March 27, 2015

Dear Debbie....

It's time for a new "Dear Debbie" question from my blog readers.

Barb wrote: Dear Debbie, Do you have any advice for creating collage cards?  I love them but find them intimidating.

I ended up emailing Barb to find out if she was referring to stamped layers or cardstock and other layers and here is what she wrote:

Primarily I am thinking of stamped layers, such as with the new butterfly basics stamp, and other "collage type" sets, such as Creative Elements, By the Tide, By the Seashore, etc.  I'd like to get a handle on that before adding more layers of cardstocks and embellishments. 

Thanks for your question Barb. When I work on multiple layers of stamped image collage cards, I try to get a visual on how I want to arrange my images first. The best tip I can give you is to start stamping with lighter colored inks for the background and working your way up to the foreground with darker, richer & brighter toned inks. You want to keep the background images subtle so that they don't over-power the images you want to pop in the foreground. If you peek at my card below I'll explain what I did:

Before I started with my stamping, I choose one image to be the "feature" image for my foreground. In this case it was the fern image. You can see how most of my other layers are subtle by stamping in lighter shades. I followed the background stamping by stamping the sentiment and fern in richer, brighter colors so you get the "pop" of color in the foreground.

As you can see, I started out by adding a few background choices. I actually added a spin to my card. I wanted to fill in the background with more textures then the stamped images so I started my background by stenciling a piece of drywall tape. I have a video on this technique that I will list at the bottom of my post. I placed the tape on my cardstock layer, sponged Old Olive Ink in the holes of the drywall tape and removed the tape. I kept the sponging to a very light pressure to keep the color subtle. I then added the honeycomb stamp image with Blushing Bride Ink. Now it was time for my ferns. I stamped two of them overlapped with Old Olive Ink.

My background needed a little more so I added some dots from the Gorgeous Grunge stamp set but stamped on scrap paper first and without re-inking, stamped on my background. By stamping on scrap paper first, this removed most of the ink and allowed me to stamp a more subtle image. I did the same thing with the little circle image, stamped on scrap first and stamped without re-inking. Don't be afraid to add other elements. You may start out with the visual in your head and then keep adding as you go.

To draw the eye away from the background, I added one 3-dimensional item. This adds interest to your card. I stamped the butterfly image on the background first, using Blushing Bride Ink. I then stamped two more butterflies on scrap paper, cut them out with my framelit and stacked both of them over the stamped image on the background. I stacked two layers using Stampin' Dimensionals. I finished the card by adding only a few Rhinestone Jewels and a small Baker's Twine bow. 

So to summarize a collage card:
  • Plan ahead
  • Choose a "feature" image
  • Start by adding images in the background with soft, subtle colors
  • Stamp the feature image using richer, brighter ink colors
  • Add one 3-dimensional item to draw the eye to that item
Here is my YouTube video on the technique I mentioned above: Dry Wall Mesh Tape Technique

I hope that helps a little in trying to conquer a collage card Carol. Thanks so much for your question this week. Readers, you can leave me a new question in the comments section below or email me at

If you missed my previous "Dear Debbie" questions, here they are: DEAR DEBBIE
Thanks for stopping by to visit me today!