How to make watercolour backgrounds for cardmaking..

This is the first blog post in a series of blog posts all about watercolour techniques, where today I will show you how to make watercolour backgrounds for cardmaking. To learn more about watercolouring, and all the techniques and tips that I have, why not think about joining my watercolour cardmaking course. You can find all of the details and the link to book over on my website –

I have chosen the new stamp set Forever and Always by Stampin’ Up! as my main stamp set, as the plain line images work really well for watercolouring. The card that I am using is the Fluid 100 Watercolour Paper, it has a really lovely finish and is thick enough and strong enough to take plenty of water.

A handmade thank you card  with a watercolour background

I wanted a nice bluey toned watercolour background here so I took my Misty Moonlight stamp pad and pressed an acrylic block into it to pick up some colour. You don’t need a lot with this one though, so do go sparingly!

The first thing that I did was to wet the card fully with just plain water. I always find that this helps me to lay the ink down nicely, you get more of a washed effect and it is a lot more forgiving than working with the inks directly onto the dry paper. This technique is actually called the ‘wet on wet’ technique.

A picture showing one of the steps of how to make a watercolour background

Just add a little ink at a time, you can always add more but you can’t easily take it away. Keep adding ink and water until you are getting the results that you want, it does take a bit of practice but I really think that the results are worth the effort.

To get the almost splodgy look, I dried the watercolour paper with my heat tool. If I wanted a more washed out effect I could have let it dry naturally, but I am not that patient! LEave it to one side for the time being though, just to dry fully.

To create the flowers, I stamped in StazOn, a permanent black ink which is perfect for watercolouring. I stamped the flowers onto the Watercolour paper and then used my Daffodil Delight and Mango Melody stamp pads to colour them in using my water painters.

The water painters that I used in my how to create watercolour backgrounds tutorial

These are fabulous paintbrushes which have a removeable barrel that you can fill with water, so you don’t need to have a pot of water beside you. To rinse out the brush, simply squeeze it to allow the water to come out and wipe it on a piece of kitchen towel or similar, simple! Don’t stick your flowers to the card yet though, we aren’t quite ready for that yet.

A close up of a handmade watercoloured card

Right, back to how to create watercolour backgrounds, as that’s what we are here for, right? Can you see the ‘splatters’ in the background? Let me tell you how I created those because I think they look really effective and can really add a lot to our finished projects.

What you need to do is take the medium sized water painter and make it quite wet, then load it up with misty moonlight ink. Once it is full, but not ‘dripping’ hold it above your paper (make sure you have some scrap paper down to protect your work surface and move your flowers out of the way!!) and gently tap it against something solid, or your hand. This will cause splashes of the ink to flick onto your card.

We left the card to dry thoroughly first, but if you didn’t you might find that these splashes don’t come out quite as defined as you might like.

a handmade card using watercolour techniques

To finish, stick some ribbon and some Designer Series Paper onto your watercolour card, add the flowers, some gems and a greeting and mount first onto a panel of Misty Moonlight card and finally onto a Basic White card base.

Well, I do hope that you enjoyed my mini tutorial on how to create watercolour backgrounds, please do keep your eyes peeled for the rest in the series, or why not see if they are already live by clicking here – Watercolour Techniques for Cardmaking

Until next time, Happy Stamping xx

Watercolour Cardmaking Course

Bookings are now open for my new Watercolour Cardmaking Course, starting on Saturday 10th June 2023, with four zoom classes running over several months (to give you plenty of time to practice in between). All of the classes are recorded into a Private Facebook Group too, so you can watch and rewatch as many times as you like. The course also includes a comprehensive written course guide, with accompanying worksheets.

There are two options for this course, a product based option (available UK only) and an online only option (available WORLDWIDE). The online only version is £70 and the product based version is £170 – for which you get access to the whole course, the course guide, £160 worth of product and free postage too.

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  1. These were great tutorials! I love to stamp and used to do a lot of water coloring. I’m anxious to try your techniques. Thanks!
    PS: you’re right, when I did a lot of water coloring I would almost always add some spatter. It really adds to most pieces!

    • Thank you so much Debbie. I hope that you have fun creating and trying out the techniques. Splatter is always good, and a lot of fun too!!

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