Ombre Backgrounds with Playful Pals

Ombre cards featuring Playful Pals stamps from Stampin' Up! Design by Natalie Lapakko.

Ombre Backgrounds with Playful Pals

Ombré is French for “to shade”, or gradually move from one color to another. The cardmaking community has really taking a liking to this term, though for the most part the accent on the E seems to have fallen off in English. It can also be called a gradient or a blended effect. Whatever you choose to call the effect, it’s a lot of fun to make cards with ombre backgrounds!

I’ve made two complementary cards, with the same layout but where the colors and the white space are reversed, in order to show off two different ombre techniques.

Homemde cards with ombre backgrounds by Natalie Lapakko featuring Playful Pals stamps from Stampin' Up!

On the first (top) card I inked up stamps, then sponged a second color of ink onto half the stamp to get a gradual color change from one shape to the next.

On the second (bottom) card I embossed the bow shapes in white first, then used sponging to create an ombre background with the emboss resist technique. We’ll do the directions for this card first.

Card with ombre background effect by Natalie Lapakko featuring Playful Pals stamps from Stampin' Up!

Emboss Resist Ombre Card Directions

  1. First, cut a Rich Razzleberry card base.
  2. Then cut a Whisper White panel 1/4″ (0.6 cm) smaller than the card base.
  3. On the Whisper White panel, stamp a cascade of bows (from the Playful Pals stamp set) down the left side of the page with VersaMark ink.
  4. Sprinkle white (or clear) embossing powder over the VersaMark ink and heat with a heat tool until the powder is melted.
  5. Sponge Peekaboo Peach, Watermelon Wonder, and Rich Razzleberry ink onto the Whisper White panel to create a gradient/ ombre background. See additional sponging tips below these directions!
  6. Wipe excess ink off of the white bowties with a paper towel to brighten them up slightly.
  7. Stamp the sentiment from Happy Happenings in Rich Razzleberry ink onto a scrap of white paper. Die cut the sentiment using an appropriately sized circle from the Layering Circle Framelits set.
  8. Next, die cut a coordinating Rich Razzleberry scalloped circle, also from Layering Circles and adhere the sentiment on top of the scalloped circle.
  9.  Cut a 1″ (2.5 cm) strip of vellum and a 1/4″ (0.6 cm) strip of Sweet Sugarplum Glimmer Paper. Adhere these to the ombre background about 1/3 of the way from the top, putting adhesive for the vellum behind the glimmer paper so it is hidden.
  10. You can now adhere the ombre background panel to the card base.
  11. Adhere a lace doily (white side up) behind the sentiment, then attach the ensemble to the card using dimensionals.
  12. Die cut 2 bow shapes from Sweet Sugarplum Glimmer paper (cut glitter side down to preserve the dies) using Pyramid Pals Thinlit Dies.
  13. Trim the bow loops off of one bow so only the center knot remains. Glue this to the center of the other bow. Then, adhere the bow to the card, tucking it behind the sentiment slightly.
  14. Add rhinestones in a triangle shape around the sentiment focal point.

Sponging tips:

  • Use circular rubbing motions to apply ink evenly.
  • After inking a sponge, test it out on scratch paper first to see how dark it will be. When it reaches the desired lightness, then put in onto the actual paper.
  • Start lighter than you think you’ll want. You can always make it darker.
  • To smoothly blend two colors, gradually decrease the amount of ink from the first color and increase the amount of ink from the second color.

Ombre background card by Natalie Lapakko with stamps from Stampin' Up!

Stamped Ombre Card Directions

  1. First, cut and score a Rich Razzleberry card base.
  2. Next, cut a Whisper White panel 1/4″ (0.6 cm) smaller than the card base.
  3. On the white panel, stamp a cascade of bows gradually changing the color as you move down the card.
    • Start with three Peekaboo Peach bows.
    • Then add a couple bows that are inked first with Peekaboo Peach and have some Watermelon Wonder sponged on the bottom half of the bow.
    • Then, add about three bows that are purely Watermelon Wonder.
    • Next, add a few bows that are inked first with Watermelon Wonder and have some Rich Razzleberry sponged on the bottom half.
    • Finally, finish off the bow cascade with some bows stamped in pure Rich Razzleberry ink.
  4. Stamp the sentiment from Suite Sayings in Rich Razzleberry ink onto a scrap of white paper. Die cut the sentiment using an appropriately sized oval from the Stitched Shapes Framelits set.
  5. Next, die cut a coordinating Rich Razzleberry scalloped oval from the Layering Ovals Framelits set and adhere the sentiment on top of the scalloped oval.
  6.  Cut a 1″ (2.5 cm) strip of vellum and a 1/4″ (0.6 cm) strip of Sweet Sugarplum Glimmer Paper. Adhere these to the ombre background about 1/3 of the way from the top, putting adhesive for the vellum behind the glimmer paper so it is hidden.
  7. You can now adhere the ombre background panel to the card base.
  8. Sponge a lace doily with Peekaboo Peach, Watermelon Wonder, and Rich Razzleberry ink, blending the colors together to create a gradient on the doily. Adhere the doily behind the sentiment, then attach the ensemble to the card using dimensionals.
  9. Add rhinestones in a triangle shape around the sentiment focal point.

Cards with ombre backgrounds ny Natalie Lapakko featuring Playful Pals stamps from Stampin' Up!

Analogous Color Combination

Whenever you blend colors to create an ombre effect, you’ll want to make sure that they will mix nicely. You want the combined color to be vibrant and not muddy or dull. One surefire way to do this is to use colors that are analogous on the color wheel. No, that’s not French this time! Analogous means they are next to each other in rainbow order.

Analogous colors generally mix well because they are made up of similar ingredients. It all comes down to the primary colors used to make them.

For example, Peekaboo Peach has some red, some yellow, and some white in it. Watermelon Wonder is red and white mixed. When they are blended together, they will make a new color that is still some amount of red, yellow, and white.

You don’t want to mix all three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) or you will start to get muddy colors in shades of brown. Avoid blending colors from the opposite side of the color wheel, because they will likely result in a clash of all the primaries and a muddy mess of a color.

For example, I would not blend Peekaboo Peach (red and yellow) directly with Rich Razzleberry (red and blue). I put Watermelon Wonder (red) between them as a buffer because it mixes well with both.

Ombre cards by Natalie Lapakko featuring Playful Pals stamps from Stampin' Up! Color inspiration: Pekaboo Peach, Watermelon Wonder, Sweet Sugarplum, Rich Razzleberry.

Stampin' Up! Color Inspiration: Peekaboo Peach, Watermelon Wonder, Sweet Sugarplum, Rich Razzleberry

Materials

Cardstock: Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Peekaboo Peach, Watermelon Wonder, Rich Razzleberry (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Playful Pals (c) Stampin’ Up!

Dies: Pyramid Pals Thinlit Dies, Stitched Circles Framelit Dies, Layering Circles Framelit Dies, Layering Ovals Framelit Dies (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: sponge, rhinestones, dimensionals, vellum, Glimmer Paper Assortment Pack, Lace Doilies (c) Stampin’ Up!

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

By Natalie Lapakko

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7 thoughts on “Ombre Backgrounds with Playful Pals”

  1. Such fabulous cards! I’ve a real soft spot for inky and spongy backgrounds so I love to check out your blog. If you’ve not seen it, I have replied to your question about my card at GDP this week.

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