[D.I.Y. Special] How to achieve a simple faux watercolour effect

MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-MAINFolks, this week’s DIY is by the lovely card-making guru Preeya of Upto Some ‘Ink who’s sharing with us in this second instalment of her quarterly series on MbM, more fabulous tricks of the trade. And this time, we have something perfect for Springtime. So, without further ado……I’ll hand it over to our expert:


Hi Everyone! Thank you once again, Soumya for having me on your wonderful blog! It is always a pleasure to be featured here. Today, I am sharing with you a spring-themed project. No doubt you guys in the Northern Hemisphere are all looking forward to the warmer weather. I live in Sydney Australia, where we are looking forward to a little relief from the heat. I know that I will regret those words in about a month’s time!

So, in this series, I will be sharing a piece of wall art that I made using some stamps to achieve a faux-watercolour look. I found a quote by Robin Williams that I loved, and decided to turn it into a piece of wall art

MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-MATHere are the things you will need:

  • A 6”x8” piece of watercolour paper
  • Alphabet Stamps
  • Watermark pen (such as Versamarker)
  • Embossing Ink (Distress Embossing Ink shown, but Versamark also suitable)
  • Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder (Gold shown in pic)
  • Heat gun
  • Various dye ink pads in spring colours (I’ve used Stampin Up’s Crisp Canteloupe, PIstachio Pudding, Lucky Limeade, So Saffron, Calypso Coral, Strawberry Slush and Coastal Cabana – but only four shown in pic)
  • A spray bottle filled with water
  • Acrylic blocks – One with a grid is useful for lining up alphabet stamps
  • Flower stamps (I used Happiness in Bloom by Papertrey Ink)
  • Paintbrush
  • Washi tape for masking
  • Scrap paper to test out your design

MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-011. Firstly, plan out your design on a piece of scrap paper. Decide on your arrangement of images as well as your text. I drew a line down the middle of my paper, and planned the layout of the text around it. Then arrange your alphabet stamps to form your quote.

2. Dust your entire piece of cardstock with corn starch and then stamp onto the watercolour paper using Versamark ink (Cornstarch prepares the paper for embossing, by removing any static or oils from your fingers so that the embossing powder will only stick to the Versamark, and not in places where you don’t want it to stick!)

MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-02 MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-033. Sprinkle with embossing powder and shake off the excess back into the container. Heat with heat gun until the powder has melted and looks all shiny and pretty.

4. Next, write on any parts of your text that you wish to hand-letter using the Versamark pen. Apply embossing powder and heat like before. Now that you have your quote down, you can set about adding your images to frame it. Get your plan out, and use that as a guide to lay your images down.

5. To get that faux-watercolour look, ink up your stamp using a dye ink. Spritz the inked stamp with water once or twice and then stamp onto your paper. Repeat with other images in other colours. Things to note: Unless you want colours to blend (and you may depending on the style you are after), stamp images which are far apart first, taking care that they are all dry before stamping other colours over the top or immediately next to the ones you have just done.

6. If you are using a multi-step set like i am, where there are many images to layer on to of each other to achieve a more detailed flower, make sure the first layer has dried completely before inking, spritzing and then stamping the second layer.

MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-04 MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-05At this point, I was pretty much finished, but I thought that I would like to add a blue sky/ background to my quote. Mostly because I love watercolouring over heat embossing, as the colour pools within the details of the text! Love that look. But it’s up to you. If you prefer a more clean and simple look, feel free to stop there and call it done! But if you want a border:

7. Mask off a little border around the top part of your paper, and add a wash of blue going over all your heat embossing etc. You can either use proper watercolour paints for this but in this case I used a blue ink that I LOVE (Stampin Up’s Coastal Cabana). Seeing as the blue pigment is in an inkpad form, I needed to make it accessible to a paintbrush. This is done by pressing the inkpad face down onto a large acrylic block, and then using a wet paintbrush to pick up the colour from the ink pad, mix and water it down onto the acrylic block…..essentially the acrylic block becomes a palette.


And, you are done! Let the piece dry completely before framing it, and hanging it up on the wall for all to admire!

Hope you’ve found some inspiration to go and create something beautiful for your spring time decor. Of course you can use the techniques outlined here for card-making and scrapbooking too! Have fun and do share your creations with us on Facebook by tagging Up to Some ‘Ink and Made by Molu.

Until next time!

Preeya x



[D.I.Y. Valentine’s Special] Stamped Felt Love Hearts

MbM_Felt-Love-Hearts_MainMorning folks! It’s Monday, a brand new start to the week and back to the grind! But with Valentine’s Day looming I’m sure there’s plenty of you stressing over what to get and what plans to make……especially for those planning to propose! OOooOOooHHH! ;) Thankfully we don’t have to share all this anxiety as we’re not big into this day as the rest but that doesn’t stop us appreciating all the LOVE that’ll be in the air this week! :) Well, I’ve actually decided to do a two part DIY series this week for you, if you prefer the more handmade approach…..call me biased but I do think it speaks a thousand more words than commercially bought gifts :D

So my first Valentine’s Special DIY post is making these cute felt love hearts. I knew I wanted to do something that combined  rubber stamps and writing messages so instead of making clay ornaments or cookies with words stamped into them, I decided to use the same concept but on crafting felt. All you need are FOUR key materials to make these bad boys which I think would be perfect as either ornaments or as a gift in it self. Oh and you can totally make them much larger too, which would really be awesome! I was a little restricted with time which is why I kept them small but a felt cushion would be one to do the next time, me thinks! :D


  1. Crafting Felt
  2. Scissors
  3. Thread + Needle
  4. A-Z rubber stamps + Ink
  5. A heart-shaped template
  6. Stuffing 


INSTRUCTIONS: MbM_DIY-Tutorial_Love-Hearts-VD_1-Web

  1. 1. Use a heart-shaped template to trace around on your felt sheet.You can free hand draw this, do the folded-over paper method or like me, use something you may have about in the house.
  2. Once the outline has been draw onto your felt, carefully cut around it using a good pair of scissors
  3. If you’re making the one felt ornament then you will need to cut out two identical hearts out of felt for the front and back panel but if you’re making more then cut the amount accordingly.
  4. Pick out the letters you need to create your words/messages and get a good idea of how the words would sit within the heart shape – obviously, you want to centre the best you can. Dab the stamp onto the ink to ensure the ink has been covered thoroughly (not too much though!) and then gently place it onto the felt for a couple of seconds. You may find that if you press down a little too hard, any ink caught on the edges of the stamp would also appear on the felt! Now this could be part of the charm otherwise, try and avoid this by being gentle.
  5. It is up to you if you want messages or words on both panels so that you have two on the one ornament. Otherwise you could just stamp the front panel and leave the back panel blank. Alternatively, if you fancy it, you could have a different colour or material for the back panel…..the choices are endless! :)
  6. I used a bit of left over red felt for the loops (roughly 1cm in width and 10cm in length….once double it would be 5cm in length). You can use ribbon, twine, thread or cord for this and the length is up to you to play with. The one I opted for fits perfectly round door handles or picture hooks.MbM_DIY-Tutorial_Love-Hearts-VD_2-Web
  7. Add a dollop of glue to fasten the ends of the felt loop and then again when you stick it to the inside/reverse side of the front panel.
  8. Now pick a thread of your choice and once you’ve place both the front and back panel together (you can use a dressmaker’s pin to hold in place) stitch carefully around the heart. I opted for red to keep it in line with the red used for the stamped words and the loop. The stitching can be dead simple; I’ve used a basic ‘running stitch’ done it but if you’re much more advanced or have more time on your hands then feel free to others like the ‘blanket stitch’ or ‘whip stitch’
  9. Remember not to stitch around completely as you will need to add the stuffing! So when you’re like 3/4 done (or what you think is enough room to insert the stuffing in) then gently add the stuffing – you really wont need much…probably like the size of your hand. Well, depending on the size of your heart, you can figure how much you’ll need.
  10. Once stuffed, finish of the stitching and hey presto – you have some cute little stamped felt ornaments! Its as simple as that! :)

I think these are great for all ages, adults and kids alike! I know I’d much rather recieve these anyonymously than a card ;) Oh and hey, you could add a bit of dried lavender if you want that extra bit of ‘romantic’ touch! Anyway, enjoy your valentines crafting and as always, if you give any of my DIY projects a go please do share them with me on my Facebook page (and hashtag it with #craftwithmolu) I get such a kick out of seeing them. Much love xxx


MbM_Felt-Love-Hearts_3-Web [Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

[D.I.Y. Christmas] Quick, easy rubber-stamping craftiness!

MbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-mainSorry I’ve gone a bit MIA again but I can’t seem to shake off this ‘busy bee’ mode I’ve been in since the early autumn months but that being said, I have had more craftiness involved this time with the festive season in full swing…. just finding the time to blog about it all is the tricky bit! :P Anyway, I thought I’d start off with this quick and simple method of making your own rubber stamps for some Christmas crafting and decorating. Well you all know by now, how big a fan I am of this method so in this post, I’m going to show you how to create little christmas motifs – mini baubles in this case – to snazz up anything from gift tags to greeting cards to gift wrap. It really is the most simple thing; with the right tools and a BIG tablespoon of creativity (and a pinch of patience!) the choices you get out of it are endless. Obviously your designs can be a lot more intricate but if you’re short of time and still want something handmade and effective in the space of an hour……this is it! :)

MbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-materials             1.Paper/Cardstock  |  2.Tracing paper  |  3.Speedy-carve linoleum block  |  4.ordinary rubber  |                  5. Lino-cutters |  6.Pigment Ink pad  | 7.Scalpel/Stanley knife  |  8.pencil

  • First up – sketch out your designs onto some tracing or detail paper (baking paper or anything translucent that can take graphite is also good) or use it to trace over artwork you find inspirational (please don’t copy works of others though!) With the bauble motifs, you can free hand draw the circles or use a circular template of some sort – I used the nearest thing to me…….cellotape! :)
  • Once you’re happy with the design/s turn the tracing paper over so that your design is facing down and onto the lino rubber block. Position it accordingly and you’re ready to transfer your artwork onto the block. Now – these ‘speedy-carve’ lino blocks aren’t cheap so if you want a much cheaper alternative (or simply don’t have any kicking about) for small-scale craft projects, just use your ordinary rubber/eraser you get from your local stationery shop! I’ve shown you here how to get the same results using one from WH Smiths!
  • Next up, trace over your designs (on what is now the reverse side of the paper) making sure all the lines are covered thoroughly and you’ll find that they have transferred onto the block. If they come out faint, go over it again or fill it up using a fine-nibbed pen. A little note to keep in mind if you do more complex work: your artwork will be the ‘reversed’ image on the lino block, but will come out the ‘right way round’ when printed — this is definitely important to remember when working with lettering/type! But don’t worry….as its a mistake we all do and learn from! ;)
  • I cut these up into little square blocks to minimise on wastage when carving. And with your lino cutters, slowly carve away (at least a couple of millimetres, in layers) around your designs and the areas you don’t want to print (i.e the negative spaces) to create your final stamp/s! This is the fun and tricky bit so if this is your first time, do spend some time here and not rush through it. And please do try to keep your fingers out of the path of the blade!


Once they’re all carved up and ready to be used, clear away your workspace of all the rubber shavings and mess before starting on the stamping process. For this stage, all you need are some pigment ink stamp pads and whatever material you want to stamp on; from paper, card stock, gift tags, t-shirts etc. I don’t really need to give you much instruction here…..only to enjoy yourself and let your creativity take control! Keeping your designs simple allows for versatility; whether its working with various colours or adding simple details to go that extra mile. I created little bows out of twine which I added onto the gift tags and on the card I drew in the bauble ‘strings’ with gold pen. As I said…the choices are endless! :)

MbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-2-WEBMbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-4-WEB [Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

What I’ve shown you in this post is the most SIMPLEST design and technique in hope that it encourages you to give this a try. It’s different from your luxury festive gift wrapping but what you’ve done is personalise it on a whole new level. And hey – if you want to jazz it up…you can! You can use metallic stamps, glitter, ribbons, ornaments…whatever takes your fancy. Just be confident and let your imagination carry you away!

Also, this is a great little crafting project to do with the kids (although, I’d recommend you do the carving part and leave the stamping to them!). And, if you don’t have time or money for rubber blocks….use potatoes for some good old-fashioned stamping fun! Check this awesome one by Martha Stewart which I think I’ll try myself in the new year! :)

So, have fun and until next time…..happy festive crafting!! xxx

[D.I.Y. Gifts]: Personalised ‘Baby Boy’ wall art

BLOG_STRIP babyboy_joshua 3bThis is the second half of the present for the Macpherson’s little boy (who by the way is soooooooo darn adorable!!!).  I had been pretty set on the idea of doing a paper-craft wall art before moving onto the baby grow and from the many ideas (and experimental runs) this what I ended up going for. I have a feeling I’m going to be told that i’m nuts for having cut each and every letter and number by hand when there are advanced gadgets out there that make the process a whole lot easier. But in my defense, I do actually enjoy the art of doing things by hand……..even though it takes that tad bit longer!

Anyhoo, I played around with the chosen text in InDesign making sure that it all lined up etc. Once that was done, I printed it off onto tracing paper. The reason for this, is so that I can outline the edges of the lettering using a pencil (note: on the reverse side of the paper!).  I then placed it the right side up onto the heavyweight card and went over the outlined edges. Make sure you put too much pressure on the pencil to avoid making an indent into the card! Now, when you lift the tracing paper off you’ll see that it’s left a faint graphite transfer onto the card. As an F.Y.I. – you can use a lightbox (or a makeshift one) to trace directly onto the card but this depends on what thickness of card you go for. Okay, now comes the process of cutting it all out using a very sharp scalpel blade (you may have to change it half way through just to keep the cuts very clean!). Then the stamping fun begins: using a mini blue stamp, I just stamped all over the card (do make sure you had backing paper down first!) as though stamping over a stencil. By the way, you could use that technique where the backing card you stamped on becomes the actual final art. But I used, what is in essence, the ‘stencil’ as the final piece because I felt it gave a cool, edgy ‘graffiti’ look. After this, I backed it up on two panels of 5mm thick card and mounted it into the box frame giving it a raised/relief look…… and bob’s your uncle! Simplicity is really the key approach and it all comes down to how you frame the final piece that makes a considerable difference! So then, why not have a go….? :) xx  BLOG_STRIP babyboy_joshua 3WEB