Everyone knows how to use an overlay. You know how it goes... you plunk it down on your project and it gives it a nice lovely pattern that generally spans across the page either in black or another obscure color that you've set it to be - but generally, it remains black. Overlays rock. They're fun, look awesome, and they're a very painless way to radically change up your project.
BUT... overlays are WAY more than just a nice little "stenciled addition" to a project. I bet most people aren't even aware of just how many sweet overlays we have tucked neatly into our digital embellishment kits... overlays that just need discovering. My two all-time favorites are Jewel Heritage Digital Overlays and Distressed Digital Overlays. They're both very versatile - I LOVE 'em!
I started playing today, and I found that if you layer a few overlays strategically on top of a solid or gradient pattern, you get fun things that turn out like this:
This one was a simple solid olive green background layered up with Jewel Heritage 4 Overlay, Distressed Digital Overlay 1, Jewel Heritage Overlay 3 and finally Jewel Heritage Overlay 2. Oh, the tree was wanded out from an embellishment in the new Cheerful Halloween Digital Additions (available October 1).
This one was a gradient background - black in the upper right corner to medium grey in the lower left corner. I layered it with Jewel Heritage Overlay 2, then Distressed Digital Overlay 7, then added Jewel Heritage Overlay 4 and turned it light grey.
This jean background pattern is done exactly the same as the previous one, except the background is a gradient fill with royal blue on the top, black on the bottom. Stitches from Digital Embellishments - Sewing Room Stitches, rivet is from Distressed Digital Embellishments.
This started with a turquoise & black gradient - the gradient pattern starts in the upper right corner with turquoise, blends to black in the center, then lower left is turquoise. This can be done with a 2-color gradient. The first layer added was Winter Frost 2 Overlay, and that overlay was gradient filled with white in upper left corner to turquoise in lower right corner. Next layer was Winter Frost 3 Overlay turned white. Last layer was Jewel Heritage Overlay 2 turned white.
The first layer for this design was a solid, deep charcoal grey fill. Next was Distressed Digital Overlay 3 turned white. Next layer was Jewel Heritage 2 Overlay. Lastly I added Jewel Heritage Overlay 4.
Lastly is a variation of a background paper you've seen created by me before, but this one has additional layers to give it more grunginess (one can never have too much of that). First layer was charcoal grey solid fill. Next layer was Distressed Digital Overlay 3. Last layer was Discover Youth Overlay 5 with a light grey fill. Add a heavy shadow to the last layer to give it a little more depth.
Have fun playing with layering up overlays. You never know what you're going to end up with until you try it. :)