I needed a couple of thank you cards so I could be all caught up thanking folks for their online orders at the end of the year. For this batch of cards I used items from the January – June mini catalog. I have always loved stencils for paper crafting and I was super-excited when I spotted the Butterflies & Flowers Layering Decorative Masks in the catalog. Stampin’ Up! has had a variety decorative masks for a while which are great for creating interesting backgrounds with different tools. They haven’t had layering stencils/masks for a long time; the last set that I recall was for creating Christmas ornament imagery. I absolutely love this set of decorative masks, and I especially appreciate that the set includes layering masks to create flowers or butterflies as well as some all-over patterns for backgrounds. I can’t wait to create more with them!

I do have a couple of tips for success with these layering masks, and I hope that they are helpful to you.

  • Have lots of Post-Its on hand to cover the sections of the masks that you aren’t using
    • The company combined images on a single sheet (to save costs I assume), so be aware of other openings in the stencil
  • Use some temporary tape like low-tack Painter’s tape or washi tape to hold the mask in place while you work
  • Be extra cautious with your hands; wash them often because it’s easy to pick up stray ink from the mask and then smudge it on your project (ask me how I know)
  • Take your time lining up the image; it’s tempting to rush to see the finished product, but you’ll be happier if you go slow and line things up well before inking
  • Experiment! Have fun creating images that you may not use so you can build your skills and find color combinations you like

This sketch was my inspiration for my card. I was a little less strict in my interpretation of this challenge than I usually am. I thought the stack of overlapping flowers and leaves were a close approximation of the squares on this card. I also added a small sentiment which wasn’t part of the sketch inspiration. The nice thing about using the masks to for my design is that it’s a nice non-bulky card which won’t have any challenges going through the USPS system. I think this sketch is perfect for creating a Clean-and-Simple card with lots of white space. Thanks so much to the Freshly Made gang for another fantastic challenge!

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