The Bees Knees
When I started making cards, I invested in a lot of stamps. Pretty quickly I moved away from stamping in favor of die cuts and embossing. Most of this was due to being unsuccessful with techniques. I've recently found that the difference truly is in the materials, and the Whisper White cardstock from Stampin' Up!® changed everything for me. Suddenly I have clean stamps every time, and the techniques which were never quite right are as easy as all of those YouTube videos I've watched. Today's project shows my favorite, the masking technique.
Unmasking the Magic
I used to look at stamped cards where the artist used two stamped images without any overlap and think it was some sort of evil sorcery at hand. I mean, how could you possibly be that precise with both your ink and stamp placement? It turns out, no wizards, evil or otherwise, were at work. It was a simple technique called masking.
There are a few methods which get the same effect, depending on the tools you have at your disposal. There is a product called masking fluid which you simply paint over your stamped image. The method I used is a bit easier on the wallet and you probably have what you need in your craft room already. I stamped my image on two pieces of cardstock. One was my card face, the other a scrap. I then cut out my image by hand. I prefer using a razor for precision, but Paper Snips are also great for this application.
Once you cut your image out (be sure to cut as close to the outline as possible) apply a re-positionable glue to it. My favorite is the Zig 2-Way glue. It goes on blue and dries clear. If you want to have a temporary bond, let it dry clear. Otherwise, be sure to adhere while blue for a permanent bond. For this project, I let it dry before positioning it directly over my stamped card front.
At this point you are free to do anything to your project without your original image being ruined. You'll notice that my Bee is crisp and clear once I removed the mask.
Heart and Petals Using a Double Mask
I made two versions of this card. The first had a single row of petals. After staring at it for a while, I realized what I felt was missing; it should be two rows of petals! This gave me a second opportunity to use the masking technique. This time, I stamped two hearts on my scrap paper and cut them out. I stamped my first row of hearts on the rim of the sponged circle. Next, I covered two of the hearts with the masks, centered my heart over them and stamped. Removing one heart at a time and moving around to the right, I created the lower level of petals.
I had the most fun coloring this card in. From inking the bee to blending the petals, the Aqua Painters made it simple to create a seamless design full of texture. It's exciting to use so many techniques using just an ink pad; talk about getting your money's worth!
The Finished Project
I hope you enjoyed learning how to use this versatile technique. It's a great way to stretch your stamps and create a major WOW factor in your handmade cards. Head down to the comments and let me know your favorite stamping trick!