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How to Create Interesting Backgrounds (AECP Level 1)

I used to spend a lot of money on background papers. I still love them, but I can never seem to find just the right colours that I need so I've been playing around with making my own backgrounds for the past year or so. (Any excuse to buy more stamps haha!)


In today's post, I'm sharing two simple backgrounds that you can create using simple supplies. I'm sharing these cards as part of the next assignment for my Altenew Educator Certification Program.


This is the last class I have to do before asking for my final assignment for Level 1. The cards were made for the online class, Irresistible Inking Techniques by Sara Naumann. There were four lessons in this masterclass, each with a different perspective on how to use your inks in a different way.


Despite this being a beginner class there are always new things you can learn, no matter how long you've been crafting. My favourite tip was to use an empty barrel when painting with watercolour brush pens. I can't count the number of times I've ended up ruining a design because the water has flooded out of the pen. It totally makes sense to use the brush and just dip it into your water pot instead. I only really need the water barrel when I'm out and about crafting anyway, which happens rarely.


Anyhoo, onto the cards:


Card 1: Tie-Dye


For my first card, I decided to do a stamped background, using the Altenew Tie Dye Motif stamps set.


This card was a happy surprise. I initially bought the set purely for the stripey stamps. I love adding black-and-white accents, and or doodling/Zentangle. As you'll see below, the stripey make a great addition to your cards.


Top Tip: When you buy stamp sets, stamp out the full set so that you familiarise yourself with all of the stamps. Quite often you'll find stamps in your set that you haven't noticed. In this set, the stamps were larger and therefore obvious, but sometimes you might find tiny flowers, leaves and patterns that would work brilliantly with other cards.


To create this card I started by ink blending the background using Altenew Volcano Lake Mini Ink Cubes. I used my AMAZING Altenew Ink Blending Tool (Large). I need one of these for every colour I own - they are SOOOO good to use. I think it was Laura Bassen that said they are the Cadillac of brushes. I totally agree. They are divine!! Once I had the card base coloured, I then randomly stamped the three tie-dye motifs over the card front.


As you can see from the photo I stamped the lighter ones first using Volcano Lake and Lagoon so that there was an illusion of them being in the background. For the three motifs at the front, I added the Emerald ink so that it looked like they were in the foreground.


I then die cut two circles in white cardstock, one smaller than the other. I ink blended them using Volcano Lake and Lagoon so that they perfectly matched the background. I layered one circle on top of the other.


Top Tip: If you haven't got cardstock in the colour you want, use your inks to create your own.


Next, I die cut the word 'hello' from the Altenew 'Hello and Hugs' die set, one in black for the shadow, and the other in white. I adhered these together and then attached the sentiment to the two circles. I love this die set where it has the shadow as well as the basic word. Before I attached the circular sentiment, with pop-dots for dimension, I pulled off some black thread (basic sewing cotton) and wound it in a circular-ish manner to add a bit of interest. I learned this simple and effective technique from one of Linda Evans' videos.


To finish the card I added five black pearl gems.


Top Tip: I'm learning that when adding gems/sequins etc., do them in uneven numbers as it is more appealing visually.


I absolutely love this card. Especially where I hadn't really paid much attention to the other stamps in the set so it felt like I got a whole new set I hadn't expected!


Card 2: Offset Stamping



On a rectangle piece of pink cardstock, using my Tim Holtz Platform, I stamped the Altenew Whimsical Herringbone stamp using the Altenew Mini Ink Cube in Fuschia. Next, I moved the stamp up slightly and stamped the image again in white pigment ink, to create an offset pattern. I haven't done this before but I was quite pleased with the result.


Then I coloured the flower from the Altenew Weekend Doodles stamp set using Zig markers and die cut them:


  • Petals: dark pink, pink and sugar almond pink

  • Leaves: may green, light green and yellow-green

  • Centres: light brown, yellow and lemon yellow


Using heart-shaped dies, I die cut a small white heart, larger silver glitter heart and a scalloped border heart in pink. I layered and glued these together. I then used the flower die to cut a piece of fun foam to add some dimension behind the flowers before sticking them to the layered heart base. Again, something I haven't done before but it made the whole process much quicker. Normally, I would have used loads of slithers of pop dots which can be a bit of a pain!


I die cut the word hugs three times in black glossy cardstock, glued them all together to create a solid die cut sentiment, which I then attached to the card base.


As I had done the black sentiment, I wanted to add a bit more black so using my Altenew Tie Dye Motif set and some black ink, I stamped the stripey border and attached this to the card base. I then cut a strip of silver glitter and attached this to the left-hand side before adding the complete pink panel to the card. I finally added this to a white 6" x 4" card base.

I hope you enjoyed two different ways to create backgrounds for your stamps. I think both of these cards would be really simple to reproduce in lots of different colour ways.


Supplies Used:

Please note: I've linked to various companies above and in the thumbnails below. Some of these are compensated affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission should you choose to buy something after clicking through. This is at no additional cost to you. I really appreciate your support.



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