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Hello and happy Sunday! I have an easy, fun alternative watercolor technique for you using the awesome U.S. map image from the No Place Like Home stamp set. Let’s get right to this fun technique that gives beautiful results.


I used Canson watercolor paper for this technique so it would hold up to the water I used, even though it really wasn’t very much. Better safe than sorry, right? Card stock and water colors just don’t play as nicely together. I also found that the marker ink works so much better on the watercolor paper. I stamped the U.S. image onto the smoother side of my 4″x3″ card with Versamark Ink, and added white embossing powder to it. After heating up and melting the embossing powder, I was left with a perfect image with outlines to resist inks. Melted embossing powder doesn’t allow most inks or color mediums to settle on it, so it ‘resists’ the inks.


To color in all those tiny state outlines, I used an acrylic block to scribble some of my Spectrum Aqua watercolor markers onto. This creates a palette of inks just like you would have with watercolor paints. I wet the whole image down with just a damp coat of water with a broad flat waterbrush. This helps the colors pool and move better. Then I picked up tiny amounts of the colored ink from my acrylic block with a detail point waterbrush. This gave me a lot of control over where the colors ended up as I touched them onto the paper inside each state outline. I randomly used different colors to fill up each state.

FullSizeRender-5I wanted to add some stamping so I chose two of the sentiments from the No Place Like Home stamp set. I curved the ‘Adventure is out there.’ sentiment above the top of the U.S. image and added the ‘Let’s go’ sentiment in the bottom right space. I really wanted an exclamationm ark at the end of it, though, so I carefully inked up just that portion of the ‘Road trip!’ sentiment.


I trimmed down this piece of my card by 1/4″ on each side then matted it onto a cute piece of Amy Tangerine paper and also a piece of patterned vellum. But I’m not done yet!

FullSizeRender-8My acrylic block still had all those marker scribbles on it, and I didn’t want to waste it! I cut another piece of watercolor paper down to 4″x6″, the same size as the acrylic block I had used. I scribbled on a little bit more color in the empty areas of the block, then sprayed it just a little bit with a mist of water. I placed my paper piece on top of the block and pressed down gently. When I removed it, I had a soft watercolor background to complement my card!

FullSizeRender-6I added a piece of the same patterned vellum on top of the background and stamped the ‘Today’s Adventure’ sentiment from the same stamp set on top of the that with Ranger Archival Ink in Jet black. I added a small strip of that heart paper to tie both cards together and stamped a few of the chevron arrows onto it, as well. Ta-da! A matching two card set, only a little bit messy! (If you are careful when making the background piece, and you protect your work surface with a craft sheet, you should be able to get away with no mess at all, but that’s just not my style! I considered titling this post ‘Now my Hands Are Inked Forever’ or “Don’t Wear a White Shirt in the Craftroom’…)


Thanks for stopping by and getting a little bit watercolored with me!

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One response to “Minimally Messy”

  1. Laura says:

    so cool!