Technique Details (6)

(Click on images to see them at a larger size)
Antiqueing Cards
Bleach Stamping
Outdoors Backgrounds
Backgrounds to Dye For
Paper Beads
Blender Pen Refill Fluid
Card Holder
Cray-Pas Background
Découpage (Napkins)
Faux Polished Stone
Faux Shrink Plastic
Faux Wax Seals
Heated Pearls
Hot Glue Art
Hot Glue Art II
Hot Glue Art III
Ink Wash
Ink Wash 2
Iridescent Shadow Technique
Leafing Pen Nib Restoration
Lumiere Techniques
Marvy Metallics Backgrounds
Mystical Pearl-Ex Spritz Paper
Napkin Cards
Seed Paper
Soap Art
StazOn Cleaner Technique
Vinegar & Icing Sugar Technique

Making your own Mizuhiki

I’m always on the lookout on how to make my own homemade cords. I had posted a technique last year about making your own Mizuhiki with crepe paper. After more reasearch, I found an easier method.

It seems that some Japanese will make their own Mizuhiki if they need an unusually long piece or they run out and can’t get out to purchase more. There is nothing like “real” Mizuhiki, but this is a pretty good substitute:

Take cotton crochet thread (your choice of color and thickness) and coat it with clear gesso. Pin the ends down and let dry for several hours or overnight. Use as Mizuhiki.

If you only have white gesso or crochet thread, you can tint it with paint or dye.

Did You Know: Mizuhiki is sometimes used as a “seal” on letters and gifts, much like Western wax seals and to re-use mizuhiki is considered bad manners?

Jane S. in San Diego

Faux bleach technique

Stamp an image using perfect medium or clear ink and emboss with clear embosisng powder. Then colour around the image using a stippling brush and colours from an
inkpad. You can use many colours to create depth and variations. Then take your image and some extra white paper to your ironing board. Place the white extra papers on the ironing board. Place your image face down on the extra white papers (so that the embossed part faces the paper.. and you see the back of the paper with image). Use your iron and iron the back of your image onto the extra white papers.
The embossing will melt out onto the extra papers, leaving a white bleached effect of your image with colours. This technique looks great with oriental themes.



Use any color POWDERED CLOTHES DYE (or use any combination of colors)
1/4 Teaspoon Alcohol
5 Tablespoons Glycerin (pick up at your local pharmacy – very cheap!)
Mix DYE with ALCOHOL to the consistency of thick cream. Add GLYCERIN. Stir until well-blended. This makes enough to replenish a stamp pad several times. Pour ink over stamp pad or a foam rubber pad that is finely grained.
To make the stamp pad you will need foam rubber and a small plastic box with a lid (such as a travel soap box). Cut the foam rubber to fit into the plastic box. Spread the ink mixture evenly with a brush or tongue depresser. Let it sit for about 15 minutes to allow the color to absorb.

Ribbon Coloring

To get the perfect ribbon color to go with your project, use poly/satin ribbon (I have the 1/8″ kind with what looks like a little seam down each side) and dye it on your dye ink pad. I cut the length I need, then grabbing the end in my non-dominant hand, I pull it slowly across the pad (I hold it down on the pad with the butt end of my Xacto knife). If you want really saturated color change spots frequently on the pad; if you want it a lighter color, cut it a little longer than you need so the first part is saturated,
and the rest is much lighter in color. You can dye both sides a different color, too. In this example, I used Ancient Page Aegean Blue on one side, and Foxglove (I think) on the other:


H2O Backgrounds

Cover your work surface with some plastic (carrier bag or bin bag). Put together three or four sheets of tissue paper and spray liberally with water until quite wet. Take 3 or 4 toning or contrasting colours of H2O (use any watercolour paint but you wont get the shimmer) or lumieres etc. Put some water in the H2O pots to wet them. Using a paintbrush paint abstactly over the tissue paper, making sure it stays wet. More water will lighten the colours but will blend them more. Add more and more colour until you are satisfied.

Remove tissue from plastic and dry with heat gun. There will be some paint on the plastic so dab it off with the tissue (waste not want not!) and dry again.

When you separate the sheets of tissue you will have 3 of 4 in the same colourway but of varying intensity.

The same can be done with mulberry paper, but put a piece of card (the same size as the mulberry paper) under the mulberry paper before wetting. You will end up with a piece of card and a piece of mulberry paper in matching colours.

Not a very exciting tip but I love the background papers you get.


Foil Background

My tip is to keep all your little coloured foils you’ll get when you unwrap your chocolates this weekend (!) and use them on double sided sticky paper (Jac paper for the Aussies) to make a colourful metallic background for a child’s birthday card, or for a Christmas card or… an Easter card! Cut strips of the double sided sticky paper, which has the foils stuck on one side, to make a striking element to your card. Use just use it as background or layer in your cards. Or use them with the coloured side stuck on the back of cold laminate, on which you will have previously stamped an image, instead of colours or gold foils. You can also use just small bits of the wrappers to highlight cold laminate like you would use gold leaf. This would also work well for the Mosaic technique, or serendipity.


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Skin Color Tips

When stamping multicultural images (African, African-American, Asian, Indian, Arab), I struggled to get the skin color just right. I tried chalks, blender pens, watercolor, markers, etc. The skin tone always seemed blotchy and not realistic. I found that if I start with a coat of pastel yellow marker (e.g. Banana Yellow), and gradually added light brown (e.g, Creamy Caramel), the skin looks more even, smoother. For Eastern cultures, I use a base coat of pale mauve marker (e.g., Pale Plum), then add layers of brown. Oh,,,,whether the subject is male or female, I always rouge the cheeks slightly with pale pastel pink (e.g., Pretty In Pink), and the tongue (if visible) with light beige/apricot (e.g., Blush Blossom).

Jennie B.

Reverse Iris Folding

Template for doing Picture Iris Folding

1. Download the template image to your hard drive and save it.
2. Import the image into a word processing or graphics program.
3. Resize the image to approx. 4″ wide x 5.5″ high. Print template.
4. Measure the size of the print you’ll need. It’s the first solid line inside the dotted lines.
5. Find a nice picture or photo. Import it into a word processing or graphics program and resize it to the size you measured at step 4.
6. Print off 6 copies. Cut them out leaving 3/8″ white space around each one.
7. Take one print, and in front of a window or a light, or on a light box, line up the print with the template. (You could hold them together temporarily with painter’s masking tape at this point)
8. With a pin, make a hole at each corner marked “1”
9. Do the same with the next 4 copies of the print for numbers 2 – 5
Keep the prints in order. The last print doesn’t have any holes in it.
10. Cut an X betwen the pinholes in each print.
11. Fold back the flaps, crease well.
12. Stick layers down in order, first the one with no holes in, then 5,4,3,2,1. Make sure the pictures line up as you do this.
13. Print these instructions or save them to hard drive 🙂

Sample card

Millie K.

Alcohol Inks Technique 1: Wallpaper

Get yourself a nice piece of wallpaper with some texture to it. I’ve used one of those divider strips (you know, they put it between the top part of the wall and the lower part) with big raised circles; or a textured pattern; or even something like white on white or other neutral color stripes. You can either do this the civilized way (put some blender solution and a few drops of color on a make-up wedge) or the primal way (squirt the heck out of the blender and the colors you love directly onto the wallpaper), and start rubbing, pouncing, jiggling, tilting, and blowing the inks around. Actually, blowing gently on the inks is a really good way to get them to dry evenly
instead of having little tiny dots of different colors in the inbetween zones. If that’s the effect you want, of course. If you need a faster drying time, use the heat gun sparingly and held not too close–the stuff might melt. Cut up and use as needed!

(using the circle thingy on the wallpaper)
(the torn edges layer was a piece in light beige with some gold, illegible script writing on it. I added some gold glaze vernis andsome Raisin (?) Adirondack alcohol ink and smeared it evenly onto the wallpaper, and you could still see the writing)

Heather T.

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Alcohol Inks II

Take a piece of glossy paper. I’ve used every kind I can get my stained little hands on: red (surprisingly, doesn’t work so well), blue (probably my favorite), marigold (my second favorite), black (interesting effects), green (very vibrant), gold (SO elegant!), and of course, white–most versatile.

I don’t even bother with the civilized method on this one (using the make-up wedge). Squirt a largish amount of blender solution onto the paper in a squiggle curve, then add several dots of whatever colors in different areas of the paper. To start with, I usually only use 3 colors. With a nitrile glove on (Iatex gloves actually seem to react
negatively to the alcohol and get all sticky and don’t rub well. Skin would be ok, but these inks *REALLY* stain, so be prepared to be colorful if you don’t wear gloves), I use my index finger to rub, fairly hard, into the paper. The goal is to get the glossy color to leave the paper and to blend with the inks. The blender solution already begins the process. There’s a fine line between muddying the colors, or letting the ink dry too much so that you see the actual rub/wrinkle marks from the gloves. If that happens, add blender and or more color. The goal is to make pretty paper–do whatever you need to to make that happen. *grins*

(marigold glossy, available from – not affiliated, except that they own my bank account. Red inks.)
(another marigold base, this time with yellow (Pinata) and ginger,
latte Adirondack inks)
(two samples of blue glossy, one with blue inks, one with wild plum)
(gold glossy with ginger & other brown inks)

There, all my secrets revealed! See how easy it is???

Have fun (and spend lots, unfortunately–those things are so expensive, and I go through blending liquid like it’s free… *sigh*)

Heather T.

Pearl Ex Backgrounds

Do not spend 50-80 cents per sheet of shimmery pearly Cardstock for your Asian cards. Make it! I just tried this last night and I am hooked!

Easy Peasy!

You need:
* Pearl-Ex Powder (I have Gold, but I am going to get another going with Inference Blue)

* Travel-sized pump spray hairspray, one per color of PE ($1 from the dollar store, plus another $1 for a huge refill pump spray)

* Dark (cheap) Cardstock or paper (I used 6cents a sheet cheapy cardstock from AC Moore’s paper sale)

Scoop the tip of your scissors into the PE powder and load about 1/2 inch of powder onto the tip (I did not have a measuring spoon, and this slides off better anyway). It is about 1/4 tsp. Uncap your hairspray container. Slip it into the travel-sized hairspray (mine was Pantene Extra Hold, but any will do). Close up and shake well. Spray onto dark cardstock, shaking every couple of pumps. BAM! Instant Shimmery cardstock.
Now try it on red! WOW!

Be sure to use a sharpie and label the spray bottle. Refill it from your larger bottle of hairspray. The cs will curl a bit, it will flatten once it is dry or you start to cut it. OOH, I just got an idea…….place a stencil down and spray over it…..!!


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Crystalline Paper

Make translucent paper by painting Gel Medium (Gloss) onto inexpensive gift wrap tissue paper.

To do this…
…Cover your work surface. I use parchment paper
…Lay your tissue paper. I usually cut each sheet into 4’s to make it easy to work with.
…Sponge brush the Gel Medium onto tissue paper.
…Once covered, lift paper off gently. Careful not to tear.
…Lay paper hanging off the side of your table and allow to dry, approx 30 min. Prepare as many sheets as you have room to dry them.
…Once dry, repeat brushing gel medium on the other side of the paper. You will see the translucence once you start brushing the medium on the 2nd side.
…Allow to completely dry.

The papers will be tacky once dry so you can store the paper as it is between sheets of wax paper. However, if you apply a light glaze of Lumiere-type paint (use sponge and wipe off excess) each side surfaces it will help seal and will no longer be sticky.

You can see a scan of pink, and lavender tissues that I made here

The paper you end up with is strong enough to use to cover books, which is what I
did for my 5APE. It’s the second cheapest thing that I’ve used to cover my books, aside from ‘free’…lol.

Nancy M.

Baby Wipes (Home-made)

I make my own wipes. So easy and inexpensive.
Use a plastic container (about 1-1/2 quart size) with a tight fitting lid. Cut a roll of paper towels in half crossways. An electric knife is good for this. Fit them down into the container, cut side up, saving the other half for the next time, or to use when you just need a small paper towel.

Mix together 2 Tablespoons Dawn Dishwashing Liquid, 1 Tablespoon baby oil. Add 3 cups of water.stir together and pour over the paper towels in the container. Let set a few hours, then reach in and pull out the paper core and discard. Keep tightly sealed and pull out as much as needed each time.

Hope you will enjoy using this.

Bonnie W.

Watercolor and Dye Ink Backgrounds

For a soft, muted background, apply a watercolour wash to your paper. While the paper is still wet, stamp your images with a darker dye – water based ink over the wash. The images will appear to be embedded in the paper. I also added salt to the background to give it texture. Just sprinkle some on while the cardstock is still wet. Shake it off when dry.

Happy Stamping!


Punches with Washi

Ever had trouble with your washi paper getting stuck in your punches or not cutting well/completely due to the fibers that make up this glorious paper? Try sandwiching it between 2 sheets of plain newsprint. It will cut cleanly and easily!


Jan G.

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