Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques!

Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting

We’re at it again with one of our favorite media, the gloss spray! This time, we’re giving Rumpelstiltskin a run for his gold-making skills by creating our very own gilded accents, using a variety of techniques paired with Gilt gloss spray!

Our Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop features many of these types of techniques. So let’s start by looking at that artwork!

Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting

Can you spot the golden elements in this layout? You’ll notice that there are several gold accents on these pages, from the title sticker to the faux ribbons made from glitter paper. If you look closely, you’ll also see a few of these pennant-like tags.

Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting

While photos can’t capture the golden effect in all its glory, trust us when we say that these tags have a beautiful golden luster that compares to illuminated, gold painted manuscripts!

The ornate little tags on this layout started off a French Vanilla color and were transformed with just a little bit of gloss spray and a sponge.

Did you know you could paint with gloss spray? Give the bottle a nice shake, make sure you hear that little ball inside hit against the sides mixing the paint up, and then spray a small puddle onto an all-purpose mat. Cut a wedge out of your trusty round sponge and use it to apply the paint to your project. It’s that simple! This technique makes it easier to get a uniform application of gloss spray rather than the random splatters that you get when spraying.

In this next layout from the Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop, we used the gloss spray in two ways. One is more obvious than the other.

Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting

Do you see it?

The more obvious use of the gloss spray here is where we sprayed it along the top of the left page and the bottom of the right page, creating a gorgeous golden glare-like effect.

Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting
Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting

If you inspect these pages a bit further, past the obvious sprayed areas, you will find that we also used the Gilt gloss spray to accent some of the paper embellishments, using another painting technique.

Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting
Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting

In the case of this layout, we used the tip of a stylus tool to lift the paint from our puddle and paint small dots in the center of bows, inside scallops, and in a floral shape.

In this last layout from the Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop, both the sponge- and dot-painting techniques were used.

Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting

The paperclip-like accent along the top photo on the left page was transformed from its original French Vanilla color to the stunning gilt by sponging it with the gloss spray.

Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting
Create Gilded Accents with a Variety of Gloss Spray Techniques! #christmas #crafting #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #christmasstory #storytelling #glossspray #technique #shine #glitter #gold #giltgloss #workshop #holiday #memories #love #family #friends #celebrate #traditions #layouts #album #christmasmorning #christmaseve #magic #home #crafting

And like in the second layout, we added a couple of gilt dots to the right page with the help of a stylus tool.

Gloss sprays are truly one of our current favorites! There are countless ways to use this game changing medium, and as we continue to discover them, we will continue to share them with you!

In the video below, Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi shares even more ways to use the beautiful Gilt gloss spray to create your very own gilded accents. She even recreates some of the effects from the Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop using different techniques than what we’ve shown you so far. Follow along and see for yourself!

Download your free Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop guide, here!

Christmas Story Scrapbooking Workshop Guide (US/CA)
Christmas Story Scrapbooking Workshop Guide (AU/NZ)


12″ x 12″ Christmas Story Scrapbooking Workshop Layouts
G1265 Christmas Story Scrapbooking Workshop Kit, Z5009 Gilt Gloss Spray, Z4575 Black LePen™, Z697 Round Sponge, Z3505 Dual-tip Stylus Embossing Tool, Z2045 All-purpose Mat, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Paper Trimmer, Scissors, Adhesive, Ruler

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Papercrafting Autumn Leaves We Know You’ll Fall For!

Papercrafting Autumn Leaves We Know You'll Fall For! #leaf #leaves #stamp #stamping #thincuts #diecuts #metaldies #autumn #fall #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #simpleleaves

Among all the wonderful things we love and look forward to with the autumn season, a standout favorite has to be the glorious display of colored leaves! As we draw closer to this magical time of year here at Close To My Heart, we are excited to showcase some artwork featuring beautiful leaf accents made with the Simple Leaves Stamp + Thin Cuts!

Papercrafting Autumn Leaves We Know You'll Fall For! #leaf #leaves #stamp #stamping #thincuts #diecuts #metaldies #autumn #fall #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #simpleleaves

Taking a look at this unique collection of stamps and metal dies gives you an idea of the amazing artwork you can achieve! This set includes options to create fully layered leaf embellishments, simple outlines, stamped images, or individual leaf vein overlays. Just take a look at these leaves to see these possibilities brought to life!

Papercrafting Autumn Leaves We Know You'll Fall For! #leaf #leaves #stamp #stamping #thincuts #diecuts #metaldies #autumn #fall #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #simpleleaves

But naturally, these colorful leaves look even better when added to artwork, like the scrapbook page pictured below.

Papercrafting Autumn Leaves We Know You'll Fall For! #leaf #leaves #stamp #stamping #thincuts #diecuts #metaldies #autumn #fall #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #simpleleaves

As you can see, we’ve incorporated several different types of leaf embellishments on this page. The Simple Leaves Stamp + Thin Cuts is unique in the level of versatility packed into a single set, and this versatility is on full display in this scrapbook page! Take a closer look at the bottom right leaf cluster to see examples of layered die-cuts, leaves stamped directly on the base page (using the rock-n-roll stamping technique, no less!), more rock-n-roll stamping on our Ballerina cardstock leaf, more straightforward stamping with the small Rosemary berries, leaf vein overlays combined over stamped images and leaf outline die-cuts, and even a couple instances where the leaf vein Thin Cuts have been used to cut into the solid leaf creating an inverse effect.

Papercrafting Autumn Leaves We Know You'll Fall For! #leaf #leaves #stamp #stamping #thincuts #diecuts #metaldies #autumn #fall #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #simpleleaves

Now jump into our other leaf pile in the upper left corner of the page to see what other variations you can spot!

Papercrafting Autumn Leaves We Know You'll Fall For! #leaf #leaves #stamp #stamping #thincuts #diecuts #metaldies #autumn #fall #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #simpleleaves

Another way to create a striking effect when layering Thin Cuts is by using contrasting colors for the different layers. This card shows leaf outlines and overlays cut using colors selected to create contrast between darker and lighter layers:

Papercrafting Autumn Leaves We Know You'll Fall For! #leaf #leaves #stamp #stamping #thincuts #diecuts #metaldies #autumn #fall #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #simpleleaves

To really bring our leaves to life with this technique, we amplified the effect by using coordinating cardstock and ink colors. By stamping our leaf shapes on the lighter side of our two-toned cardstock, we get even more color variation in the leaves before finishing them off with leaf vein overlays cut from a contrasting color.

We hope today’s artwork has inspired you to mimic the incredible variety of autumn leaves in your own upcoming crafting projects. What layering or coloring techniques are you most excited to try out? Tell us about it in the comments!


12″ x 12″ Autumn Page
Z8036 Simple Leaves Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7284B Crisp Air Paper Packet, X9042 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6036 Ballerina Cardstock, X6055 Desert Rose Cardstock, X5946 Linen Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X6060 Mocha Cardstock, X6058 Rosemary Cardstock, X6045 Sage Cardstock, X5950 Toffee Cardstock, Z6501 Ballerina Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6525 Desert Rose Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6529 Rosemary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3837 Pumice Stone Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z5010 White Gloss Spray, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z6027 Wood Alphabet, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z5038 Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

4¼” x 5½” What a Beautiful Day Card (Horizontal)
Z8036 Simple Leaves Stamp + Thin Cuts, X9042 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X6062 Harbour Cardstock, X6066 Honey Butter Cardstock, X6063 Papaya Cardstock, X6044 Peach Cardstock, X6070 Pine Cardstock, X6033 Paprika Cardstock, X6068 Seabrook Cardstock, X6045 Sage Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6533 Harbour Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6536 Honey Butter Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6534 Papaya Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6540 Pine Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6504 Sage Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6538 Seabrook Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3563 Diamond Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z4294 Harbour Shimmer Brush, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z5038 Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

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A Paper Piecing Technique with a License to Grill, and So Much More!

A Paper Piecing Technique with a License to Grill, and So Much More! #bbqboss #bbq #papercraft #cardmaking #cards #paperpiecing #summer #grilling #picnic #tailgate #stamping

We love exploring the techniques and tricks on display in the “flippin’ awesome” artwork from our different publications. A couple of especially eye-catching pieces that we’ve been getting questions about recently are the two cards that were created using the BBQ Boss Stamp + Thin Cuts, in the July–September catalog.

A Paper Piecing Technique with a License to Grill, and So Much More! #bbqboss #bbq #papercraft #cardmaking #cards #paperpiecing #summer #grilling #picnic #tailgate #stamping
(The outlined shapes in this image represent the shapes that can be cut with the Thin Cuts metal dies.)

Several techniques went into creating these two cards, a few simpler than others. We will go through each of them, step-by-step, so you can feel confident in replicating our cards or applying these techniques to other projects.

A Paper Piecing Technique with a License to Grill, and So Much More! #bbqboss #bbq #papercraft #cardmaking #cards #paperpiecing #summer #grilling #picnic #tailgate #stamping

The first thing to notice on this Thank You card is its layers. We didn’t stamp those “hot stuff” sausage links directly onto the card base, but rather on a smaller piece of White Daisy cardstock that we then attached on top of two other cardstock pieces. Covering the base with two colored cardstock pieces, one smaller than the other, creates a frame to contain all of the excitement of what is happening in the center of the card. It also helps create visual balance.

One way to tell if something is visually balanced or not is to simply look at it. In this case, the color Sapphire included in the frame, the sentiment base, and as the Exclusive Inks™ color used to stamp the sentiment, lends to this sense of balance. Had we only used Sapphire on the sentiment, the card wouldn’t look quite complete. Adding those minor additions of Sapphire, through the frame, the sentiment banner, and even the enamel star, makes it feel more complete—and since art is subjective, feelings definitely count!

A rule of thumb we have shared before is to count your elements and stick to the numbers 3 and 5. Odd numbers are just more visually satisfying when considering accents and embellishments, which is why we used Sapphire in three places: the frame, the sentiment, and the star.

Next, let’s talk about how we created our own patterned paper on that top White Daisy cardstock layer by “random” stamping the sausage image throughout. When random stamping, you don’t have to only stamp the image upright! Turn the stamp upside down, sideways, and on random angles to create an interesting and playful pattern. Stamp some of the images off the edge, even, to make the pattern look like it continues into a space you cannot see.

A Paper Piecing Technique with a License to Grill, and So Much More! #bbqboss #bbq #papercraft #cardmaking #cards #paperpiecing #summer #grilling #picnic #tailgate #stamping

This “random” stamping technique, however, isn’t as random as the name implies. While you may be creating a pattern that isn’t perfectly uniform, there is still some uniformity that keeps the “random” from being just plain chaos!

For starters, at least in this case, the images are stamped with approximately the same distance between them and in the same ink color and opacity. Be consistent with your “randomness,” in order to preserve a sense of pattern. That means that if you’re stamping with different colors or in different opacities (generational stamping) or your images are overlapping, or whatever it is that you’re bringing to the table, then continue to replicate those ideas through the piece.

A Paper Piecing Technique with a License to Grill, and So Much More! #bbqboss #bbq #papercraft #cardmaking #cards #paperpiecing #summer #grilling #picnic #tailgate #stamping

We’ll wrap up talking about this super cute card by focusing on all of the goodness happening around the sentiment.

As you create a card, we suggest making your different elements separately and then playing with placement to see if you really like where your creation is going before attaching anything. You may notice that something may be missing or that you have too much of another thing. It is much easier to remove or add pieces when none of the things are attached yet.

While taking this approach with this card, we noticed that it needed something more to bring the focus to the sentiment. As a result, we added two strips of cardstock (Lemonade and Nectarine) behind our sentiment banner. The cross section of these cardstock strips marks the spot of where your eyes will naturally look because of the additional visual noise they create. Your eyes will then rest on the white space surrounding the sentiment.

Next, we added a little “smokiness” to the “HOLY SMOKES” sentiment by adding a layer of  Glisten Stickles™ glitter glue over the stamped image. The fire coming from the grill was colored similarly, using the Glisten and Steel glitter glues.

With your sharp eyes, you likely noticed that our fire was stamped in more than one color, too. To learn this neat stamping technique and the promised paper piecing technique, follow along with Close To My Heart’s Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, in the video below, where she recreates the gorgeous Licensed to Grill card.


4¼” x 5½” Holy Smokes Card (Vertical)
Z8023 BBQ Boss Stamp + Thin Cuts, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, X6035 Lemonade Cardstock, X6043 Nectarine Cardstock, X5957 Sapphire Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6517 Lemonade Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6510 Nectarine Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3558 Glisten Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z3786 Steel Stickles™ Glitter Glue, X7284E Crisp Air Dots, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z5038 Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

4¼” x 5½” Licensed to Grill Card (Horizontal)
Z8023 BBQ Boss Stamp + Thin Cuts, X9042 Mix-in Paper Packet, X5957 Sapphire Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2829 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6517 Lemonade Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6510 Nectarine Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4223 Red Shimmer Brush, Z3558 Glisten Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z3787 Platinum Stickles™ Glitter Glue, X7284E Crisp Air Dots, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z5038 Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

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Spotting Techniques in Artwork and How to Duplicate Them!

Spotting Techniques in Artwork and How to Duplicate Them! #crafting #artwork #catalogcover #technique #hope&kindness #memorykeeping #papercrafting #nationalscrapbookingmonth

It’s officially May, and that means there’s a new Close To My Heart catalog to gush over! Make sure to visit our website to see all of the new papers, stamp sets, dies—and more!—that we have to offer, now and through June!

As you can imagine, so much goes into putting together these catalogs, especially the artwork that is designed and created from the featured products. Nearly every page displays a beautiful scrapbook layout or set of cards offering more than meets the eye at a quick glance.

Today we’re taking a deep dive into the scrapbook page on the cover of the May–June catalog and closely examining some of the elements and techniques that were used to bring it all together.

Spotting Techniques in Artwork and How to Duplicate Them! #crafting #artwork #catalogcover #technique #hope&kindness #memorykeeping #papercrafting #nationalscrapbookingmonth

One of the first things you will notice on this page is the background. We’ve talked about repeating shapes to create a background before, in Creating an Intricate Scrapbook Page Is Easier than You Think! In that previous post, we mentioned that replicating one shape is not only a quick way to create a background but it’s also a great way to incorporate many different patterns and colors, so you can use as many of your favorite pattern paper designs without having to choose! (There are just so many pretty papers!)

In this case, a background made up of squares is a little extra special. Because the base page is also a square (12″ x 12″), we are repeating the shape again by filling it with the smaller 1⅞” squares. Even though it is the same shape, this approach is not only visually satisfying but visually exciting, as well, because the recurrence is with a variety of patterned papers and colors.

Can you find any other ways that we’ve used squares on this page?

If you said stitching, then you are right! When creating your art, consider lines, patterns, and shapes, as well as mixing media. A few stitched lines can quickly elevate a scrapbook page or card. If you’re not good with a sewing machine, you can easily draw “stitch” lines with a pen! (The number of rows and columns of background squares is also squared, 5 by 5!)

Spotting Techniques in Artwork and How to Duplicate Them! #crafting #artwork #catalogcover #technique #hope&kindness #memorykeeping #papercrafting #nationalscrapbookingmonth

To create additional interest in our repetitive background, we also distressed our papers. Paper distressing happens when you alter the color or texture of the paper to produce a similar effect to it having been weathered by exposure to the elements over time. This real, authentic distressing (versus faux) is very popular and trendy, especially paired with the gorgeous patterns and colors from our Hope & Kindness collection. An easy way to distress the edges of your papers is running one blade of your scissors along the edges until the desired effect is achieved.

Now that we’ve got our background covered, let’s jump up to the next layer, and that’s the cluster of stickers and die-cuts we created for our photo. We know that the star of a good scrapbook layout is the story that it tells, whether it’s through photos, journaling, or a combination of both. For our already busy page, we needed to create a space that would draw and center our focus. This space is where we eventually want the photo and story.

Not wanting to cover up too much of the gorgeous background we created, we knew that we had to place our photo somewhere off-center, so we chose the bottom right. (We’ve been trained for things to resolve in the bottom and to the right, so if you’re ever in doubt, go for the bottom right!)

To begin creating the visual pull, we clustered several stickers and die-cuts just to the left of that space. Even though it may not look intentional, the way we placed and chose the pieces were very much so. For example, notice that we used three chipboard die-cut leaf stems. If you remember this simple rule when it comes to embellishments, you’re already ahead of the game: using an odd number of elements creates more dynamic art. This is known as the rule of odds.

Spotting Techniques in Artwork and How to Duplicate Them! #crafting #artwork #catalogcover #technique #hope&kindness #memorykeeping #papercrafting #nationalscrapbookingmonth

Also, as you create a cluster of embellishments, keep it interesting by incorporating different sizes, shapes, and materials. Add even more interest to the grouping by popping a few of these elements off the page with some foam tape. If you look closely, you can see that in our cluster we only used foam tape on the left side of the stickers, creating another visual arrow towards where the photo will be with a downward slope.

Lastly, let’s quickly discuss the photo. Our cluster was ready, but our photo needed something more before it could be attached to the page. That “something more” was a photo mat. The purpose of the photo mat on a layout like this is to provide your eyes with a place to rest once they’ve arrived to where we’ve been pointing towards all along. That is why the mat on this photo is a solid-colored cardstock rather than patterned paper. It provides your eyes with a visual break from all of the excitement happening on the rest of the page.

Spotting Techniques in Artwork and How to Duplicate Them! #crafting #artwork #catalogcover #technique #hope&kindness #memorykeeping #papercrafting #nationalscrapbookingmonth

You may have noticed that we also layered an additional White Daisy cardstock mat between the photo and the Papaya cardstock. This extra layer created the small white border that highlights our destination even more. White was a good choice because it’s a neutral bright color that is in the photo and in several of the patterns of the papers and stickers.

Spotting Techniques in Artwork and How to Duplicate Them! #crafting #artwork #catalogcover #technique #hope&kindness #memorykeeping #papercrafting #nationalscrapbookingmonth

When you’re looking through any of our catalogs, we hope that you will discover lots of new concepts and ideas illustrated in the featured art. Taking a good look at the provided artwork examples is bound to reveal creative techniques or unique approaches to using a product. When you see a piece that stands out to you, flag it to return to later when you are ready to try it out for yourself. Our catalogs are so much more than product brochures, and we hope that you’ll use them as the full resource that they are and can be!

12″x 12″ So Beautiful Page
CC5224 My Acrylix® Hope & Kindness Stamp Set, CC5221 Hope & Kindness Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, CC5223 Hope & Kindness Coordinating Cardstock, X6036 Ballerina Cardstock, X6055 Desert Rose Cardstock, X6063 Papaya Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6533 Harbour Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, CC5227 Hope & Kindness Die-cuts, Z4235 Gold Loose Sequins, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Cricut® Basic Shapes, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shape:
Basic Shapes

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Generational Stamping Technique on Cards!

Generational Stamping #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhinfullbloom #gernationstamping #firstgenerationstamping #secondgenerationstamping #thirdgenerationstamping #butterflycard #cardmaking #diycards #cardmakingworkshop #cardworkshop

Did you know that all of our cardmaking workshops  include at least one papercrafting technique? Before committing to purchasing any of our workshop kits, you can see what the featured technique in the workshop is right on our website, in the product’s description:

Generational Stamping #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhinfullbloom #gernationstamping #firstgenerationstamping #secondgenerationstamping #thirdgenerationstamping #butterflycard #cardmaking #diycards #cardmakingworkshop #cardworkshop

All of our workshop guides are also downloadable, from that very same product page, no purchase necessary!

At the top of each cardmaking workshop guide, you will find the technique featured in the workshop’s artwork. For example, the In Full Bloom cardmaking workshop features second- and third-generation stamping.

Generational Stamping #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhinfullbloom #gernationstamping #firstgenerationstamping #secondgenerationstamping #thirdgenerationstamping #butterflycard #cardmaking #diycards #cardmakingworkshop #cardworkshop

As you dive into the guides a bit further, you will find that the featured techniques are spelled out in clear and simple terms to make the crafting experience as user friendly as possible, for even the newest of crafters!

Today, we’re pulling the technique right out of the In Full Bloom cardmaking workshop guide and sharing it, here!

So, what is “generational stamping?” For starters, it is a simple technique to master, and one that can easily elevate your artwork when you use it creatively. (Yay! 😄)

Generational Stamping #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhinfullbloom #gernationstamping #firstgenerationstamping #secondgenerationstamping #thirdgenerationstamping #butterflycard #cardmaking #diycards #cardmakingworkshop #cardworkshop

A first-generation image is achieved with basic stamping. You ink the stamp and then stamp it on your project. A second-generation image is what you get when you stamp that same image again, using the same stamp but without re-inking it in between uses. A third-generation image, as you have probably figured out, is the resulting image of when you stamp a third time with that same stamp, without re-inking. Every generational image is a lighter version of the previous version because you are stamping with less ink each time.

If you want to use a second or third generation image on a project but not a first, then simply stamp the first image on a scratch piece of paper and then stamp on your project.

The butterfly in the card above was stamped using this generational stamping technique and then colored in with a marker, using a little less color with every later generation.

If you want to recreate this card and others like it, make sure to check out our In Full Bloom cardmaking workshop kit that includes the beautiful exclusive stamp set shown above and a coordinating set of Thin Cuts (not shown). This kit has sold out before and will likely do so again, so do not hesitate to get it while supplies last!

Note: If the In Full Bloom cardmaking workshop kit does sell out before you get a chance to recreate this card, you have other options! Visit our website to see other beautiful butterfly stamp sets in our collection, as well as additional cardmaking workshops that we have available, along with their featured techniques!

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Creating an Intricate Scrapbook Page Is Easier than You Think!

Scrapbook Spotlight: Sawyer#ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #sawyer #journaling #floral #butterfly #pastel #girly #girls #cute

We’re shining the spotlight on this beautiful scrapbook page featured in our January–February catalog. There are so many pretty little things happening throughout that add up to this final outcome. We’re breaking it down, technique by technique, and showing you how you, too, can use some of the same ideas and principles behind this page to create a layout of this caliber on your own and in your own style!

Start with the photo or group of photos you want to scrapbook and look for a common color, or color scheme, among them.

Scrapbook Spotlight: Sawyer#ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #sawyer #journaling #floral #butterfly #pastel #girly #girls #cute

In our case, the darling little girl in our picture is wearing a dress that matches our exclusive color Sundance. We picked the Sawyer paper collection, which features Sundance in its color palette, and picked from the collection’s set of coordinating products to create our page.

Scrapbook Spotlight: Sawyer#ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #sawyer #journaling #floral #butterfly #pastel #girly #girls #cute

(If there isn’t a paper collection that fits your particular color needs, turn to our Love of Color how-to book series. These books were designed to help make color choices with confidence by offering several color combination options for each of our exclusive colors!)

Once you’ve got your products selected, it’s a good idea to start with the base page.

White Daisy cardstock is a favorite base page choice because it complements both primary and secondary colors, and visually brightens and neutralizes any dark or busy patterns you may be using on your layout.

Scrapbook Spotlight: Sawyer#ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #sawyer #journaling #floral #butterfly #pastel #girly #girls #cute

Our next design choice was influenced by the sticker sheet and pattern papers we had picked out. Some of the elements in the sticker sheet and patterned papers looked like they had been painted with watercolor. We wanted to tie that watercolor paint scheme with the rest of the page, so an easy solution was to add splatters of actual watercolor paint to the base page.

Scrapbook Spotlight: Sawyer#ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #sawyer #journaling #floral #butterfly #pastel #girly #girls #cute

Before any of the other elements were attached, on our bare sheet of White Daisy cardstock, our artist picked up watercolor paint with the tip of a waterbrush and gently tapped the barrel of the brush on her index finger, above where she wanted the splatters to land. This splatter technique is a really fun way to add some “controlled chaos” to artwork. You get to choose the colors and the general placement of the splatters, but the results don’t feel so thought-out or rigid, providing a more artistic look to the overall aesthetic of your page.

A challenge you may be faced with is choosing from all of the beautiful, patterned papers and coordinating colored cardstock. When working with the Sawyer collection, we wanted to showcase them all! If you find yourself in this predicament, a great solution is to build a background using as many options as you can fit!

One approach is to pick a Cricut® or Thin Cuts shape and replicate it. You can also use strips of paper or replicate a pattern that inspires you—the possibilities are endless! We picked a diamond shape from our Artiste Cricut® collection (#M3BAC4) and cut a few from all of the patterns and solid color papers we wanted to incorporate into our design. If you take this approach for your own artwork, cut more of each shape than you think you will actually use. This way, you have extra to play around with as you decide on a pattern before attaching the final arrangement to your base page.

Scrapbook Spotlight: Sawyer#ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #sawyer #journaling #floral #butterfly #pastel #girly #girls #cute

*To replicate our design, use 21 diamond shapes, each 2⅞” tall and 2⅛” wide. The top and bottom rows are 1″ from the top and bottom of the page and the left column is 1⅝” from the left edge. Draw light pencil lines to use as guidelines in order to align your shapes just right. Remember to erase any remnants once your pieces are attached!

After completing the design in the center of the page, we felt like balancing it out with some sort of frame on the top and bottom edges. We turned to the Sawyer paper packet’s zip strips for inspiration. The zip strips are ½” accent papers along the top of our patterned papers that provide extra design options. We chose a multi-color pattern and then cut it in half to create two 12″ x ¼” strips of paper—perfect for using one at the top and one at the bottom. We paired those pieces with some Sundance cardstock to further accent the photo.

With this excellent foundation in place, we’re ready to move on to the foreground elements of the layout! When considering a title for your layout, consider whether any of the stamp sets, stickers, die-cuts, or pocket cards have a sentiment that fits what you are scrapbooking.

Scrapbook Spotlight: Sawyer#ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #sawyer #journaling #floral #butterfly #pastel #girly #girls #cute

We pulled the title for today’s page from the Sawyer coordinating sticker sheet. But before attaching it to the layout, we needed to determine our photo placement—the most important part of any layout!

Adding a photo mount with a coordinating cardstock color or patterned paper is a great way to make your photo stand out from the page. Because our background is pretty busy, we decided on a solid Harbour cardstock for our mat. (We matted our 3″ x 4″ photo on a 3¼” x 4¼”.) Not only is Harbour one of the Sawyer collection’s featured colors, but it is also a prominent color in the title stickers we chose. By choosing a photo mat in the same color as the title, we created a visual tie between the two.

After considering their placement, we attached our matted photo and title stickers to our prepared base page with 3-D foam tape. When you raise different elements of your layouts with foam tape the added dimension draws attention to those elements. In our example, we wanted the darling picture to be the focal point of the page, and a little bit of foam tape helped create this effect.

Once you’ve got your base page designed, titled, and mounted with photos, all that is left to do is to embellish and add journaling to your heart’s content. You can add as much or as little as is your style.

Scrapbook Spotlight: Sawyer#ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #sawyer #journaling #floral #butterfly #pastel #girly #girls #cute

If you’re a regular on our blog, website, or other social media pages, you may have noticed that we like creating clusters of embellishments on our layouts. The trick to these is to use different sizes, shapes, colors, and materials when you do, and to allow the embellishments to touch and overlap each other and other parts of your layout, including your photos. In our page, you’ll see that we’ve clustered stickers and die-cuts, some mounted on 3-D foam tape for that added dimension mentioned earlier, and layered them on each other, some overlapping the photo. Clusters also create a focal point, because of all of the visual attention they require when you’re taking a layout in as a whole. Place these strategically throughout your artwork and see what a difference they can make.

This gorgeous scrapbook page certainly has a lot of intricate things going on throughout it, but, taken one at a time, they are not very difficult to understand and replicate for yourself, and when you put them altogether, the end result can be truly breathtaking!

For more ideas and artwork examples, flip through the pages of our catalogs. There is so much there to see and to get inspired from!

Scrapbook Spotlight: Sawyer#ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #sawyer #journaling #floral #butterfly #pastel #girly #girls #cute

Did you learn anything new from today’s walkthrough? Is there something on this scrapbook page that you noticed that perhaps we did not talk about? Leave us a comment below, we love hearing from you!


12″ x 12″ Treasured Moments Page
X7277S Sawyer Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6054 Grape Cardstock, X6062 Harbour Cardstock, X6051 Sundance Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X7277E Sawyer Die-cuts, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z5021 Wild Berry Loose Sequins, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shape:

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Scrapbooking Technique for 12″ x 12″ Pages Using Paper Strips!

Scrapping with Paper Strips #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #scrapbookingtechnique #scrapping #scrappingtechnique #memorykeeping #ctmhhollyandivy

Ask and you shall receive!

A couple of times on this blog we’ve shown you how to make the pages of an entire 6″ x 8″ album using the 3-2-1 paper strips formula. We don’t always have the time to design elaborate pages to keep up with all our photos and, as fellow scrappers, we get that! With this super speedy technique, you can create 10 two-page layouts in as little as two hours!

Since publishing these posts for the 6″ x 8″ pages, we have received several requests to adapt this formula for 12″ x 12″ pages—and we did!

The formula for the 12″ x 12″ pages isn’t as clean as “1-2-3,” so we don’t have as catchy a name for the bigger pages. For today, we’re simply referring to this technique as paper piecing, or paper strips, scrapping.

As we’ve implied, what we’re doing today is providing a simple formula for cutting your patterned papers and assembling 12″ x 12″ layouts. Even with this formula, you will continue to have a lot of creative freedom to add your own personal flair to each of your pages. No two layouts will look the same, unless you make them that way intentionally!

Here’s what you’ll need to make three 12″ x 12″ two-page layouts. (Make as many multiples of three as you’d like, this is just a starting point!)

*For those of you not familiar with Close To My Heart products, all of our cardstock and patterned papers come in a 12″ x 12″ format, and that is what we will be using to make these layouts.

Step 1: Base Pages. To keep things simple, we’ve suggested using White Daisy cardstock as the base pages for all the layouts using this formulaic technique. Once you’re familiar with the technique, or if you’re feeling confident from the get-go, switch up the color to make your pages even that much more unique!

Step 2: Cutting Patterned Paper. Before measuring and cutting anything, trim all the zip strips from each of the patterned paper sheets and set them aside. The zip strip is the extra ½” accent paper along the top of each Close To My Heart patterned paper sheet. Next, cut the remaining 12″ x 12″ paper into 5″, 3″, 1½”, and ½” strips. (There will be a 2″ strip leftover that we will not be using for these layouts.)

Scrapping with Paper Strips #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #scrapbookingtechnique #scrapping #scrappingtechnique #memorykeeping #ctmhhollyandivy

Step 3: Creating Photo Mats from Cardstock. For a more polished look, we like to add photo mats behind most, if not all, our photos. That is what we will be making with the 3 sheets of coordinating cardstock, using one sheet per layout**.

Cut each cardstock sheet into three 6¼” x 4½” and two 4¼” x 3¼” rectangles. The photos that you will be mounting on these mats will be three 4″ x 6″ and two 3″ x 4″.

**When we made our 6″ x 8″ albums, we cut the cardstock into 6″ x 4″ rectangles and then trimmed the photos down ¼” in both height and width to make them work. If you prefer, you can cut your cardstock into six 6″ x 4″ rectangles, then cut two of these down in half to 3″ x 4″. In the end, you will be using half as many cardstock sheets, but you will have to trim your photos down.

Step 4: Putting It All Together. You’re going to need some space for this part, so make sure to clear your table or a place on your living room rug or somewhere else you can keep your project safe. Lay out all 6 White Daisy cardstock base pages. Next, distribute the strips of patterned paper and cardstock photo mats. Each page should get three 4″ x 6″ mats and two 3″ x 4″ mats, and one pattern paper strip of each size, 5″, 3″, 1½”, and ½”. (For the ½” strip use the strips you cut from the patterns interchangeably with the zip strips you trimmed off the top.)

If you’d like for the pages that will be facing each other in your album to match, keep that in mind as you distribute your papers.

Lastly, decide how you want to attach these pieces to your pages and get to it! Move the components around until you are happy with your design. Experiment with different arrangements and consider whether you want to use exactly three 4″ x 6″ and two 3″ x 4″ photos per layout. Trade mats between layouts or cut a few extra if you’d like.

Step 5: Embellish! Using coordinating embellishments add your finishing touches!

To show you just how easily this technique can be applied to a variety of subjects, we’ve got three mismatched layouts that we made using this formulaic approach.

Scrapping with Paper Strips #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #scrapbookingtechnique #scrapping #scrappingtechnique #memorykeeping #ctmhasyougrow
Scrapping with Paper Strips #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #scrapbookingtechnique #scrapping #scrappingtechnique #memorykeeping #ctmhboocrew #boocrew #halloween #scrapbookinghalloween
Scrapping with Paper Strips #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #scrapbookingtechnique #scrapping #scrappingtechnique #memorykeeping #ctmhhollyandivy #scrapbookingchristmas

If you like our finished layouts and would like to recreate any of them using our same papers and embellishments, take a look at our “Recipes” section at the end of this post for a list of linked products. If you don’t, that’s okay, too! The beauty of this technique is that it can be applied using any coordinating papers you like!

Your pages and layouts can look very differently depending on how you choose to mix and match the various components of your pages. Have fun creating pages like these using the combinations that you love!

If there’s anything you want to learn more about or would like to see featured on this blog, make sure to let us know! We absolutely love publishing posts like today’s!


12″ x 12″ Love You Forever Layout
X8020S As You Grow Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6061 Mulberry Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12″ x 12″ Let’s Get Spooky Layout
CC8211 Boo Crew Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X6056 Wild Berry Cardstock, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12″ x 12″ Comfort & Joy Layout
X7273S Holly & Ivy Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X5950 Toffee Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X7273E Holly & Ivy Die-cuts, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

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Map Your Journey with a Paper Piecing Stamping Technique!

September is a very exciting month for us at Close To My Heart. Not only do we celebrate National Stamping Month, but it’s also the month that we launch our new annual catalog!

In this year’s Core Products Catalog, you will find lots of new and exciting products, among them a new series of stamps called Map Your Journey. With versions for all our current markets (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan), we thought these stamp sets would be a fun way to share with you yet another stamping technique, in addition to the 10+ techniques we shared last week. (If you missed it, make sure to check that post out: Stamping Techniques to Keep Up Your Crafty Sleeves!)

Today we will take the imprint of a stamp that has many parts or lines to it, like a map 😉, and create a final image by piecing together a variety of papers, kind of like a mosaic. This technique is fittingly known as paper piecing. The technique is much harder to describe than it is to do, so let us show you and see for yourselves!

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out what colors or patterns you want incorporated into your final design. In our case, with the map, we thought it would be best, because of all the details that we are not cutting out, to use four solid cardstock colors.

Once you’ve chosen your color and pattern scheme, stamp your image onto all your chosen papers using the same ink color. We used White Daisy, Shortbread, Scarlet, and Papaya cardstock and the Exclusive Inks™ Mocha stamp pad.

This next step is also easy, but maybe a bit more time consuming, depending on the image you are working with. Cut out all the shapes from each of your papers, except one. The one you do not cut into pieces will act as your base later, when you put it all back together.

When you are cutting your shapes, make sure to cut them out exactly the same between papers. For example, our cutout of California should be the same shape and size in each of our cardstock colors. Essentially, we are creating a puzzle and its puzzle pieces. The pieces need to fit together for this technique to work.

The final step is to put those puzzling skills to use and assemble the paper pieced image on your base.

As a tip, we suggest playing around with the placement of your paper pieces, first, before attaching them.

And there you have it! Another stamping technique to add to your repertoire!

How are you spending your National Stamping Month? Let us know in the comments below, and, as always, happy stamping! ❤️

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Stamping Techniques to Keep Up Your Crafty Sleeves!

September is National Stamping Month, and if you know just one thing about Close To My Heart, it is that we absolutely love all things stamps!

We kicked off the month with a Slimline Celebration, made up of exclusive stamps and coordinating Thin Cuts designed especially for slimline cards. Make sure to join us on September 24 for a free virtual event where we will be putting together the cards from our Slimline Celebration workshop on our Facebook page. Find all the details, here. This is an event you will not want to miss!

As we continue our stamping celebration, we compiled 10 techniques to add to your stamping arsenal and have at the ready for your next crafting session!

This first one is technically not a technique, but we will put it on the list to have for comparison with the next one. You get a first-generation image when you ink your stamp and stamp it on your project. (In the video below, it is referred to as “solid stamping.”)

A second-generation stamped image is achieved by inking your stamp, stamping it on a scratch piece of paper, and then, without re-inking, stamping your image on your project. The result is a lighter version of a “first-generation” image, because you are using the “second-generation” of ink that’s leftover on the stamp.

Use this technique to create patterned papers from our stamps and solid colored cardstock. You could take a “random” approach to this, but to insure a more visually balanced and pleasing pattern, take the random right out of the equation by using visual triangles.

Follow along with Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi, below, as she illustrates all three of these first techniques, including how to create the visual triangles for not-so-random stamping.

This technique is an oldie but a goodie! Ink your stamp in one color, then gently roll the edges, and only the edges, in another color to stamp a multicolored image! (You can also combine this technique with the second-generation technique if you want to use the same color, just in different opacities!)

Achieving an ombré effect, where you gradually blend one color into another, is a lot easier than you might think! Simply ink the top half of the stamp in one color and the bottom half in another color, overlapping the two colors in the middle. Then, you’re all set to stamp onto your project!

Create a shadow by stamping a second-generation version of the original image just slightly offset from the original.

Base and shade stamping is used to create realistic dimensions through color. There are specific stamp sets designed for this technique, where you stamp the base in a lighter color and then add the details, or the “shade,” with a darker color.

This technique sounds a little funny, but don’t let the name fool you! If you have a stamp that is symmetrical, or just close enough, mount the stamp on your block backwards, with the smooth side up. Ink the back of the stamp and use it to create a base before flipping the stamp over to the side with the details that you will stamp on top.

Place a scratch piece of paper, or a sticky note, as a mask over your project to cover the area that you don’t want stamped. Stamp your image on the project and mask, and then remove the mask.

The tone-on-tone technique is exactly what it sounds like. Use a darker tone of a color, or color family, to stamp onto your project. All of our exclusive colors can be found in Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads and our two-toned cardstock, allowing you to enjoy a full spectrum of color-coordinated products whenever creativity strikes!

For this technique you will need two stamps, one to act as the base image and the other to create an effect on the base image. First, ink the base stamp. Then, with both stamps mounted on blocks, press the two stamps together. The second stamp will not have ink on it and will remove some of the ink from the first stamp in its shape. After your stamps kiss, stamp your prepared base stamp on paper. Use this method to add textures and all kids of shapes or designs to your stamping! (Another way to use this method is to ink both stamps in two different colors and then have them kiss.)

This technique is great to use when you are coloring your stamped images with watercolor paints. You can easily achieve a “no-line” look by stamping your image in a light ink, like Linen. Then, use the soft color as a guide as you add the watercolor with your brush. The inked parts of the image will show up as a darker version of the paint color you are using. Move the paint around, and color in the other parts of the design, as well, and easily create beautiful watercolor images!

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