Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique

Just over a week ago, we released our latest idea book—Seasonal Expressions 2! If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can look through an online version or even download it as a PDF here. We know you’ll love it!

One of the paper collections in this idea book is called Little Dreamer, and it’s all about unicorns, magic, and dreams…which got us thinking about a certain sponging technique we love that adds a dream-like magic to all your artwork. Since it is so perfect for this collection, we just had to share it with you!

In a nutshell, here’s the technique: Use titles or shapes cut with your Cricut® machine or with Thin Cuts metal dies as stencils for sponging ink onto your pages.

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First, use a bit of adhesive to attach your title or shape to the page. Next use a sponge dauber or the round sponge to add ink over your title or shape, and then fade the ink into your paper. Once the ink is dry, carefully remove your stencil (if there is any adhesive residue, it’s a cinch to remove with our Rub & Remove™ eraser).

For our artwork, we found it worked best to use both the round sponge and sponge daubers. We used a sponge dauber for a more concentrated look, like you can see immediately around our title, and then the round sponge for fading the ink into the page.

Sponging Tip: If you haven’t used a round sponge before, you’ll want to cut out a pie-shaped wedge from the sponge rather than using the entire sponge. That way your sponging will be more precise, and you can get more use out of your sponge!

We recommend playing with the round sponge and sponge daubers, as well as various amounts of ink, on some scratch paper before sponging onto your artwork.

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This stenciling technique is a great way to create unique backgrounds for your artwork. For this page, we attached three clouds to the page and sponged around them. After allowing the ink to dry, carefully removing the clouds, and removing any adhesive, we cut three more clouds and sponged around the edges. Then we popped them up with 3-D tape to give the page dimension. The final look sure is dreamy!

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You can incorporate multiple colors into your stenciling! Here we used a scalloped piece for our stencil, and then sponged on a rainbow of colors. There are SO many possibilities!

We hope this post has inspired you to try stenciling on your artwork. It really is such a fun way to get in touch with your inner artist!

Which page is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂

Recipes

 12″ x 12″ You Make the World Sweet Page
Z3334 Little Dreamer Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3321 Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artistry
1″ Shift+Background <K> (p. 28)

12″ x 12″ Find Your Rainbow Page
Z3334 Little Dreamer Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Thread, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1 ½” and 1 ¾” Icon-2 <Spring> (p. 38)
1 ½” and 1 ¾” Shift+Icon-2 <Spring> (p. 38)

12″ x 12″ Believe in Yourself Page
X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2853 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
8″ Shift+Photo Mat 1 <S> (p. 59)

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Sponging Techniques for Nature Scenes

Butterfly

You’ve probably photographed dozens of picturesque nature scenes— ember-colored sunsets, mountains mottled with snow, a bee hovering over a bluebell—but have you ever thought about creating nature scenes in your artwork? Aristotle said, “Art takes nature as its model,” and who are we to argue with Aristotle?

Nature Page

Our inspired artist gathered bunches of stamp sets to create the colorful meadow on the page. A corner from the Brushed paper packet makes a perfect patch of grass here, but our favorite feature has to be the faint sky in the background. How did our artist create this look? If you guessed that a sponge was involved, you are correct!

First, our artist cut out a cloud shape from some scratch cardstock. Then, she placed the cloud on the page and lightly sponged around the edges with our Glacier Exclusive Inks™ pad. The result is a soft, subtle texture that has us floating away to crafting paradise. A similar technique was used to create this mountain scene:

Nature Card

The great thing about using a sponge is that it can give any artwork textural variety and layers of color, which you can really see on this card. Our artist first sponged on the sky and soil. Next, she traced the mountain range from the My Acrylix® Campfire Lifestyle stamp set onto a scratch piece of cardstock and cut out the shape. This time she placed the cardstock with the mountain shape cut out of it on the card and sponged on the mountains using both the Pacifica and Gypsy Exclusive Inks™ pads. Finally, for the trees, she first stamped the image, and then, squeezing the sponge to create a narrow surface area, carefully dabbed a little more ink on top of the tree to create a softer look.

Mountain Meadows

Isn’t it amazing what that little sponge can do? These pieces of artwork are lovely odes to nature. Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” So, browse through your photo stash for pictures of nature, or better yet, step outdoors for some fresh air—we know you will be inspired. Then, pull out your handy dandy sponge, and let your creativity run wild!

Recipes 

12″ x 12″ Life is Beautiful Page
Reflections: Sampler—Captivating Corners™ (with alterations)
C1599 My Acrylix® Pretty Petals, C1589 My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness, D1616 My Acrylix® Have a Happy Day, C1612 My Acrylix® Shower Flowers, D1627 My Acrylix® Your Own Kind of Wonderful, D1646 My Acrylix® Finding the Words, D1613 My Acrylix® Best Christmas, B1432 My Acrylix® Love This, X7190B Brushed Paper Packet, Z2031 Paper Fundamentals Enchantment Assortment, Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2191 Sunset Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2153 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2197 Pear Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2155 Topiary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2135 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2644 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2111 Chocolate Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2640 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2193 Cotton Candy Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin ™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker, Z2451 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Clay Marker, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z697 Round Sponge, Thread

5 ½” x 4 ¼” Gratitude Card
C1559 My Acrylix® Always Grateful, C1611 My Acrylix® Campfire Lifestyle, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5928 Saddle Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z2111 Chocolate Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2114 Cocoa Exclusive Inks™, Z2175 Cashmere Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2173 Slate Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2155 Topiary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2190 Gypsy Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2192 Pacifica Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2171 Saddle Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2027 Mini Stapler

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Quench Your Thirst for Stamping

Anyone craving a sip of a refreshing stamping technique? Slide your glass over and we’ll pour you a drink. Today we’re bringing you a behind-the-scenes look at the technique our artist used to create this cool drink of summer.
(Look familiar? That’s because this comes straight from page 28 of Seasonal Expressions 2!)

Here’s what you’ll need to mix up this cooler:

• B1478 My Acrylix® Ice-Cold Summer
• Z2644 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2640 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z726 Sponge Daubers
• Z1091 Finishing Files

Ready? Let’s get stamping!

Step 1: Using Pixie ink, stamp bottle image on pad so the top ¾” of the image is not inked. Once inked, achieve a second generation stamp by stamping the bottle first onto your desk pad (or other scratch piece of paper) and then onto your tag.

Step 2: Next, use a sponge dauber to lightly ink the edges of the bottle stamp with Whisper ink. Use another sponge dauber to ink the top of the bottle stamp with Glacier ink. Now stamp this image over the original Pixie bottle image on the tag.

Step 3: Using Whisper ink and a sponge dauber, lightly apply a small amount of ink to the bottom of the bottle stamp in an oval shape. Stamp bottle image again over previous image.

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Step 4: Using Thistle ink, stamp straw image onto the bottle, allowing it to rest at the bottom left of the Whisper oval and exit through the top of the bottle.

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Step 5: Use a sanding file to softly rub away a line to the right of the straw. This will give the bottle a highlight, creating a more glasslike appearance.

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Voila! You have now stamped one delicious beverage. Enjoy! We hope your artistic thirst has been quenched. 🙂

*For the materials needed to create the rest of this tag (including those mouthwatering lemons), please consult our handy recipe guide.

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