Helpful Tips and Tricks: How to Take Amazing Photos of Craft Projects

by Martha Lucia Gomez

Helpful Tips and Tricks: How to Take Amazing Photos of Craft Projects

With the ever-growing popularity of social media platforms, particularly Instagram, crafters have been talking about how to take better photos of our projects. Since not all of us are professional photographers, and we don’t all have “the perfect tools”, I would like to talk about how to take great photos of your work without having to be a pro-photographer.

Style your photos creatively

These are important elements to focus on when taking a photo of a project:

  • the backdrop or background
  • main focus – which is always your project
  • props or supporting elements to make the focus shine
  • the camera


With clear and simple photos you need to have a neutral base or background, like white, grey, ecru, cream or even brown tones like wood. Since most of us don’t have professional lighting, set your background up where it is in natural light, and make sure it is a large enough base to place your card or project. Try using dark colors in the background to help the project colors pop.

You can set up your background so that your project can be laid flat or standing up. I find that I can capture more details by taking photos of my cards flat on a surface with the camera located directly above it. Also, if you have a small space to take your photos, this option is perfect because it requires less space and can make it easier to incorporate other elements.

With flat photos, remember your backdrop is the most important part. If you are creative you don’t need to buy expensive elements, you can use everyday household items and surfaces as the background. The most important thing is to keep in mind the colors and textures. A brightly colored element next to your project can round out the scene and support the focal point, but being able to use it as the background will be trickier, tho can work on occasion.

You can use wood surfaces, floor boards, ceramic tiles or designer textured papers, as well as other supplies to add some depth to the photos. You can also use elements like designed plates, which can be easily found in home decor stores. My favorite is HomeGoods because I can buy just one plate, placemat or napkin. Neutral colored fat quarters found at the fabric store is another cheap option.

Supplies or Photo Props

With staging photos, it is nice to add a few elements alongside your card or project—but these cannot compete with the main focus object i.e. your crafting project. You can use many items as photo props. I use a lot of flowers and greenery, my favorites are made of silicone because the fabric flowers don’t look real to me. But definitely, my favorites photo props are the craft supplies. Supplies like inks, stamps, stencils, color pencils or markers, and die cuts are perfect elements to support your project. Extra embellishments like buttons, sequins, washi tape and twines are also great, but always be careful with the color combinations. My suggestion is to start with the neutral items first that won’t compete with your project. If you still aren’t finding what you like, just look around your home and you might find gorgeous elements that you can borrow for a few minutes as part of your photo.


With today’s technology, you really don’t need to have a professional camera. Cell phones like the iPhone or Samsung make it possible to take amazing photos. To make them work best, use natural light source and keep an eye out for any shadows across your photo. Also, think about a good angle to take the photo. Always start by making your lens parallel to the project front, and then play with the angle from there. My last helpful hint is very simple but important: always clean the lens of your camera or phone before taking the photos. Because we touch our phones so often it is easy for the lens to become dirty.

I hope you found these tips useful. Just remember to stay open to learning new ideas and most importantly have fun! Thank you for stopping by the Imagine blog and don’t forget to share!

Do you Love all the New Colors of Delicata?

by Renee Zarate

Most mixed media artists have many separate art journals for different projects or products, depending on the type of art work that they do. I love the Delicata inks so much, I needed a journal specifically for experimenting with all of the Delicata inks! It is fun to decorate art journals with other unused experiments or bits and bobs of supplies left over from other projects. When using up the leftovers not only does it produce an interesting project but it also prevents waste and hoarding. This one is pretty enough to set out on a coffee table for guests to look through.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 2 hours + dry time


Step 1

To begin, paint the cover of a Strathmore Mixed Media paper art journal with black Gesso and allow to dry. Cut a piece of navy blue card stock to measure 4 ½” by 6 ½”. Cut a second piece of the same paper to measure 6 ¾” by 5”, set this aside. Take the smaller piece of the navy paper, choose a stencil with a lot of open space and use a palette knife to apply a small amount of Creative Medium Iridescent paste. Let dry.

Step 2

With a small dauber for each separate color of Delicata ink, apply Rose Gold, Emerald Green, Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue and Golden Glitz onto the stenciled panel. Blend the inks while applying. Dry with heat tool.

Step 3

Using Tear It Tape, mount the stenciled, inked panel onto the larger piece of navy card stock, then black cardstock, cut to measure 5 ¾” by 8 ½”. Adhere entire panel to the note book.

Step 4

Choose different elements to adhere to the cover panel using a strong adhesive. The spoon has been decorated with Delicata Rose Gold ink applied with a Fantastix, sprinkled with Clear Embossing Powder and melted with a heat tool. Stamp Rose Gold polka dots around the navy panel and add ribbons to the spiral binding. The metal roses have been enhanced with Delicata Rose Gold, Silvery Shimmer and Ruby Red inks. It is easy to get into the tight spots by using the pointed end of a Fantastix. By using a separate Fantastix for each color it eliminates the risk of contaminating the ink pad with other colors. White ribbon for the binding can be colored with ink from the Delicata pads to keep everything in the same color scheme.


  • Strathmore Mixed Media notebook (6.25” x 8.5”)
  • Liquitex Black Gesso
  • Waffle Flower – Pattern Play collection
  • Stencil Girl – Mary Beth Shaw Private Collection stencile
  • Prima – Resin Frame, Rhinestone crown and strips of rhinestones,
    spoon, metal chain
  • Idea-ology – metal phrase
  • Michaels – ribbons, burlap fabric and metal flowers
  • E6000 adhesive
  • Heat tool
  • Cutting tool



Its Saturday! Do You Have Any Plans?

Sometimes a Saturday afternoon is the best time to set some future goals and plans! Mischelle and Jessica share an inside look of their planners and their favorite stamps and inks to use right along with them.

Its Saturday! Do You Have Any Plans?

Planner Instructions by Mischelle Smith

Imagine and Waffle Flower teamed up in May. As a result I recieved the Happy Mail stamp set and Butterfly die which work great in my planner. The size of the envelope (stamped in Lilac Posies in the photo above) fits perfectly into the calendar grid. And I choose to float the butterflies in the lighter color Pear Tart all over the page. Memento inkpads paired with my Memento Markers is a combo that works every time and worked great with my stamps. Writing in my to-do-list notes with the matching  Memento Lilac Posies Marker was my favorite part! Super cute, right?! It is certainly inspiring to sit with your day of planning and be organized in your ink colors as well.


  • Waffle Flower – Happy Mail Stamp Set, Butterfly Die
  • Vera Lane Studio – The Mermaid
  • Close To My Heart – Planner

Stay Focused Planner Spread by Jessica Litman

With this summer kicking off, why not up your planner skills by using Imagine ink pads and Waffle Flower “Stay Focused” stamp set?! These planner stamps are perfect for personalizing any planner layout. Here I used Memento Angel Pink, New Sprout, Lulu Lavender, and London Fog and matching Memento Dual Markers for color-coding to keep the different themes in my planner organized. I also used the Xyron Sticker Maker, cardstock and the little notetaking icon stamp to create an extra embellishments and to place them where I see fit.


  • Waffle Flower – Stay Focused stamp set
  • Xyron 1.5in Sticker Maker
  • Cardstock





Be Extra Creative Today with Sentiments of Love

We have two projects today that share something in common– they both use sentiments of love! Tenia uses handlettering to get across a loving message in a journal page that can serve as a reminder to practice love in all things. While Renee creates a “miss you” greeting card that can be given out any time. Both are great projects to fill your day with a positive vibe!

Hand lettering with memento markers

Hand lettering with Memento Markers by Tenia Nelson

Tenia here from Jazzy Paper Designs with a super fun project made with Tsukineko and Imagine products. Learning to hand letter your craft projects is a life-long study. You can spend hours each day and thousands of sheets of paper practicing loops of an “l” or the descender shapes of a “g”. I am guilty of such an obsessive study. In the above photo, I share the fruits of my labor!! I untwisted the nozzle of my Fireworks bottle and tapped some splashes out on the page, then wrote the sentiment “do it with love” in orange, then followed through with outlining in fine point with black ink. I kept this simple, and of course you can add more details, words, and photos if you wish to turn this into a more art journal project. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!!!


  • Art Journal


miss you greeting card handmade by renee zarate

Miss You Handmade Card by Renee Zarate

Like most crafters, I have a stash of cards that can be used at a moment’s notice. When I make master boards, I generally make a few cards or ATCs with the remains of the main project and into my emergency reserve they go. Our color challenge this month was “Tangerine”, a cheerful color of summer, so I decided to make a master board combining all different shades of orange that I have on hand. Objects in nature are never a single flat color but generally an eye pleasing combination of multiple shades of one color, including tangerines.

Tangerine Masterboard for handmade cards

First, I created a monochromatic master board using different shades of orange. I sprayed water on a piece of Mixed Media paper, laid a stencil on top of the wet paper and with a large dauber began pouncing different colors of orange inks. I wiped off the stencil with a baby wipe and dried the paper with a heat tool. Next, I cut a piece of the master board measuring 2 ½” x 3 ½” (standard ATC size). Then, I decorated the masterboard piece with a bird stamp and die cut, washi tape and stamp a sentiment “miss you”, and heat emboss with clear embossing powder.

From here it is smooth sailing. I finished the card by mounting the masterboard piece on mat panel of black, gray and orange cardstock, again on black cardstock, then onto patterned paper and finally mount to a blank white card base. For one last polishing touch, I colored a few paper flowers with ink, let dry and attached them to the upper corner of the card with a strong adhesive.


  • Sizzix – Bird Talk stamp & die set
  • Big Kick machine
  • Washi tape
  • Sketchbook 11” x 14”
  • Strathmore 140 lb. Mixed Media paper
  • Cardstock – black, gray, orange
  • Blank card
  • Heat tool
  • Baby wipes
  • Paper towels

Color of the Month for June

June Color of the Month is Tangerine

We are excited to announce the Color of the Month — Tangerine! Everyone month Imagine highlights a different color to show off our catalog of inks. The Tsukineko brand offers this rich orange color in All-Purpose Ink, VersaColor, Memento, Radiant Neon, Radiant Neon Amplify and StazOn. And Imagine’s offers two in house products — the recent release of the 2oz bottle of Fireworks Shimmery Craft Spray in Tangelo as well as IrRESISTibles Pico Embellisher Tangelo.

Tangerine is a deep orange color that evokes a festive vibe, the warmth of summer, and tangy flavors of fruit! Some of the trends we see with this color are….

tangerine tiles

Moroccan tiles…

Tangerine Tiles Stamp StazOn Tsukineko ink Orange Zest

Bohemian theme home decor or stamps…

camp vibes DCWV scrapbook paper

and Camp Fire or Outdoors themes.

We offer this color challenge to our Artist in Residence to bring forward in their June project submissions, so be on the lookout for how our team uses this vibrant color. We also offer this challenge to you. If you feel inspired by Tangerine and use Imagine or Tsukineko inks then please tag us in your Instagram or Facebook posts. We would love to see what you create!

Make Your Ink Blending Easy with VersaMagic

by Jowilna Nolte

Blending colors can be tricky but when you use amazing inks like Tsukineko’s VersaMagic chalk inks, then blending and creating a seamless look is magical. For this blog post, I show you how to color a chipboard piece blended with four colors of pigment ink for a gorgeous earth toned ombre look. This chipboard can be used in a scrapbook, card or any craft project you choose. Let’s get started!

Skill: Beginner
Time: 15-20 minutes


Step 1

Select a piece of chipboard you want to color as well as four colors of VersaMagic Dew Drop inks. I chose Gingerbread, Thatched Straw, Malted Mauve, Perfect Plumeria in VersaMagic and a tall, card-sized chipboard from Celebr8.

Step 2

Think about each color roughly taking up a quarter of the chipboard. In other words, if you have a 4-inch tall chipboard then each color will ink a 1-inch section. Start by tapping the lightest color (Thatched Straw) onto the top section of your chipboard piece. Repeatedly tap the ink over each other until the color is the nice and solid in coverage. VersaMagic is a juicy ink and will saturate rather quickly.

Step 3

Repeat the process with your second color (Malted Mauve). This time slightly overlap onto your first color when inking to blend colors.

Step 4

Repeat the process using your third color (Perfect Plumeria) again overlapping onto the second color a bit.

Step 5

Repeat with your last and fourth color (Gingerbread) overlapping onto the third color a bit.

Step 6

Use your finger tip or a sponge dauber to lightly rub over the overlapping areas. Because the pigment inks will stay wet for a little while longer than dye ink, the colors will blend more easily and beautifully. Set aside and allow to dry thoroughly before using on a card or other paper projects.

In the image above you can see how this blending technique can be used on any chipboard design.


  • Celebr8 – “You Were Born to Stand Out” chipboard
  • Cardstock