4 Ways to Add Depth to Your Cards

Adding depth to your card with the Cool Treats Bundle from Stampin' Up! Design by Natalie Lapakko.

4 Ways to Add Depth to Your Cards

One way to take your cards to the next level is to add depth. In this Cool Treats card, I’ve got ten different layers working together to help add dimension, interest, and depth.

Ten layers is on the upward end of what I would normally add to a card, but it is a great chance to talk about how layers work together to add depth to a card.

4 ways to add depth to your card with Cool Treats Bundle from Stampin' Up! Design by Natalie Lapakko.

Here’s my layers from bottom to top:

  1. Bermuda Bay cardstock;
  2. Real Red cardstock;
  3. Striped Fruit Stand Designer Series Paper;
  4. Whisper White with embossed ice cream cones;
  5. A Lace Doily;
  6. Polka dot Sending Love Designer Series Paper;
  7. Bermuda Bay Glimmer Paper;
  8. A Whisper White stitched square (with a dimensional);
  9. Bermuda Bay Glimmer Paper (again); and
  10. A Cool Treats ice cream treat and some enamel shapes!

Add Depth to Cards

Depth is an apparent distance front the front to the back of the artwork. In landscape paintings this could be a very large distance, as in miles, in cards it is usually a smaller distance.

Depth adds interest to a card design and helps draw attention to the focal point. People don’t have to understand what depth is to understand the “wow” factor that it gives to your cards!

Here are the techniques I used in this card:

  • Overlap shapes and layers: Layers and shapes are placed in front of other layers, covering up parts of them. This makes the layers that are on the top look closer to you. Some layers may also be physically separated by using dimensionals, which are like double sided stickers made out of a layer of foam. This makes the layers physically closer to you, too!
  • Have a clear foreground and background: The focal point should have enough contrast that it stands out from the background. Whether it be a sentiment or an image (like an ice cream treat) you want it to be clearly visible. You can do this in a couple of ways:
    1. Add depth through color: Use contrasting colors from the foreground to background. Contrast between a warm color and a cool color work really well for adding depth.
    2. Add depth through solidity: Make the foreground image solid and clear while the background can be looser, blurry, or less clear. This effect is similar to a bokeh effect you might see in a photograph, where the background is out of focus, or to a landscape with atmospheric perspective.

Adding depth to cards with Cool Treats Bundle from Stampin' Up! Design by Natalie Lapakko.

Challenge Inspiration

This card was inspired by Global Design Project Challenge #077!

What a super fun color challenge! I loved choosing my own color to go with this already pretty interesting color combination. To help decide, I took out the three main ink pads and held them like a hand of cards, then went through several potential color options by comparing each other ink pad to the ones in my hand.

Color Combination

I finally settled on Real Red for a brightly colored triad (plus a neutral) that would be perfect for ice cream cones. I initially thought I’d be using cherries on top of my ice cream… but that didn’t end up happening in the end. Cards don’t always turn out exactly as planned!

Stampin' Up! Color Inspiration: Real Red, Peekaboo Peach, Bermuda Bay, Early Espresso

Card Directions

My card directions usually go from bottom layer to top layer, and there are a lot of layers to this card. Buckle up for some lengthy, in-depth directions.

  1. First, cut and score a Bermuda Bay card base.
  2. Next, cut a strip of Real Red cardstock about 3/4″ (1.8 cm) wide and the same height as the card base.
  3. Next, cut a strip of Peekaboo Peach striped Fruit Stand Designer Series Paper cardstock about 3/4″ (1.8 cm) wide and the same height as the card base.
  4. Cut a piece of Whisper White cardstock 1/2″ more narrow than the card base.
  5. On the Whisper White layer, stamp several ice cream cones from the Cool Treats stamp set with VersaMark ink. I added a cone shape and a swirl shape to the same stamping block so they lined up perfectly each time.
  6. Sprinkle white (or clear) embossing powder on the VersaMark ink, tap off the excess, then heat it with a heat tool until it melts.
  7. Use a sponge to add Bermuda Bay ink over the embossed ice cream cones. I apply ink with circular rubbing motions, starting off the edge of the paper to avoid ink blotches.
  8. Arrange these layers and adhere them to the card base.
  9. Cut a Lace Doily in half.
  10. Then, cut a square piece of polka dot Sending Love Designer Series Paper 1-1/2″ (3.7 cm).
  11. Next, cut a strip of Bermuda Bay Glimmer Paper about 1/8″ (0.3 cm) wide.
  12. Die cut a Whisper White stitched square.
  13. Arrange the the two squares, doily, and glimmer paper strip about 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the card. Snip off any excess glimmer paper and save the extra piece. Adhere everything except the stitched square.
  14. Line up the extra piece of glimmer paper on top of the stitched square to match the glimmer paper below it. Adhere the glimmer paper to the square, and then trim off the ends to match the edge of the square.
  15. Adhere the stitched square to the card with a dimensional, making sure the two strips of glimmer paper line up.
  16. On a piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp a popsicle in Peekaboo Peach, Early Espresso, and Crumb Cake. I fussy cut this out, but you could also use a die from the Frozen Treats Framelit Dies (which would add a bite out of the top of the popsicle).
  17. Adhere the popsicle to the top of the stitched square using a dimensional.
  18. Add three Real Red enamel stars in a triangle shape.

Adding layers to cards by Natalie Lapako. Features Cool Treats stamps from Stampin' Up!

How to add depth to cards, design by Natalie Lapakko featuring Cool Treats stamps from Stampin' Up! Color inspiration: Real Red, Peekaboo Peach, Bermuda Bay, and Early Espresso.


Cardstock: Whisper White, Real Red, Bermuda Bay (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Fruit Stand Designer Series Paper, Sending Love Designer Series Paper Stack, Glimmer Paper Assortment Pack (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Early Espresso, Peekaboo Peach, Crumb Cake, Bermuda Bay (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Cool Treats (c) Stampin’ Up!

Dies: Stitched Shapes Framelit Dies, Frozen Treats Framelit Dies (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: dimensionals, Lace Doily, Brights Enamel Shapes (c) Stampin’ Up!

If you click on the images below, you can see the items used to make this card in my online store. Each purchase you make there helps support Stamp Witch Blog!

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

By Natalie Lapakko

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3 thoughts on “4 Ways to Add Depth to Your Cards”

  1. So worth the time and effort to add all those layers Natalie. They work together to make a stunner card. Thanks for playing at Global Design Project with us this week and good luck with the guest designer pick.

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