Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hi!  I’m happy to be writing another blog post about ways to use the fantastic stencils from Artistcellar.

I love to think of ways to add texture and dimension when making greeting cards.  Using known products in a new way always excites me!

So… today let’s look at using the Seven Jewels stencil with alcohol inks.

Here’s a list of supplies:

  • Seven Jewels stencil by Artistcellar
  • Alcohol inks by Ranger plus blending fluid
  • Cardstock in various colors
  • Glossy gel medium
  • High gloss paper
  • Piercing tool (or a ball head pin)
  • Needle
  • Metallic thread
  • Paper cutter
  • Old reward card

Alcohol inks provide deep, rich colors that you can layer and blend. When using them you should always start with light colors first, because if you do darks first, the lighter colors will never show.  To do this, make sure not to layer other colors over those areas.

Begin by taping a piece of the glossy paper that measures 5 x 4” onto a piece of scrap paper.  Try to use the least amount of tape for this.  Next, tape the Seven Jewels stencil over top this piece, making sure to align it so that it is straight

Using a reward card as a tool, spread the gel medium over the stencil. Make sure to scrape it down so that the layer of gel is even over the entire card underneath.

Here’s a look at the card once you remove the stencil. The great thing about gel medium is that it washes off easily with warm water, so you won’t ruin your stencils.

Using a heat gun, or a blow dryer set to hot, dry the gel medium. Make sure to make quick movements back and forth when drying or the gel medium can bubble if the heat source is too close for too long.

Gather the alcohol inks you’d like to use, making sure to have a mix of dark and light colors.  Begin by using the lightest color first, adding just a few drops at a time. For this project, I used the Lemonade color from Ranger alcohol inks.

Next, add some Lettuce color in some places.

Lastly, add the Eggplant color ink. You’ll notice that there are white areas on the card, but we’ll fix that next.

To take care of the white areas, use a paintbrush with the Alcohol blending solution which dilutes the colored ink and allows it to flow and blend with the other colors.

Dry the inks on the card before you move on to the next step.

Begin by cutting off the edges of the cardstock piece so that it measures 4 ¾" x 3 ½”.

Next, you’re going to add some stitching to the design, (you don’t have to do this step if you’d prefer not to).

Using a ruler as a guide, make piercings in the paper inside of each circle of the stencil design.

You can use either a piercing tool, a ball head pin and in a pinch a pushpin.  You don’t have to stitch the entire design, just pick certain areas you want to add a little sparkle.

Stitch the cross shapes in the circles you picked. I used a metallic thread by Kreinik as I love the sparkle it adds and is thick enough to see it.

Gather the cardstock colors that you think would match the inked piece of glossy cardstock. Cut these pieces to the following measurements: the gold card stock measures 5" x 3 ¾”, the plum piece is 5 ½" x 4” and lastly a base card that measures 6" x 4 1/2”.

Glue all of the layers together and you’ve made a card that your friends and family will love!

If you enjoyed this project, head on over to to receive weekly projects sent to your inbox each Tuesday.

Also, check out the full course on using stencils - you may never look at your stencils the same way again!

In this course, you’ll learn lots of techniques with projects that have colored photos and detailed instructions. Your friends and family will be so impressed with what you’ve made and will feel special that you took the time to make them a beautiful card.

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.

    Greetings, Everyone!

    Today, I would like to share the fun I had playing with the Arabian Nights Series Stencils and the Gelli Plate by Gelli Arts. This post will be more of a show and tell, rather than a step-by-step tutorial. I hope you enjoy it!

    For today, I will focus on my use of the Shooting Stars stencil in the series.

    Supplies Used:

    There are multiple ways to get paint onto your paper when doing Gelli printing.

    It all begins with rolling out some paint onto your Gelli plate, using a soft rubber brayer.

    Place a stencil on top of the paint, and then a variety of options come into play.

    It’s best to play around and experiment to find what works best.

    Here are some ideas to get you started.

    You can place a stencil on the wet paint on the Gelli plate.

    You can then place a piece of paper on top of the stencil and rub with your hands to get inside the spaces of the stencil. Depending on the stencil, sometimes this works better than other times.

    Or you can let the stencil create texture in the wet paint, pull off the stencil, and then make a print on to your paper of choice.

    Below, I printed on deli paper with the stencil on the plate.

    There’s often so much paint on the plate, that you can pull additional prints (called ghost prints).

    This time I removed the stencil and printed on copy paper.

    Since I only used one color of paint, and since there was a little paint on my plate from previous projects, my print looked like this:

    I decided to add a little more contrast, so I got out some dark paint. I believe this is “Night” from Dina Wakley’s heavy body paint collection.

    TIP: I spritzed a little water onto the plate to thin the paint out a little.

    I went through a series of steps that sort of flow in the moment. For example, I place the stencil on the plate. I pull a print. I remove the stencil, which is now wet with paint, and I try to print that on a separate piece of paper. Now the Gelli plate is still there with paint on it, ready for a ghost print. It’s a back and forth process. Once you try it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

    Below is a photo of the paper I use to clean off the brayer and print the wet stencil on:

    Finally, here’s the result of printing the “Night” color over the initial “Lemon” print:

    What I hope you’ll gain from this post is that there are many, many ways to make prints with stencils and the Gelli plate. Again, you have to experiment and find your own rhythm that works for you. It’s all quite exciting and fun! I do hope you’ll give it a try!

    Thanks for being here.

    Sending Blessings to you,

    Briana of

    Hello! It’s good to have you here right now.

    Today, I am going to take you through a fun tutorial on how to make your own handmade greeting card, using mixed media supplies. Are you ready?

    Supplies to Gather:

    Step 1:

    Place your stencils on top of a piece of copy paper.

    Step 2:

    Place your second piece of copy paper on top of the stencils.

    Step 3:

    Apply paint and scrape with a plastic card.

    Step 4:

    Use a contrasting colored pencil to rub over the stencil(s).

    Step 5:

    Savor the texture and loveliness.

    Steps 6 and 7:

    Set a blank greeting card on an old flier.

    Use your glue stick to cover the outside of the card.

    Step 8:

    Apply your colorful copy paper to the glue, and burnish down.

    Trim off the excess paper, and voila!

    Enjoy sending your card to someone special!

    If you like this tutorial and would like to learn more ideas for using mixed media supplies, I have a NEW online class called Mixed Media Paint Scraping. I invite you to take a look! The early bird price is good through today (October 15th, 2018).

    Sending Blessings to you,

    Briana of

    Greetings creative one! I hope this post finds you well.

    Today we are going to play with a pre-painted piece of copy paper, some Dina Wakley acrylic paint, and the Old World Maps Series stencils from artistcellar.

    Step 1:

    Place your stencil of choice underneath your copy paper.

    (In the picture below, I have the stencil on top just so you can see how the size matches well with my paper.)

    Step 2:

    Squirt out a few small drops of the Dina Wakley acrylic paint in a contrasting color to your painted paper.

    Step 3:

    Use a plastic card to scrape the paint over the paper, leaving a “rubbing” of the stencil underneath.

    Doesn’t that look awesome? (I would like to give credit to the fabulous LK Ludwig who taught me this stencil under the paper technique.)

    Step 4:

    Let your paint dry. TIP: It does not take long, as the scraping process, plus acrylic paint, equals fast drying time.

    Step 5:

    Use your imagination and create something out of your painted paper.

    I chose to create an envelope for some mail art.

    I folded the paper to make three sections.

    Step 6:

    Use decorative tape to seal the sides closed. Also, fold in the corners on the top fold to give it more of an envelope shape, if desired.

    After gluing down the corners of the top fold, I’d like to show you the front and back of my envelope.

    Here’s the front:

    Here’s the back:

    Now all I need to do is add a sticker address label and a stamp!

    I hope you enjoyed this tutorial using the Old World Map Series stencils by artistcellar!

    Have a wonderful day/night, wherever you may be!

    Blessings and Gratitude,

    Briana of

    Many of you may know of Tamara Laporte and her online course creation called Life Book.

    You may also know that in 2018 Tamara got her book published called Create Your Life Book.


    As I was flipping through the book referenced above, I noticed some stencils that I recognize and adore. They are stencils by artistcellar! Feeling inspired by this, I decided to try my hand at one of the lessons. I did my own version of “The Zen Butterfly” lesson on pages 16-21.

    Supplies Used:

    Step 1:  Choose a few stencils and spray inks.

    Step 2: Spray the ink through the stencils and blot with a paper towel roll.

    Step 3: Continue to add stencils and spray with ink.

    TIP: use another paper to cover up areas you do NOT want to spray with ink.

    Step 4: Allow spray ink to dry completely.

    Step 5: Add writing about how you want to live your life.

    For reference, here’s one more photo of the stencils I used:

    As you can see, Tamara Laporte is one of the AC (Artistcellar) Signature Series stencil artists! How fun is that?

    I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. May you go out and have some fun with your stencils and art supplies!

    Blessings to you,

    Briana of

    Hello and welcome!

    Are you a circle lover? There is just something about that shape that gets me every time! Circles are calming. They encompass the whole. They represent the cycles of life. What do circles mean to you?

    Today’s post is all about circles. Last time I shared how to create a simple mandala using Dye-Na-Flow. Today, I am sharing some more circle-inspired art. I am using Dye-Na-Flow and acrylic paint. The art is on watercolor paper, mixed media paper, and Bristol paper.

    I am not showing the techniques, as I am working on my next online class where we will do lots of fun circle making.

    However, I would like to help you feel inspired to play around with some circle making of your own. Why make circles, you wonder? Just read above. Circles help calm the nervous system. I don’t know about you, but I definitely could use a little help in that area right now.

    Here’s a magenta and orange circle. The magenta is Dye-Na-Flow. The orange is acrylic paint.

    Here’s a close up of some of the texture.

    Finally, I made a circle pattern in my Canson XL Mix Media journal with the wonderful midnight blue Dye-Na-Flow.

    As you can tell, I am a big fan of circles and Dye-Na-Flow! May you feel inspired to do a little of your own circle making.

    For more art ideas and inspiration, you can find me at OrangeSpiralArts.comor on Instagram @brianacreates.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Blessings to you,


    Greetings to all! Thank you for being here. 

    Art supplies, especially ones with rich colors, are a true joy.

    Have you ever tried Dye-Na-Flow? It is made to work on fabric, but also works on paper! There’s a great description on the artistcellar site listing all of the wonderful options for use. In case you don’t have time to hop over to the artistcellar site, I will quote the description for you here:

    Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Liquid Color

    “This little bottle of liquid color is like magic. Originally intended for fabric, it can also be used on paper and in journals! Our favorite way to use this dye is with a water brush! Just take an ink dropper and fill the water brush with the dye, and paint away! Use it for calligraphy, journal writing, painting faces, and whatever else you would use a brush for. You can also put it in the empty Fineline applicator to make scribbles and fine lines in your paintings.

    • 1-1/2 oz bottle
    • Made in the USA"

    Today in my Canson XL Mix Media, 9 x 12 inch journal, I created a simple mandala using Dye-Na-Flow. I used it like liquid watercolor.

    Here’s what my set up looks like:

    I started by creating some circles, rinsing my brush between colors.

    I noticed that some of the pigment settled on the bottom of the jar, so you’ll see me go back over those magenta lines again.

    Painting circles is so relaxing. It brings about a sense of calm and peace that feels really good to the whole body.

    I like how the darker magenta looks over the lighter magenta. Also, when the magenta and yellow touch, it creates a wonderful orange. Take a look in the center of the mandala.

    If you are looking for a new art supply with rich color, I highly recommend Dye-Na-Flow. It’s versatile and a pleasure to paint with.

    Happy Creating!

    Sending Blessings out to you,

    Briana of Orange Spiral Arts



    Hello again everyone! I’m back with more drawings of pretty girls' faces. This time I’m using the Pentel Pocket Brush pen!

    This has got to be my favorite brush pen. It has a real brush tip, but it almost felt like I was using a really bendy felt tip at first because the bristles sort of stick together (in a really nice way). It’s really smooth to draw with and always lays down a good solid amount of dark ink. 

    The different line weights you can make with it are also impressive! It’s easy to make super fine details and also big thick lines. You also don’t get any streaks like from felt tip pens, and it’s soft enough to not pill/break the paper. 

    I’m going to try inking this drawing I made with it. I already took a picture and finished it digitally so no worries if I mess up…

    It’s good for fine lines, but no matter how small your lines are if you’re using it slowly or just holding it in place too long the ink will spread/bleed a bit. It’s best for long quick lines - I had a lot of fun using it for the lines in the hair.

    It doesn’t soak through the paper too much, my paper is pretty thin and the back is only a little darker where I was really heavy on the ink.

    Since it’s good for quick lines, I got the idea to do some practice faces! To practice making lines without sketches underneath, the placement of features, drawing quickly… I filled up a few pages with some of these funky faces.

    This pen is also so much fun to use. It’s so smooth and inky. I think it also comes with a few replacement ink packs so I don’t have to worry about running out of ink.

    I bet that it would also be amazing for calligraphy. I’m not too good at calligraphy without sketching underneath, especially because I’m a leftie. Since we write from left to right, it's like pushing the brush instead of pulling it, and then the ink gets all over my wrist. :( Fun fact: I think I learned in sixth grade that Leonardo Da Vinci was also a leftie and he did all his writing backwards/mirrored. Maybe I just need to learn how to do that! 

    Have a nice end of the summer everyone!

    When you are short on time but would like to make an exciting background page in your journal, I’ve got an idea for you! It involves a little bit of mess and a lot of fun!


    The Process

    I love to make backgrounds in my journal. I have so much fun playing with acrylic paint. I sometimes smoosh paint together, you know, like how you made butterflies in kindergarten. Or, the fabulous and wonderful Gelli Plate is another great tool for smooshing paint into your journal. You just use that plate like a big ol’ stamp and flump! Your print is made!

    So, I am working on a two-toned yellow background that I made in my journal using the Gelli Plate technique I just described.

    Next, I am pulling out two of the 12" x 12" Water Series stencils and laying them across the page spread.

    As you may be able to see, I am doing all of this inside a large, rectangular Amazon box. (You may need to order a gigantic art book to get this size, or maybe a long calendar would do the trick??)

    Anyway, working inside a box like this helps to keep the wild and crazy spray ink somewhat in control. Please note that I said, “somewhat in control.”

    Once the stencils are ready, grab a couple of spray ink colors that will play nicely together.

    I choose a magenta and blue. You can see some of the lovely purples that they made in the upper right corner.

    Once you’ve sprayed your two colors a few times, you’ll need to sop up some of the ink. You can either use a roll of paper towels or a stack of folded towels.

    Many mixed media artists like to keep these beautiful towels and repurpose them into their art, once they are dry. The color is pretty spectacular!

    Now it’s time to see how things turned out. Remove the stencils, and either clean them with a baby wipe, rinse them under water, or just let them dry. Most spray ink is reactivated by water, so I usually use a baby wipe or rinse under running water.

    I am in love with how these pages look right now. The colors and contrast, as well as the patterns from the stencils, makes me really happy.

    Below are some shots of each individual page.


    I did let you know that using spray ink is messy, didn’t I?

    If you are afraid of the spray ink staining your skin, I am here to tell you that it does wash off after a few sessions of soap and water. You may want to use it before you take a shower or something, just in case it makes you nervous. After washing your hair, you’ll be all good.


    Spray ink and stencils are really fun to use together.

    The Hot Tip of the Day:

    Work inside a large rectangular cardboard box when using wild and crazy spray inks.

    The layering of acrylic paint, then spray ink over stencils, creates a dynamic background ready for collage, lettering, or other fun ideas you may have.

    Thank you for being here today!

    Happy Creating!

    Blessings to you,

    Briana of