Category Archives: Techniques

Turning a Many Merry Star into a box

star box

The stars in the Many Merry Stars kit are 3D and fully enclosed but they can be converted into a shallow box. Here’s how:

star box 1

Step 1 – Cut the adhesive backed box side into two lengthways.





star box 2

Step 2 – Apply one of the box sides to one of the stars, keeping it so that it is just a teeny smidgeon (technical term 🙂 ) outside the star. This becomes the box lid.



star box 3Step 3 – Place the other box side into the constructed box and join the points where they meet. Remove the backing from the adhesive and apply the other star to create the box base.



star box 4Step 4 – Use the aperture of the star that has been pressed out as a template to trace the lining from DSP.




star box 5Step 5 – Cut out the DSP star and adhere within the box.





Have fun!


Non-blended shading with Blendabilities

sassy feminine

I recently shared this card and I’m back now to share how I used a non-blending technique for giving some “depth” to the flower.

Usually when you use Blendabilities you aim to avoid creating any “lines” in your colouring (by using the pens in small circular motions) however, as the Blooming with Kindness image already has lines in it (to give the impression of shading), I wanted to repeat this effect within the colouring.

As the trio of pens are a light, medium and dark shade of the same colour you can be confident that they’ll work together. Here’s how:

blendies 1

Step 1 – Stamp the image in Black Memento ink onto Whisper White card and then colour the whole flower with the lightest shade of the Daffodil Delight Blendabilities. (Compare this image with the final one and you can see how much more 3D the effect is).

blendies 2

Step 2 – Using the medium shade of Daffodil Delight, add some shading to the middle and outer petals by starting at the base of the petal and drawing a short line with the brush end of the marker, lifting the pen away from the card with a slight flicking motion. Tip – it’s worth practicing this a little first (above the flower you can see my practice marks – drawing the pen from left to right).

blendies 3

Step 3 – Using the darkest shade of Daffofil Delight, colour the centre most petals fully and add the teeniest of “flicked” shading to the base of the middle and outer petals.

blendies 4

Step 4 – Go back over and add a few more “flicked” brush stokes with the lightest colour again – this helps to just soften the effect a little.

Let me know how you get on with this technique 🙂

Sara xx


Creating your own background paper

sassy birthday

A few days ago I shared this card by guest designer Mari Rayner and it reminded me what a great technique this is for creating your own quick and easy background paper.

Sometimes called a one sheet wonder (because you cover a whole sheet with a design) you can use any combination of stamps. Teaming a large sentiment with a couple of graphic designs lets you tailor the background for a special occasion.

I particularly liked how Mari had used Gorgeous Grunge and Sassy Salutations and I’ve CASEd her stamp combo here but used a different colour combo. I’ve used a half A4 sheet of Whisper White as my base so that I’ll be able to create two card fronts with it but it would only take seconds longer to stamp a full sheet and end up with four card fronts.


Step 1 – Stamp your base in either a random or repeating pattern (here we used the stripes from Gorgeous Grunge with Daffodil Delight ink). Stamp over the top with the sentiment in a darker/contrasting colour ink (here – the birthday sentiment from Sassy Salutations with Smoky Slate ink).


Step 2 – Stamp a more scattered/smaller design in a pale colour in between the patterns created already (here we used the small speckles from Gorgeous Grunge with Metallic silver ink).

Step 3 – Cut the background card down to appropriate sizes to use on your card front.

So next time you don’t have exactly the background you need, try creating your own custom design 🙂

Sara xx


How to apply the dryer sheet technique

by the tide sparkle

Yesterday I shared this By the Tide card where I’d used the dryer sheet technique.

The pic doesn’t do it justice but it gives a very sparkly, soft focus feel to your image. You’ll need a (used) tumble dryer sheet (the very open weave sort that’s almost transparent) and a pot of Dazzling Diamonds (102023).

Here are the steps to achieve the look:
dryer 1Step 1 – Begin by creating your image. As the dryer sheet gives a soft focus effect, it helps to use slightly brighter, bolder colours than you want to end up with.



dryer 2Step 2 – Cover the image liberally with glue from a glue stick and place the dryer sheet over the top.  Sprinkle generously with Dazzling Diamonds and burnish with a bone folder. This works the glitter into the gaps in the weave of the sheet.


dryer 3Step 3 – Tap off the excess glitter and either trim away the excess dryer sheet, or fold it behind the image. Your glittered image is now ready to use.

Note the difference in the intensity of colours between steps 1 & 3.

Have fun recycling your used dryer sheets!

Sara xx


How to get started with Zentangles

I had  a question from Vicki about yesterday’s card. This was the card:

secret garden zentangle

And this was her question:

“I haven’t heard of zentangle’s so what are they? Is this a new trend coming in stamping?”

Thanks for asking Vicki 🙂

A zentangle is an abstract drawing with structured patterns. It’s similar to doodling, except for the fact that patterns are repeated rather than fully freeform. It’s a bit of a trend in card making or art more generally at the moment, rather than stamping specifically, but I think it’s always great to draw on any artistic trends and see how they relate to stamping 🙂

My efforts aren’t the real deal zentangle by any stretch, but here’s how I combined the technique with my stamping:

zentangle tech 1Step 1 – To use the zentangle technique I chose some stamps that had defined areas where I’d be able to add zentangle patterns. I stamped these in Black Stazon onto Whisper White card.


zentangle tech 2

Step 2 – Taking my marker, I added a pattern at a time to the separate areas, repeating patterns and building them up gradually.



It takes quite a bit of patience, these aren’t quick to complete, but on the other hand you can stamp them out, pop them in your bag with a marker and just add a bit more whenever you have a few spare minutes, no need for lots of supplies.

My patterns were very basic – dots, solids, stripes etc. For ideas of more complex patterns and how to build them then simply google “zentangle” or search for it on Pinterest and you’ll find lots of beautiful examples.

Have fun.

Sara xx

How to create a washi tape rosette

washi rosette

A few days ago I shared this circle card with a washi tape rosette at the centre.

Here is the technique I used to make it, along with a couple of tips along the way.

Step 1 – Cut your card strip. The width of the rosette will be approximately twice the short edge of your strip.

Step 2 (optional) – Punch the edge of your strip if desired (here I used the Scallop Trim Border 118402).

Step 3 – Score evenly along the length of the strip. The Simply Scored Scoring Tool (122334) makes this very easy and this rosette was scored every 1/4″. Fold back and forth alternately along each score line.

Step 4 – Apply the washi tape along the length of the scored strip. The washi tape both looks decorative and helps strengthen the scored strip.

washi rosette 1

Step 5 – Glue the ends of the strip together to form a cylinder, then force the cylinder flat and apply more glue in the centre (Multipurpose Liquid Glue or Crystal Effects work best), top with a punched circle (or similar) and hold in place whilst the glue sets (placing clear blocks, or similar, either side and on top allow you to leave this to set whilst you complete the rest of the card).

Step 6 (optional) – If popping the rosette up, then it’s worth considering using shaker frames (124155) instead of dimensionals as these will provide a bond all the way around the rosette and help stabilise it.

washi rosette 2

Step 7 – Apply more glue to the front centre of the rosette and top with another punched circle (or similar), this helps prevent your rosette from popping apart.

washi rosette 3

Now have fun creating your own washi tape rosettes.

Sara xx

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How to create a gift card holder from pop ‘n’ cuts base

Chevron gift card holder

The Pop ‘n’ Cuts Card Base die (130099) is versatile enough to be turned into a cute little gift card holder with just a couple of non-standard score lines.

Here’s how to do it along with a few tips for embossing the top cover for a little added interest.




Step 1 – Die cut the card base from your chosen colour card stock. There is no need to mark the centre of the card base (as you would do normally), as our score line will not be in the centre.



Step 2 – Place the card base on your scoring tool with the curvy end to the right. Score at 1″, 3″ and 7-1/2″.




giftcard3Step 3  – If embossing the top cover with the card running along the length of the folder then the rest of the card will follow along after without a problem (as can be seen here).




Step 4 – If you want the design to run aligned with the short edge of the folder you will need a couple of extra folds along existing scorelines. Place the top cover inside the folder as far as the first scoreline.



Step 5 – Fold the extra card back over the outside of the folder and back on itself . This outer card will not be embossed however we recommend running it through the Big Shot on “no tabs” to avoid the folded card embossing itself.



Step 6 – Remove the embossed card and refold so that the slotted corners appear just above the base of the card forming a “z” fold.





Step 7 – Adhere the two outer edges to create a pocket and tuck the corners of the embossed cover into the two slots to close. (Tip – adhere the centre of the bottom flap down direct or with dimensionals to stop the corners pulling open).


chevron gift card holder inside

Here’s how the gift card holder looks on the inside when finished.

To purchase the Pop ‘n’ Cuts Card Base die just click here and you’ll be taken direct to it in our online store.

Sara xx


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How to create glossy letters

typeset alphabet christening card

Yesterday I shared this christening card with personalised lettering. The technique for creating these glossy letters is quite simple and I’ve added a couple of tips for keeping any waste to a minimum.

Step 1 – Roughly cut pieces of On Board sheets (114320) to a little larger than the letter(s) you’re going to die cut. (Tip – some of the specialty DSP is backed with chipboard – at no extra cost!).

Step 2 – Cover the chipboard with the same size of Multipurpose Adhesive sheet (120805), first peeling off one side of backing to adhere it to the chipboard and then peeling off the other side to leave just a layer of adhesive sitting on top of the chipboard.

Step 3 – Apply the same size of your chosen paper to the adhesive (preferred side facing up/outward) and burnish to create a good bond.

Step 4 – Place the covered chipboard piece paper side down over the appropriate letter on the Typeset Alphabet die (127553) and run through the Big Shot. (Optional – daub the chipboard edges with a matching ink).

Step 5 – Place the letters onto a Silicone Craft Sheet (127853) and apply Crystal Effects (101055) over the top of the letters and allow to dry (the silicone sheet prevents the letters from accidentally sticking to your work surface).

glossy letters

Depending on how thickly you apply the Crystal Effects, it may take from 30min to several hours to dry and if applied very thickly then I’d recommend leaving overnight to dry to avoid putting fingerprints in the gloss.

Now your letters are ready to use.


As well as spelling names, try using just one glossed up letter at the beginning of a word or stamp part of a sentiment and letter the other part.

Have fun!

How to weave a basket with the Scallop Envelope die

scallop envelope basket

I love finding alternative ways to use SU! products beyond the obvious. This basket is created with the Scallop Envelope die.

It takes four die cut envelopes. Extra interest has been added by weaving strips of DSP through the basket sides.




basket weave step 1

Step 1 – Die cut four Scallop Envelopes. Place an Envelope on the Stampin’  Trimmer with the scallops at the top of the trimmer and the bottom of the envelope aligned with the grid. Starting 1cm from either side tab scoreline, cut vertically between the top and bottom score lines. Repeat every 1cm until approx. 1cm from the other side tab scoreline. Repeat with the other three envelopes.

basket weave step 2

Step 2 – Remove one of the side tabs from the envelope. Fold the scallops over so that the perforated design is clearest on the outside. Cut 1cm deep strips of DSP. Thread the strips of DSP through the vertical cuts, alternating the under/over pattern between one strip and the next. Trim off any excess DSP and adhere the ends of the strips to the envelope. Repeat for the other three envelopes, cutting off the same side tab on each and maintaining the same weave pattern on each.

basket weave step 3

Step 3 – Adhere each cut envelope side to the next side tab. Continue with all four box sides, adhering the last one back around to the first. Fold the envelope bases interlocking into one another. This leaves a tiny hole in the centre of the base which can be covered with a DSP insert if preferred. The perforated scallops can be left loose, adhered flat or popped up over the weave with a dimensional.  Optional – add a handle to basket to finish.

How to use Adorning Accents to decorate an envelope

adorning accent envelope

The Borders plate provides one way to decorate your envelopes. Another way though, is to use the Adorning Accents Edgelits and matching embossing folder, to achieve a similar result, with the addition of the Big Shot.



adorning accent envelope 1Step 1 – Use the wavy Adorning Accent die to trim away the plain edge of the envelope flap, cutting as close to the edge as possible to retain the maximum amount of gum for sealing the envelope closed.


adorning accent envelope 2

Step 2 – Line up the edge of the envelope flap within the Adorning Accent embossing folder leaving an approx. 1/4″ between the embossing the flap edge. (Tip – place in the embossing folder with the SU! and Sizzix logos face up for an embossed (raised) effect).

adorning accent envelope close up

Here’s a close up of the die cut and embossed envelope flap.



 Edited to say – By the way, the base envelope is the Crumb Cake Medium envelope (107297) and it isn’t the standard C6 size, so please bear that in mind when designing the card to go inside it Wink 

I’ve added a tutorial for creating your own square seal envelopes with the Scoring Tool.