How to create a background using PanPastels and Gelatos

15 April 2021
In this tutorial, learn how to use PanPastels and Gelatos to create a striking and vibrant background for your card making and papercrafting projects...

This type of background works beautifully to create a bold pattern. Changing the colours will transform the look of the pattern dramatically.

What are PanPastels?

PanPastel Colors are soft pastels packed in a unique pan format (cake-like). The special qualities mean that artists can blend and apply dry colour like fluid paint for the first time. Each colour is loaded with quality pigments for the most concentrated colour possible. Uniquely, for pastel colour, they can be mixed together for a complete painting palette. Visit to view the full range of colours available.

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What are Gelatos?

Design Memory Craft Gelatos are compact, acid-free, pigment sticks to glide on creamy smooth for vibrant colour and coverage with or without water. Easily blendable on paper, canvas, or wood! Visit to view the full range of colours available. 

PanPastels and Gelatos card background tutorial

You will need

Top tip! Vary the size of the lid you ink to create the circles or don’t! Each will result in a different effect – it's completely up to you!


1. Place a piece of white card onto a non-stick craft sheet. Swipe the PanPastel Art Sponge over the Magenta PanPastel and then blend the pastel over the white card.

2. Swipe a second sponge over the Permanent Red PanPastel and blend the pastel over the white card, blending the two colours together slightly on one side.

3. Swipe a further sponge over the Orange PanPastel and then blend over the white card. Continue this process until the white card is completely coloured with PanPastels.

4. Seal the pastels with a spray fixative to avoid smudging.

5. Take any circular container or lid approx. 5cm in diameter and using your finger apply Carbon Black Fluid Acrylic to the edges.

6. Press the inked container/lid onto the coloured background. Repeat this process to add two large circles.

7. Take a smaller lid and again apply Carbon Black Fluid Acrylic to the edges of the lid using a finger and then press the lid onto the background. Continue with this process, using different sized lids until you are happy with the arrangement of circles.

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8. Dry the circles of paint with a heat tool.

9. Paint the inside of each of the circles with Snowflake Fresco Finish Paint.

10. Once each of the circles are painted with white paint, dry with a heat tool.

11. Scribble using an Orange Gelatos onto one of the circles. Blend the scribbled Gelato with a finger. 

12. Apply Red Gelato to the edges of the circle and then blend both layers of colour together.

13. Draw around each of the circles with a black Gelato and then blend the black Gelato with your finger to smudge.

14. Continue this process with each of the circles and continue to add layers of Gelatos until you're happy with the depth of colour, blending the colours each time with your finger.

15. Place the Dot Fade Layering Stencil onto the decorated background and then apply Permanent Red PanPastel over the stencil using a sponge to add a further layer of interest to finish.

Enjoyed making this eye-catching background effect? Why not explore more from our background series and make a shimmery crumpled paper background next?!

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