic paint and let it dry thoroughly. Then you cover it with a layer of PVA glue and let it dry only until it is tacky. Finally you cover it again with a lighter colour of acrylic paint. Again you can wait for the cracks to appear or chivvy along with a heat tool. I did the heart and butterfly this way.
Finally we were allowed free reign with MICRO BEADS! I don't have any of these so great to try something new. You just add PVA to where you want the beads, use a tray to catch the excess and pour them on. They do have a life of their own and tend to become a little static so beware!
Fortunately I had a pot to take my pieces home as the micro beads didn't all stick. I had a mix of blue, green and copper meads left in my pot. To fix the beads I sprayed them with hairspray and that had the added effect of making the colour bleed a little which I rather liked. See butterfly before/after pictures above.
As I was doing an orange scrap-page of a friend's new baby I thought the heart I'd made would be just the right embellishment. However, as I wanted to balance the page I painstakingly separated the spare copper beads and made up two other hearts with them. Well worth the effort.