Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Masked Flowers - A Photo Tutorial

For my current SOS card, I used the masking technique. More than one person has told me this must be really difficult, and probably takes forever. To that I say BAH! You don't know me very well if you think that. I have a very short attention span, and couldn't manage anything that didn't give me instant gratification.

So, I decided to do another masked card, then show you - step by step - how crazy-easy this is. First, my card:

Stamps - Sentiment by MFT, from the Twisted Foursome set, flower from the SU Betsy's Blossoms set; Papers - Basic Grey What's Up, SU Poppy Parade; everything else is misc stash.

I followed this Sweet Sunday Sketch, largely because it had a rectangle:

Because I can, and because this was the most difficult part of this card for me, here is a detailed shot of the layers at the bottom:

The larger strip is vellum, because I didn't want to completely hide all my stamped flowers. There really are three strips on top of the vellum. From the bottom up: a piece of skinny washi tape, then a strip of What's Up, and finally a 1/2" strip of remnant white.

Sentiment. Why did I choose this one? Because it was skinny. The fact that it's irreverent is just a bonus. :)

Oh, the button. It was very red, and I thought it was too much with the colored flower piece, so I punched a 3/4" circle from the same What's Up paper I'd used for the background and stuck it into the center of the button. During the threading of the twine, you may have heard me mutter "what was I thinking". In the end, I like how it came out, though.

Okay, ready for some step-by-step photos of the masking? If not, say bye! Otherwise, let us begin.

First, I stamped the flower four times onto a post-it:

 I got three across the top (sticky) part and stamped an extra on the bottom. I later added some Dotto (re-positional adhesive) to it.

Next I cut out my masks and colored my background:

Here's the colors I used:

(Tattered Rose, Ripe Persimmon and Festive Berries) When I get my Distress inks, I punch an SU Word Window shape from printer paper, write in the name, then press it into the ink to get some color on it. I then attach it to the side of the ink pad with mini glue dots. I know Ranger has a file you can download for their ink colors, but I'm inherently lazy, and I don't need to be anywhere near a printer for my method. Okay, the top one has a printed name, but not many of mine do.

Moving on.

Next I stamped the first row of flowers:

So far, so good, right? Next step: apply the masks:

(I even numbered them 1, 2 and 3, for effect :)) ... then start stamping the next row:

See how I placed the stamp overlapping the two flowers in the first row? Then you do that again to the right:

... and you have your second row. The top row was stamped over the masks, so that part didn't hit your card stock. This will give the illusion that the top row of flowers is behind the first row. You'll see that once I start moving the masks around.

Now, do you see how you need to mask the top flowers in order to stamp any more? I moved the bottom mask up and added mask #4:

then I started stamping the third row of flowers:

In order to stamp any more on the right, I needed to move a mask back over the bottom right flower:

which I did, and I stamped two more to complete the third row.

Then I just moved the masks up and kept going:

 and one more time:

until I was done:

Seriously, this took all of 5 minutes to do once I'd started stamping. It really is that easy. Now, if you were doing a street scene or something with several different images, I'd suggest you sketch that out first so you have a clue and then take your time, but with a repeated image like this, 5 minutes. 10 minutes if you're nervous.

And, not to be forgotten, our used-and-abused masks:

Poor little soldiers.

Then it was just a matter of figuring out the rest of the card (here it is again):

I feel compelled to tell you: I came this close to wrecking it once I was done, because I really, really wanted to color the flower centers with my white gel pen. I tried it on one of the dead masks, and decided it was a very bad idea. The pearls were an ah-hah moment. :) 

So there you have it. And if you are still here, THANK YOU! Please let me know if you've never tried masking before and this tutorial encouraged you to give it a try. I'd like to hear what you think. No, really, I would!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Thanks for the tutorial, it does look pretty easy but I am lousy at cutting out things. I think I have done it successfully once or twice. I think your card is wonderful and the paper in the center of the button was a great idea. I will tuck that one away for later.

  2. great tutotrial!!! I have always loved this technique...it really is easy but always looks sooo difficult!

  3. I've done it, but I think it might qualify as a mainly forgotten technique - certainly stamping multiples to make a group! I love the snarky sentiment...it's up there with my 'it's 5 o'clock somewhere' motto :)

  4. L, you rocked this! Thanks for sharing the step-by-step. I haven't masked in a L O N G time. Your photos came out great and your close up pic is terrific. Fab ideas in one post: vellum for a layer (you are so smart!), pearls vs. gel pen, and partially covering the button.

  5. Your tutorial was Most Helpful. Thank U so very much.
    Have never done the masking technique, but seeing how easy it is I just may give it a try.
    Thank U once again for taking the time showing us the step by step instructions.

  6. love it. especially the pearls! I'm always scared to mask, but it definitely ups a card's "ooh la la"-factor IMO.

    love the BG paper too. damned wantmonster.

  7. thank you for the tutorial, it is very detailed. It does seem very easy when you explain it step by step. However, I wouldn't NEVER get a nerve... NEVER!

  8. Love the effect of the masking and that's a great idea marking your distress pads that way. :-)

  9. This is AWESOME-SAUCE!!! What a beautimous card, Leslie! You are on a roll! Love the masking. You make it look sooooo easy. You are a pro. :)


I'd love to hear what you really think! :-)

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