Starter Kit Challenge: Day 2

First, I’d like to give a big thanks to Jaydee and all the other designers over at the Paper Players for selecting my Parade of Primary Penguins card as one of the winners for the week! The number one benefit of participating in challenges is all the great ideas and inspiration I get from the challenges and all the sample cards… but it is also really nice to be noticed! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Starter Kit Personal Challenge

I have set a personal challenge for myself this week. I have decided to help out new Stampin’ Up! demonstrators by creating half a dozen cards made using only the materials that could be purchased with a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator Starter Kit. I’ve limited myself to using only these materials to show how many different and unique cards can be made even with only a few supplies.

Freshly Made Sketches Challenge

This particular card was also inspired by a sketch challenge! If you only have a few materials (or if you have a whole bunch, too) and are stuck on ideas, these challenges are great at getting the creative juices flowing!

This challenge comes from Freshly Made Sketches Challenge #250!

FMS Final 250-001.jpg

Here is my card for the sketch! You’ll notice that I substituted a square shape for the circle, because I didn’t include any circle dies in my suggested starter kit. Challenges are pretty flexible and most will accept substitutions if you don’t have exactly the right shape. If you have limited supplies, don’t be afraid to enter a challenge just because you don’t have the exact shape in the sketch!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko: See how to make a simple card using Sprinkles of Life and other materials part of a SU! Starter Kit.

How to Make a Simple Sprinkles of Life Card

  1. Cut and score a Whisper White card base using the Stampin’ Trimmer. Side opening card: 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″, scored and folded at 4-1/4″. Bottom opening card: 4-1/4″ x 11″, scored and folded at 5-1/2″.
  2. Cut a crooked panel out of Tangerine Tango designer series paper. I started with a rectangle that was 4″ by 5″, cut the right side at an angle, then turned my paper in the trimmer so that new angle was flat against the bottom of the trimmer and cut what is now the top at a 90 degree angle. For more details and pictures of how this is done, see my tutorial on crooked panel cards.
  3. Cut a Whisper White square at about 1-1/4″ by 1-1/4″.
  4. Stamp the top of the cupcake on Whisper White, color it in with the Tangerine Tango Stampin’ Write Marker, and fussy cut it out.
  5. Stamp the bottom of the cupcake on a piece of Bermuda Bay Designer Series Paper and fussy cut it out.
  6. Adhere everything together.
  7. Stamp the sentiment along the top angle of the crooked panel.

Stamping on designer series papers is tons of fun! I love how the cupcakes in the Sprinkles of Life stamp set look when stamped on patterned paper: it’s the reason I chose to combine them even in my very limited list of materials!

Tips for Stamping With Photopolymer Stamps

  • Put your paper on top of a somewhat cushioned surface before stamping on it. This insures that the entire image will come into contact with the paper. Rubber stamps have a built in cushion that photopolymer stamps don’t have. Examples of a cushioned surface include: an old mouse pad, a piece of craft foam, a piercing mat, or a couple layers of newspaper.
  • Check before you stamp. After inking your stamp, look at it before stamping the image. Check to make sure the entire image is covered with ink and make sure there isn’t any ink in undesirable areas.
  • Stamp a test image on scrap paper. Check what the image will look like before stamping is straight on your card. The last thing you want to do is ruin the hard work you did on the rest of your card with a stamp that is misbehaving.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko, features Srpinkles of Life and uses materials that could be purchased as part of a Stampin' Up! Deonstrator Starter Up Kit.

Contrasting Colors Add Pop to a Card

All of the colors in a Stampin’ Up! color family are designed to go well with each other. Since the markers and designer series paper I selected are all “Brights” I can put any two or three together for great results.

These two colors are opposite on the color wheel, which give them a lot of contrast. On a mostly Tangerine Tango card, a little bit of Bermuda Bay really sticks out. This let’s the viewer know that the cupcake is the focal point of the card. Color contrast is like a neon sign that says “Look at me!”

Color Combo: Tangerine Tango, Bermuda Bay


This card was made using ONLY materials that could be purchased from Stampin’ Up! in a Demonstrator Starter Kit bundle. For $99, a kit comes with $125 worth of supplies. My materials cost just over $125 (because I forgot to include adhesive at first…oops).

  1. Stampin’ Trimmer – $30.00
  2. Brights Stampin’ Write Markers – $29.00
  3. Brights Designer Series Paper Stack – $22.00 OR Brights Cardstock – $8.00
  4. Whisper White Cardstock – $9.00
  5. Sprinkles of Life Photopolymer Stamp Set – $21.00
  6. Block D – $8.50
  7. Memento Tuxedo Black Inkpad – $6.00
  8. Snail Adhesive – $7.00

My total is $132.50 (or $125.50 without adhesive). I do also assume that a person probably already owns a regular pair of scissors, so they aren’t included.

More Starter Kit Challenge Cards

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko A Stack of Inspiration

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Lucky Inspiriation

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Ice Cream Inspiration 3

This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko features only materials that could be purchased in a Stampin' Up! demonstrator Start Up Kit.

This is now the complete list of cards made using the same supplies from during the Starter Kit Challenge!

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

4 Split Panel Cards You Can Make Yourself

Split Panel Cards are Fun and Easy

Split panel cards are a fun and easy to make. They add dimension to your card, help draw attention to your focal point, and give you a chance to use up some of your gorgeous designer series paper stash. What’s not to love?

Split panel cards are also tie in perfectly with TGIF Challenge #68!

TGIF August 2016 Challenges_2-001.jpg

I love the diagonal line layout of this challenge and it provides the perfect opportunity to practice using split panels!

This split panel card is homemade by Natalie Lapakko.

How to Make a Split Panel Card

Here’s how you can make a split panel card:

  1. Create the card base. For these directions, we will be using a standard size card base (US: 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″, metric: 10.6cm x 14.7cm).
  2. Cut the background designer series paper 1/8″ (0.6cm) smaller than the card base.
  3. Cut the front panel 3/8″ (1 cm) smaller than the card base.
  4. Determine how wide you would like the split in the front panel to be. Trim that amount off the top of the front panel in a straight line. I trimmed mine by 3/4″ (1.9cm).
  5. Optional: If you want to add stamping to the front panel, add it now.
  6. Place your front panel in your trimmer at the desired angle of the opening and trim!
  7. Dry fit the split panel on the card and add any additional elements to the front of the card. In my example card, I added the cupcakes.
  8. Use dimensionals to elevate the front panel. Use extra dimensionals behind any elements (such as my cupcakes in this example) that will also be elevated. Note that I layered two dimensionals together for elements that spanned the opening.
  9. Once the front panel has been adhered, your card is complete!

How to add dimensionals to a split panel card, by Natalie Lapakko.

Additional tips

I used the Sprinkles of Life stamp set from Stampin’ Up! to create this fun stack of cupcakes. I had a lot of fun stamping the cupcake bottom on fun designer series papers, like the paper seen here from the Playful Palette Designer Series Paper Stack. Try stamping on designer series papers and see what you can come up with!

The Tree Builder Punch from Stampin’ Up! makes the tops of the cupcakes really easy to punch out. I found it was easier to stamp the image onto the Rich Razzleberry paper first, then punch it out with the punch.

Sprinkles of Life cupcakes on a split panel card by Natalie Lapakko

Three More Split Panel Card Ideas

Zoo babies split panel card by Natalie Lapakko.

Learn how to make a split panel card that reveals the card’s inside!

This split panel card by Natalie Lapakko was created using the No Bones About It stamp set.

Learn to use stamps, designer series paper, and fussy cutting for a multi-dimensional split card.

Natalie Lapakko created a split panel card with balloons as the focal point.

Learn how split cards help draw attention to your focal point.

My photography assistant approves of the split panel technique. He suggests that you should go try it right now!

Natalie Lapakko's cat lies in the way of split panel card photography shoot.

A Bewitching Color Combination

I love the contrast between Peekaboo Peach and Rich Razzleberry. They are almost complementary colors, which means they are nearly opposite each other on the color wheel. All that contrast causes  these elements to really stand out!

Color Combo: Blackberry Bliss, Tip Top Taupe, and Peekaboo Peach

Thanks for visiting, my dear readers! I love and appreciate your comments, “likes”, and those notifications I get when you choose to follow my blog. Happy stamping!


Cardstock: Tip Top Taupe, Rich Razzleberry (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: 2016-2018 In Color Designer Series Paper, Playful Palette Designer Series Paper Stack (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Stamps: Sprinkles of Life stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Punch: Tree Builder Punch (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: dimensionals


Sprinkles of Life

Today’s card was inspired by TGIF Challenge #67!

TGIF August 2016

These are such fun colors! I love color challenges and using colors I never thought would go together and finding out they look spectacular! I am maybe a little excited.

I’m going to skip right to my favorite part about this card; the island indigo doily. This particular doily started it’s life out as a plain white doily, then it met a sponge inked up in Island Indigo and they fell in love. Or I did, rather. Just think, you could have a doily that matches any card you could possibly make!

Tips for coloring your own doily:

  1. Hold the doily on the side closest to you.
  2. Using a light touch, and always move the sponge away from where you are holding it.
  3. Don’t push down too hard. Don’t move the sponge back and forth, only in a straight line away from your holding hand.
  4. Don’t fret if your doily rips; I went through 3 trying to make my first one!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Sprinkles of Life 2.png

Another thing I love about this card is the gradient effects!  The circle behind the cupcake has a hint of Island Indigo on the bottom that fades up into white. I love how sponging makes this really strong color a little softer.

I also used sponging to add areas of darker and lighter ink to the Swirly Scribbles wavy line thinlit die. I started with Blushing Bride paper, added some swirls of darker color with Flirty Flamingo, and die cut it out. I found it easier to add the color first, then cut; when I tried it the other way around, my paper got all bent out of shape!

The final thing I love about this card is the adorable stamp set and sentiment! Cupcakes, icecream cones, and punny little sentiments are so fun to work with! It is fun to try stamping the cupcake bottom on different designer series papers!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Sprinkles of Life 3.png

Thanks for visiting! A lot of people have been leaving comments and “likes” which fills my heart with warm fuzzy feelings. The whole purpose of this blog is to share my art with you all, and it is so nice to know that someone out there likes it! Thanks to all of you, my readers!

Happy stamping!

Color Combo 90.png


Cardstock: Blushing Bride, Island Indigo, Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up

Paper: A Little Foxy Designer Series Paper Stack, 2016-2018 In Color Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Island Indigo, Flirty Flamingo (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Sprinkles of Life stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Punches and Dies: Circle Dies, Tree Builder Punch (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: doily, sponge, dimensionals, vellum


Let Us Sit Together

My card today is my first experiment into using the Bokeh technique. My first reaction when I heard about this was, “Huh? What’s that?”

Bokeh is based on a photography technique that is slightly out of focus and shows lights as blurry blobs. Sometimes only the background is blurry and the focal point is in focus. Other times the entire photo is blurry. Cool fact, the word comes from the Japanese word for “haze”. Here’s an example in photography:


Photography Credit: Top Design Mag

Now that I know this effect exists, I also see it all the time in television shows. We’re watching Person of Interest currently and it seems like it is in almost every scene!

To create this effect in ink and paper, I started with a watercolor wash of Crushed Curry and Old Olive. While that was drying, I created a stencil by using circle dies to make some different sized circular holes in a piece of vellum. I inked up a sponge using a Whisper White Craft Stampin’ Pad and placed my vellum stencil over my watercolor washed paper. I used circular rubbing motions to apply the ink. I varied the amount of ink added; some circles had just a tiny bit of white added and some had more. I found it was easy to go overboard on the white! Bokeh effect, achieved!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Let Us Sit Together 2

Next, I embossed my paper using a grass embossing folder by Darice. I was rather impatient, so my paper was still a tiny bit wet still at this point. This was actually helpful with embossing, because this was extra thick watercolor paper! A little bit of water goes a long way in making the paper slightly more flexible for deep textured embossing folders or extra thick papers. Once I had my grass embossed, I used another sponge to add some additional Crushed Curry to the grass so it would stand out.

My sentiment comes from the Balloon Celebration stamp set from Stampin’ Up! I think it is kind of wistful, which is a perfect match for this bokeh grass scene.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Let Us Sit Together 3

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

Color Combo 89


Cardstock: Wild Wasabi, Very Vanilla (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: watercolor paper

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Whisper White Craft, Old Olive, Crushed Curry (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Balloon Celebration stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: sponge, vellum, circle dies, grass embossing folder by Darice

Cute Little Stinker

This card corresponds with two challenges. The first is What Will You Stamp Challenge #75!

wwys_75_Foxy Friends

The Second is Can You Case It Challenge #131!


When I first sat down to make this card I was feeling really uninspired. It had been a long day, we finally got our son to sleep, and we had about an hour before bed. I also hadn’t been sleeping well. I was tired, too tired even for stamping, or so I thought. My husband gave me a look and said, “You were going to make cards tonight. You would probably sleep better if you made something.”

So I went down to my office and whipped something up. Once I got working, everything came together easily. And you know what? I slept like a log afterwards.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Skunk Card 2

I combined soft yellows with bold blacks in my designer series papers from Stampin’ Up! The Daffodil Delight polka dots are from the Fruit Stand collection and the black zigzags are from the Pop of Pink collection.

The little skunk is, of course, built using the Fox Builder Punch and the Foxy Friends stamps set, both from Stampin’ Up! For the most part, my little skunk isn’t very different from the standard way many people have been creating skunks with this punch set… until you get to his tail. For my tail, I actually punched 3 tail shapes, two in black and one in white. I layered all three together, adhered them together, and trimmed the tip a bit so it was a little pointier. The result is a little wider tail with a little thinner white stripe.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Skunk Card 3

For a card I didn’t feel like making at first, this turned out pretty stinkin’ cute! My husband deserves at least half the credit for this card’s existence. It’s amazing to have such a supportive person in my life. Thanks, hubby!

Thank you readers, as well, for stopping by, reading my story and admiring my card! Happy stamping!

Color Combo 73


Cardstock: Basic Black, Whisper White, Smokey Slate (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Fruit Stand, Pop of Pink Designer Series Papers (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Stamps: Foxy Friends stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Punch: Fox Builder (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: Oval cut using Cricut Explore Air