Mermaid with Ink Resisted Embossed Background

I love how easily you can create a dynamic background using embossing powder and ink. It’s one of my favorite techniques and it really can bring a card to life.

I always have  4¼x5½ card bases made from 110-lb. Neenah Classic Crest Cover in Solar White on hand to build on top of.

The first thing I did when creating this card was to make the background. I placed a long strip of 80lb. Neenah Classic Crest Super Smooth cardstock in Solar White into my Misti. The stamp I chose for this card was an ocean design. The Ocean Waves Borders Clear Stamps Set by Flonz was a beautiful option for this card with amazing details. They were meant to be used as single boarder stamps by cutting them into strips, but I left them stacked and used them as a single background. My alignment tool accommodated this large stamp and made it easy to re-ink the image if it didn’t leave a clean impression.Inking background

I used a static tool to make sure that the embossing powder only stuck to the ink. Then, I inked the image with VersaMark Watermark ink and stamped it onto the cardstock. Once I had a nice image, I sprinkled Clear Embossing Powder by Hero Art onto the wet ink. I tapped off the excess powder and then heated the image with a heating tool.

Applying Embossing Powder

Anti-static tools can help create a sharper image.

Next I created a colorful background by blending inks together. Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks were prefect for this because they blend so smoothly.  I alternated between the colors Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean and used both light and firm pressure to create the affect. The Mini Blending Tool was useful for this process and allowed me to get a nice saturated color.

Blending Background

Distress Ink blends easily.

After applying the color, I trimmed the cardstock along the stamped image’s edge and then cut the height of the stamped image to fit a 4¼x5½ inch card base. It was easy to trim the background using a paper trimmer. I used the Fiskars Reinforced Paper Trimmer. The result was a narrow background that fit the length of the card base.

Trimming Background

This trimmer has a reinforced bar to add stability. 

After creating the background, I selected the Trishell Mermaid clear stamp by The Greeting Farm. I thought this stamp was cute and it was large enough to standout against the details of the background I created. I used Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black to ink the it and stamped it on White Crafter’s Companion Ultra Smooth Premium Cardstock. This cardstock worked well with alcohol base markers.

I set the mermaid aside and stamped the grass and the sentiment with a little heart. All these stamps came from the Mermaid for You stamp set by Lawn Fawn. The Misti tool proved extremely helpful when I stamped the sentiment and heart. This tool allowed me to align the words and heart the way I wanted to with precision. After they were all in place, I used Hero Arts Shadow Ink in Tide Pool for the grass. I really liked the color and even through it was a lighter ink, it worked fine for the small element. For the sentiment, I used VersaMark Watermark again and embossed it with Black Detail Embossing Powder by Hero Arts.

Once my elements were made, I returned to my mermaid image. I colored the image using Spectrum Noir markers, an alcohol base marker, but any coloring method can be used.

I’m not a coloring expert and my coloring technique is very simple. I chose a combination of colors, usually three to five shades, in the same color family. I lay down the lightest color over an area completely, then I take the darkest and apply it to where I want the shadow. The medium shades are applied between the darkest and the lightest area before using the lightest color to blend all the shades together for a smooth finish.

I used several assorted colors to complete the mermaid. First, I used BT1, BT2, BT3, and BT4 for the fins. For the tail, I used CG1, CG2, CG3, and CG4. Next I colored the hair with GB2, GB3, GB4, GB5, and GB6. Then, I used FS1, FS2, FS3, and FS4 for the skin. Finally, I used HB1, HB2, and HB3 for the seashell and the mermaid’s shell top.


Alcohol based markers blend together to create smooth finishes. 

After completing the coloring, I had to cutout the grass and mermaid images. The grass was easy and quick because Lawn Fawn had a corresponding die. I lined up my grass image with the die, held it in place with post-it notes and pushed it through my Cuttlebug. I used plates A, B, and C.

The mermaid image wasn’t as easy. It didn’t have a matching die and I had to cut it by hand. I fussy cut the mermaid using Cutter Bee Scissors by EK Success. Then, I used a black Sharpie over the outer edge of my cut image to cover any white bits I missed when cutting it out. This finished my mermaid.

I started to assemble the card parts now. I applied foam to the back of my background for dimension. I used an inexpensive 2mm thick foam by Darice. I centered the background and glued it down to the card base. Next I added the mermaid. I used double sided foam squares to tape the mermaid into place, in some places putting two layers of squares on top of each other to ensure that she was level. After trimming the sentiment, I placed it flat against the background so that it emerged from behind the mermaid. The grass added just a little detail right above the sentiment.

To add more dimension, I colored the mermaid’s tail, fin, shells, and hair with Clear Wink of Stella. Then I added some Ranger Enamel Accents in Carnation Red to the heart next to the sentiment and I also added drops of Ranger’s Liquid Pearl in Oyster and Ranger Enamel Accents in Cactus Flower to the pearls in the mermaid’s hair.

This was a fun project that came together swimmingly.

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