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Watercolor Pencil Techniques for Beginners

Watercolor Pencil Techniques for Beginners

Simple watercolour pencil techniques for beginners?  Absolutely!  With scrumptious results that don’t look beginner AT ALL with my great tips!   

Pretty cards like this are just a quick read away.

Quick & Easy watercolor pencil techniques for beginners

Easy, understated, yet bold and classy at the same time.  Not to mention, so quick to make yourself with my tips and technique below.

And this design is ideal with the beautiful mixed font in the Illuminated Christmas stamp set.  Let’s take a closer look at the card.

Oh so PRETTY watercolor pencil techniques for beginners

Isn’t that sheen gorgeous?  And how about that simple single pink diamond at the bottom?

So what’s one of the greatest things about using watercolour pencils?  You get tons of colours (and colour options) in one little package.  And be sure to check out my “You Gotta Have ‘Em” blog post for my Top Ten Reasons I LUVH water-colour pencils. 

Plus you only really need three supplies:

  1. your pencils
  2. an Aquapainter and
  3. some paper.

So what colour pencils did I use for this Illuminated Christmas card? 

From top to bottom, they are Daffodil Delight, Calypso Coral, Rich Razzleberry and Real Red.  Set against the crisp white, they’re a unique combination for the holidays.

FABULOUS watercolor pencil techniques for beginners

I’ve put my BEST tips together whether you’re just starting out or an old pro. So let’s dive in.


Simple Watercolor Pencil Techniques for Beginners


  • Use good quality paper.  Watercolour paper is your best bet for achieving the blended and translucent, “water-y” look.
  • Stamp your message in Jet Black StazOn ink (or the old Archival Basic Black if you have photopolymer stamps) for the best permanent staying power.
  • Lightly colour pencils in graduated colours.  I like to start with my lightest and move into my darkest for the best effect.
  • Press lightly rather than heavily to avoid leaving marks in the paper.
  • Use a swirling motion to colour so you avoid strong lines of colour.
  • Gently overlap colours where one meets another.  Not only will you create a totally new colour, it will seamlessly blend into the next one.
  • Ensure your AquaPainter has a clean tip (wipe it on a piece of paper towel first) and a good amount of water. (Squeeze out more water into the reservoir to start.)
  • Lightly brush plain water over top of water-colour pencils, starting with the lightest colour and moving through to darkest.  Your colours will blend as you move from one to another which is great.
  • If you want to go back to a lighter colour and add more water, clean your brush first.  (Squeeze out more water until it runs clear. then use it)
  • Let your piece dry completely.  (Although you can use a heat tool to quicken this up, I choose to let my pieces air dry.  You won’t get harsh dry lines if you allow it to dry naturally.)


Oh SO SIMPLE watercolor pencil techniques for beginners

I also decided to add lots of glimmer with my Wink of Stella directly over top of my watercolour background.  Once again, I let this dry completely before adhering my Petal Pink gemstone at the bottom.

I also chose to cut my piece with very little white space on each side so the colour jumps off the page.

Other Card Details

I picked out one colour from the four watercolour pencils I used to make a thin matting for my watercoloured piece.  Rich Razzleberry was my choice.

Then I framed it with a piece of Silver Foil paper to pick up the shine of the Wink of Stella.

Next I used foam adhesive strips to mount and add some height and “solidity” (is that a word😊?) to my piece.

The pretty Tufted embossed background on a piece of regular Whisper White is the last framed panel.  This is directly adhered onto my thick Whisper White card base.

Don’t forget about your inside.  I made a second small strip with the same colours and adhered it inside to pull the card together.

quick and easy watercolor pencil techniques for beginners

So have you pulled out your set of watercolour pencils?  Better go grab them, along with your Aquapainter and water-colour paper and get started! 

Play with all the colours! See how many different backgrounds you can make with simple watercolour pencil techniques for beginners.  Need some supplies or want to pick up these awesome tools?  I’ve got all the supplies here for you. 

Psssst!  Make sure you put in my October host code VWQ3RYAN so I can send you the lovely Swirls & Curls embossing folder FREE in November.

Learn watercolor pencil techniques for beginners

Stay tuned, I have another card coming soon I also made with my watercolour pencils. 

It shows a slightly different technique with a toe-tally different look.  But still what I would consider simple watercolour pencil techniques for beginners.

Quick and Easy Christmas Card

Quick and Easy Christmas Card

Make a quick and easy Christmas card.  Now before you click away, if you think quick and easy translates into dull and boring, think again!  This one has an unexpected opening! 

Get all my steps for this reverse fold festive greeting that takes NO time to put together.

quick and simple Christmas card with Under the Mistletoe designer paper

How pretty is the Under the Mistletoe paper?   I can’t get enough of it. I’m on package number four! 

See it on this other fun fold, a hidden gatefold.   Or the card I showcased for this Facebook Live.

Especially if you’re a traditional Christmas colours crafter, (and even if you’re not) you’ll LOVE this paper.


Let’s see what it looks like folded out.


Let's all quick and simple Christmas cards

See the White panel in the middle?  That’s where you write your greeting.

Because this design is so striking – and quick –  I used it both for a July stamp-a-stack and my Holiday catalogue Open House with my customers. You can bet it was equally as pretty with the beautiful Frosted Floral DSP! 

And it’s so easy, I know you’re going to want to follow along and make your own with me. So let’s get all the supplies and quick cut measurements.  Then I’ll give you all the steps.


Ingredients and Quick Cuts

  • Night of Navy cardstock – 4 1/4” x 11”, scored at 5 /2”
  • Under the Mistletoe designer series paper – 1 piece 2 1/2” x 4” and 1 piece 4” x 5 1/4”
  • Whisper White cardstock – 1 piece 2 3/8” x 2 3/8” and 1 piece 2 1/2” x 4”
  • Real Red cardstock – scrap about 3 1/2” square

OK let’s dive in!

NOT your ordinary quick and simple Christmas card


Make a Quick and Easy Christmas Card


  1. Cut the largest scalloped square from a scrap of Real Red cardstock with your Big Shot.
  2. Stamp greeting onto the middle of the square of Whisper White cardstock in Old Olive ink and glue to the scalloped square.
  3. Fold your card base together along the middle score line.  Then fold the front back along the other score line.
  4. Glue patterned papers, first the larger one to the inside of the card then the smaller one to the front.  (TIP1: Match up the top of the smaller piece to the top of the inside piece as you are adhering it.)
  5. Adhere Whisper White 2 1/2″ x 4″ piece to the inside panel.
  6. Fold card CLOSED.  Add SNAIL or Tear & Tape adhesive to front piece only.  TIP2: Put a smaller amount of adhesive here that will be totally covered by the square.  TIP3: I do not put adhesive on the scalloped square because you can see the back from the inside of the card.  And if you put it too far over, it will stick to the inside of the card.  Been there, done that and not good😔
  7. Centre scalloped greeting square in middle of card and stick down to the adhesive.
  8. Attach red rhinestones to greeting with paper piercing tool.
  9. Make a bow (see how to quickly create one) and adhere with a glue dot to top middle of greeting.

Did you make it as you were reading?  Amazing how fast it goes together isn’t it?  

Just think about how quickly you could whip up about 25 of these!  Or 50!

Need a quick and simple Christmas card

Wondering why I have a quick and easy Christmas card in October?  Well, we always think we’ve got TONS of time right? 

But before you know it, Thanksgiving and Halloween will be memories. And it will be only a couple weeks until the holidays are staring us right in the face.  And we haven’t touched a stamp or piece of cardstock to make our greeting cards!  Yikes!

Rather than panic, just relax!  That’s exactly when you can make a quick and easy Christmas card that will look like you spent HOURS!

Happy World Card Making Day 2018

Happy World Card Making Day 2018

Happy World Card Making Day 2018

Yessirree!  It’s OUR day!  A day set aside just for us paper crafters!

Today, we get a free pass.

  • No laundry.
  • No dishes.
  • And don’t even think about cleaning the house!

Just grab your paper, stamps & inks and my FREE pdf photo tutorial.  Then get crafting with this quick and simple card.

FREE pdf for World Card Making Day 2018

A cheerful card using some of my favourite tools.

  • Punch?  ✔️
  • Big Shot and thinlit?  ✔️
  • Ribbon?  ✔️

I’ve been having fun with the Stitched Label thinlits.  So pretty and easy to cut with your Big Shot and Precision Base Plate.  Plus get more looks by using the positive shape (like I did with this fun card) or the negative space like on this laser cut one.

And that happy swoosh of ombre ribbon?  My pdf shows you a quick TIP for getting to stay perfectly in place.

Get all the supplies, measurements and photo steps for this Calypso Coral card.

I LOVE World Card Making Day 2018


If coral’s not your thing, what about this version in Lemon-Lime Twist?


Quick and Easy Card to make for World Card Making Day 2018


Or if you have time, why not get your World Card Making Day 2018 off to a great start with this stepped-up version?


FREE pdf photo tutorial for World Card Making Day 2018

World Card Making Day ideas

And be sure to check out my card from last year.  I’ve got all the steps in my blog post to make it too.

So that’s FOUR cards you can be creating today!  YAY!  And I bet you’ll JUST be getting started!

Plus if you’re needing some new kits, notecards, stamps or adhesives, don’t forget about the World Card Making Day 2018 sale from Stampin’ Up!



World Card Making Day 2018

Did you claim your FREE pdf photo tutorial yet?

Grab it and have some fun with YOUR day!  Your happy World Card Making Day 2018 will be gone quickly – and you’ll have to wait another 364 days for it to come ’round again!





What is Two Step Stamping?

What is Two Step Stamping?

One of the questions I get asked regularly is “What is Two Step Stamping?So I’ve got a photo tutorial to show you exactly what it is!  

In a nutshell, it’s

  • a great way to create dimension and interest in your card making
  • ultra forgiving if we happen to make little “oopses”
  • where COLOUR is your bestest friend, and
  • one of the MOST simple techniques to learn

But first, let’s take a peek at this autumn card made with the two step stamping technique.

Everybody NEEDS to know what is two step stamping?

See how the different colours add depth and appeal to the leaves?  Let’s see how easy this is to create.


What is Two Step Stamping?


Step One

What is two step stamping and why should you give it a try?

Stamp your tree base in Early Espresso ink

Step Three

Everybody NEEDS to know what is two step stamping?

Stamp leaves again in Cajun Craze offsetting the placement just a titch to the left or right of first leaf image

Step Two

Everybody NEEDS to know what is two step stamping?

Stamp leaves in Mango Melody

Step Four

Everybody NEEDS to know what is two step stamping?

Stamp leaves once again in Poppy Parade moving the stamp just slightly to left or right of first and second leaf image

I also added the ground in my card with Crumb Cake ink. It’s two times, once right side up and second upside down without re-inking.  Then I sprinkled a few leaves around the base of the tree in my three leaf colours.  Last I added my greeting at the top.  It probably took me only about 5 minutes to create!

OK, technically I know that’s more than two steps 😬, but I think you get the idea.  You’re creating your picture with more than one stamp, more than one colour and more than one impression.

How about I show you the stamps I used?  Here’s the order I used them in to create this fall foliage card.

what is two step stamping?


And let’s see the finished design again.


Just What IS Two Step Stamping?


Get inspired by these colours just like me!What is Two Step Stamping? What do you need for two step stamping?

  • a two step stamp set
  • different colours of stamp pads (my fall colours are Early Espresso, Mango Melody, Cajun Craze and Poppy Parade)
  • card stock
  • stamp cleaner

What are my best TIPS for two step stamping?

  • use lighter colours of cardstock so the colours of your inks shine!
  • don’t be afraid to stamp directly over top of another image. Here I stamped the leaves right on top but just slightly offset them for interest.
  • make your FIRST stamped impression with a lighter ink and gradually work to darker ones
  • use dye-based inks, like Stampin’ Up!’s Classic inks which dry almost immediately
  • try out different colours to see which ones you like best…some show off better than others
  • clean your stamp between inkings of different colours
  • keep the rest of your card simple so the created image gets noticed!

A few other details of this easy card?

I LOVE to answer what is two step stamping?

  • I mixed up some Real Red coloured Wink of Stella and dabbed it on for a subtle sparkly effect.  Never tried this before?  Let me show you how in my short video.

See my TIPS and photo tutorial for what is two step stamping?

  • I am in LOVE with the Braided Trim especially when I can curl the ends for a pretty look
  • A small strip of the Wood Textures DSP totally ties in with the nature theme.
  • Adhesive foam strips are perfect to adds sturdy dimension that won’t be crushed in the mail.

OK, now it’s YOUR turn.  Do you have any two step stamp images already?  I’ll bet you do.  Pull them out, along with some fall coloured stamp pads and see what you can come up with!

And if you’d like to recreate this card, here are all the supplies I used.  Remember if your order is over $75, I’ll send you absolutely FREE the Swirls and Curls embossing folder in November!  Just make sure to use host code VWQ3RYAN when placing your order.

Ever wondered what is two step stamping?

What are your favourite stamp sets for two step stamping?  See some of the ones I love to play with:

And there are lots more…  Something for everyone I’d say.  So if you or a friend have ever wondered “what is two step stamping” now you need wonder no more – get out and play!

Is It Too Early for Christmas?

Is It Too Early for Christmas?

A friend asked me the other day “Is it too early for Christmas?  Now admittedly, the snow falling outside our window might have had something to do with that question (yup, September 13th 🙁), but it did get me thinking. 

When we hand make gifts, cards and other holiday items, I’m pretty sure it’s NEVER too early to get started on our crafting. 

After all, we all make our handmade crafting list a mile long, right?  So in that case, how about a SUPER simple and inexpensive card idea with REALLY minimal supplies?  One like this?

Is It Too EARLY for Christmas?

Classy embossed elegance like this that takes less than 10 minutes to put together (even INCLUDING the bow with my quick video)? YES, count me in!

You already know I LOVE the look of dry embossing.  It’s got so much going for it.

  • Quick – about 10 seconds to run through your Big Shot
  • Inexpensive – use your embossing folders over and over again, on all kinds of paper like this Very Vanilla card stock
  • Easy – once you’ve done one, it’s just like riding a bike
  • Beautiful – understated and gorgeous designs
  • Versatile – use it as the main focus like this, the background or for little accents


Is It Too EARLY for Christmas?

Is It Too Early for Christmas?



  • Cherry Cobbler cardsock – 5 1/2” x 8 1/2”, scored at 4 1/4”
  • Very Vanilla card stock – 4” x 5 1/4”
  • Gold metallic edge ribbon – about 10”


Is It Too EARLY for Christmas?


  1. Emboss greeting with Versamark ink on the bottom of the Very Vanilla cardstock.  Sprinkle with gold embossing powder and heat. (TIP1: If you’re making multiples, use the Stamparatus to get exact placement each time.)
  2. Insert Very Vanilla cardstock into Seasonal Wreath embossing folder and run through Big Shot. (TIP2: Use only one standard cutting pad for this Dynamic Textured EF.)
  3. Glue to folded front of Cherry Cobbler card base.
  4. Make a bow and attach with a mini glue dot on the bottom right.  (TIP3: see how easy they are to make with my super quick video.)
  5. Decorate the wreath with gold metallic pearls. (TIP4: I added them everywhere a small sprig was coming out of the wreath which gave a nice random effect.)

This card is economical too, coming in at just under 70 cents.  Add in the envelope and you’ve got a gorgeous handmade greeting for under a buck. No way you’re going to find anything as pretty at the dreary old dollar store!

Plus think of the fun you’ll have getting creative in your craft room! 👍

OK, don’t wait.  Let’s get you all outfitted to make this card yourself now before you add anything more to your holiday hand crafting list!  Here are all the supplies.


Is It Too EARLY for Christmas?

Once you try this one out, you might like to give this simple snowy card a try too – EVEN quicker than this one!

Dry embossing is a sure-fire way to make beautiful cards quickly and easily.  And when we overdo it with our holiday handcrafting TO Do Lists, they’re the ideal answer.  

So I ask you, exactly WHEN is it too early for Christmas?

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