Design a Watercolor Portrait with Walnut Inks

by Elina Stromberg

Design a Watercolor Portrait with Walnut Inks from Imagine Crafts and Tsukineko.

Whenever I come across an inspiring technique tutorial or a project idea, I save it to one of my Pinterest boards. Those pins become handy when there’s a need for getting the creative juices flowing, but even if the creative mojo is not lost I love to browse through the idea boards for getting fresh innovative ideas.

Some of the pinned projects have been on my to-do list for a while already, waiting for the right time slot to be explored. Like a watercolor portrait tutorial by Elise Engh in her Grow Creative blog that I pinned years ago: I loved the project idea and I had planned to make these cool monotone portraits of my kids, but I was not sure if I had the patience for following all the tutorial steps of editing, printing, tracing, and painting. So, when I finally decided to give it a try, I altered the steps, cut some corners, and finished in no time at all! I used a photo editing program for creating my painting template, and instead of making the painting completely monotonous I used two matching Walnut ink colors for painting. And I loved how the portrait turned out!

Creating the painting template requires some photo editing skills, but you don’t need to be an expert for making the template. You can use whichever software you wish, but as photo editing software vary, I did not include detailed instructions of the photo editing steps. However, please do leave a comment if more guidance is needed.

Walnut inks come in several natural earth tones, and they give a beautiful antique finish to photos, papers, and wooden embellishments. They come in handy spray bottles, but the strong pigment inks can also be used as liquid watercolors; they were the perfect choice for this portrait project!

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1.5 hours


Step 1

Choose a well-lit portrait photo and open it in a photo editing program (e.g. Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Gimp, PicMonkey). Adjust colors and lightning, and if needed, add contrast. Convert the photo to black and white, and remove the background. Edit the photo using ‘Posterize’ adjustment tool. Set levels to 2, i.e. use only two colors on the posterized photo. Once done, lighten the black to a light grey so that when you print it is just a light shadow.

Pour a small amount of Walnut Ink in Brown and EucalyptusStep 2

Pour a small amount of Walnut Ink in Brown and Eucalyptus (an earthy green) on a watercolor palette. Taping the paper on the surface is not needed as the Walnut ink will not curl the paper.

Step 3

Paint the portrait using a small brush, covering all printed light grey areas. Let the colors mix, and add water for gaining lighter tints. Work rather quickly, using a rich amount of ink. Walnut Ink will dry quite fast on a porous watercolor paper. When finished, trim the portrait to the desired size and frame.

Thank you for stopping by the Imagine blog and if you enjoyed this tutorial then please comment below or share on social media! 


  • Photo in digital format
  • Computer + Photo editing software
  • Printer
  • Watercolor paper
  • Palette
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Photo frame

Watch a Video on How to Create a Little Gift Box

by Jennifer Vanderbeek

Watch a Video on How to Create a Little Gift Box by Jennifer Vanderbeek.

Faux Bois means false wood and is commonly employed to make something that’s not wood (or something made of a lesser quality wood) look more high-class. I decided to see if I could achieve a similar effect by layering carefully placed stamps and mediums onto cardstock. The result was a pretty good imitation of a lacquered trinket box—perfect for gift giving or miniature applications!

If you like this video then please subscribe to our Youtube Channel or share on Facebook!


  • Craft paper
  • Sizzix – Gift Box die
  • Die cut machine
  • Joy Clair – Wood Background stamp
  • Acrylic Block
  • Heat tool
  • Woodgrain stencil
  • Helmar – Quick Dry 450 adhesive
  • Purse findings

See How To Create Mixed Media ATC’s

by Nadine Carlier

ATC cards by Nadine Carlier ic

What is an ATC? “Artist trading cards (commonly referred to as ATCs) are 2 ½” x 3 ½” miniature pieces of art that are traded around the world with other artists. Artists create, trade and collect art at organized “swap” events, either in person or online.”

I enjoy trading ATC’s with other crafters, not only is it fun I also really like to be able to see what others create. Everyone has such different styles, and they all inspire me one way or another. ATC’s don’t have to be hard to make or super elaborate just as long as they reflect you and your style. All I needed to create these ATC’s was some Creative Medium, Walnut Ink, irRESISTible, VersaColor, and VersaMagic.

Watch my video tutorial below on how I created them. Enjoy!

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 30 min.



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Got the Blues? Check Out 2 Uplifting Handmade Cards

Sometimes doing something special for someone during a rough period is the best medicine. In today’s papercraft projects, we share two different themes for encouragement cards. Tenia creates a cute and simple sympathy card for a broken heart while Elina creates reminds us to dance.

Got the Blues? Check Out 2 Uplifting Handmade Cards

Broken Heart Mini Card by Tenia Nelson

Hey Y’all! Tenia here from Jazzy Paper Designs with a sympathy or broken heart mini card measuring 3 x 3 inches and made with Imagine and Tsukineko ink products. Sometimes sending someone a sweet message when they are feeling blue is a nice way to show them you are thinking of them.

Broken Heart Mini Card by Tenia Nelson

Using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, stamp the heart image onto 3 x 3 inch card. Next, spray a Bahama Blue Fireworks onto card to give the splatter effect in the background. Ink the same heart stamp with VersaMark, stamp and heat emboss onto red cardstock. Cut out embossed image and adhere to card using the first stamp as a guide and attach with foam adhesive.

Since green is a natural complement to red, ink the sentiment with Cottage Ivy Memento Ink and stamp sentiment onto a piece of white cardstock and cut around the sentiment. Adhere this text block onto card using foam adhesive. Also add washi, patterned paper and sticker stitches. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!


  • Cardstock – white, red
  • Patterned paper
  • Unity Stamp Company – heart stamp
  • Washi tape
  • Sticker Stitches
  • Foam dot adhesive

Just Dance Watercolor Card by Elina Stromberg

Just Dance Watercolor Card by Elina Stromberg

Watercolors are an easy way to create beautiful backgrounds for your card projects. However, there are differences between watercolors; many cheap watercolor palettes may be rich in pigment, but once dry the colors becomes chalky and less vibrant. Liquid colors are a good choice, and the water-based Fireworks Craft Spray have become my favorite. In addition to the lively rich colors Fireworks also adds a bit of shimmer to your projects.

When making simple one-layer cards with watercolor background, I often use liquid masking fluid for protecting the main image. I start with stamping the image, and then cover it with a thin layer of masking fluid. Once the rubber layer is dry, I can simply paint over the image to create my background. On this card, I wanted to add more texture on top of the watercolors. So I used irRESISTibles and embossing powder to create this effect. The bottom part (earthy ground) of the image is decorated with gold irRESISTible Pico Embellisher creates a raised look. While the white and copper dust textures are embossing powder are super fine with a raised look as well. The red dress and hat are painted with a water brush, using red VersaMagic ink. And I left an open space in the sky to stamp the sentiment.


  • Stampin’Up – ‘Beautiful You’ stamp
  • Watercolor paper
  • Card base – white
  • Cardstock– dark blue
  • Winsor and Newton – masking fluid
  • Water brush
  • Double-sided tape
  • Heat gun

Cute and Simple Magenta Greeting Card Inspiration

Cute and Simple Magenta Greeting Card Inspiration

Hello There Friend Greeting Card by Tenia Nelson

Tenia here from Jazzy Paper Designs with a super fun card made with Imagine and Tsukineko products. Magenta is such a beautiful color and makes a great color theme for a craft project or handmade card. I made this easy CAS card for today’s post — Check it!

I started by adding Rose Bud Fireworks Craft Spray onto white cardstock to add some shimmer and color to the background. Then I stamped the Hello Friend sentiment onto journal cardstock using Lilac Posies Memento Ink. This color is a bit darker and richer than Rose Bud and thought it worked well. Next, I added more Rose Bud Fireworks spray onto scrap white cardstock, and die cut with a heart die after it was dry. Fireworks can do a lot as a craft spray. I went heavy on the die cut cardstock in order to get a good saturation for the little hearts. Next, I attached the hearts onto the journal card panel and attached the entire journal card onto the splatter panel. My favorite finishing touch is to add washi and sticker stitches. And finally, adhere the image panel onto a blank card base and it is ready to gift!


  • Reverse Confetti – Stamp
  • Cardstock
  • Washi Tape
  • Sticker Stitches
  • Spellbinders – Heart Die
  • Die cut machine
  • Ink blending tool

Watercoloring with Fireworks! by Elina Stromberg

Watercolor patterns continue to be popular among paper crafters. Take off the cap from Fireworks and Cherry Blossom Walnut Ink spray bottles and drop a few ink droplets on the craft mat or a paint palette. Using plenty of water, paint the background with light pink Walnut Ink. Before the paper is dry, add highlights with vivid pink Fireworks and let the colors mix. Dry with a heat gun or let air dry. Apply Memento ink of the desired color on the flower stamp. Mist gently with water. Stamp the flower images on the watercolor background. Let dry or dry with a heat gun. When using layered images stamp the lighter background color first before using a darker one for the upper layer. Dry each layer before stamping the next. Dip a small paint brush in the Fireworks ink. Tap the brush to create a splatter effect on the background. Let dry. Stamp the “hello my friend” sentiment, trim the card front to size, mat on magenta paper, and adhere to the card base and you are ready to go!


  • Mixed media cardstock or watercolor paper – white
  • Cardstock – magenta
  • Stampin Up– ‘Too Kind’ Stamp
  • Sizzix – ‘Hello’ Stamp
  • Watercolor brushes
  • Water in a spritzer
  • Double-sided tape
  • Paper trimmer

Memento Inkpad – Gray Flannel, Tuxedo Black, Lilac Posies

Easy Polka Dot Magenta Butterfly Card by Mischelle Smith

We were challenged this May to use the color magenta in our craft projects. I wanted to create an easy, sophisticated card with pops of magenta. Adding magenta to my card in just three places really focuses on and highlights the pops of color.  This easy card can be replicated in any color palette and for any occasion – making it a great go-to design when you need a quick and easy card!

Cut cardstock 4 ¼” x 11”. Score at 5 ½” to create card base. Ink largest image (background stamp image) with Gray Flannel Memento ink. Stamp onto card base. Ink leaf stamp with Tuxedo Black Memento ink and stamp. Repeat two more times or as desired. On scrap paper stamp the” journal box” images and “You More” saying, as shown, with Gray Flannel. On scrap paper stamp, with Lilac Posies Memento ink, butterfly and heart. Cut out butterfly and heart. Gently ‘roll’ the wings of the butterfly around a pencil to form their shape. Attach metallic silver thread to back of the butterfly and attach butterfly and heart to the card as shown. With a small butterfly paper punch – punch a butterfly on a scrap of vellum paper. Attach to butterfly as shown. Add two bitty sparkles to vellum butterfly. Stamp ‘love’ inside journal block with Lilac Posies Memento ink. Use foam tape to attach to card. Spritz card with several sprays of Frost Sheer Shimmer Spritz to finish.


  • CTMH – Stamps – Documenting Moments, Brushed Workshop
  • Prima – Jamie Dougherty Florals
  • Silver Metallic Thread
  • Foam Tape
  • White Cardstock
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Score Board
  • Scissors


Make a Little Rich Fairytale Dreams Album

by Mischelle Smith

Cute tiny house mini album by Mischelle Smith using Tsukineko and Imagine products.

The Bigger the Better is one of our themes for Imagine’s April projects. I began working on this project wondered what would be better than a card? For me, that would be a mini album or a journal. Both are bigger and better in my world! So that’s where this journey took me. I’m not a shabby chic type designer so I welcomed the opportunity to work on my skills and play with products I love such as the Creative Medium Metallic Gold. When Creative Medium dried on my album I was over the moon with delight. I applied it thin the sheer qualities brought out multiple layers of dimension.  It was, without a doubt, my favorite part of this project.  Of course, having a mini album, or perhaps a journal is absolutely the best part of this project.  Just like the theme – this mini really is bigger and better!

Skill: Advanced
Time: 1 day + drying time


crumpled up paper used to create a textured look in a mini journal.

Step 1

Cut album pages to 6-inch x 6-inch squares. Spritz each page with water and crumple into balls. If adding bags or other pages do the same to these.

Scrapbooking paper.
Step 2

Flatten out pages and sand the front and back of each page to create a distressed look.

walnut ink
Step 3

Mix Walnut Ink Crystals with water and paint both sides of each page as desired. Have a rag handy to wipe away excess water.

paper texture
Step 4

After pages have dried splatter walnut ink mixture onto pages using a toothbrush.


Step 5

Stack pages together. Place them under a stack of books overnight.

Step 6

Order pages and attach wire binding.

VersaFine and a Stencil

Step 7

Stencil on pages as desired using VersaFine and Memento inks.

Step 8

Apply Creative Medium Metallic Gold using a palette knife. Apply to each page as desired.

Step 9

Spatter irRESISTible Wedding Dress Texture Spray on each page. Let each spread of pages dry before moving on to the next spread. TIP: Wipe Vaseline or Aquafor around the neck of the Texture Spray. This will keep the cap easy to screw on and off.

Step 10

While album is drying stain strips of muslin to use as ribbon. Let dry.

tiny house
Step 11

Cut a house, roof and welcome mat from an old book page. Glue to cover. Cut a door and two windows from stained muslin. Glue to the house. Outline house, door, and windows with Black Memento Marker. Write welcome on the mat. Apply Creative Medium Metallic Gold and Wedding Dress irRESiSTibles to house on the cover. Let dry. Draw shadows under the house roof with a charcoal stick. Tie on dyed muslin strips as desired. Finish with any additional embellishments you with this mini journal because… the Bigger the Better!




  • DCWV – Fairytale Dreams Paper Collection and Brights Textured Cardstock
  • Stencils
  • Muslin
  • Paint Brush
  • Small bowls
  • Water
  • Scissors
  • Wine Bags
  • Sanding Block
  • Wire
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Water Spritzer Bottle
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Old book page
  • Toothbrush