Sunday, August 07, 2011

Adding Dimension

I wanted to share a tutorial here that I shared last month on the Flourishes blog... I love to add dimension to my images, and it just takes a few simple tools and techniques. Floral images work great for this technique. I chose Orchids for my card, with a sentiment from Tag Lines. I watercolored the image using a variety of watercolor pencils and a water brush. The wooden button (threaded with a thin strip of paper) is a local product, and I embossed the lower panel with a Fiskars texture plate.

Here’s a closer look at the dimension on the focal image. That panel is a single layer, but I cut around some petals and added some dimension from the back side of the panel with the wooden end of my embossing stylus.
The red lines on the image below indicate where I cut the image so I could work with it. When you plan your cuts, make sure you aren’t cutting all the way around flowers, and when you cut around more than one petal, make sure your cuts are not too close together. Pay attention to your flowers – you’ll want to cut around petals which appear to be closer or on top of other petals, or a leaf that looks like it might be pointing towards you. (Don’t cut around a leaf if you’ve cut around the petal overlapping it! Ask me how I know.) For the orchid image, I cut around the side petals of each flower, and around one side of each of the buds.
Turn your image panel over, and lay it on a foam mat or other surface that has some ‘give,’ like a mouse pad. You’ll want to use a rounded tool or pen cap to emboss inside each curve that you’ve created with your craft knife. Rub back and forth inside the curve, and the paper will begin to break down and curl up toward you. I used the wooden end of my embossing stylus here; I’ve also used a Sakura gel pen and the end of a paintbrush. So long as it’s clean, smooth and rounded, it should work.
When you’ve finished embossing, turn your image back over, and press gently into your flower centers to bring those embossed areas back up. You may want to use foam tape to keep those areas raised when you adhere the panel to your card. When you do adhere your panel to your card, also make sure that you use glue or other adhesive *outside* the curves you’ve cut, so that your embossing is defined, and the other areas stay down against your card. Below, the red lines indicate where I applied glue, and the blue x indicates raised areas where I tucked in a roll of foam tape.Hope that all made sense!! If you’re inspired to add more dimension to your projects, leave a link here so I can see!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. fantastic and so beautiful

  2. Gorgeous card- wonderful tutorial- saw it on the Flourished blog too!

  3. Beautiful, job Dina!! Thanks for sharing this, I'm always up for new ideas!! Fantastic tutorial!!

  4. Oh My Word!!! I came here from the Flourishes site which I came to from the Splitcoast stampers thread regarding Orchid stamped images...I LOVE your card and I am especially in awe of your coloring...I was hoping that your blog would show a detailed tutorial of your coloring...I would LOVE to see it.
    Valerie Martin