Masking Technique Makes Pretty Paisley Patterns

Pretty Paisley Patterns

I am so excited for the Paisley and Posies Stamp Set because you can make your own paisley patterns. I like the coordinating papers, too, but when you make your own patterns you can choose your own custom colors and coordinate with any project you are working on all year round!

Challenge Inspired

This particular card was inspired by two different challenges, one for the layout and one for color! They layout comes from Freshly Made Sketches Challenge #255!


The colors come from Pals Paper Arts Challenge #319!


I did have to alter the colors slightly, since I have been slow to pick up the new in colors; there have been too many pretty new stamps! I substituted Watermelon Wonder and Cucumber Crush for Emerald Envy and Flirty Flamingo, respectively.

Since paisley patterns tend to be pretty busy, I kept my layers and embellishments to a minimum. This cuts down on distractions and allows that pattern to really shine.

Tips and tricks for beautiful patterns with the Paisley and Posies stamp set. Card design by Natalie Lapakko.

Tips for Making Your Own Paisley Patterns

  • Patience is key. This takes a long time to really do it right. Don’t try this unless you’re willing to spend some significant time on it.
  • Overlap shapes. Paisley patterns are patterned after bouquets of flowers. They are supposed to look full. One way to achieve that look is to overlap the shapes, so some are partially hidden by others. This requires using the masking technique, explained in depth below.
  • Build the pattern starting in one area and working toward another. In my card, I started in the center so I knew exactly where my sentiment would be. Then I added to the pattern from the center working outward. You could also start from one side and work toward the other side. This means you will likely use a stamp once, clean it, and set it aside to use again later. Do NOT try to use the same stamp in several places all over the paper before switching to another one, or it will make the next tip really difficult.
  • Use consistent spacing between shapes. For a really professional look, try to get the same amount of space between shapes all over your entire project. I’m not saying you have to measure if there is exactly 2 millimeters between this flower and the curly q, but eyeball it as best you can.
  • Go off the edge of the paper. Make it look like the pattern goes on forever, even if you only made one tiny little piece, like I did.
  • Repeat shapes for unity. If you use a shape, make sure you use the same shape at least one other place on the paper. See the leaf shape right below my sentiment? I almost forgot to use that shape again until the very end and squeezed another one into the upper right corner. It would have looked really out of place if there had only been one on the whole page. Even now, I wish I had remembered to put another one in on the left side somewhere.

Masking technique allows for overlapping paisley shapes. Design by Natalie Lapakko.

The Masking Technique

Overlapping stamp shapes? How do you do that?

The masking technique allows you to overlap stamped images so it looks like one is hidden behind the other. The technique is fairly easy, but with complicated shapes like these paisley medallions it does take some extra time and effort.

  1. Stamp an image on the background paper.
  2. Peel 3-4 post-it notes off the pad.
  3. Stamp the same image on the top post-it note, making sure that the image is over the sticky part of the post-it. You can skip inking it up the stamp again, it’s not necessary.
  4. Carefully cut out the shape on the post-it note. Cutting 3-4 at a time saves time if you are making a pattern.
  5. Stick the post-it shape right on top of the image you stamped on the background paper.
  6. Stamp a different stamp so it overlaps on top of the post-it covered image.
  7. Repeat as needed.
  8. The post-it notes are thin enough that there is a minimal gap between the images from the raised paper. If you have gaps you want to clean up, use a Stampin’ Write marker to fill in any gaps or spaces.
  9. These shapes can be moved around as needed. If you finish one corner of the paper and have an overlapping shape in the other corner, reuse the post-it shapes you are finished with!

See the image above for what my project looked like with all the masks in place. Notice that not every shape has a mask; shapes only need to be masked if they are going to be overlapped with another shape.

Fussy cutting out the bumpy edges of these stamps is by far the slowest part of this process. That’s probably why Stampin’ Up made dies to cut out these shapes for us! The dies do not work for masking, though, because the die is slightly larger than the stamped image which would leave a very large gap between overlapped shapes.

On the bright side, those post-it note shapes can be reused next time! I saved my cut out shapes in the box right next to my stamps. Next time I do this, ir will go a LOT faster.

How to make your own paisley pattern to color with Paisley and Posies stamp set. Car design by Natalie Lapakko.

Baby Girl Colors

The inside of this card finishes the sentiment, “Bonjour, Beautiful… Welcome to the World.” I thought that these colors were a nice alternate color scheme for welcoming a baby girl to the world. They are still feminine without being all pink everywhere.

Color Combo 121.png

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!


Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Mint Macaron (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Stamps: Paisley and Posies, Happy Happenings (c) Stampin’ Up!

Markers: Cucumber Crush, Mint Macaron, Watermelon Wonder Stampin’ Write Markers (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: Mint Macaron Ribbon (from 3/8″ Trio Pack) (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other Cards You May Enjoy

Homemade card by Natalie Lapakko, features Balloon Builders stamps overlapped using the masking technique.

Homemade baby card by Natalie Lapakko, with Zoo Babies and Balloon Celebration stamp sets.

Homemade card by Natalie Lapakko featuring Little Foxy DSP, Hello You thinlits, and a rainbow sponging technique.

0 thoughts on “Masking Technique Makes Pretty Paisley Patterns”

  1. Wow, Natalie! The masking of these images takes SO MUCH work, but the effort pays off. Such a great background! I love how you selectively colored parts of the paisleys. Great card! Thanks for playing along with this Pals Paper Arts color challenge!

  2. Really love you masking and the pic of how you did it! Thanks for the inspiration and for playing along with the Pals color challenge this week!

  3. This card is just beautiful. I’ve ordered these stamps and can’t wait to try them out – and am definitely further inspired by seeing this (although I’m quite sure I haven’t got the mastery of technique you clearly do!).

  4. You have done a fabulous job creating your own paisley patterned paper! So much effort but the results are worth it! Thanks so much for joining us at Freshly Made Sketches.

  5. Beautiful card! And thank you for the tutorial on the masking technique! I rarely do making because I didn’t really know how to do it. So glad you taught me! Thanks for joining us this week for the Pals Paper Arts Color Challenge!

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