Marilyn here with you today! I hope you guys are having a fantastic week so far! As you probably know by now, I love using my die cutting machine on all my projects and I love the cut files that are in the shop. I wanted to have more for my bucks so I thought about different ways I could use those cut files. I decided to try making my own stencils with them and it works out perfectly! So I am gonna walk you through the steps to make your own stencil and use it with watercolors. 

Lets get started!

First, I decided I wanted to work with the digital stamp called I Heart U Gwen! It was released a couple of weeks ago and I love it so much!  I colored the image first, then I looked through my Some Odd Girl gallery in my Silhouette Studio software. I chose this Hearts and Love cut file! I sized it at about 6 inches by 4 1/2 inches. 


Then I used an acetate paper to cut my stencil. You could use any medium that you have on hand that is thin plastic based. I used the textured cardstock setting in my Silhouette Studio software.  (Never mind the patterned papers – I didn’t end up using them because my project worked better without them!)


Here’s the end result!


Carefully remove your stencil from your cutting mat. As you can see, it cuts perfectly and very fast! You now have your own homemade mask. As you can image, the possibilities are endless with this technique! You can use any cut file that you have to create your own mask or stencil and then use it with any medium you would like; paint, ink, mists, watercolors, stamps…


I decided I wanted to make a tag with my stencil and my stamp. Can you believe I have never made a tag before? Crazy, right? I guess there is a first for everything!

Here is my tag, also cut with my Silhouette:


I used a Spellbinders Nestabilities to cut my image in an oval shape. I always use washi tape to hold my die while putting it in my die cutting machine. Another great way to use all those washi tapes!


Then, I used masking tape to hold my tag and stencil onto a wood board. This way, it will stay in place while I watercolor it and it won’t curl.


Then, I chose watercolors to color my stencil onto my tag. As usual, I used my favorites which are Peerless Watercolors.


First, I sprayed water all over the tag to make sure that my different colors will blend in together. You don’t have to do this and you could simply apply your watercolors directly onto the tag but I prefer a more blended look.


Then, I started applying the paints. I started with a lighter tone of the same color (just adding more water to dilute it) and then less water and more paint of the same color. I did this for a couple of colors.


Once you are done applying all your different colors, I suggest that you let everything dry first. You can also use a heat gun to speed this up. Once it is dry, Carefully take off your stencil and clean it off.  This way, you will be able to use it over and over!

Here is the finished result!


 Then, I made a hole using a punch and made a bow to embellish my tag.


Then, simply add string to the hole.


I tied more string around the middle of my tag. You can then apply 3D adhesive to the back of your stamped image and adhere it to the tag. 


To adhere my bow, I used this Fabri-Tac glue by Beacon. It is a fast and strong adhesive and I really recommend it. It was great! For my flowers, I used Zip Dry glue; it is a little slower to dry but it adheres perfectly and permanently.


So here is my finished tag!


I hope you enjoyed this easy and simple project and that you will be inspired to use your cut files to make your own stencils and masks! Once you try it, you will want to make a lot of them! It is a bit addictive!  So have fun, Oddies!

Tomorrow, we SPOTLIGHT!  Remember, you have to join the Linky Party to be spotlighted, and each spotlighted crafter wins a free digi from the shop! 

Hello hello hello,
It’s Ellen here for you today.

To be honest for this post I really had a hard time to think about something to make. So I thought about some tips to get inspired when you want to create, but have no clue what to do.

First I start with the image after that I thought about my card layout. Not everyone creates the same way, so it may be possible that your steps have goes in different order.

The image:
Tip 1: Take a stamp set you didn’t use as much as you would like (yes we all got those). For this project I take the banana from Fruit Salad Clear Stamp, because I really really like him, but actually always end up using different SOG stamp when I want to. This ensures that you don’t endlessly search for a thing you might want to use; just go for it!

Tip 2: Yes I totally stole the idea how to color my banana from my copic queen Kristy Dalman. I just love the way she used her white gel pen for stripes on his body and the brown dots on his peal. She just made the perfect looking banana. You don’t have to feel ashamed of using other person’s ideas for coloring your images, but if it really looks similar, be kind and tell people were you got the idea from!

Now we got our image all colored up, it’s time to think about the card.

The card:
Tip 3: Do something you adore to do lately. Even you may have done that 1000x, it can suddenly give a creative boost. I drew my own grass here; I just love to do that.

As a tip three was not enough to give back creativity, there is always tip number 4!

Tip 4: There are several ways to get inspiration for a card layout; sometimes I look at various social media, I also have a folder on my computer with projects that I really like and of course I also have a sketchbook where I occasionally sketch or write down ideas when they come. This time I had used my computer folder inspiration from Kelly Latevola, I love mainly the stencil background! 

After I glued my sequins (Baby Mix Sequins), this is the end result:

Which tips do YOU use when you have a creative-flu?