Thanksgiving's Bounty

in watercolour


9/23/20234 min read

Would you like to experiment with a design like this? You'll find a supply list below, including a link to the stencil I used from A Colorful Life Designs . Follow the link and use discount code ChrisFan10 to save 10% on your entire order! (Master Creator Bundles are excluded as they already have a 20% discount built in.)

I am not a painter (no matter how much I wish I was!) but I love the look of watercolour. Every now and then I have a go with this method, which is almost mistake-proof .

Let’s Get Started:

Card Base,: 5.25 x 10.5, scored and folded at 5.25

Card Face: watercolour paper, 6 x 6 (cut down to 5.25 x 5.25 for final result)

Banner Across Center: watercolour paper, 6 x 2 (cut down to 1.75 for final result)

Gold Cardstock: 6 x 2

This method of watercolour uses (raised )heat embossed areas as fences to keep the paint within the boundaries . You can use any waterbased medium for this purpose - in this instance I used ink. You need two small containers of water for this: one to clean your brush in and one to keep clean.

Card Face:

  • I prepared the large piece of watercolour paper by applying anti-static powder generously across the entire surface.

  • I secured the stencil to the card face with Mint Tape.

  • Using my embossing pen I traced all the patterns on the stencil.

  • I removed the stencil, added gold embossing powder and set it with my heat gun.

  • I selected four inks for this card - yellow, red, orange and green. I pressed each colour onto a separate acrylic block.

  • Using a clean brush I added a bit of water to the inside of one of the leaves - just enough to wet the surface , but not be fully absorbed too quickly.

  • Using the same brush I added a drop or two of water to one of the colours on a block, and mixed it into the ink already there. I picked up just a bit on the brush and touched the tip to the leaf that had been "watered". The colour immediately started moving on the surface, due to the water.

  • I cleaned my brush in one container , picked up a bit of clean water from the other container and added it to a different acrylic block. I mixed it up a bit and touched the tip of my brush into the same leaf, beside the first colour. The water already there allowed the two colours to mix, forming new colours.

  • I repeated these steps , adding water to the blocks and colour to the leaves until everything was colourful. Some leaves only had two colours, some three or four. Autumn leaves don't follow any rules!

  • In some instances additional water was needed inside the leaf to make the colours move more, and in others additional colour was added to intensify the look.

Stretch Your Pennies

*** using your inks like this is a great way to save a few dollars: you don't have to buy watercolour paints.


  • I took the strip of watercolour paper and wet the entire thing, and then started dropping colour in randomly as described above, allowing the colours to mix, adding additional colour until I was satisfied.

  • Once both pieces were completely dry , I trimmed the large piece down to 5.25 x 5.25, and the strip down to 6 x 1.75. By starting with larger pieces I was able to trim off the edges that weren't my "favourites", LOL.

    (the drying process varies, depending on how much water is added during the process)

  • I added veining to the leaves with a black microliner.

  • I put the narrow strip of watercolour paper into my stamp positioner and added the sentiment with black pigment ink.

  • I added clear embossing powder and heat set it to make the sentiment really pop.


  • I glued the card face to the card base.

  • I glued the strip of water colour paper to the gold cardstock, and glued both to the cardface, centering horizontally.

  • I added a small gold faceted embellishment on each side.


  • Be certain to keep the containers of water apart: you don't want to add dirty water to the surface of your watercolour paper, or use it to mix into your ink (or watercolour paint) as it will create a muddy colour.

  • Be mindful that certain colours produce "mud" when mixed together. This is ok with autumn leaves, as many of them have brown tones, but not so pretty in other things.

  • Play! Use different colours of embossing powder, different images (flowers are fun with this technique, and little whimsical figures like gnomes or animals.

  • watercolour softens quite a bit as it dries

  • you might want to use a small piece of watercolour paper to get a feel for the process before committing to the larger piece

Final thoughts:

I love playing around with my inks in different ways, and autumn leaves are almost fool-proof for watercolour! I am happy with this attempt.

Supplies: (and links where possible)

I have listed which products I have used, and where they may be purchased. It's a huge marketplace and in most instances there are multiple sources and many alternatives to choose from.

Stencil: Fall Leaves, A Colourful Life Designs

Stamps: My Sentiments Exactly, Amazon

Ink: Stampin’ Up!

Memento Ink: Stampin’ Up!


Stamping Platform::Misti, Spellbinders

The platform I use has retired, but the Misti is very similar.

Embossing Pen: Ranger,

Anti static powder: Simon Says Stamp

Gold Embossing Powder: Stampin' Up!

Clear Embossing Powder: Wow, Simon Says Stamp

Microliner: Amazon

Adhesive: Tombow Aqua, Michaels

Card Base: Accent 100 lb., Amazon

Gold Cardstock, Stampin' Up!

Watercolour Paper: Michaels

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