Stencil Alternates for the Here’s To You Paper Pumpkin

Here's To You March 2021 Paper Pumpkin cards by Stampin' Up! made as designed. The kit included bonus stencils, but they aren't used for these samples.

Paper Pumpkin celebrated another anniversary in March. This means that subscribers got a gorgeous custom box, fantastic project designs (as always), and a bonus stencil set with a sponge. These are the two cards the kit made, including custom envelope liners. I love the outdoor theme—we all need a little more fresh air. The stamping was super simple, so the cards came together very easily.

The alternatives I have for you this month focus on using stencils. Stampin’ Up! has a full-sized set of stencils in the annual catalog and is coming out with a second set in the new catalog in May. Maybe you haven’t tried to use stencils in your crafting. If not, this kit was a great inspiration to jump in!

Sunburst Stencil Card

Alternate card using the sunburst stencil from the Here's To You Paper Pumpkin kit.

Before starting this card, I cut my sponge into four pieces. It’s easier to hold and makes stenciling more manageable. I started with the back cut from one of the Petal Pink cards in the kit. I taped down the lower corners with old Washi tape on my workspace, which I covered with scrap paper. Stenciling is an inky endeavor. Then I taped the sunburst stencil toward the top of the card stock. The cool part was that I could get a little messy because I trimmed the card at the end to get “perfect edges.”

I started by inking my sponge, tapping it once on my scrap paper, and then, using a combination of pouncing, dapping, gentle rubbing, I filled in the image. This one is a little tricky because the spokes want to lift. But slowing down and taking my time allowed me to get a good image. In fact, I like the variation in the coverage because it looks more like a sunbeam.

After I finished with the stenciling part, I trimmed my card stock to 3-1/2″ x 4-3/4″. I used the bottom of one of the envelope liners cut to 1-1/4″ x 3-1/2″ to place at the bottom and hide any over-inking. Before I added the card to the base of Bumblebee, I added some of the linen thread in the kit at the seam of the DSP and the card. Lastly, I stamped some birds on the pre-punched pieces and put them at the top of the card on Dimensionals. Happy Birthday is stamped in Pretty Peacock.

The Slimline Artistic Alternate

A slimline style alternative for the Here's to You Paper Pumpkin it that uses the clouds stencil.

This card uses a couple of interesting stamping techniques as well as the cloud stencil from the kit. I decided to go with a slimline layout to have plenty of room for my trees. The card’s base is Calypso Coral cut at 8-1/2″x7″ scored on the 7″ side at 3-1/2″. I used Basic White card stock for the stamped layer cut to 3-1/4″ x 8-1/4″.

To begin, I stamped the trees in Pretty Peacock about an inch in from the edge. Without re-inking, I stamped to the left and right and left to fill in a forest-like space. I repeated that at the other end of the card. I frequently use second-generation stamping to control the intensity of the image, but this was a good way to give a sense of depth to the collection of trees.

Next, using Bumblebee ink, I used just the top of the flower stamp in the kit to create a meadow effect between and under the trees.

The Stenciling

For the clouds, I just held the stencil in place, starting at the top of the card, and with the stencil off the edge, I sponged Seaside Spray along the edge of the stencil opening, just along the round parts. The trick with clouds is that you’re inking in the negative space to define the white areas to give the impression of big fluffy white clouds. I moved the stencil over and then down, repeating the process so I had about three rows of clouds. Stagger them so they aren’t all lined up, and watch the straight edges of the stencil to avoid having harsh lines.

After I finished all my inking, I cut the pre-printed image from the front of the card I used in the Sunburst card. I layered that on over a couple of boo-boos. I added the pre-punched trees on Dimensionals. To fill in a big white space to the left of the image, I added some of the birds in Smokey Slate. Lastly, I stamped one of the sentiments and layered it on a scrap of the Petal Pink card. To lift that piece, I put it on Dimensionals.

Stencils are a lot of fun. They can be used with ink, with embossing paste, a cutting guide if you’re brave, even heat embossing. I hope I’ve inspired you to give them a try. Happy crafting

Bloom & Grow for All Stampers

Bloom & Grow is a stamp set in the Stampin’ Up! annual catalog that has gorgeous floral sprays, bold sentiments, and you can also get matching dies. The amazing thing about this set is that it can work well for any stamper no matter where you are in your crafting journey. I have four projects for you today each one a little bit more advanced than the last and all of them beautiful. I’ll walk you through how I created each one.

Simple Start

Paper, ink, and stamps. That’s all you need for this card. And some way to cut the paper. I started with a half sheet of Thick Whisper White card stock and scored it down the middle. The thicker paper gives this clean and simple design some weight to it. I used two colors of ink, Highland Heather and Gorgeous Grape, but the same “two color” effect could be achieved by using second generation, or stamping off, the floral images. I used a 1-1/2″ strip of scrap paper to create the white space for the sentiment. Then I stamped the largest floral spray in the set on top and on the bottom of the masking strip, so the image cuts off. I removed the mask and stamped the sentiment. That simple for a beautiful card.

Paper Pumpkin Alternate

If you’re a Paper Pumpkin subscriber, you have lots of material to work with already, but may not feel confident in making alternates with the cards. This one is slightly more advanced than the simple starter but not by much and you can make it even simpler than I did. I used the stamp from the kit on one of the postcards and heat embossed several images with silver embossing powder. A dark color ink (Night of Navy, Gorgeous Grape, Black) would work well too for the firework images. I heat embossed the sentiment from Bloom & Grow with black embossing powder. Again, black ink would be just fine. I added some epoxy embellishments for a final touch. The card base is Night of Navy, but Whisper White would work just as well. This would be a great card for a man’s birthday. One bold sentiment can create a dramatic card with little effort.

Avid Crafter Card

This card is the next level of crafter. It uses a label punch, ribbon from my stash, and Stamp n’ Write markers in Purple Posy, Highland Heather, Gorgeous Grape, and Just Jade. I started with a layer of Purple Posy card stock to coordinate with the marker I was going to use. I cut a layer of Whisper White 4″ x 5-1/4″ and stamped one of the floral stamps all over the paper, rotating the image and making sure it stamped off the edges, using Staz-On black ink. When working with the markers, it’s better to use Staz-On because then the image won’t smear when you color it in. Notice my coloring isn’t perfect. It doesn’t have to be to make a pretty card. Flowers have variations in their color. And it’s a handmade card. Enjoy the process and just relax.

The card doesn’t need much more with such pretty handmade designer paper, but I had some Gorgeous Grape striped ribbon in my stash so I added two strips before I adhered my stamped card to the base. There are several ribbons in the catalog that would work just as well with this color combination, or create your own color scheme that works with your ribbons. The sentiment from Bloom & Grow is stamped in Highland Heather and punched out with the Everyday Label punch. Lastly, I added two rhinestones to the sentiment and popped it up on Dimensionals for some interest.

Advanced Card

This card takes advantage of the matching die set that is available. I also used multiple colors of card stock and ink as well as Stampin’ Blends. But, I started with a base of Heavy Whisper White. Not only is the heavy good for basic cards, but it’s also really helpful when you plan on adding a lot of layers. Which I like to do.

The next layer is Purple Posy card stock cut to 4-1/8″ x 5-3/8″ and stamped all over in Highland Heather ink with the smaller spray of flowers. Over this, I added a layer of vellum cut to 4″ x 5-1/4″. I like the frosted quality it gives to the stamped background. Next, I stamped the floral spray four times on Whisper White card stock and several of the single flower and leaf images. Using Magenta Madness, Highland Heather, Purple Posy, Daffodil Delight, and Just Jade Stampin Blends, I colored the images in. I always cut more than I need when I do a card like this so that I have plenty to work with. Like a florist, I add pieces until the display is to my liking, knowing I’ll use the leftovers on something else. When you’re going to color with Stampin’ Blends be sure to use the Memento Tuxedo Black or other ink that won’t smear with alcohol-based ink.

Next, I set all those aside and worked on the sentiment banner. It’s Whisper White stamped in Magenta Madness. I added to strips of Highland Heather card stock cut with the edging dies. I glued those to the back of the Whisper White and set it aside to dry. Then I began to add the flowers. The first sprays are added directly to the vellum one facing up and the other flipped below the sentiment banner. I added them first so the sentiment banner actually overlapped the edges of the flowers.

For the layers, I cut apart the last two sprays by fussing cutting out the rose in the middle. It created three pieces (for a total of six) I could work with. I tucked the previously connected pieces under “their rose” and glued them in place. I added them to the card using Dimensionals. Next, using glue, I inserted a few of the single flower and leaf die cuts to add more interest and dimension. The final touch was the Magenta Madness enamel dots on the sentiment banner.

For me, the two biggest hurdles to making advanced cards are tools and time. Because most of us live in the real world of jobs, bills, and budgets, we have to add to our stash over time. Also, it takes time to make complex cards. But when I have the time to create a truly special card, I love to get out all my stuff and get crafty because the results are so much fun. Each of the cards I shared today is beautiful and shows how one great stamp set can be so versatile. Meet yourself where you are in terms of tools and time, and just enjoy your creative process. Happy crafting.

Floral Essence in a Variety of Styles

I feel like it’s been a while since I was inspired to do a Whip It Up Wednesday post. But Floral Essence did it. The stamped images are graphic and delicate and can be incorporated into your crafting no matter what your style. I have three different cards for you using this set. It has a punch that goes with it that cuts the three-petal flower stamp. The cool thing about the three-petal flower is that you can layer the pieces to get the effect you want. I used two layers for my cards, but you could easily keep going for a more three-dimensional look.

Black and White

This card was inspired when I was making my inventory cards. Yes, I am the crafter that inventories and sorts her stamps. I use three-ring binders and baseball card sleeves or photo sleeves for the larger images. But back to my story. I was blown away by how cool the line drawings on these stamps are. The images have a graphic quality that begged for a black and white card. Then the June Paper Pumpkin came in with the pin-dot sticker and I was half-way to a card.

To start, I added a layer of the DSP that was featured in the last sale-a-bration onto a Basic Black card base. Then I added a teeny-tiny happy birthday sentiment. I did fussy cut several of the images, but with these clear graphic edges, it isn’t difficult to do and end up with a great result. To finish off the flowers I used faceted gems that were retired with the last annual catalog. But I still have some in my stash, so you will likely see them occasionally.

Rich Color

The second card is rich with gorgeous deep color. I started with a base of Blackberry Bliss card stock. I added a layer of the retired (as of two days ago) Perennial Essence paper. If you don’t have this in your stash, find your most favorite paper and use it for a card like this. The paper makes it sing. Next, I stamped the solid flowers from the stamp set in Blackberry Bliss. The set has stamps for the centers of the flowers. I used Bumblebee for the middles of these two. The leaves are Pretty Peacock.

Next, I stamped the sentiment in Blackberry Bliss on Whisper White card stock. Isn’t that a great sentiment? It deserved an elegant banner cut, so I used the new Tasteful Labels dies. These may have replaced my oval obsession. The flowers are lifted on Dimensionals. For a final bit of bling, I added Champagne Rhinestones. These come in three sizes which is so helpful, for this card I used the largest.

And I wasn’t done. When I used dark card stock as a base, I like to add a layer of Whisper White to the inside of the card. This makes writing a note just a little bit easier. In this case, I did some stamping on the inside as well to feature those graphic flowers I love so much and to use another one of the fantastic sentiments in the set.

Vanilla Lace

This last card was the result of deciding I don’t use near enough vellum in my crafting. I’m going to try to incorporate more of it. I started with a laser cut card base in Very Vanilla. If you don’t have this. there are square lace doilies in the new catalog or use a gorgeous paper or there are even gold laser cut pieces that could be layered on top of card stock to get the same effect.

Next, I did a whole lot of heat embossing on my vellum. I had colored vellum, but don’t worry if you don’t. Vellum takes color well, it can be sponged on or use blends. I like to color the back of the vellum but I’ve seen it done both ways and it depends on the effect you want. But I digress, back to heat embossing on vellum. Two tips. 1. Use your Embossing Buddy. This little chalk bag should be tapped on the paper to release some chalk and then rubbed around. And while your rubbing, try to keep your fingers off the paper. The goal is a static/oil free environment on which to stamp your image using clear Versamark ink. 2. Use the low heat setting on your heat tool. I like to let it heat up for a minute and then I start heating from the back. This keeps the powder from blowing a way before you can set it. It’s also easier to see the powder melt if the tool isn’t in the way.

With the images heat embossed, I punched out the flowers and fussy cut the leaves. I used my Tombow liquid glue to layer my flowers. I also used the glue to put a layer of velum behind the lace cut card front. If you’re using card stock and laser cut layers, add a layer of vellum in between for that frosted look. Lastly, I stamped the sentiment in Pear Pizzaz on Very Vanilla card stock and die cut it with the Tasteful Labels dies. Putting this together with a bit of glue was super simple and I love the ultra-feminine result.

Which one is your favorite? Hope I’ve inspired you to try different styles. Happy Crafting.