Twisted Mini Album Tutorial

Twisted Mini Album Tutorial

Take a half sheet of cardstock and fold it in half along the diagonal.  Fold the result in half at the middle and you’ve got yourself a Twisted Card base. I love that this card base has mini pockets built into it and thought it would make a great mini album!

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How to Stamp with a Toddler

Stamping With a Toddler

Today I want to share a card with you that was made by my favorite artist in the whole world: my two year old son!

This is a card he made for his dad for Father’s Day almost by himself. Everything on the orange panel, from stamping, to washi tape, to drawing, to punching out and gluing on shapes was completely on his own. If I even looked like I might try to help, he immediately protested, “No! I DO IT!” When he was completely done, I did cut the orange card panel to the correct size and attach it to the lime green card, but that was it!

Homemade Card By An Enterprising Toddler 3

Teaching a Toddler to Stamp: Baby Steps

My son has wanted to make cards with me since he was 16 months old. We started with limited supplies and moved out way up gradually.

At first, he would sit next to me in his high chair while I was making a card. I would give him a piece of paper and put strips of washi tape along the edge of the high chair and he would stick them onto the paper. At this age he also loved to help me use embossing folders. He loved turning the crank on the Cuttlebug and seeing how the paper got bumpy. He learned new vocabulary words even on the first day: “paper,” “tape,” and “stamp.”

Next, we learned about glue sticks. At first, I helped add glue to shapes and let him stick it on the paper. Now he glues things down like a pro, all by himself. He also learned to use paper punches to punch out shapes to glue. These are kind of heavy duty and still a little tricky for him to use by himself, but I let him try on his own and wait until he asks for help.

In the next stage, we added pens to the supply list. My son was very interested in letters and writing at this point, so he would draw scribbles on the paper, all the while saying, “A, E, A, E.”

Finally, we moved on to stamps and ink. For a very brief period of approximately two days he was happy to let me put ink on a stamp for him and he would stamp it on the paper. That quickly evolved into wanting to handle the ink by himself, of course. He has learned to ink up a stamp and stamp it on the paper, stamp the little inkpad itself on the paper, and make finger prints! He also really enjoys sticking photopolymer stamps on clear blocks and peeling them off again.

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Tips for Stamping with a Toddler

  1. Create an art friendly area. A low table works great, as it is easier for the toddler to stand, sit, or move around as needed while they work. Leave the kid friendly art supplies out where the toddler can reach them any time he feels inspired to do so.
  2. Don’t stress about a mess. Cover the table or floor with newspapers if needed. Dress appropriately. Have an easy-on art shirt ready to go for him AND for you. Have cleaning supplies nearby, or at least baby wipes for wiping off hands! Have bath time right after stamping.
  3. Set boundaries. Let him know what is okay to play with and what is off limits.For example my son has his own set of stamps, but is allowed to use my clear blocks and paper punches. We only stamp in the “office” and always wipe hands before playing with anything else.
  4. Introduce supplies gradually. Introduce one new art supply at a time and build on what they already know. New supplies make art novel and interesting all over again. It is also less overwhelming than introducing a bunch of new things all at once.
  5. Save “scraps” from grown up card projects. I usually stamp a couple of images, but only use the best one in a card. I spend an extra minute or so to cut out even the “scrap” ones and save them for my son to use. His “office” is right next to mine, so I just drop the extras right in the bucket of shapes for him to glue onto his cards.
  6. Make it a learning experience! Talk about stamping while you work. Learn about colors and shapes. Depending on what stamps you have, talk about animals, the alphabet,  space, or whatever!
  7. Stamp and do art projects together! Your toddler will be interested in doing what you are doing. Plus, it will keep you from hovering over and trying to control what your toddler is trying to do.
  8. Give away cards that your child made. You will melt the hearts of grandparents, aunties, and uncles everywhere.

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Toddler Color Choices

Sometimes it seems like my son picks just any old random color, and at other times he seems to very deliberately select his color schemes. For example, he made a card recently and all the supplies he used were green or blue, from ink, to pens, to washi tape, even though there were lots of other colors to choose from.

I really like the color combination my son used on his Father’s Day card; it’s so happy and bright! I do think Stampin’ Up! might have to consider adding a lime green to their official line up. Anyone want to venture a guess as to whether it will be one of next year’s In Colors?

My son’s bright color choices also extend to his wardrobe:


Thanks for visiting and happy stamping to you and yours!

Lighthouse Love

Today’s card was inspired by the Pals Paper Arts Challenge #311!


These colors reminded me of a foggy sunrise over the ocean. This is what I was picturing in my head, though I only just went to find the picture after I had already made the card:

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Photo credit: Lumion Footage

Naturally I turned to watercolors! I’ve been painting with watercolors far longer than I have been making cards, so it is always nice to incorporate it into cardmaking!

Watercolor tips:

  1. When doing watercolor washes, use washi tape to hold your paper flat until it dries!
  2. Cover the area you want to paint with clear water first.
  3. Squeeze Stampin’ Up! ink pads while they are closed to deposit ink onto the lid. Use that ink on a paintbrush or aquapainter to add to the water already on the card.
  4. Experiment! No two cards turn out the same when watercolors are involved! Have fun seeing what you can create!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Lighthouse Love 2

To add to my soft nautical colors, I added striped paper from A Little Foxy Designer Series Paper by Stampin’ Up!  These stripes reminded me of a the stripes that are a common pattern painted on lighthouses. I wanted the stripes to be perfectly symmetrical, which took two tries. On the bright side, I have a piece of striped paper cut and ready for the next card!

This just had to be a lighthouse card. The only lighthouse stamp I own is retired, though. If you don’t happen to have this stamp from the Setting Sail stamp set, I would recommend substituting the lighthouse from the stamp set From Land To Sea, also by Stampin’ Up!

Watercolor paper is more bumpy or “toothy” than cardstock, which makes it great at gripping onto water and pigment, but at the same time makes it more difficult to stamp. The top of those bumps or “teeth” pick up ink from stamps, but the valleys do not. This leaves stamped images looking broken. If you have a Misti tool, you can use it to ink and stamp the same image over and over, which darkens the image until it looks solid. I don’t have one, so I stamp on nice smooth vellum and adhere it right on top. Vellum is somewhat transparent, which is a nice effect with watercolor.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Lighthouse Love 3

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

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Confession time: I substituted Blushing Bride for Pink Pirouette because it was a little darker. Watercolors sometimes lighten the colors you are using, and I wanted to make sure this pink was visible!

Materials used:

Cardstock: Smokey Slate (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: watercolor paper, A Little Foxy Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Staz-On Black, Blushing Bride, Smokey Slate, Marina Mist (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Setting Sail stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up! (retired)

Other: paintbrush, vellum



The Sky is the Limit, for Dad

The layout for this card was inspired by Freshly Made Sketches challenge #240.

FMS Final 240-001

I’ve been hard at working making cards for all the dads in my life, and each of them is the “World’s Best” in the world of their own child. Each dad is amazing in his own way, and each one deserves the title of “World’s Best”.


These stacked panels are each 1 inch wide. The tallest is 5-1/4 inch tall, and each of the following panels gets shorter by 1/2 inch. The black square is 2″x 2″. I stuck to a simple, masculine color scheme with Old Olive as the star.

One of the principals of art is movement, which can either mean something that physically moves, like when a pop-up card opens, or the illusion of movement. In this card, I tried to give the plane movement by placing it slightly out of the black square, rather than putting it right in the middle of the black square, which would have made it feel boxed in. I further added to the sense of movement by adding a white trail behind the plane.

This weeks design sketch also helps add movement! The repeated rectangle shapes and the diagonal lines formed at the tops and bottoms lead your eye in from the left, narrowing down to help the viewer focus on the focal point, which is the airplane.


Happy stamping!

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Materials Used:

Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Basic Black (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Pretty Petals, Going Places Designer Series Paper Stacks (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Stamps: Going Global, Sky Is The Limit (c) Stampin’ Up!

Markers: Old Olive, Basic Black Stampin’ Write Markers (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: white colored pencil, dimensionals