Elegant Gratitude

When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall

by Mark Melnick

An elegant handmade card featuring tea-stained handmade paper and a daubed center piece with Kaleidacolor inks by Mark Melnick.

What embodies autumn more than the colors of fall foliage? This gorgeous project uses handmade paper and masking techniques, with hand stamping to add the finishing touches to this beautiful fall design. Go ahead and personalize this tutorial to add your own unique touch to any Autumn occasion.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 45 minutes + drying time



Step 1

Cut a piece of handmade paper to measure 10 x 10”, keeping at least one edge deckled. Prepare a tea bath for soaking the paper. Allow paper to soak overnight. TIP: If you want a darker color, add some VersaCraft or Walnut Ink colors to the tea solution. Air dry or speed up drying with a heat tool being careful not to burn the paper. The image shows the before and after. Once dry, fold in half and then quarters to create the final 5 x 5” size card.


Step 2

Using a scrap of cardstock, create a mask in any size/shape to create the effect you imagine.  Tape your mask down over another scrap of cardstock. Choose a color from Kaleidacolor Autumn Leaves and apply to a brayer. Roll the brayer in all directions to eliminate leaving lines in the pattern. Apply some darker colors from the palette with a sponge dauber for added dimension.


Step 3

Remove the mask and stamp leaf images on top of and just outside the mask edges in Memento Pistachio. To the eye, this will create a secondary border outside the defined mask outline. Stamp your sentiment in your masked shape color.

Step 4

With the deckled edge on the right side of the card, use a pen knife and cutting mat to create slits at the top and bottom of the top layer of the card. Slip finished masked piece into the slits leaving a similar amount of space at both the top and bottom of the card.


  • Handmade paper
  • Scrap cardstock
  • Leaf and sentiment stamps
  • Brayer
  • Removable tape
  • Pen knife
  • Cutting mat









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