At the heart of many crafting masterpieces is a great background. One way to instantly set your creations apart is to create your own background that is unique to your pieces. From splendid stamps to imaginative sponged or splattered sections, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do to create your own beautiful backgrounds. Today, we’ll be taking a look at a very special selection of stamps that can be used to create one-of-a-kind background and border elements on cards and scrapbook layouts, combining these elements for a truly beautiful effect!
The artwork on display uses our Winter Borders and Harmonious Patterns stamp sets—both of which can be found in our October–December catalog and are just the thing to add a little festive flair to your holiday crafting! By using repeated stamping and layering techniques, it’s a simple matter to create gorgeous background elements as a foundation for your art!
One of the simplest ways to elevate your artwork is to add a custom border, like the one that can be seen in this “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” card. On the Scarlet piece, we added a smattering of dots to increase the interest of this piece of cardstock. This addition is a great way to complement the striped pattern of the base piece with something a bit more organic and free-feeling.
This dots stamp can be used on its own to suggest the effect of thick, falling snowflakes, or simply as an array of abstract dots. For another, more involved look, they can also be used with another stamp from the same Winter Borders set—a vine of holly leaves! The dots stamped on top of the leaves become holly berries, an effect you can see on our 12” x 12” Merry & Bright page.
We’ll take a closer look at that page in a minute, but before we do, let’s get back to the “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” Card.
Along with the dressed-up Scarlet strip, we also gussied up the Pine strip just below it. On this particular piece, we stamped the length of it with the leafy border stamp, also part of the Winter Borders stamp set. This leafy detail, stamped in Pine ink, serves to provide yet another unique pattern that you won’t get in a paper collection.
Though it is technically a border stamp, this particular usage comes off more as a background element. This is achieved by stamping the border design on a strip of paper that is narrower than the stamp itself, ensuring that the entirety of the paper is covered in the inked design. It’s a small detail that has a massive impact on the overall appearance of the card, sprucing it up and completing the combination of patterns that form the background and foundation of the card.
Now let’s look at that scrapbook page to see another fun border stamp!
We already talked about the holly leaves and berries below the photo, but look up above it to see our next example: A string of multicolored lights graces the top of this White Daisy cardstock piece, adding a small pop of color.
These lights start off with a simple light string, stamped with Black ink. Then, we stamped the colored bulbs onto the cardstock, taking care to line them up with the bulb fittings on the light string. Because the bulb is a single stamp image, we could easily alternate ink colors to create a pattern that matched the overall color scheme of this page.
For added realism, the bulb stamp image is designed with two small grooves, resulting in a break-up of the inked section to replicate the natural shine found on a glass light bulb. (Tip: To preserve this effect, make sure to not press down too hard when stamping your light bulbs. Rather than mashing the stamp and stamp block into the page, carefully set it down and apply light pressure over the surface area of the stamp.)
One last background stamping example that adds to the look of this page is a more subtle, but no less fun element behind our journaling: a piece of Pewter cardstock festooned with various music notes and symbols. While it is not the most prominent stamped element on this page, it provides a visual treat nonetheless, increasing interest in the journaling section and providing a bit of polish to the overall appearance of the page.
The last stamp in our Winter Borders set is a stunning array of stars and snowflakes. While it does make a stellar border, we’ve used it to great effect as a background element on our “Season’s Greetings” card.
To create variety in our background, we stamped the snowflakes in different colors and rotated it between columns, covering the entire White Daisy piece in a veritable winter wonderland!
This fun winter feel is amplified in other layers of the card, too. The artistically ripped cardstock pieces mimic snowdrifts, and a dots stamp from the Harmonious Patterns stamp set adds a heightened snowfall effect with a beautiful Silver Embossing Powder treatment.
And believe it or not, the cluster of trees on this card also come from one of our Harmonious Patterns stamps! Stamped in Scarlet, Mist, and Pine inks, these mini trees were carefully trimmed from a pattern stamp and arranged over the torn cardstock “snowbanks” for a frosty forest appeal—just showing that even backgrounds and patterns can shine in the foreground from time to time!
The snowfall dot assortment shown in our previous card comes in handy again in two other cards we have to show off today—our “Happy Holidays” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” cards. Both of these cards feature this distinctive dot pattern, though in different ways.
Our Happy Holidays card sports this pattern right on the primary base piece, with the rest of the card built on top of it.
The “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” card sports this pattern on a piece of Sage cardstock creating a band across the width of the card.
Both examples of this stamp usage, while serving different purposes, are vital additions to the overall design of these two cards. Take a look at how the dots effect is echoed by a splattering of ink over the central sentiment of the card. While one is stamped on and one is splattered, the random feel of both elements creates an overarching unity between background and foreground.
In the “Happy Holidays” card, the dots pattern is contrasted by the bold, straight lines of the tartan plaid stamp. This pattern is placed prominently over the Sage base piece and sandwiched between strips of silver glitter paper to create a vibrant focal point that coordinates nicely with the Candy Apple title.
No matter how you create your backgrounds, you can see that they play a vital role in the overall aesthetic of your projects! We hope today’s examples have given you a few ideas of how you can create your own fantastic backgrounds! Which border or background set was your favorite? Be sure to leave a comment below and let us know how you would use it!
4¼“ x 5½” We Wish You a Merry Christmas Card (Horizontal)
M1322 My Acrylix® We Wish You a Merry Christmas Stamp Set, C1962 My Acrylix® Winter Borders Stamp Set, X7286B Christmas Story Paper Packet, X7287B Cherish Paper Packet, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X6070 Pine Cardstock, X6049 Scarlet Cardstock, Z6540 Pine Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6526 Scarlet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z6047 White Acrylic Stars, X254 White Cards & Envelopes Value Pack, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Cricut® Basic Shapes
4¼” x 5½” Happy Holidays Card (Horizontal)
D2117 My Acrylix® Seasonal Haul Stamp Set, D2130 My Acrylix® Harmonious Patterns Stamp Set, M1323 My Acrylix® Happy Holidays Stamp Set, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X6058 Rosemary Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6529 Rosemary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6526 Scarlet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z6047 White Acrylic Stars, Z3562 Silver Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z2533 Dark Red Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2474 Ice Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2522 Jade Green Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2512 Muted Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2525 Vintage Blue TriBlend™ Marker, Z2499 Blender Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots
3″ x 3″ We Wish You a Merry Christmas Card
M1322 My Acrylix® We Wish You a Merry Christmas Stamp Set, C1962 My Acrylix® Winter Borders Stamp Set, X6070 Pine Cardstock, X6045 Sage Cardstock, X6058 Rosemary Cardstock, Z6540 Pine Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6529 Rosemary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4591 Sage Shimmer Brush, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape
4¼” x 5½” Seasons Greetings Card (Vertical)
C1962 My Acrylix® Winter Borders Stamp Set, D2130 My Acrylix® Harmonious Patterns Stamp Set, C1959 My Acrylix® Christmas Reindeer Stamp Set, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X6069 Mist Cardstock, X6070 Pine Cardstock, X6045 Sage Cardstock, Z6539 Mist Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6540 Pine Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6526 Scarlet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2067 Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, X254 White Cards & Envelopes Value Pack, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape
12″ x 12″ Merry & Bright Page
C1962 My Acrylix® Winter Borders Stamp Set, D2130 My Acrylix® Harmonious Patterns Stamp Set, D2115 My Acrylix® Title Style Stamp Set, X9044 Mix-in Paper Packet (Oct-Dec), X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X6069 Mist Cardstock, X6070 Pine Cardstock, X6049 Scarlet Cardstock, Z6539 Mist Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6540 Pine Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6529 Rosemary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6504 Sage Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6526 Scarlet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6046 Black Die-cut Stars, Z6058 Black Die-cut Alphabet, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z5010 White Gloss Spray, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots