Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

I love combining more than one stencil on a card, and with Artistcellar you can get such fantastic designs using only part of a stencil.

Let’s look at how to make this mixed media, collage card.

First cut a piece of Neenah Classic Crest card stock to measure 4 ½” square and tape it onto a piece of scrap paper. Then take the Paris stencil from Artistcellar's Cathedral Series and tape it in place over the card stock. You just don’t want the stencil to shift around while adding ink.

Next, you’ll need some Distress Oxide inks in Candy Apple to add to only the right side of the stencil. You want your inking to be fairly uneven as opposed to one half being stenciled and the other not. Remove the stencil and wipe clean. Dry the ink and then stamp over the card with a script stamp.

Place the stencil back over the card stock making sure to align it with your stenciled image. Then add some gel medium in gloss, scraping the gel using an old loyalty or gift card over the part of the stencil with the red ink. Remove the stencil again and wash with warm soapy water to get rid of the gel.

Dry the gel medium with a heat gun, making sure to move it around quickly to avoid making bubbles form.

Take another ink pad of Distress Oxide in Black Soot and using a foam applicator apply the foam over the stenciled area so that you fill in the blank spots with the ink. You can see that I added black ink outside of the red area to make it look more organic. Take a paper towel and wipe away any excess black ink that is on the red, gelled areas.

Next take some watercolor paint and add some light blue along the edge of the Black Soot and some green splatter of watercolor paint onto the left side of the card. You’re looking for an uneven application here.

You can add another stencil with dots or any small pattern onto the left side of the card stock with some metallic paste. Nuvo Mousse in gold was scraped through this stencil to make the gold circles.

Lastly, stitch on some beads along the line of black. You can achieve this by making punctures with a piercing tool or ball head pin in a few places. Thread a beading needle with thread and tape the thread on the back of the card stock piece. Come up from the back in the first puncture you made, and slip a black bead onto the thread. Then go right back into the hole you just came out of and pull taut. Since the bead is larger than the puncture you made, it gets anchored onto the card front.

Cut out some accent layers of cardstock for the final card. The black piece measures 5” square, and the blue metallic card measures 5 ¼” square. Glue all layers onto a card base that measures 5 ½” square when folded in half.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to use stencils with cards, sign up on the waitlist for the Stencil Master Class at While there you can also sign up to receive free, weekly projects sent each Tuesday to your inbox.

Hope to see you there!

Hello Artistcellar lovers!

I’m Marrian and I have the great pleasure of popping into the Artistcellar blog to bring you some new ideas for using their awesome stencils.  I’ve been a paper crafter for 18 years and have had the opportunity to write two books on card making. I currently run a website offering card making courses, but more on that later.

Here are some supplies you’ll need:

  • Artistcellar Tiles stencil from the Blocks Series 
  • Distress Oxide Inks
  • Sponge dauber or make-up sponge
  • Tape
  • Piercing tool or ballhead pin
  • Craft foam pad or a mouse pad
  • Neenah Classic Crest cardstock either 80 or 100 lb, (you can also use a flat heavier white cardstock you may have on hand
  • Colored cardstock to use as layers for the finished card
  • Base Card blank
  • Metallic thread or really any kind you have
  • Foam tape as an option
  • Embellishment (I used a laser cut dandelion)
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Paper Cutter

    Okay, let’s get started!

    Begin by cutting a piece of the Neenah cardstock, to measure 5 1/4 x 4".  I like to make the paper larger than what I'll need so that I can choose the best area to highlight when putting the card together.

    I find that when I'm working with inks, it's handy to work on a surface you can easily clean and use again and again.  I choose to work on a glass cutting board, which I found at a local thrift store; however, you can also use scrap paper.  Tape the piece of paper to the glass using the least possible amount of tape so as not to show too much white areas on the sides of the paper.

    Next place the stencil over the paper, aligning it and taping its edges down to the glass as well so it doesn't move around when you're applying the ink.

    If you're using an alternate stencil, try to pick one that has a similar simple geometric design as they're the easiest to start with.

    Now it's time to ink it up!  In the above picture you can see I used Distress Oxide ink, Faded Jeans, as the first color to add.  You can also see the foam circle on an applicator that is usually for alcohol inks, but I like to use what I have, so I improvised.

    Ink up your foam piece and apply the ink in a circular pattern without adding too much pressure.  The great thing about these inks is that you can always add more color and moving in a circle allows the colors to softly blend.

    When using your own stencils, add color in a similar way, placing each color on different areas of the card stock.

    Next, I used another Distress Oxide ink, Salty Ocean.  Apply this ink in the white spaces that were left after you added the previous ink.  Again, use circular motions to blend these two colors together.

    Lastly, I added the Iced Spruce Distress Oxide ink in just a few areas using a small sponge piece.   Once you have these three inks on the paper, you can go back and use the sponge applicator with the Faded Jeans ink and gently go around the card stock to smooth in a bit more color where needed. This ensures that the colors are softly blending into each other without making the whole card one hue.

    Remove the stencil from your paper and voila - you have an awesome background design! 

    Using a blowdryer or heat gun, heat set the ink onto the cardstock so that it doesn't smudge when you work with it.

    Next, cut the cardstock piece so that it measures 4 3/4" x 3 1/2".  When you're cutting, make sure to cut off the places where the tape was on the card, which are white once removed.

    Now you'll need to add piercings to the stencilled piece of cardstock in order to be able to complete the stitching.  You don't need to stitch the entire stencil pattern, but rather, highlight just a portion of it.

    Place the cardstock piece onto a foam pad. Using your ruler, place it along one of the squares edges and make piercings at the corners of the squares, keeping the ruler in place.

    Continue to use your ruler to add more piercings around each square you want to highlight.

    Next, you can begin to add stitches around each square.  Make sure to choose a thread that is easily seen on the card and tape it to the back of the cardstock piece before you begin.  Taping the thread down when you're starting and ending stitching allows the card to lay flat when you're finished.

    I used a thicker metallic thread to do the stitching, as I like how much it adds to the texture and dimension of the card.

    Here you can see the completed stitching I added to the stencilled card.

    Gather some cardstock papers that you'll use as layered accents on the finished card.  You'll need the following sizes; two pieces of gold cardstock, one measuring 3 3/4" x 5" to place behind the stencilled piece.  The other should be cut to measure 4 3/4" x 6 1/4".  Also cut a piece of blue cardstock measuring 4 1/2" x 6".  I used a premade card base that measured 6 1/2" x 5" when folded in half.

    Glue the larger gold and blue cardstock pieces onto the card base and set aside.

    Glue the stencilled/stitched cardstock piece onto the smaller gold cardstock paper.  Next, you will attach and center this piece onto the base card. You can add foam tape or foam squares to the back that will lift this piece off of the base card to add further dimension, but only if you choose to.

    You can choose which embellishment if any you want to add to the card front.  If you're a stamper you can add a message like “Happy Birthday” to a cardstock strip and attach it to the front.  You could also add a paper flower, decorative tag or really any item you want, so don't feel limited by this list.

    I added a laser cut dandelion flower to the card, as I like the way it still has some geometric lines and yet also offers the basic design of a circle, which offsets the squares nicely.

    I hope you enjoyed making this card project!  If you’re interested in learning more card making skills, hop on over to my website,, and sign up to receive free, weekly card making projects.

    You can also check out the free mini courses and card making courses on using stencils, stamping, stitching and paper folding.