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.

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

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.

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

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!

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

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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Shading Flowers with Watercolors

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Today is National Floral Design Day, and to celebrate, we want to share with you a fun watercolor technique for getting beautifully shaded flowers, like those on this card from our Seasonal Expressions 1 idea book.

Step One

Mix your favorite watercolor paints with water to create a mixture that has roughly the same consistency as milk. Then, using an ink color of your choice, stamp your flowers. We stamped ours with Whisper ink.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Two

Paint a light coat of your watercolor mixture onto your first flower, covering the entire surface.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Three

Mix a darker shade of the same color, and start adding it to just the “shaded” areas of the flower. You want to add it as a thick line. It won’t look pretty and blended yet, but that’s the look you want for this step!

Not sure where to add shading? A good general rule is to shade the edges of the petals that are closest to the center of the flower. If you prefer, you can also look at real photos of flowers online and follow the shading you see there. Continue to step four before the paint has dried.

Step Four

Rinse out your brush. Using a small amount of clean water, gently blend the color out toward each petal’s edge without going all the way to the edge. Allow to dry.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

That’s the gist of the technique! Repeat for any additional flowers and leaves that you want!

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when painting with your watercolors:

  • You’ll notice we didn’t use our waterproof Archival Black ink to stamp this image. You can use dye-based inks when coloring with watercolors, but you’ll want to be careful not to touch the edges of the stamp image with your brush or else it will make the ink bleed.
  • If using dye-based ink, we recommend using a lighter color. That way if there is any slight bleeding, it will not be too noticeable. A lighter color also draws the eye to the watercoloring of the flowers rather than the outline of the flowers.
  • If you want a “no line” look, you can use a light ink color and carefully color the lines completely. If you like to see the lines though, you can reinforce the stamp image by stamping the image again after the paint is completely dry. Both methods have their own beauty.

Happy painting!

Recipe

4¼” × 5½” You’re Invited Card (Vertical)
X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2872 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3313 Blush Shimmer Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3301 Hello Lovely Cardmaking Thin Cuts Bundle (includes stamp set C1670), Z2046 Piercing & Embossing Tool Kit, Z1852 Stitch Guide, Z3247 Simple Chevron Embossing Folder, Embossing/Die-cutting Machine, Thread

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Embossing with Two Powders

A fun embossing powder trick to try! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhembossing #embossingpowder #cardmaking #stamping #Christmas #howto

If you’re a big fan of embossing, we’ve got a fun idea to share with you today: using TWO different embossing powders on the same stamped image!

We decided to use this technique on our My Acrylix® Yuletide Joy stamp set because it has so many intricate designs—and maybe we wanted an excuse to start making Christmas cards. 🙂

So let’s dive in to the technique. The star and stocking cards above both use the same basic technique. We simply stamped the image with VersaMark™ ink, added the two embossing powders, and then set the images. This was easy enough because of where we wanted to put the powder and the look we were going for, but the present card required a little more precision, so we decided to use masking!

A fun embossing powder trick to try! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhembossing #embossingpowder #cardmaking #stamping #Christmas #howto

We taped off everything but the ribbon, inked the image, removed the tape, stamped, added silver embossing powder, and then heat set the powder. We repeated this same technique for the gold wrapping and ended up with a wowie finished product.

What fun embossing ideas do YOU have? Tell us in the comments below! And be sure to share your artwork using the hashtag #ctmhembossing.

Recipes

4 ½” x 4 ½” Star Card
S1610 My Acyrlix® Yuletide Joy, X7212B Swan Lake Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5929 Whisper Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

 4 ¼” x 5 ½” Noel Card
S1610 My Acyrlix® Yuletide Joy, X7212B Swan Lake Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z4014 White & Gold Twine, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Stocking Card
S1610 My Acyrlix® Yuletide Joy, X7212B Swan Lake Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z3289 Uptown Ribbon Pack, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater
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4 Ways to Color Your Create Kindness Cards

One great thing about our Create Kindness cards is how easy it is to add your personal touch to them before giving them to others in a personal way. Today we want to inspire you with even more ways to color these cards that you may not have thought about before.

4 ways to color in stamps! #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #coloring #ctmhcreatekindness #createkindness1. Watercolor Pencils

You can use our watercolor pencils wet or dry to color in these cards. If you use them dry, they work like colored pencils. If you want to use them wet, you can do it two ways: Either get the tips of the pencils wet or use a waterbrush to blend the colors afterward.

4 ways to color in stamps! #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #coloring #ctmhcreatekindness #createkindness2. Watercolor Paints

Watercolor paints are another great way to color these stamps. The circles that come in the kit are regular cardstock, not watercolor paper, so just make sure you use more paint than water if you choose this route. Our waterbrushes make this easier. You also might find that you’ll need a bit more adhesive to attach the circles this way.

4 ways to color in stamps! #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #coloring #ctmhcreatekindness #createkindness3. Monochromatic

Here we used our ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ alcohol markers to color in the cards so they match the card bases. Going monochromatic gives the cards a unique look!

4 ways to color in stamps! #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #coloring #ctmhcreatekindness #createkindness

4. Sparkles & Shimmer

Jazz up your cards with our bitty sparkles and shimmer brush. Bitty sparkles are just the thing to up the drama on these bitty cards! And if you’ve never used the shimmer brush before, it’s a lot of fun! Follow these steps to get started:

  • Remove the neon clip, twist the lid on, and squeeze the pen while brushing onto a scrap piece of paper.
  • Once you get the amount of shimmer on your brush that you like, start brushing over your flowers!
  • Since the shimmer brush tends to smear watercolor pencils or paints, be sure to color your stamped images using markers.

4 ways to color in stamps! #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #coloring #ctmhcreatekindness #createkindness

There’s only one week left to purchase the Create Kindness card kit (or more card bases if you already have the stamps), so hurry and get yours today! We know you’ll love finding new ways to personalize these cards and to leave them for others to brighten their day.

Happy coloring!

Recipes

3″ x 3″ Watercolor Pencils Cards
CC1145 Create Kindness Card Kit, 3505 Watercolor PencilsZ3224 Waterbrush—Small Round

3″ x 3″ Watercolor Paint Cards
CC1145 Create Kindness Card Kit, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3226 Waterbrush—Medium Flat, Z3224 Waterbrush—Small Round

3″ x 3″ Monochromatic Cards
CC1145 Create Kindness Card Kit, Z2450 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Cherry Pink Marker, Z2464 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Tender Pink Marker, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2466 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Vivid Green Marker, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker, Z2453 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Lavender Marker, Z2458 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marine Blue Marker, Z2449 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Cerulean Blue Light Marker, Z2465 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Turquoise Blue Marker, Z2461 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peacock Green Marker

3″ x 3″ Sparkles & Shimmer Cards
CC1145 Create Kindness Card Kit, Z2457 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marigold Marker, Z2452 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Golden Yellow MarkerZ2466 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Vivid Green MarkerZ2453 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Lavender MarkerZ2465 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Turquoise Blue MarkerZ2461 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peacock Green MarkerZ2450 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Cherry Pink Marker, Z2456 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Mahogany MarkerZ2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green MarkerZ2464 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Tender Pink MarkerZ2455 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Light Orange MarkerZ2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z3293 Shimmer Brush—Clear, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles
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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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Blissfully Drifting through an Ice Cream Dream

Do you remember what it felt like to hear the sweet music of the ice cream truck wafting down your street? It was pure summer magic. There wasn’t a kid around that didn’t feel the internal tug when the ice cream truck issued its siren call through the neighborhood.

Something about ice cream on wheels is just simply irresistible. Perhaps it’s because the only thing that can make a carefree summer day more wonderful is the sweet chill of ice cream melting down into your tummy.

To commemorate this beloved summer tradition, we bring you the deliciously adorable June Stamp of the Month, which is appropriately named Ice Cream Dream. Check out some of the artwork made from this set full of fun!

1506-sotm-layout

Birthday parties and ice cream go together like frosting and cake. They just make each other a whole lot better.

And take a look at this absolutely adorable card created by Close To My Heart Consultant Dianne Wood from South Australia. Keep reading to learn how she made it.

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  • Use the scallop embossing folder to emboss Lagoon cardstock.
  • Place sentiment and ice cream cone from June Stamp of the Month on a 4″ x 5″ My Acrylix® block.
  • Using VersaMark™ ink, stamp image on Outdoor Denim cardstock.
  • Cover stamped image with white embossing powder and set with heat gun.
  • Using ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Markers in the colors of your choice, shade embossed stamps, pressing lightly with the markers.

Thank you for sharing your technique with us, Dianne! We love the card. 🙂

Happy June, everybody!

P.S. Did all of this talk of ice cream make you hungry for some of your own? Before you start hunting down ice cream trucks, watch this video from BuzzFeed we found to learn how to make easy, delicious, and hassle-free ice cream at home.

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