Beginner Guide: Embossing and Watercoloring Technique

by Elina Stromberg

Heat embossing is an easy but versatile technique that will bring your stamped projects to a new level. You will be amazed how easily this technique will transform your stamped images into shiny, non-fading, water-resisting decoration elements! Most crafters use heat embossing together with stamps, but this technique can also be used in various ways to create cool effects on your project backgrounds.

For heat embossing you don’t need too many supplies; embossing powder, a sticky stamping ink, and a heating tool will take you a long way. A heating tool (or a heat gun) is a dryer that blows very hot air. The temperature is much higher than of a hairdryer, so be careful not to touch the nozzle as it may burn your fingers! The magic of heat embossing is in the melt, and the embossing powder will need heat to start melting. Therefore, a hairdryer cannot be used for this purpose as the air is simply not hot enough. The results of heat embossing are gorgeous; it’s almost like magic on paper! Even if you don’t have too much experience of paper crafting, I recommend you give this technique a try; it’s so easy that you will master it in no time at all!


VersaMark

Mboss in Black

Watercolor Set

Waterbrush

Acrylic Block by Stampin’ Up


Stampin Up – Beautiful Day

Stampin Up Cardstock

Heat Tool

For heat embossing, you need an ink that is sticky. The ink acts as a glue and the fine embossing powder sticks to the ink until it’s melted. My personal preference for this technique is VersaMark as it dries slowly allowing me to work at my own pace without any rush. I can also stamp several images on one go without worrying for the ink to dry too quickly.
Stamp the image on white paper. I used a smooth watercolor paper, as I wanted to color the embossed image with watercolors.

Place your stamped paper on a piece of scrap paper (a sheet of printing paper will do great). Sprinkle a generous amount of embossing powder over the stamped image. Lift the stamped cardstock and pour the leftover embossing powder onto the scrap paper. The powder sticks to the sticky ink. Tap the stamped cardstock a couple of times to get rid of more excess powder. Set the stamped paper aside and funnel the leftover powder back into the container. The leftover powder can be used over and over again! If for some reason the powder would stick on unwanted areas, you can brush off the excess powder with a small paintbrush before heat setting the powder.

Keeping the heating gun nozzle a few inches away from the cardstock, heat the embossing powder until it’s completely melted. Be careful not to overheat it. You will notice when the powder starts melting as it turns from matt grainy to smooth and shiny.

Paint the embossed image with watercolors. The heat embossed image resists watercolors, allowing you to block colors from mixing.
 I decided to use the butterflies for decorating cards, so I cut them out with scissors. I glued two panels of patterned papers on a simple white card base. For making my beautiful butterflies pop I added simple heat embossed texture on the background: 
I started with dabbing clear VersaMark in on the center of my background. On my first card, I used white embossing powder for the background, and for the second one gold. Heat embossing is an easy way to add a hint of metallic shimmer to your card! Once the powder had cooled, I glued the butterfly on the card front. Done!

See How to Create this Marbelous Notebook

by Elina Stromberg

See How to Create this Marbelous Notebook

Layered stamps continue to be popular and many of us have come across lovely layered flower images by various manufacturers. This beautifully layered marble stamp set by Waffle Flower is a great addition to your stamp collection; there are not that many-layered background images available in the market, and the versatility of this set is simply amazing!

Before starting I suggest you try the stamps on a piece of scrap paper. Layering is not difficult at all, and you will soon learn which spots on the images to use as your positioning marks. A stamping tool like Misti is not needed as you will easily see the inked pattern through the clear stamp. In addition, when playing with a natural pattern the layers do not need to be perfect and inaccuracy is allowed!

Waffle Flower has published a video that includes great tips for using this set. Take a look at the video in YouTube and have fun!

Skill: Beginner
Time: 1.5 hours

Directions


Step 1

Take a sheet of cardstock in your preferred color and choose three stamping inks to match the background paper. As suggested on the stamp package the first layer is stamped with the lightest color, then moving towards darker colors on layers 2 and 3. Stamp first layer of the marble background, starting with number one images of each set (stamps A1, B1 and C1). I chose a gray tone color palette, so I used grey ‘London Fog’ Memento ink for my first layer.


Step 2

Stamp second layer of images (stamps A2, B2 and C2). I used a bit darker grey (VersaFine Clair ‘Morning Mist’).


Step 3

Stamp the final layer (stamps A3, B3 and C3). To add a hint of color on my gray background I chose beautiful red VersaFine Clair in Chianti for stamping.


Step 4

Cover the notebook with the marble patterned paper. Before gluing down the paper fold it to half for aligning the back of the notebook with the center of the paper. Trim off the corners of the background paper. Fold inwards and glue on the notebook.


Step 5

Glue a (burgundy colored) panel on the notebook front and write a title with letter stickers. Enjoy your beautiful notebook!

Tip: Some new clear/photopolymer stamps may resist water-based inks when used for the first time. You may experience that the ink clusters into tiny bubbles on the stamp giving you a splotchy image. If this happens here’s an easy tip for gently prepping your stamps: Ink the stamp with clear VersaMark ink. Press the stamp on the palm of your hand. Ink with water-based Memento ink, stamp, and enjoy your lovely crispy image!

Left: Before prepping. Right: After prepping

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Waffle Flower Stamps – Layering Marble
  • Acrylic block
  • Notebook
  • Glue
  • Paper trimmer
  • Scissors
  • Cardstock – Grey, Burgundy
  • American Craft – Letter stickers

Stamp and Color this Cute “You Are Loved” Dog Theme Card

by Elina Stromberg

The best way to brighten a grey, rainy autumn day is to play with a set of cute stamps! These adorable dogs and cats by Waffle Flower are a great choice for various card projects, but these furry friends will also look super cute on your planner pages. The set contains lovely sentiment text stamps, and there’s also a great selection of additional elements you can use to decorate your projects with. Those birthday balloons, cupcakes, and party hats will take you to a happy festive mood in no time at all!

Skill: Beginner
Time: 1 hour

Directions


Step 1

Stamp the dog images on white paper. Color and cut out with scissors. When coloring with alcohol markers, use water-soluble Memento ink for stamping. This will keep the fine lines of the stamp intact. When using watercolors or watercolor pencils, use VersaFine Clair in Nocturne.


Step 2

Take two scrap pieces of green cardstock and cut with Waffle Flower “Scenery” die set.


Step 3

Stamp sentiment “You are” text with the small heart using brown Pinecone VersaFine Clair ink.


Step 4

Paint green grass on the light color cardstock using green Memento inks and a cotton swab.


Step 5

Stamp white clouds on the light blue background paper using stamps from Waffle Flower ‘Layering Marble’ set.


Step 6

Build card background scenery by layering the decorated pieces of light blue and green cardstocks. Trim to desired size and mat on dark blue background. 
Glue dogs and bones on the card. 
Use two-sided tape for attaching the card front to the folded white card base. Trim off excess.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Waffle Flower – Pawsome Stamp Set 
  • Waffle Flower – Layering Marble Stamp Set
  • Waffle Flower – Scenery Die cut
  • Acrylic Block
  • Promarkers for coloring
  • Two-sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Cotton swab
  • Pieces of white, light blue, and green cardstock
  • Folded card base
  • Paper trimmer
  • Sizzix Die-cutting Machine

See How to Make a Happy Birthday Panda Card with Rinea Foil

by Elina Stromberg

See How to Make a Happy Birthday Panda Card with Rinea Foil

This panda stamp set is one of my favorites, and I’ve used it on many card projects. Embossed Rinea foil took these cute images on a completely new level; the shimmering patterned background is truly eye-catching and made the adorable party pandas pop! This card design is simple to make, and the Rinea foil is easy to emboss. If you don’t have a die-cutting machine and embossing folders you can easily emboss and pattern the foil with a stylus.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1.5 hours

Directions


Step 1

Stamp the pandas on white cardstock using clear VersaMark ink. Heat emboss the images using black Mboss embossing powder.


Step 2

Using the craft mat as palette color the embossed pandas with black, grey and red Memento inks. Wipe the ink pads on the craft mat and pick up the colors with a water brush. Once dry add highlights with a white color pencil. Cut out the images.


Step 4

Place a sheet of red Rinea foil in an embossing folder. Run through the die-cutting machine to create an embossed pattern. Doesn’t the embossed sheet look amazing! Trim the foil to a size slightly smaller than your card front.


Step 5

Trim a white panel to a size that is ¼” smaller than your card base on all edges. Die-cut two circles on the card front. Layer the card front panel on the embossed foil and mat onto a piece of dark red cardstock. Attach the layered card front to the card base using double-sided tape. Stamp the sentiment on the card front. Glue pandas on the die-cut circles.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Rinea Foil Paper – Autumn
  • Cardstock – Red, White
  • Cardbase
  • Stampin’Up – ‘Party Pandas’ Stamp set
  • Water brush
  • White color pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Double-sided tape

See How to Create a Sunburst with a Stenciling Technique

by Elina Stromberg

See How to Create a Sunburst with a Stenciling Technique

Fun stamped characters and bright ink colors are a joyful combination. I placed my cute dog image on a bright yellow background that was inspired by our warm July color of ‘Tuscan Sun’. I inked the background pattern directly on the folded card base: First, I stenciled a large yellow circle on the card and then inked another patterned layer on top. This double stenciling technique is super easy and using just a part of your stencil pattern makes your old stencil look cool and fresh again! If you don’t have a circle stencil you can cut it from paper or a piece of film/plastic sheet. And instead of a circle, you can use any shape you wish: an oval, a heart, a triangle, a hexagon…the possibilities are endless!

Skill: Beginner
Time: 1 hour

Directions


Step 1

Place card base folded on your craft mat. Place a circle stencil on the card, secure with masking tape. Ink the circle with yellow Cantaloupe Memento ink; dab the ink on the card with a Jumbo Dauber. Remove stencil.


Step 2

Place a pattern stencil on the inked card front and layer the circle stencil on top in its original position. Ink the circle area with orange Tangelo Memento ink. Remove both stencils. TIP: For the second inked layer, any patterned stencil can be used. For catching all the details of the stencil pattern use the smaller Sponge Dauber for inking.


Step 3

Attach a piece of masking tape on the bottom of the card. Cut a paper strip of a matching color and stamp the sentiment on it. Glue strip on the card.


Step 4

Stamp, color and cut out the main image. When coloring with alcohol markers, use Memento ink for stamping. When coloring with watercolors or watercolor pencils, use VersaFine Clair or VersaFine ink.


Step 5

Glue the main image on the card front. Decorate sentiment strip with two white gel pen dots (optional). Finished!

Supplies

Imagine

Other

  • White folded card base
  • Cardstock – Orange
  • Stencils: circle, sunray
  • Katzelkraft – Holmy
  • Ink Blog Shop – Sentiment Label Blocks
  • Alcohol markers of choice
  • White gel pen (optional)
  • Masking tape
  • Glue

See How To Make 3D Flowers For A Scrapbook Layout

by Elina Stromberg

See How To Make 3d Flowers For A Scrapbook Layout

Lots and lots of flowers make a girly scrapbook layout bloom! There are many ready-made flower embellishments in the market, but I prefer making the embellishments myself. That way I can easily make sure that the flowers have just the right shape, size, and color to match my project. In addition to punched and die-cut flowers, I like to use my flower stamps to embellish my card creations and scrapbook pages. Coloring and fuzzy-cutting flowers are pure crafting mindfulness!

Stamped flowers don’t have to be dull flat decorations. Once the flowers are cut out, I press them gently on the palm of my hand. This lifts up the petals, and when glued on is applied only to the center of the flower the finished look is lovely dimensional.

Skill: Advanced
Time: 2 hours

Directions


Step 1

Stamp flowers and leaves on heavy white cardstock. When coloring with alcohol markers, use (black) Memento ink for stamping. When coloring with watercolors or watercolor pencils, use (black) VersaFine Clair or VersaFine ink.


Step 2

Color the flowers and leaves with alcohol markers, watercolors or color pencils. Use both lighter and darker tones of the colors of your choice. Add white highlights with a white pastel pen/charcoal pencil. Cut out.


Step 3

Trim two strips of patterned/colored papers, either horizontal or slightly slanted. Place a narrow strip on top of the page and a bit wider strip on the bottom. Adhere with double-sided tape and secure by sewing a wide zig zag over the edge. Using small pieces of tape fasten off the ends of the sewing yarn on the back of the page.


Step 4

Stencil light pink patterns on the background paper. Dab the ink through the stencil with a sponge dauber. 


Step 5

Stamp hints of texture on the stenciled pattern: Keep the stamp in your hand and bend it when inking and stamping. This way you can create small partial stamped patterns on the paper; you don’t want the stamped pattern to stand out too much!


Step 6

Stamp small embellishments on white or light patterned paper using the same VersaFine Clair color as was used on decorating the background. Cut out.


Step 7

Layer photo on pieces of patterned papers. Decorate photo with stamped and fuzzy cut images.


Step 8

Use a long ruler to align the title text letters. Grid lines of the craft mat will help in aligning. Plan the sticker placement carefully, as you will not be able to reposition them; they stick firmly on the photo! Press flowers on the palm of your hand to gently bend the petals. Glue on the page building clusters of flowers. Fold the leaves in half, put a drop of glue on the back and tuck under the flowers. Add small stamped and fuzzy-cut embellishments around the flowers.


Step 9

Write journaling on the page with a white gel pen.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Patterned paper in size 12” x 12” for layout background (Studio Calico May ’13)
  • Strips of solid color and patterned paper
  • Pieces of patterned papers to mat the photo
  • Stencil – 13 Arts ‘Stained Glass’
  • Stamps – Honey Bee: ‘Spring Blossom,’ Wycinanka: ‘Lorem ipsum,’ Carabelle Studio: ‘Mini Textures’
  • Letter stickers: American Crafts
  • White gel pen
  • Sewing machine
  • White sewing yarn
  • Glue
  • Double-sided tape
  • Scissors