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Christmas Cards using a Master Board Background by Shirley Deatcher

4 Comments10 December 2015  |  Lesley Wharton

Here is a fabulous idea from Shirley Deatcher, who used to be one of our Design Team members. Shirley has kindly written this article especially for you and although Christmas orientated I just know you could adapt this technique for so many other projects.

Christmas Cards using a Master Board Background

by Shirley Deatcher


  • Chocolate Baroque stamps
    • Gothic Angels
    • Gothic Fragments
    • Harlequin Christmas
    • Beautiful Baubles
    • A Child is Born
    • Snowflake Flourish
    • Sentiments:  Warm Christmas Greetings, Bold Christmas Words
  • Dylusions Spray Inks - Squeezed Orange, Crushed Grape, Cherry Pie
  • Distress Spray Stain – Picked Raspberry
  • Glimmermist – Precious Metal
  • White pigment ink
  • Versafine ink – Majestic Blue for all main images
  • Cardstock – white, deep purple
  • Smooth watercolour or mixed media paper – large sheet 28 x 36 cm
  • Distress Inks – Ripe Persimmon, Wilted Violet
  • Embossing Powders – white, clear, chunky white enamel
  • White pen
  • Liquid Pearls
  • Spritz bottle with water
  • Heat gun
  • Non stick craft mat
  • Spellbinder Heirloom Reflections Die or similar Bauble Die
  • Small water colour brush

Background Master Board

  • Use a craft mat under artwork
  • Spray inks and stain directly onto the watercolour paper and then spritz with water to blend a little 
  • Blot with paper towel roll
  • Add more colour if desired
  • Dry with heat gun
  • Spritz with Glimmermist which will create watermarks and a lovely glowing finish, let dry naturally (do not use heat gun).
  • Cut the master board into six background pieces

Snowflake Baubles (Stamps:  Gothic Fragments, Snowflake Flourish, Bold Merry Christmas)

Merry Christmas with Snowflake Baubles.JPG

  • Stamp background with large gothic fragment and Picked Raspberry Distress Ink
  • Stamp background with small gothic fragment and white pigment ink
  • Cut narrow strip from background and purple cardstock to layer over background
  • Die cut two ornaments from extra background piece
  • Stamp sentiment on background
  • Stamp snowflake on die cut ornaments
  • Assemble card as shown
  • Add highlights with white pen

Gothic Angel (Stamps:  Gothic Fragments, Gothic Angel, Bold Merry Christmas)

Merry Christmas with Gothic Angel.JPG

  • Repeat the stamping on background as first card
  • Cut narrow strip to layer onto background
  • Stamp angel on watercolour paper
  • Swipe Distress Inks directly onto craft mat to paint image with brush and water and dry
  • Cut out angel image
  • Stamp sentiment
  • Highlight images with white pen
  • Assemble card as shown
  • Add liquid pearls to angel’s collar

CAS with Beautiful Baubles (Stamps:  Beautiful Baubles, sentiment)

Happy Holidays with Beautiful Baubles.JPG

  • Stamp off flourish and baubles on a small piece of background
  • Highlight with white pen
  • Stamp sentiment on white mat
  • Assemble as shown

It’s Christmas... with Beautiful Baubles (Stamps:  Beautiful Baubles)

It's Christmas with Beautiful Baubles.JPG

  • Stamp baubles on a small piece of background and cut out
  • Stamp leaf flourish at the top of background
  • Stamp hangers
  • Adhere ornaments
  • Stamp sentiment at bottom
  • Assemble as shown

Harlequin Ornament (Stamps:  Harlequin Christmas, A Child is Born)

Harlequin Ornament.JPG

  • Emboss ornament on watercolour paper with white powder, colour with Distress Ink and cut out
  • Stamp matching background piece on small background and emboss with clear
  • Cut narrow background pieces to layer across background and for ornament hanger
  • Remove some colour from image using water and paper towel.
  • Add ‘snow’ using chunky embossing enamel, heat underneath
  • Stamp snowflakes from a Child is Born on larger background with Wilted Violet Distress Ink. 
  • Assemble as shown

Note:  To finish backgrounds, add dark Distress Ink (such as Chipped Sapphire) to the edges with a blending tool


Miranda Degenaars
10 December 2015  |  15:38

Beautiful bunch of cards with gorgeous colors Shirley! Always lovely to see your work, hugs Mirandaxx

Cheryl K. Johnson
15 December 2015  |  0:22

Thank you for these wonderful instructions!

Anne Waller
07 January 2016  |  18:06

WOW Shirley - these are all gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing this technique x.

Sue Fee
24 April 2016  |  8:50

A beautiful set of cards and great instructions. Very inspiring, thank you.