Practical Printmaking

Hi friends! I mentioned in Sat chat that I wanted to do some gel printing and the response was overwhelming. I was glad so many people had an interest. I think a lot of people have the supplies to make gel prints but often are puzzled by what to do with all the prints. In today’s video, I have a practical approach to gel printing where we will use every print we make and end up with a stack of cards when we are done.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Gel printing (aka gelatin printmaking) has been growing in popularity over the past few years with the invention of synthetic gel printing plates. I tried a new one today from the Textures line on Craftstash (and it is 50% off right now!) and I like it as well as the Gel Press and Gelli Arts ones I have used. I’ve tried other brands that I did not like as well but you are good to go with any of the above 3 brands. I realize availability is different in various parts of the world so go with what is easy for you to get. You can even make a gelatin plate from unflavored gelatin.

7 gel printed cards

You are going to need some acrylic paint and a rubber brayer. I like the Gelli Arts, Speedball and the Textures one I just tried. I prefer a brayer that is around 4″ wide. Just make sure it is a soft rubber and not a hard rubber or acrylic. Foam rollers will soak up a lot of paint so even though they cost less they will use up more paint and be harder to clean. A good rubber brayer will last decades with proper care and lessen the amount of paint you use. It’s a good investment.

5 gel printed greeting cards

The sky is the limit with what you can use to enhance your prints. any stamps, stencils, texture plates, or even found objects like bubble wrap, mesh produce bags and cardboard can be used to make textures. Keep your eyes open and keep a collection of interesting textures for your next gel printing session. I have a whole box of junk and trash I use for printmaking!

6 gel printed cards

To clean or not to clean your plate and brayer? I am in the “clean plate club” when it comes to my printing plates and brayers (and watercolor palettes for that matter) because your tools will last longer if you take care of them. You will also get a more detailed print if you start with a clean plate. I know a lot of modern gel printers like to leave the grunge on the plate to impart texture on another day’s print but not me. Instead, what I do is take some mod-podge or thin acrylic paint (the kind used for paint pouring) and lay down a thin coat, and then place a sheet of paper on top and let it dry. Then I can usually pull off all of that delightful grunge at once. If needed I wash the plate before storing it. I try to wash my brayers before the paint dries on them. Some people like to let the paint build up and then soak it all off in a satisfying acrylic skin. It’s probably fine but good brayers can be a bit on the expensive side and I only want to buy them once. You do you. I hope today’s video and tips inspire you to try your hand at gel printing! Happy crafting!

many gel printed cards

Gone Fishin’

Hi friends! I have a greeting card project to share today. I made it for my nephew who loves to fish.

Need help with your alcohol marker coloring? 50% off Launch Special on my new class Alcohol Marker Workshop! *Use coupon code MARKER50 if the discount doesn’t apply automatically. Offer ends 11/30/22.

To make this slimline card base with a pocket perfect for gifting cash, checks, or a gift certificate score and fold an 8 1/2″x11″ piece of heavy cardstock at 4″ and 8″ and you will have a 3″ remaining panel you can adhere in at the edges for a pocket.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I am planning on posting weekly cardmaking tutorials in the future. Is anyone still making cards? Til next time happy crafting!

Cardmaking Tips: 5 ways to color Your images!

Hi friends! Today I taught a free class on how to use 5 different art supplies to color images for paper crafting and cardmaking.

I used the pretty printed postcards that came in the Papercraft Society box I designed! The kit included a large sheet of clear stamps and dies that I designed as well as papers made from my watercolors and foiled vellum die cuts, embellishments and more! You can see the full kit here. You can use whatever supplies you like to follow along with me today. Enjoy the free class!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Here are some closeups of the cards:

Left: Vivia watercolor sheets and traditional watercolor, Right Colored pencils. Other supplies are included in the kit.
These feature alcohol markers that blend beautifully on this paper but the ink will bleed through the back of the paper so I recommend gluing them to a card base for professional results. Other supplies are in the kit.
This card features the included Viviva watercolor bookmark as well as traditional watercolor and touches of colored pencil.
This card features water-based markers and features the stamps in the kit. The edges were cut with one of the border dies in the kit.

My Papercraft Society kit was so fun to design! I think there are a lot of useful products in there that you will want to craft with for years to come. I hope this video helped demystify coloring stamped or printed images and I hope you give these techniques and mediums a try soon! Happy crafting!

Let’s Make Cards! Fun Watercolor Marker Coloring made Easy!

Hi friends! Today I am going to share some fun cards you can make. You will need some water-based markers and a few rubber stamps. Feel free to use stuff you already have!

I think it’s great when you take an idea but recreate it using your favorite supplies because it makes all of your work unique!

Supplies (Affiliate links used, feel free to substitute!)

I hope you just of those oldies but goodies and make a card today! Happy crafting!

Let’s Use Up some Crafty Crap: Chipboard

Hi friends! Do you have a stash of chipboard shapes from back in the day? Or maybe a stach of cereal boxes you have saved to make your own DIY chopboard shapes? Well, todayis the day we dig them out and put them to good use!

I have also been hearing of many people who have recently purchased their first gel printing plates so we will give that a workout too and create some really fun cards. This is a longer video so grab your supplies and craft along, or you can put this on as you do other things for a bit of company.

Supplies: (affiliate links used) *I have lined up to what I can find but I like to use old stamps that may no longer be available. Have fun and substitute with what you have!

Now I did whip up a few more cards with leftovers while I was at it that did not use the chipboard shapes. I think it is fun to make use of these extra doo-dads at the end of a crafting session. They are fun to mail out for a quick hello for no particular occasion. I hope something in this video inspired you and til next time happy crafting!

Why buy the die when you can use the supplies you have for free? Cute face swap card!

Hi friends! Today I have a super cute card to share!

There is a notch on the side so you can turn the mechanism inside the cards and the faces on the doll will change. Watch the video to see how easy it is to make with the supplies you already have!

I don’t know what to call this mechanical card except super fun to make! Grab your basic cardmaking tools and let’s get started! The cards are so fun to craft using supplies from our sponsor Top Flight Stamps! SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!


  • Build a Baboushka Stamp Set
  • White cardstock *I used Neenah Patterned paper *Pick your paper first and use that to choose markers to color with.
  • Thick cardstock for card base (I used Park Lane heavyweight from Joann Fabrics)
  • Mini brad
  • Scrap paper for templates (keep for future cards)
  • Circle cutters or dies/punches Alcohol markers in colors to match the pattern paper (I mostly used Art-n-Fly)
  • Alcohol ink safe ink pad like Memento

Now, there are fancy dies you can buy to make mechanical cards like this but if you use a little creativity you can get the same results with the supplies you already have. Happy crafting!

Stop Hoarding Those Supplies and Start Using them! (Crafting Old School)

Hi friends! Today we are going to make some pretty cards using bits and bobs you likely have in the craft room. You can use printed ephemera, pattern papers, tags, envelopes, bits of trim and lace, stamps, wax seals, buttons, twine and anything you like. You can use any combinations of things you like. We have been collecting these precious things for years so we will have different things to hand but that is what makes our cards unique.

Gather up some supplies, and maybe a cup of tea and craft with me!

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

I hope this inspired you to use some of your crafty treasures, til next time happy crafting!

Kinetic Card: Blooming Bouquet!

Hi freinds! Today I am going to show you how to make a card that moves when you pull the tab!

Watch the video to see how!

To see the colored pencil blending demo for these flowers/leaves check out this video.

Supplies: (affiliate links used)

I got a great suggestion from a couple of viewers who suggested using clear plastic packaging or acetate cut into strips for the blooming mechanism and that is a perfect idea! I hope you give something like this a try and til next time happy crafting!

Trendy Looks for Less on Your Cards!

Hi friends! I love to be inspired by new products but I don’t like to run out and but something that is trendy now only to have it look dated in a year. I had been seeing “stacked dies” used on cards and although I liked the look the sets are expensive and quite specific and I don’t get on well with intricate dies. I find them fiddly and unpleasant to work with. My Big Shot die cutter is about 13 years old and still going strong with near daily use and I don’t see the point in replacing it so I can cut one type of die more effectively especially since I have heard the newer models don’t last. *I do have the Sizzix precision base plate and that really helps cut those intricate dies in my old Big Shot. I recommenced it over spending $100 on a new machine because, as they say, they don’t make them like they used to.

Today I am going to show you how to layer up dies you already have to get the stacked die look. I will also offer tips on using up supplies before they go bad and how to get a faux foil look. This lesson is about using what you have. I will list specific supplies used below but you can likely find something close in your stash. Hot Looks we will do: Foil, offset die cutting, ink blending, ombre


  • One intricate corner, border or background die. I used a broken tile die from Creative Expressions
  • Any Background Stamp (I used a Stampin up stamp Corner Garden that seems to be retired)
  • Ink blending brushes (or any blending tool you like)
  • Hero arts ombre ink pad or pink, orange and yellow ink pads (if inking up a stamp with 3 pads to yellow first and then pink and orange where they overlap if needed. This is easier with mini pads.
  • Gold rub ons (these can give you the trendy foiled look, you probably have some in your stash and they don’t keep so use them up!)
  • Mirror cardstock Sometime you can save this from packaging, often beauty products come with foil cardstock inserts. *also great for the trendy foil look without the cost of foiling supplies!
  • Enamel dots *DIY enamel dots tutorial here

I hope you use one or two of these techniques in your next card. Til next time happy crafting!