How to Watercolor Embossed Images

How to Watercolor Embossed Images

This Birthday Delivery card combines heat embossed stamping with watercoloring for a fun, beautiful, and surprisingly easy effect.

Watercoloring embossed images by Natalie Lapakko with a card featuring Birthday Delivery from Stampin' Up! Color inspiration: Pink Pirouette, Calypso Coral, Pear Pizzazz, Night of Navy, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede
Watercoloring embossed images guide by Natalie Lapakko with a card featuring Birthday Delivery from Stampin' Up!

Heat embossing a stamped image is really magical. Okay, it’s really actually scientific. Embossing powder is made from tiny little beads that attach themselves to sticky inks. When you heat them up, they melt and form a little barrier that is waterproof.

This is great for watercoloring, because those little raised walls from your stamped image don’t let colors that are right next to each other mix together! This makes watercoloring so easy that anyone can do it.

Watercoloring embossed logos by Natalie Lapakko with a card featuring Birthday Delivery from Stampin' Up!

Three Easy Steps

There are three steps to watercoloring embossed images. Stamping, embossing, and adding watercolor.

Stamp

First, you’ll need to select a stamp. Choose one that has an outline design as opposed to a solid or shaded shape.

It is helpful to prepare the surface of the paper with an embossing buddy. This little pouch removes static from the paper, so embossing powder doesn’t stick in places it isn’t supposed to stick.

Stamp the image on watercolor paper with VersaMark ink.

Emboss

Place your watercolor paper in a container to catch extra embossing powder. I use a coffee filter, because it is static-free, cheap, and easy to use.

Sprinkle embossing powder over the ink. My example uses white embossing powder, but any color works.

Tap any extra powder off the image. It helps if you give the backside of the paper a good flick or two with your finger. Then check the image. If there are still any areas that have unwanted powder, you can brush them off with a clean, dry paintbrush.

Pour any extra embossing powder back into the container. If you save the extras, one container can go a really long way.

Heat the image with a heat tool until the powder melts. If your piece of paper is small, you may want to use a clothespin to hold onto it so your fingers don’t get burned.

When using watercolor paper, always position the heat tool and the embossing powder on the same side of the paper as you heat the powder! If you try to heat embossing powder from the back side of this extra thick paper, you may end up burning the paper before melting the powder. Been there. Done that.

Add watercolor

Once your image is embossed, add watercolor to each of the small areas between the embossed borders.

Stampin’ Up! ink works great for watercolor, in every format: ink pads, reinkers, and markers. I like to color the images with Stampin’ Up! markers, then add a tiny bit of water to give it a watercolor look. You can also give the ink pads a little squeeze while they are closed to distribute ink on the lid, where it is ready for picking up with a watercolor brush.

Watercoloring embossed images guide by Natalie Lapakko with a card featuring Birthday Delivery from Stampin' Up!

Skin Tones

For skin tones, I use a piece of scrap watercolor paper and mix my colors before applying them. For this girl’s medium skin tone I scribbled Calypso Coral and Soft Suede next to each other, mixed them with water, then applied it. For darker skin tones, add more Soft Suede or switch it out for Early Espresso. For lighter skin tones, use less Soft Suede and mix in a little Pink Pirouette.

Challenge Inspiration

This card was inspired by Global Design Project Challenge #095!

I wish I had enough time to make a card every day this week to enter in this challenge! I love making cards for kids or with child-like themes! I decided to use the actual image of a child from the Birthday Delivery stamp set.

This stamp reminds me of a painting that was in my bedroom when I was a little girl myself. It’s an image of a little girl standing in the corner with her Sheltie puppy by Bessie Pease Gutmann.

I’m not sure if the little girl in the stamp is in a timeout, like the girl in the painting, “In Disgrace”. I think she is just shy, waiting to give someone a cute little bouquet of flowers!

Watercoloring embossed images by Natalie Lapakko with a card featuring Birthday Delivery from Stampin' Up!

Birthday Delivery Card Directions

If you want to make my sample card, here are the specific directions.

  1. First, cut a Crumb Cake card base.
  2. Next, cut a Crumb Cake panel 1/4″ (0.6 cm) smaller than the card base.
  3. Die cut a scrolling border shape from Crumb Cake cardstock using Flourish Thinlit Dies.
  4. Stamp the little girl and the flower bouquet stamps from Birthday Delivery on watercolor paper using VersaMark ink. Sprinkle on white embossing powder, tap off any excess, and heat with a heat tool until the powder melts.
  5. Paint the shapes making up the girl and the bouquet. I used Night of Navy for the dress (adding more water to make the sleeves lighter), a mixture of Calypso Coral and Soft Suede (and lots of water) for her skin, Soft Suede for the hair and shoes, Pink Pink Pirouette for her socks, Calypso Coral for the flowers, and Wild Wasabi for the leaves.
  6. Fussy cut out the girl and the bouquet.
  7. Position everything on the card to determine where the sentiment should be placed. Stamp the sentiment from the Lovely Friends stamp set in VersaMark ink. Remove all the loose card pieces, then add white embossing powder, tap off any excess, and heat until the powder melts.
  8. Adhere the scrolling shape using liquid glue, then use dimensionals between the other layers to add depth.
  9. Add a few pearls as embellishments. I like to put mine in an uneven triangle shape around the focal point.

Watercoloring embossed images by Natalie Lapakko with a card featuring Birthday Delivery from Stampin' Up!

 

Materials

Cardstock: Crumb Cake (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: watercolor paper (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: VersaMark (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Birthday Delivery, Lovely Friends (c) Stampin’ Up!

Markers: Night of Navy, Wild Wasabi, Calypso Coral, Soft Suede, Pink Pirouette Stampin’ Write Markers (c) Stampin’ Up!

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

Other: dimensionals, paintbrush or AquaPainter, Pearl Basic Jewels, white embossing powder, heat tool (c) Stampin’ Up!

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Color Inspiration

To pin a summary image with two photos and the Stampin’ Up! color combinations used in this card, use the special Pinterest buttons to the left side or bottom of your screen on computers and mobile devices, respectively.

I appreciate it every time you pin and share, dear readers! It helps spread the word of my little blog to the world so I can help even more people discover new paper crafting techniques and find inspiration!

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

Stamp Witch Blog Natalie's hand painted signature

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Click on a picture below to view the post about that individual project.

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