Upcycle a Wood Block Using Plaster and Tsukineko Inks

by Iris Rodriguez

Upcycle a Wood Block Using Plaster and Tsukineko Inks

In today’s tutorial, I create an art piece with upcycled remodel leftovers. I had discarded unfinished pieces of wooden blocks, my neighbor gave me when he did some home renovations. I covered a wooden block with plaster cloth and created a wall hanging piece using Joy Clair stamps with VersaFine CLAIR ink and used All-Purpose inks for the background. Plaster is porous and these inks are highly pigmented, thereby, allowing the inks to adhere to the plastered surface easily. You get a little bit of uneven surface with a distressed look, which I really like.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 30 Mins to plaster and color the wooden substrate + 2 days for plaster to dry


Step 1

For this project, you will need plaster cloth, wooden substrates, such as a cradled board (shadowbox) or block, water and scissors. The plaster can be messy and a little dusty. Line your table with a plastic bag, which makes it easier to clean up. Do not use hot or warm water. It will speed up the setting up of the plaster. Plaster is water-soluble, so cleaning is easy and fast.
DO NOT throw the plaster water in your sink, it will set in your plumbing and clog it. You’ll have small or fine pieces of plaster leftover in the water. You can throw the water out in your yard. Plaster is Gypsum stone, it exists in nature. Another option is to drain the water out and you are left with plaster pieces that can be thrown away in the trash.

Step 2

Dip the plaster cloth in water. Hold the cloth tightly in the palm of your hands and wring out the excess water. This will prevent the plaster from completely sloughing off the cloth.

Step 3

Lay it out on your substrate and smooth it out with your fingers. Move quickly, plaster tends to set fast. Once it begins to set, there is no way to smooth it out. If you try you just get a bumpy surface.

Step 4

Allow the piece to dry for a whole day. The rate it dries will depend on the temperature of the room. The drier, warmer the room, the faster it dries.

Step 5

Brush on the Sand All-Purpose ink. Lay a little drop on the inkwell, dip the brush in water and brush onto the piece. Plater is highly porous, so a little goes a long way. The plaster will get activated, just a little. Dry the piece between each layer. The color will be lighter once dry.

Step 6

Brush on the Tropical Lagoon All-Purpose ink. Dry the piece with a heating tool or allow it dry naturally before stamping.

Step 7

Stamp images with the Nocture VersaFine Clair. Despite smoothing out the plaster, you still have a little bit of an uneven surface; that is the nature of plaster cloth. I find that VersaFine Clair ink to be perfect for plaster. It’s highly pigmented, moist and it captures details very well, ideal for allowing the ink to get into the uneven surface easily. It is best to use unmounted stamps because it makes it easier for the stamps to go through the uneven surface by pushing the stamp into the surface with your fingers.


  • Plaster Cloth
  • Finished or Unfinished Wood
  • Joy Clair – Butterfly Kisses stamp set
  • Acrylic Block
  • Mixing bowl
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint Palette

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!


Mboss in Black

Watercolor Set


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 a Woodland Scene with No Line Watercolor

by Lindsay Adreon

See How to Create a Woodland Scene with No Line Watercolor

Watercolor is a struggle for me, not to mention no-line watercolor. Today, I wanted to share a really easy way to create the look of no-line watercolor with water-based Memento markers and Joy Clair Stamps! Anyone can do this!

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 45 minutes




See How to Double Stamp to Create a “Give Thanks” Card

by Martha Lucia Gomez

See How to Double Stamp to Create a "Give Thanks" Card

Hello crafty friends, Martha Lucia here! Today, I am sharing the double stamping with Memento Ink. One of the most versatile inks are Memento, they come in multiples shades and you can easily coordinate and found colors in between. I am featuring the stamp set Fall Leaves from Joy Clair. This month we are working together and you can find a lot of inspiration with the two brands in our corresponding blogs.


Bamboo Leaves and Cottage Ivy Memento colors inkpads

Stamp the solid image of the leaves with the lightest color of your Memento Ink. I used New Sprout and a stamping tool to stamp several images at once, but you can use an acrylic block to make the same. With the two darker colors of Memento Ink stamp the lines inside of the first images stamped. I used Bamboo Leaves and Cottage Ivy Memento colors.

stamp the sentiment, "Give Thanks"

Resize your layer and paste it with double-sided foam tape over your card base. To cut mine, I used the large Embossed Edge Square Frame from Kat Scrappiness. In a separate piece of paper, stamp the sentiment, “Give Thanks”. I used one sentiment included on the stamp set Fall Greetings from Joy Clair and Cottage Ivy Memento Ink. Finalize your card adding a colorful frame. I used Marigold/Gold Glossy Rinea Foiled Paper and embossed edge square die cuts from Kat Scrappiness to create mine.

Thank you for stopping by and see you soon!


  • Joy Clair Stamps – Fall Leaves, Fall Greetings
  • Kat Scrappiness – Embossed Edge Rectangle Dies, Embossed Edge Square Dies
  • Marigold/Gold Glossy Rinea Foiled Paper
  • Stamping Tool
  • Double-Sided Foam Tape

Color of the Month for November is Hunter Green

Color of the Month for November is Hunter Green

Color of the Month for November is Hunter Green. We feel this color is a perfect segway between Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday season. We love dark rich greens inks and Tsukineko certainly has a great number of inks to choose from in this color hue. For a solid stamping ink try VersaFine in Rain Forest, VersaColor in Evergreen makes a nice blending ink with a sponge dauber and if you need a green with a bit of shine then don’t forget Delicata in Emerald Green.

November is also exciting because we are collaborating with Joy Clair Stamps this month. See the Joy Clair website for more information on their stamp sets.

Here is a peek of what we have coming up this month in cardmaking tutorials and videos!

Lindsay Adreon creates matching Christmas Cards 

Lindsay Adreon creates matching Christmas Cards

Lori Warren uses a cute Moose Stamp for a Holiday card. 

Lori Warren uses a cute Moose Stamp for a Holiday card.

Melissa Andrew uses this super cute sloth as a theme for a card. 

Melissa Andrew uses this super cute sloth as a theme for a card.

Creating A Winter Sky with Fireworks Sprays

by Melissa Andrew

Today, I am sharing a tutorial on how I use Fireworks Sprays as a watercolor to create a smooth wash background for a snowy sky. The Fireworks Sprays create a sparkly scene that creates a frosty winter sky. In addition, I show you how to use Shimmer Spray to create snowy hills.

Skill: Intermediate/Advanced
Time: 45 minutes