Karen talks about how to color your stamped images, and also shares some tips for using Stickles™ glitter glue. (If you’d like to duplicate our card exactly, we used Silver and Christmas Red Stickles™ glitter glue, and Dull Green, Earth Brown, Light Yellow, Pale Pink, and Fair Skin TriBlend™ markers.)
The first thing Karen will show us in the video below, is how to recreate the beautiful sky background of this card using a simple sponging technique. For this step, you will need a blank card base, Carolina and Bluebird stamp pads, a round sponge and scissors, sticky notes, and several cut-out cloud shapes. (We made our clouds using Cricut® shape #M412A0C, from our Artistry Cricut® collection.)
If you’re all set (and even if you’re not and just want to watch a video for some inspiration) here’s our friend Karen recreating the Love You Gnome Matter What card:
Now that we’re all confined to our homes for a few weeks, how many of you find that you’ve got more time to devote to your cardmaking and scrapbooking? (There’s always a silver lining, right? 😉 ) Since we’re spending additional time in our creative spaces, we’ve got a few antiquing and distressing techniques for you to try during your next crafting sesh!
All of the techniques that we are sharing today were paired with the elegant and timeless designs of the Yesterday & Today paper collection and are featured in our Yesterday & Today cardmaking and scrapbooking workshops. (Download the free guides by clicking on the links below.)
One tried and true way to give patterned papers, cardstock, and die-cuts an aged look is by sponging the edges in a darker color.
Before rolling the spiral die-cuts that form the 3-D flowers in this layout, we sponged their edges with Toffee ink to make them look like they’ve been around for a while.
Technique: Rub a sponge on the stamp pad to load it with ink. Then, lightly rub the outside edges with the sponge until the desired color is achieved.
The darkened parts make the pieces appear weathered, like they’ve been exposed to the elements over time causing the original colors to change.
Alcohol markers can be used to create a similar effect in a more controlled way.
If you’ve got embellishments that are too bright for the antique look that you are hoping to achieve, simply pull out a brown marker in a shade that works for your project and start adding years to your art by coloring pieces in.
Technique: Color bright pieces with a brown alcohol marker.
In this next technique we literally distress paper to give it a weathered and older appearance.
These crinkled flower petals were almost literally put through the wringer before their edges were sponged with Toffee ink.
Technique: Lightly mist paper with water and carefully crumple it into a small ball; then open it up and flatten it back out. Allow the paper to dry before sponging the edges with ink.
This last technique is featured in our Yesterday & Today cardmaking workshop and can be applied in all sorts of paper crafts.
We called this technique antique heat embossing.
Technique: Rub your work surface with an anti-static pouch. Emboss the image by stamping with Espresso pigment ink, sprinkle the wet image with embossing powder, shake off any excess powder, and heat with a heat tool until the powder and ink melt together. Lightly sponge on top of the embossed image with ink to create an antique look.
Follow along with Karen, our Art Studio Director, in the video below to see how to effectively apply this technique to smaller pieces.
We hope that you can take some time during this period of increased social distancing to continue working on your talents and craft. Learn something new and practice the techniques we shared with you today to preserve the memories you are making now as well as the stories of your past.
We’re jumping right into the new year and celebrating National Papercrafting Month with the All Around Creativity special, featuring four gorgeous wreath kits that are only available from Close To My Heart through the end of the month. There are so many different ways to embellish these beautiful wreaths, so we figured we’d have some fun and share with you four simple ways that we’ve added color to the plywood bases.
Adding color to wood doesn’t need to be super messy or take a huge amount of time. It can be quick, easy, and clean. To start off, we’ll take a peek at one of the easiest wood-coloration techniques. This method uses an Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad and will only take you a few minutes from application until it’s completely dry!
Simply select the ink color you’d like to use and gently swipe the stamp pad over the surface of the wood with quick, dabbing motions, going with the grain. Going with the grain helps you to emphasize the natural beauty of the wood, while also protecting your stamp pad from getting scratched up or caught on the wood. As you’ll see in the video below, we left some of the wood grain visible for a more stained look, but you can make it as light or as dark as you’d like.
To achieve a softer, mottled look, try sponging the ink onto the wood.
Cut a Round Sponge into quarters. While gripping the point of one quarter with your fingers, gently load your sponge with ink by pouncing it on your stamp pad. Because the sponge absorbs the ink, it may not look like you have a lot on there, but you’ll have more ink than you think!
Once you’ve got your sponge inked and ready to go, use the same pouncing motion you used on the stamp pad to apply the color to the plywood. The ink will dry lighter than it looks while you apply it. For a darker, richer tone, you will have to apply additional layers of ink.
This next technique uses TriBlend™ markers. When using an alcohol-based marker to color wood, you’ll want to go in the direction of the grain and use a steady hand to achieve even color throughout.
Because you have greater control over color distribution when you use this method, you also have more control over the appearance of the colored wood. For instance, if you want a softer, lighter look, use a light hand and don’t go over the same spot too many times. For darker and richer tones, add more color layers to really get the pigment into the wood.
If you’re going for a darker color, don’t jam the marker tip into the wood, as this may damage your marker. Instead, go over the same area of the wood multiple times for color layering and try using a lighter shade of your TriBlend™ marker.
The last technique we’re showcasing today adds a bit of sparkle to your art. Heat embossing! (We went there, and it’s beautiful!)
First, place your wreath over a piece of scratch paper so you can catch any excess embossing powder. Then, begin by rubbing the surface of the wreath with an anti-static pouch. Apply VersaMark™ ink to the wreath, a few sections at a time, using the same pouncing motion you saw in our first technique. While the ink is still wet, sprinkle embossing powder over it, shake off any excess powder onto your scratch paper, and heat set with a heat tool. (Use your scratch paper to easily funnel your excess embossing powder back into its container for future use.)
We absolutely love these wreaths and National Papercrafting Month, because it really gets us thinking outside the box! We can’t wait to see all the different ways you choose to add color to your wreaths.
Remember, you can only get these gorgeous wreath kits until January 31, and if you buy four or more you even get a discount! Make sure to take full advantage of the All Around Creativity special while you still can. For a few of you who may be on the fence, we are giving away four of these kits to four lucky readers! For a chance to win, you must do two things. First, make sure you are subscribed to this blog. If you are not, find the blue button on the sidebar that says “Subscribe to list” and follow the prompts once you’ve clicked it. Second, leave us a comment below telling us what types of crafts you like to work out, outside of scrapbooking and cardmaking. You have until 12 p.m. (MST) Thursday, January 9, to submit your entries. All winners will be notified by email. Good luck and happy crafting!
We love using colorful inks to create cool backgrounds on cards. Today we are showing you how we made the vibrant gradient background on the card below.
Let’s get started!
First, we picked our colors. We needed a full spectrum to create a rainbow effect, so we used Candy Apple, Raspberry, Nectarine, Lemon, Willow, Bluebird, and Pansy from our Exclusive Inks™ collection. The next thing to do is to prepare your sponges.
We took one of our round sponges and cut it into wedges, one for each color. (Daubers also work, if those are your preference.)
Firmly hold your paper on your work surface. A little bit of rolled up washi tape on the back of your cardstock should do the trick for when you can’t hold it in place with your hands. Now, to the fun part of sponging on the colors!
With an inked sponge wedge, start off by applying your first color with light pressure and in a circular motion. Continue to apply the color until reaching the desired level of saturation. As you switch colors, slightly overlap each for that blended look.
After all of our colors were applied we splattered our background with Spritz Cleaner to achieve a water “damage” look. First, we unscrewed the top and dropped fat drops of Spritz Cleaner onto the ink straight from the tube. Then, we replaced the top and sprayed the card for smaller droplets. We suggest using Spritz Cleaner instead of water because the ink will separate better and create the desired effect without warping the paper like water will.
We finished the card by heat embossing a sentiment and cute balloon in white.
One of the great things about this technique is that you don’t always have to sponge your ink on a solid color piece of paper. Take a look at how we used this same technique on patterned paper to create this other card:
It also looks great with just one color:
What do you like about this sponging technique? And if this isn’t new to you, what are some ways that you do things differently? Please share your creative thoughts with us in the comments below!
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.
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.
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!
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! 🙂