08 October 2016

Mum's the Word

One of my favourite things about Halloween is dressing up in a costume (also the reason I like Fan Expo and Comic conventions). Mitzi's all dressed up as a Mummy for Halloween on this gatefold, peek-a-boo card. The sentiment visible on the outside of the card is actually on the inside.

Touches of embossing with Glow-in-the-dark powder on both Mitzi and the pumpkin's eyes will give this a card a special look, even in the dark.


The Color Throwdown: Navy Blue, Kraft (tan), Orange, and White
Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge: Halloween
Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps Wonderful Wednesday: Anything Goes
Scor-Pal, More than One Score: Seasonal Delights or Spooy Frights
Craft Your Passion: Anything Goes
Crafting from the Heart: Anything Goes
Through the Craftroom Door: Anything Goes


Putting It Together

The "fancy" fold is the big event of this card. A gatefold card is one that has 2 folds to close over the inside, like a gate. For this card, the sides of the gatefold don't meet to entirely cover the inside but reveal a strip for a sentiment (or two) as a peek to the inside. 

The colour of ink you use to stamp an image is a determining factor in the final look. 

Stamping with a light colour, like Memento's Desert Sand, allows a colouring technique often referred to as "no lines" because the stamp's lines fade into the colouring. For many stamped images, the "no lines" technique can give the image more of a life-like appearance. 

Stamping with black, on the other hand, has more sharply defined edges and a look not unlike cell-shading used in graphic novels and comics. 

Which way you stamp is entirely a matter of preference. I use both, entirely depending on the image, the card or other item I want to build, and my mood. For this project, I chose to use the "no lines" technique because I didn't want to stamping to over power the lighter colours I intended to use in the image.

The type of ink you use to stamp the image and the type of paper you use is very important depending on the type of colouring you'll be doing. 

If you're colouring with alcohol-based markers, such as Copic, Chameleons (the ones I have), Spectra Noir, and others, you want to use a very smooth slightly treated paper such as Xpress-It blending card. You also want an ink that will not smear or bleed when the marker solution hits it. Memento dye inks dry fast and are impervious to Copic markers. However, they bleed and smear with the solution Chameleon uses, so the pigment inks, such as those from Colorbox work better. Test your markers with the ink before you start colouring your final image. You can also heat set the ink to help prevent smearing.

If you choose to use a water-based or water-reactive medium, such as Distress Ink (which I commonly use) or pan watercolours, you'll want to use watercolour paper or card stock. Watercolour paper/cardstock comes in a variety of smoothness and weights and is treated to hold together with the moisture of the medium but not repel it. Watercolour and water-reactive paints and inks sink in to the paper the wetter the paper is. For water-based and water-reactive media, if you don't want the stamping to blend into the painting/colouring (another way to achieve the "no lines" effect), you will need to use a water impervious ink to stamp the image, such as Memento dye ink. Heat setting the newly stamped image ensures it is fully dry before you begin to add the water.

The medium I have gravitated to is watercolouring using Distress Inks with a waterbrush. For this image I used Memento Desert Sand for a "no lines" effect. I also embossed the stamped image with Glow-in-the-Dark powder to give it spooky look even when the lights go out.

Fussy cutting is done with a pair of scissors and a lot of patience. Cutting an image out after you've coloured it allows you to 'float' that image over other elements in the project. I often fussy cut my images unless I am making a single layer scene. When cutting the image out, you also have the option of cutting right against the edge of the image or, as I did here, leave a small margin. They're options for a different sort of effect and look.

Some electronic devices, such as the Silhouette Cameo or Brother ScanNCut, can take a digital scan of an image and create a 'cut path' to do the fussy cutting for you. I have one of them on my wishlist but, since all of them are $200+, I'm fine with scissors for now.

There are some inner areas that your scissors can't reach. A sharp craft knife, like the finger one I use, and a cutting pad, mine's a dollar store one, will let you fussy cut in those spots, too.

Fussy cutting done and the image is ready to be mounted.

For this project, I decided I wanted to have a shadow-ish background instead of putting the image on an oval or other geometric shape. I used removable adhesive to hold the navy blue cardstock (value cardstock from Michaels) to the image so I could cut it out with a wider margin. I used dark blue because of a challenge but really love how it looks behind this image. It makes all the tan tones "pop". I had also given Mitzi dark blue eyes of Chipped Sapphire knowing I planned to use a dark blue 'matting' for her. I wanted those to tie together.

Because I used a lighter weight cardstock for the blue, I lined it with a heavier cardstock, trimming that to match the blue and then using Distressed Ink, Chipped Sapphire, to go around the edges and on the back where it would be exposed. This addition made my image panel much more rigid and durable. Since it was going to be the closure for the card, that was important on this project.

I used foam mounting tape to 'pop-up' the image from her blue background. The other consequence of fussy cutting, if you want to add dimension with foam mounting tape, you'll end up cutting it up in to a lot of little pieces to fit on all the angles. Even though I used a heavier watercolour cardstock (110lb), to make sure the details don't get bent or crushed, add foam mounting tape behind them. The dimension this gives to a card is worth all the fuss.

Since I wanted to have a sentiment peeking out from the inside of the card, I made my gate fold to leave a gap. My card's finished dimensions are 6" x 4". I cut a strip 6" x 7 1/2". I used my Scor-pal to score a fold line at 2" (the bottom front flap) and 1 1/2". This left a 4" section between the two fold lines for the inside of the card. This also left a gap of 1/2" between the front flaps for the sentiment to peek through. I had a thin sentiment I wanted to use, so this was perfect.

Some time after this dry fitting, I decided to add another sentiment to the other side of Mitzi. I hadn't intended to make a 6" wide card, but liked the look of it as it was going together. The fussy cut shadow/image panel also gave me more 'peek-a-boo' room on both sides, more than a geometric shape like an oval or rectangle likely would have done.

I drew faint pencil lines on the inside of the card where the flaps' opening is. I used that to position the sentiment so I could stamp with the Misti. I love love love my Misti!

I looked through my stash of paper and decided on this spiderweb with embossed black spider because movie mummies are always in tombs with lots of spider webs. Even though I had chosen orange because of the challenge, I really like the way it played with the colours in the image. I had debated using a different paper for the top, but didn't find anything in my stash that fit as well as the webbing.

When I added the second sentiment on the left, I got a bit of stray ink on the page and covered it with a candy corn sticker. Shhh, it's not there. I also added a 'hidden' sentiment, or at least one which doesn't peek through the front. To finish dressing up the inside, I added a strip of orange washi with stars. and a pumpkin with Desert Sand carved face with Glow-in-the-dark embossing.


  1. Beautiful card, love the image! Wonderful tutorial! Thanks for joining us this week on Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog! Barbara

  2. What a fun card and a great way to highlight the throwdown colors! Thanks so much for joining us this week!

  3. What a fun card. Love the mummy!
    Thanks for joining us at Craft your passion.
    Happy crafting! Catherine x DT

  4. What a fun card. Love the mummy!
    Thanks for joining us at Craft your passion.
    Happy crafting! Catherine x DT

  5. Fun card! So glad you joined us at CTD!!

  6. What a cool Halloween card!! Thank you so much for playing along with us at the Color Throwdown this week!

  7. What a fab card. Love the mummy. Thank you so much for entering our ATG challenge at Through The Craft Room Door this week. Looking forward to see you again next challenge.
    Annemi {My Blog}
    Through The Craft Room Door


Thank you for your comments. I do read every one. Your comments help me to grow as an artist. It warms my heart to see wonderful comments and constructive criticism.