Wishing you



5/22/20232 min read

Discover Fresh Design Styles for Cardmaking

An experiment in watercolour (using dye-based inks), and allowing colours to move and blend.

Letโ€™s Get Started:

Card Base: 4.25 x 11, scored and folded at 5.5

Card Face: 4.25 x 5 1/8

Gold Cardstock: 4.25 x 5.5

Small Scrap of Cardstock for Sentiment

Card Face:

I stamped the butterflies up the left hand side of the card using Versamark clear ink. I heat embossed this using gold embossing powder.

I pressed red and yellow dye based ink pads onto acrylic blocks and added a couple of drops of water to each, creating a sort of water colour paint. I gently applied this to the butterflies one drop at a time, allowing the colours to blend and adding additional colour as necessary to create depth of tone.

I die cut the flower towards the center right, using a die that creates a reverse image (openings in the paper create the pattern, rather than a cut out shape or word).


I stamped the sentiment using black pigment ink, and used clear embossing powder to intensify it.

I used an embossing folder with the gold cardstock, creating texture that showed on either end as well as through the open floral image.


A sort of faux-watercolouring can be achieved (or those who are not proficient - like me!):

stamp and heat emboss any image, using any colour of embossing powder desired. The lines in the image (now covered with embossing powder which has been heat set) create divisions which can be considered small "cells" in the design.

create watercolour "paint" by pressing dye based ink pads (which are water reactive) onto acrylic blocks. Use a separate block for each colour.

Using a clean paint brush and water, carefully touch the tip of the paint brush to the surface of the image; this results in the individual "cells" having a wet surface. (Depending on the size of the openings, limit the number that are wet at once.)

Using a different brush for each colour (keeping the brush for the water clean), pick up a bit of the "paint" and add it into a section that has water in it. The water on the surface will allow the paint to move, colour intensity naturally lightening as it disperses. Add additional colour as desired for intensity.

  • colours will lighten as they dry

  • keep the image wet while working, to allow the "paint" to blend seamlessly


I glued the gold cardstock to the card base, and then glued the card face onto that, centering vertically. I experimented with placement of the sentiment: at this stage I felt that the card was a bit too "perfect" , so I distressed the edges of the sentiment as well as the vertical edges of the card itself.

I glued the sentiment in place across the flower.

Final thoughts:

This is a new technique for me (I love the look of watercolour, but it's well outside my skillset!). I made the mistake of allowing the images to dry and then trying to add more colour to darken them .... this doesn't work as it creates harsh lines . The paper has to be wet to allow the paint to move and blend.

Apart from learning curve, boo boos, I am really happy with the result.

Supplies: (and links where possible)

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

Stamps: Dream Big, Altenew

Die: Stampin' Up, retired

Ink: Stampin' Up!

Adhesive: tombo aqua, Michaels

Card Base: Accent 100 lb., Amazon

Card Face: Watercolour paper, Michaels