A Celebrate or Birthday Card Using a DIY Stencil

It’s really funny how most everything old becomes new again.  Card making is no different.  Stencils are back, although for some, they really never left.  I love stencils because they are a relatively cheap way to add to your craft stash, and there are so many ways that they can be used.  Even better, you can actually make your own for almost nothing if you have a cutting machine.

(Side note…to make my own stencils, I use dollar store plastic notebook dividers and my Silhouette Cameo machine.  You can find so many basic shapes in the design store, or even make your own.  This plastic material cuts beautifully using the stencil material cut settings already set in your machine.)

I had already made a few stencils several weeks ago, so I decided to give one of them a try…a balloon stencil.

Here’s what I came up with…

My Empty Nest Creations DIY Stencil Celebrate Card

This one was really simple to make, but I just love the bright colors with the black & white sentiment.

Using my home made balloon stencil, I ink blended 5 balloons using Worn Lipstick, Peacock Feathers, Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade and Wilted Violet Distress Oxides.  I love the fact that no masking is needed.  It’s perfectly okay, in fact it’s more realistic, to have the balloons peeking through.  Once the balloons were dry, I drew the strings with a Micron marker and a ruler.

All that was left was die cutting my Celebrate sentiment using Neat & Tangled’s Celebrate die with black and white scrap card stock and stamping the smaller sentiment using Winnie & Walter’s Sentimental: Gift stamp set.  The final step was to pop the Celebrate die cut with some dimensional tape.

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Who Doesn’t Love an Adorable Koala?

I have had Neat & Tangled’s Koalifications stamp and die set for just a little while, and I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to use it.  This koala is just precious.  I knew that I wanted to make him the highlight of my next card.

My Empty Nest Creations Rainbow Background Neat & Tangled Koalifications Card

After stamping and cutting him out with the matching die, I colored him with Copic markers.  I’m really just a beginner at using Copics, so this coloring was very simple—RV02 for the slightly rosy cheeks and C0, C1, C3 and C5 for the rest of him.  (I always like to either restamp the image or use a black fine tip marker to go over the outlines after coloring.)  I used one of the sentiments from the same stamp set that fits perfectly on the banner.

Next…making the perfect background for this little guy.  Like many card makers, I just can’t resist bright rainbow colors.  I taped off the stripe areas with 1/2″ micropore tape, and then I ink blended the stripes with Distress Oxides (Wilted Violet, Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron and Salty Ocean).  I adhered the cutie-patootie koala to the background with foam tape.  The card needed just a bit more punch, so I cut some small hearts using the heart die from the same die set.  To get the hearts to match the colors of the stripes, I simply blended some of the colors onto some white card stock scraps.  Voila…perfect color match to the stripes.

I hope this little guy makes you smile just a bit!

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Neat & Tangled’s Oak Leaf Stamp Set

I have loved this set since it first came out.  When I first looked at it, I only saw it as a seasonal set…you know, colored with oranges, golds and reds, but now, I see how versatile it is.  Now that spring is quickly approaching (some places faster than others) I decided to use yellows and greens for my color scheme.

My Empty Nest Creations Neat & Tangle's Oak Leaf stamp watercolored with Distress Oxides

I started by white heat embossing the leaf image onto a piece of 4″x5 1/4″ Bristol paper.  Since I’m still very much a beginner with watercolors, I decided to use my Distress Oxides with water.  I used Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint and Evergreen Bough and loosely painted on the color, not worrying about staying in any lines.  Once that was dry, I stamped the sentiment with Versafine Onyx Black ink using my Misti.

All that was left was to mount it to my card base.  I knew that I wanted to pull the green out of the leaf, so I found a piece of matching green card stock in my scrap stash (I just love it when I can use up some of my scraps!).  I also knew that I needed to balance out the black from the greeting, so I pulled out one of my new favs—My Favorite Things Black & White Strip 6×6 Paper Pad.  I cut a piece just large enough to mat my card front, but small enough to let the green card base show.

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