As my inspiration for the latest Creative Fingers Challenge, I’ve created a tutorial on how you can make your own custom coloured, matching elements for your projects.

Note: I used the Chameleon Pens range in this project but any alcohol pens will work equally well.

Materials I used:

To Create The Elements

Using XPress-it Blending Cardstock, I die cut all the floral elements. If you don’t have the XPress-it blending card, make sure whatever cardstock you choose to use is one that you can blend alcohol markers on. I used a coated cardstock because, compared to uncoated blending card, I’ve found it actually absorbs less ink from the pen tip, cutting my fuse time in half. I also find the blending much smoother the first time and I don’t have to go over it again to smooth any of the blending out.  

For the Nasturtiums, I cut two large, three medium and small sets of petals and one of the Clustered Leaves.

I then started colouring the flower base petals. I fused the Burgundy (RD5) pen with the Red Coral Color Top (RD2). Starting in the centre of the flower, I coloured out to the edge of each petal in an arc, as seen in the top, far left flower where I’ve half colored a petal. I fused for only 4-6 seconds, depending on flower size, because I was using the coated, XPress-it Blending Card. For an uncoated blending card I would have doubled the fuse time for each petal. 

I allowed each flower to dry before using Ranger Multi Medium Matte Adhesive to glue the white top petals to the base flower petals. I only added tiny drops of glue in the centre part of the base flower rather than the petals themselves because I wanted to separate the two petals slightly after I shaped them. 

Once the glue is dry, I shaped each petal by rolling them between my finger and thumb. After all the petals were rolled downwards, I then came back into the centre of each flower and gently bent each petal upwards, at the base of the petal. These two simple steps give a smooth, natural curve to the petal without the need for any tools or mats. I finished off by separating the upper and lower petal slightly.

The gems were colored while they were still on the packing and I simply rubbed the Tangerine (OR3) bullet nib around the edges and over the top of each gem and allowed a minute or two for them to dry (as seen in the top right of the above photo). As these gems are attached to the packaging on long adhesive strips, I used a craft knife to cut between each gem to separate them. I then picked each gem up with the tip of my craft knife and added them to the centre of each flower, pressing them down firmly when I had all three gems in place.

For the foliage, I used Simon Says Stamps’ Clustered Leaves Die to cut the leaves, again using XPress-it Blending Cardstock. I started by coloring the stem with the bullet nib of the Dark Sage (GR2) pen, finishing at the base of each leaf. Using the Green Apple (GR1) pen and the Dark Sage (GR2) Color Top, fusing for only 4 seconds. I began to color each leaf in the centre, working out to the edge, so the centres of each leaf remained the darkest (as seen in the above image, bottom left).

For the final element, the sentiment, I added the Elizabeth Craft Designs double sided adhesive tape to the back of the mirror board and, using the Sizzix Thinlits Celebration Die Set, I die cut the words and carefully removed the dies so the die cuts remained in place for easy coloring. I used the Dark Sage (GR2) pen and applied a single layer of alcohol ink, gently using the brush nib and making sure not to go over any area for a second time. Over application of alcohol ink on mirror board can leave a whitish film in the thicker ink areas and this can spoil the mirror effect. I chose to stay with Dark Sage (GR2) to make sure the color would match the hue of the foliage perfectly. However, generally, when coloring things like gems or mirror board, you may want to choose a slightly darker color than what you want the piece to be when dry. The reflective qualities of the gems or board will always lighten the color of the ink. You can see that in the mirror board lettering, where I’ve used the same Dark Sage (GR2) as on the leaf stem. The leaf stem clearly looks darker than the sentiment mirror board.

I also added more 6” double sided tape to some regular white cardstock and die cut two extra of each word. I stacked the two white and the mirror card words together to create a more dimensional sentiment and using the adhesive tape sped up the gluing process for the fine lettering.

To construct the card:

Using the Lawn Fawn Quilted Backdrop die, I cut a panel from regular white cardstock. As this die cuts a 4.25”×5.5” panel and I wanted to centre the panel on the card, I then cut a smaller piece about 2.5” high to use as an extension to the panel. 

I overlapped and aligned both of the die cut panels and used Ranger Multi Medium Matte Adhesive to secure the two pieces together to create a single piece that measured 4.25”×6.25”.

I then cut a 4.5”×6.5” piece of burgundy cardstock to mat the quilted die cut on to. I glued it into place with more Multi Medium Matte Adhesive and allowed it to dry. I sprayed a light layer of Tsukineko Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Spritz over the assembled background and again, allowed it to fully dry before using a tape runner to adhere the background onto the card base (as seen below). Using a tape runner to glue your background to your card stops any wet glue marks appearing on the inside of your card.

Assembling the rest of the card:

Using small amounts of Multi Medium Matte Adhesive on the back of each leaf, I positioned the leaf cluster on the background, as shown, to disguise the join line in the background panel.

I added five of the flowers to the bottom area of the card, using more Multi Medium Matte Adhesive, positioning them around the leaf cluster and over the areas of the still exposed join in the quilted panel.

Moving upwards on the card, I added the “anniversary” sentiment and then the “happy” sentiment directly above, so that the “y” of each sentiment words were aligned.

I finished off by adding the final three flowers to the top of area of the card. I specifically left these three until last so I could ensure the sentiment wasn’t going to be hidden by any part of the petals. You can see the top right flower was rotated so as not to hide the top of the “h” in the sentiment. 

I hope this inspires you create your own custom coloured elements for your cards. By buying just a quality cardstock, some alcohol markers, clear gems or white pearls and silver mirror card, you can create elements in any colour you want for your projects. It cuts down on the supplies you need to keep in your craft room and every project will have perfectly matching elements.

Don’t forget to stop by and add an entry or two into the Creative Fingers Challenge for your chance to win some great craft supplies! Thanks so much for spending time with me today, I look forward to next time.😊


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