Die cuts are a great way to add elements to a project. The versatility of the cuts allows crafters to use both positive and negative space cuts. These beautiful cards together utilize both parts of the die cut paper. It’s like getting two for the price of one.
The first thing I did to create these cards was the background. I taped a piece of 80-lb. Neenah Classic Crest Super Smooth cardstock in Solar White to my work space to prevent it from warping. I didn’t use watercolor paper because the textured surface would have made it difficult to emboss it later.
I’m not a watercolor expert, so the technique I used is very simple. With a brush, I washed my paper with water and then applied color in stripes across the page, letting the pigments bleed and run into each other. I used the Kuretake Gansai Tambi 36 Color Set by Zig and I alternated among the colors No. 37, No.50, No.61, No. 62, No. 63, and No. 139. I added less water and more paint in place to add deeper pigment. If an area became too saturated with color, I simply diluted the paint with water. The result was a beautiful streaked, translucent effect. I let the paper dry before moving to the next part.
Next I wanted to create a bold pattern on top of my painted background. To do this, I used Wavy Coloring Book Background Cling Stamp from My Favorite Things. This background stamp is one of my favorites. It has gorgeous waves and swirls all throughout it.
I stamped the image twice, once for each card, with VersaMark Watermark ink and then applied Detail Black Embossing Powder by Hero Art. After tapping of the excess, I heat embossed it with a heating tool. Once the image was set, I trimmed it into two 4×5¼ inch pieces. I took each background and stuck them to 4¼x5½ card bases made from 110-lb. Neenah Classic Crest Cover in Solar White.
Once I finished the card bases, I moved on to the die cut. I chose the Big Hello Die-Namics die from My Favorite Things. I liked the bold lettering in this die, and it created a nice negative and positive space in my paper. I also used a rectangular die to frame the negative space “Hello”. The largest rectangle from the Hunulu 8pcs Rectangle Cutting Dies Set worked great for this.
Before I cut my paper, I do a little paper prep. Rather than add smaller pieced of tape foam to hold up my die cuts when I’m assembling the card, I use adhesive to stick my card stock to a sheet of craft foam before I cut it. This gives me a solid foundation throughout my die cut. I use 80-lb. Neenah Classic Crest Super Smooth Solar White card stock and 2mm Darice Foam Sheet for this. The foam is light weight, comes in a variety of colors (I usually use white) and is inexpensive.
After mounting the cardstock to the foam, I then arranged my dies. First I placed the rectangle die onto the embossing plates and then ran it through the Cuttlebug. Since the material was thick and my die was thin, I push the plates through several times to ensure a nice clean cut.
I removed the cutout rectangle and place the Big Hello die in the center. To hold it in place, I used mini post-it notes and again repeat the cutting process. Whenever I’m cutting with cardstock and foam, I make sure to run the dies through the machine several times. If they don’t cut all the way, I use a sharp blade to get through the remaining material.
After cutting out the “Hello”, I started to put the cards together. I took the negative space (the framed “Hello”) and stuck it to one of the card bases I made earlier. I made sure to put the middle of the “O” back to finish this step.
To make arranging my individual die cut letters easier, I created a template by using the Hello die and regular copy paper. I trimmed the copy paper to the exact dimensions of my background (4×5¼ inch). Then, I centered the “Hello” die on the piece of paper, held it down with post-it notes, and ran it through the Cuttlebug. After making the template, I popped out the individual letters and I aligned the remaining frame with the background. Again, I held it in place with sticky notes and I filled in the cutout area with my foam lined letters. I glued the letters in place and removed the template.
All that remained was decorating the cards after the helloes were in place. I heat embossed a sentiment from the “From the Heart” stamp set by Your Next Stamp in the same black embossing powder to add a sweet touch to the card. From the leftover watercolor background trimmings, I cut hearts using the Newton’s Nook Darling Hearts Die Set. I arranged the hearts on top of the cards and glued them in place with adhesive tape and foam squares. I also used Ranger Liquid Pearls in Oyster to create decorative dots for additional dimension and sequins from the Wisteria Hues Bead and Sequin Mix from 28 Lilac Lane.