How to make varnished paper!

I’ll admit I love the cool varnished scrapbook paper that has been popular the last couple of years. That little touch of glossy goodness is just the right accent for so many projects. Did you know you can forgo the expensive store-bought variety and make your own? Oh, yes, and it is very easy. I used some homemade varnished cardstock for the background of this card:

Stamp Credits: On card(Oriental Tradicng Co.), on bookmark/tag: Bottle cap (Inkadinkado), Alpha (PSX)

 This is simple but perfect when you want a wee bit of subtle glam (subtle glam?!?) to add interest to a card or scrapbook. All you do is use clear embossing ink to stamp a design, sprinkle it with clear embossing powder and blast it with a beat gun. Here is how it looks on plain cardstock. Even though the ink and powder are clear it really shows up well and is guaranteed to match! You could add watercolors over the design too for a neat batik/resist look!

That is just the tip of the iceberg. You can use an embossing pen to color design elements on a sheet of patterned paper and clear emboss of a custom varnish look or stamp designs in color over a subtle patterned paper for a look that is tres chic!

Cool tip: Make your own wheel stamps with texture mats!

I was digging around in a drawer that had some old stamping tools  and I came across my old rubber Sculpey and Amaco texture mats. They are designed to press polymer clay against to make cool textures or to use the Colorbox styluses with it make little custom stamps. Well, the Scupley brand ones are the same size as the Rollagraph/Stampin’ Around jumbo wheels and I happen to have a few dozen blank wheels around so I used double stick tape to attach it to a wheel and that is how I made the varnish background in the first card. I am committed to this idea now so I think I will attach the rubber to the wheels with rubber cement. The Amaco sheets are larger so they would need to be cut down to fit the jumbo wheels. Don’t you love it when you can find 2 uses for the same product?


I put a Sculpey texture mat on a blank Stampin' Around Wheel to stamp this background. An Amaco mat is pictured laying flat. Mmmmm, texture 😉

 Another tip I have is to save the cut out parts from pretty die cuts. On both this card and tag I used the leftover inside swirl from the heart die cut from my Decorative Doilies SVG set:

I inked and shimmer misted the swirl on the card and I left it plain on the tag. Also another cheap trick: Place a strip of adhesive along the bottom of you card and pleat a strip of pretty paper along it, notch the ends and you have a cheap & chic border!

Oh, and one more tip! When making a tag for a gift think beyond the one-time use! This tag was purposely made flat so it can be used as a bookmark later.

I hope you can use some of these tips in your craftroom! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

10 Responses

  1. Wow are these ever great tips. Thanks.


  2. Thanks Lindsay for more clever and beautiful ideas!


  3. What a great idea! I also like using Versamark on colored paper, to get a paper that is also guaranteed to match. This is even spiffier though, adding the shine!
    I imagine one could also use some of that Glossy Effects and go over certain designs in decorative paper.


  4. Very nice…I have wondered how to do that! Thanks for the great tips.


  5. Ah, just love this idea – and yes have done it – looks so good on kraft too must get mine out and use it more! Shaz in Oz.x


  6. Great tips!!! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    Crafty hugs,

    partridgelu at yahoo dot com


  7. Very cool! Belated thank you for the info on binding machines and I was able to take advantage of their end-of-2011 super sales. Got the GBC CombBind C95 Plastic Comb Binding Machine for only $19.99 plus various combs for pennies ($5.95 shipping)! I do think the wire bindings look nicer, but the very low cost and professional look of the plastic combs are just great. Thanks for all of your hard work and sharing.


  8. Love that swirly paper! Pretty and how you got it to shimmer on the photograph is beyond me! 🙂


  9. LIGHT BULB MOMENT: Using the embossing pen (or Versamarker) to highlight bits of a patterned paper and then heat emboss. Why, oh why, did I never think of this?? Thank you for seeing the things that make us go *head smack*!!


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