Use a Stencil Background to Create Artists Trading Cards

by Elina Stromberg

Use a Stencil Background to Create Artists Trading Cards

For me, crafting is my way to unwind and to relax. Sometimes I feel that I need to start crafting, but I don’t necessarily have a specific project in mind. The solution is to create background pages for later use. For making background pages, I take out a few white blank papers, my favorite inks or paints, stencils, and stamps, and I’m good to go. There are no strict rules to follow so I often start with the light colors, move towards the darker shades, and whenever I encounter issues I drop my original idea and jump over to plan B or C. If the result is a total catastrophe I throw away the page and start all over. For me, the end result is not as important as the pleasure the creative process gives me.

Skill: Beginner
Time: 1 hour


Step 1

On this background page, I started with inking the white paper with a light green color of Memento in New Sprout. I applied the ink directly from the ink pad on the paper, using the Dew Drop ink pad and a soft circular motion. If I had used a larger ink pad I would have used a brayer or a Jumbo Dauber for coloring the page.

Step 2

Then I used a darker green ink color of Memento in Bamboo Leaves and a Sponge Dauber to stencil a pattern on the page. Once finished, I splashed water on the page, letting the water-soluble ink react with the water before drying the page with my heat gun. Love those splash marks!

Step 3

Then I used another stencil and a bit darker green ink and added smaller patterns on the page. Just a hint here and there will do the trick!

Step 4

Adding a hint of both white and black is always a good idea. Those will refresh the page and make the other colors pop. I stamped some black text patterns on the page and added white color with a gel pen. I think it did the trick I was looking for!

Step 4

In the end, I had two almost identical decorated papers. I cut a few ATC card backgrounds and used a piece of the patterned paper for a background for a die-cut card.

I think that the stenciled backgrounds look good on my ATC’s!




  • Mixed Media Paper – White
  • Cardstock – Green, Yellow, Orange
  • Card base – White
  • Pronty – Leaf Stencils
  • Carabelle Studio – Dots
  • 13Arts – Triangles
  • Heat gun
  • Katzelkraft – Dog stamps
  • Wycinanka – Text pattern stamp
  • Sizzix – Bird stencil, Oval stencil
  • Alcohol markers
  • Glue
  • Double-sided tape
  • Gel pen – White

Double Stencil Technique On A CAS Card

by Nadine Carlier

CAS Card by Nadine Carlier IC

Layering stencils is an easy and fun way to create a background on your cards and still have a clean and simple look. Watch my video below to see how easy it is.  Enjoy!

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 30 minutes



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Create a Vibrant Art Journal Page to Tell Your Story

by Iris Rodriguez

Create a Vibrant Art Journal Page to Tell Your Story

Have you ever been attracted a shape, a pattern, an image, a technique and you don’t know why? For me, it’s been Asemic writing and abstract figures. Asemic writing is a wordless form of writing. It makes words look real, but it’s not meant to be read. This is a perfect way to express that you can write your own story every day and that nothing is set in stone. Imagine’s irRESISTible Pico Embellisher is a very fine mark-making tool and a medium perfect for Asemic writing. See how I make this vibrant journal page.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1.5 hours


Step 1

Spray the watercolor paper with water. Then brush on the All-Purpose Ink in Rose Pink, and Tropical Lagoon. Also, Brush on Fireworks Shimmery Craft Spray in Dandelion. Do not blend or the colors will turn into a mud color. Rather color in separate areas. You can lightly blend the edges with a brush. Dry the paper.

Step 2

Use an InkBlushers to stencil in patterns with VersaFine Clair in Tulip Red, Monarch and Warm Breeze. You can use any stencil pattern you happen to have.

Step 3

To get a dimensional look, like you see on the top right of the of the image above, stencil the shape with a dark color, then place the stencil over the same area and slightly offset it, stencil a lighter color ink.

Step 4

The Dina Wakley stencil contains the positive and negative shapes. The cutout (positive) piece is considered a mask. Place the mask on the substrate. Make an outline with the VersaFine Clair in Nocturne using a Sponge Dauber.

Step 5

Continue to add to the shadows around the silhouette.

Step 6

Place a few drops of All-Purpose Ink in White onto your craft matt and pounce the Inkblusher into it and color inside the silhouette. This ink is opaque, so a couple of drops is more than enough. This will make the silhouette standout, while slightly making out the color and patterns underneath.

Step 7

Make Asemic writing marks inside the silhouette with the IrRESISTible Pico Embellisher in Tuxedo Black. It helps if you think of several parts of a phrase, song, poem and abstractedly and write it out.

Step 8

On a piece of white cardstock paper, stamp out a sentiment, then cut it out. Glue onto the page. Draw a frame with the black IrRESISTible Pico Embellisher for added interest.

Thank you! If you would like to learn more about stenciling then please see a full tutorial: Learn the Basics of Stenciling




  • Watercolor paper
  • Crafter’s Workshop – Rebekah Meier stencil; Star and Flower
  • Dyan Reaveley’s Dylusions Arrows stencil
  • Dina Wakley Casey & Penelope stencil
  • Alphabet stamps

Color of the Month for August is Lavender

The Color of the Month for August is Lavender. We love this soft purple color and with summer in full gear, the lavender is blooming in full. We are reminded of how well this color compliments green leaves and also is the favorite of honey bees. With cardmaking and scrapbooking lavender is a must-have as if can work have to express sensitivity and delight! Imagine and Tsukineko offer several products to help achieve this beautiful color. Ink swatches such as Memento in Lulu Lavender, Brilliance in Pearlescent Purple, and All-Purpose Ink in Wisteria are great examples! In the meantime, we have a couple of sneak peeks of this months tutorials for you!

Kyriakos Pachadiroglou creates Lavender Feather Earrings 

Martha Lucia Gomez creates a beautiful Geometric Butterfly Card

Roni Johnson goes stencil crazy with this Mixed Media Stencil Art

Stay tuned to the Imagine Blog for more inspiration!