Easy Stained Glass Technique for Intricate Dies

Learn an easy stained glass technique to make this birthday card featuring Butterfly thinlits, Pop of Pink DSP, and Balloon Celebration stamps. Design by Natalie Lapakko.

Easy Stained Glass Technique with Butterfly Framelits

I really like using the stained glass technique with thinlit dies; that’s where you cut out the outline piece with one color, then fill in all the little holes with another color. I first learned how to do it using Rose Garden Thinlit dies and thought, “This is easy!”

I tried to do this same technique today with Butterfly Framelits for the first time.

Not. As. Easy.

There are a lot more little holes with this die, the holes are much smaller, and they are all the same shape. My previous technique turned my first attempt into a nightmare puzzle with pieces only millimeters across.

“There has to be a better way,” I thought.

And there is.

Challenge Inspired

Today’s card layout was inspired by Global Design Project Challenge #54.


I turned the sketch sideways for my card in order to fit the giant Butterfly Framelit. The banners are subtle behind the bold butterfly, but they are definitely there. The Horizontal stripes are represented by my sentiment.

Here’s how my card turned out.

Learn an easy stained glass technique to make this birthday card featuring Butterfly thinlits, Pop of Pink DSP, and Balloon Celebration stamps. Design by Natalie Lapakko.

 A Framelit Revolution

I tried something new to try and make the stained glass technique easier. It’s going to change your life and probably start several revolutions. It’s so easy, you won’t believe it.

In this example, I will explain the technique using the black and gold butterfly I made, but it would work equally well with any intricate die.

  1. Cut out a Basic Black butterfly outline using the largest Butterfly Framelit image. Discard the tiny pieces.
  2. Place the black butterfly outline on a solid black piece of cardstock.
  3. Trace a rough pencil line around the outer edge of the butterfly.
  4. Remove the black butterfly.
  5. Fill in the pencil outline completely with snail adhesive. Cover every millimeter. You can see the pencil and adhesive best in Figure 2, below.
  6. Place the black butterfly outline back on the solid cardstock. Press down so it sticks to the adhesive.
  7. Cut out another of the large Butterfly Framelits images, this time in gold. Try to keep all the little pieces inside the die. Do NOT poke them out!
  8. Place the entire die with all the piece in it directly on top of your black butterfly outline. Line it up carefully.
  9. With a small tool, poke the little hole pieces out of the die, all the way down until they stick to the adhesive on the background paper. Viva la revolution! See Figure 2 below.
  10. If your tool is sharp, press gently so it doesn’t poke little holes in your butterfly pieces. Go slowly. Check that all the pieces were poked down.
  11. Slowly remove the die. Slowly peel off the gold outline, making sure it doesn’t peel off any of the small pieces with it.
  12. Be amazed.
  13. Cut off the excess background paper by following the edge of the black butterfly outline.

I did have three or four pieces that didn’t stay in the die and I had to add these by hand after I was finished. Adding just a few tiny puzzle pieces was much preferable to trying to glue down about a hundred. Some of the pieces also needed slight adjusting so they sat perfectly.

Tips: Check the back of a die to make sure that it cut all the way through. If it didn’t cut all the way through, run it through your machine again, perhaps in a slightly different position in relation to the rollers or add a piece of cardstock to make your sandwich fatter.

Click to learn an easy technique to create a stained glass look with intricate dies, such as Stampin' Up!'s Butterfly Thinlit die.
Figure 1: Pushing pieces through the die.
Learn an easy technique to make stunning "stained glass" cards.
Figure 2: Pieces will stick to the adhesive on the background paper.

Learn an easy technique to create a stained glass look like this one. Design by Natalie Lapakko.

Elegant Color Scheme

It is my sister-in-law’s birthday this weekend, and I chose these colors especially for her. I wanted her to have a beautiful, elegant, fancy card. Basic Black, Whisper White, and gold seemed to be perfect! These are also great colors for anniversaries, weddings, and other fancy pants occasions. You could also use these same colors as a base but add a splash of color, like Real Red or Melon Mambo.

Color scheme: Basic Black, Whisper White, gold

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!


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

Paper: gold foil sheet, Pop of Pink Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black (c) Stampin’ Up!

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

Dies: Butterfly Thinlit Dies (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: Snail adhesive, glue dots

Other Cards You May Enjoy

Stained glass technique with Rose Garden Thinlits and Happy Birthday Everyone stamp set, by Natalie Lapakko.

Card by Natalie Lapakko, features Swirly Scribbles Thinlits with stained glass technique and Butterfly Basics greeting.

Homemade card by Natalie Lapakko featuring Rose Garden thinlits. Combines split panel technique and stained glass technique.

Thank you card featuring Falling Flowers and Paisleys and Posies stamp sets from Stampin' Up! Design by Natalie Lapakko.




10 thoughts on “Easy Stained Glass Technique for Intricate Dies”

  1. Crazy beautiful, Natalie. I know how much work that is, and the effort shows. Thanks for playing along with this week’s sketch challenge at the Global Design Project!

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