[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



[DIY Special] How to draw colour inspiration from images, by Preeya Stanley

I’m really pleased (and very grateful!) to have Preeya on board again to share some card-making skills. I am also delighted to tell you that she will officially be a guest blogger on MbM to share all her tricks of the trade!! Now, if you haven’t already seen her last tutorial on chalkboard-effect greeting cards back in February (please do so!), well let me tell you how super talented she is in this department (as well as singing!!) so in this issue she has been kind enough to show you how to source inspiration for colour palettes from images you see online or on magazines to then apply it onto the cards you make. This is in essence going back to some elementary basics but it really is key to understand how colours work together and how you’d go about sourcing inspiration especially if you’re keen about getting crafty! And we all have days when we go through creative blocks where scouring through endless images for inspiration can be more overwhelming than useful! So here’s what she has to say when looking for inspiration on places like Pinterest:

Hello again everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve been on here, and I must say a huge thank you to Made My Molu for inviting me back to share with you a few card-making tips. Today, I thought I would share a simple technique that will have you making beautiful cards in no time at all. All you need is one stamp, a few favourite ink colours and Pinterest. I see so many gorgeous pins highlighting lovely colour palettes, and you can easily translate them into a cardBLOG_STRIP_Preeya_colour-palette_A-web

  1. Find a picture you like with interesting colours. Here is a picture I found on Pinterest with some lovely citrusy hues.
  2. Find 4 or 5 inks that reflect these colours and some cardstock of your choice. 
  3. Find a stamp that you can stamp repeatedly to make a pattern. This may be something linear, medallion shaped or even a word/sentiment. {HOT TIP! To line up your stamp on your block, use a grid mat!} Place your stamp face down along one of the lines on the grid mat and then place your block on top of it, making sure that your block is lined up.
  4. Stamp your image repeatedly using a different colour each time. As you can see here, I have slightly overlapped the image. 
  5. This is how it looks with all the colours I picked to use for the background. 
  6. Next, once the bands of colours have dried, find a sentiment that you want to use. I decided to heat emboss mine, so I inked it up with Versamark and stamped onto the desired area (over the coloured background)
  7. I then poured over some embossing powder over the freshly stamped sentiment.
  8. When i shook off the excess, I made sure to check that all the embossing powder was off the card, and where there was any excess, I brushed it away before heat setting with the heat gun. 
  9. I adhered the panel onto a piece of Calypso Coral cardstock and that finished off the card – it’s that simple!  


Here are some other cards I’ve made using inspiration photos found on Pinterest. 

BLOG_STRIP_Preeya_colour-palette_1-web BLOG_STRIP_Preeya_colour-palette_2-web

I hope this inspires you to go through those old Pinterest photos and start making some really simple cards using just a couple of stamps. And remember, just use approximations for inks- you’ll find that often, the beauty of the mix of colours is still captured. Enjoy!

~ Preeya x


Birthday Wishes Card
Stamps: Backgrounds and Borders 1 (WPlus9), Say it Loud (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Ink: Certainly Celery (SU!), Cameo Coral (SU!), Lemonade (Adirondack), Sunset Orange
( Adirondack) and Shell Pink (Adirondack), Versamark.
Cardstock: Very Vanilla (SU!) and Calypso Coral (SU!)
Other: Zing Embossing Powder in Gold, Heat Gun

Like a Rainbow Card
Stamps: Beautiful Butterflies (PTI)
Ink: Pool Party, Certainly Celery, So Saffron, Calypso Coral (all SU!) and Shell Pink
Cardstock: Very Vanilla and Sahara Sand (SU!)
Other: Twine (Brand Unknown), Corner Rounder (BRand Unknown)

You’re in my Heart Card
Stamps: Backgrounds and Borders 1 (WPlus9), Fillable Frames (PTI)
Ink: Sunset Orange (Adirondack), Pool Party, Island Indigo, Melon Mambo, Wisteria
Wonder, So Saffron ( All SU!), Stayzon jet black)
Cardstock: White and Melon Mambo (SU!)
Other: Fillable Frames die (PTI)

[IMAGE CREDIT: Preeya Stanley]