Three Valentine’s Day Cards | Watercoloring & Die Cut

Hello crafty friends!

Thanks for joining me today for another blog post, coming to you live on a sunny and breezy day in Dallas-ish where we’re expected to have reached 70F in January, yay! The stark change from below freezing temperatures earlier in the week to now warmer temps makes me chuckle since I’m making cards at a time of year that people associate with dreary weather.

Today I’m sharing three Valentine’s Day cards that I was able to create fairly quickly using inexpensive watercolor paints and dies in my current crafty stash.

For my watercolor panels, I used Canson XL Watercolor paper that was cut down to A2-sized panels. I taped the panels to a wooden board with washi tape to help minimize the warping from the saturation of paints and water.

Using Artist Loft’s Fundamentals Watercolor pan sets ($5 from Michaels each!), I used the 36 pan set and the Pearlescent pan set for the three card panels.

I used a flat watercolor brush and a very small round watercolor brush to create three different designs using the pinks and reds from both sets.

Next, I used Pretty Pink Posh’s Scalloped Frames die, using the largest die that measures 4”x5” with Recollections 110lb. black cardstock. I passed it through my Big Shot several times because I adhered three frames together using Tombow liquid adhesive and planned on using this dimensional frame stack per card.

I die cut the Love sentiments (in both the heart and circular style), using dies from Savvy Stamps. The HUGS die sentiment is from MFT Stamps. For these die cut pieces, I wanted to add some shimmer so I used my Wink of Stella pen to add more detailing.

Finally, it was time to adhere the different elements together to create these three cards.





Here are the cards in this YouTube Video!

It’s easy to get caught up in the “buy, buy, buy” mentality because consumerism is everywhere! Sometimes I get into a funk because I want to buy new, fun supplies but feeling guilty because I know I have lots of supplies I should probably get around to using!

Let’s get social and be crafty friends!

Come check out my latest YouTube video where you can see me put these three cards together. Come find me on Instagram too at @papertokens.


Valentine’s Day Card | Lawn Fawn

Hello crafty friends!

Today I’ll be sharing a quick Valentine’s Day card, featuring a stamp and coordinating die set from Lawn Fawn’s latest Valentine’s Day release, called Rawr. Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays because of the conversation hearts and the color schemes. While I purchased the release awhile ago, I haven’t had a chance to play with the products until now!

I’ll be starting with a 4.25” by 5.5” watercolor paper panel since I’ll be doing ink blending with my Tim Holtz distress oxide inks. For the sky, I decided to use Worn Lipstick as the first color I’ll be blending onto my panel. I blended Worn Lipstick until it reached where I wanted my ground to start. I took MFT’s Mini Cloud stencil and used Picked Raspberry to stencil on a cloud border. For my ground, I used Twisted Citron to signify grass and Vintage Photo as a patch of dirt.

I wanted to add a little interest to the background and so I spritzed my panel with a small amount of Ranger Perfect Pearls powder and water that I mixed in a Ranger Mini Mister. I wanted to get some distinct water droplets on my panel so I left the water mixture on my card panel for about 30 seconds before blotting with a paper towel to dab the excess away. I didn’t experience much warping with my watercolor panel so all I had to do was gently flex the card panel flat again. If it was very warped, I would have used my heat tool to completely dry the panel and ran it through my Big Shot to really flatten it.

I stamped the dinosaur from the Rawr set onto 110lb cardstock using Lawn Fawn Jet Black ink, which is safe for alcohol based markers. I’ll be coloring my dinosaur using Tonic Nuvo markers in 449, 451, and 453 for the pink hues of the dinosaur’s body and then 417 which are the green spots I dotted on her body to give her “freckles”. I ran the stamped image through my Big Shot, using the coordinating die.

To create a couple more layers for my card, I used the Stripey Background with another panel of 110lb cardstock and ran it through my Big Shot. I debated using patterned paper or bright cardstock but decided against it this time. I used one of my Tombow adhesive tape runners on the back of the ink blended panel and I adhered it to a white, 110lb. card base. I adhered the the Stripey background die cut piece as the top layer, using strong double-sided adhesive tape.

Using Lawn Fawn’s Scripty Word die in the sentiment, ‘XOXO’, I ended up die cutting a total of 3 with the intention of layering them. Using Tombow liquid glue, I carefully layered these sentiments, giving it dimension and a chipboard appearance. I used Glossy Accents over the entire sentiment and set aside to dry as I finished the card.

I took foam tape and cut it into squares to place behind ‘XOXO’ and my stamped dinosaur to mount onto the front of the card. Like always, this is where I was debating if the card needed more embellishments but I liked the relatively clean and simple look I had created so far.

Are you creating any Valentine’s Day cards this year? Let me know in the comments below so I can check out your work!

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Thanks for stopping by! If you’re looking for me on Instagram, you can find me @papertokens.

PS- I actually created my FIRST YouTube video that coordinates with this blog post and you can check it out HERE!

You Make Life Sparkle | Papercraft Business Challenge #2

Hello friends!

Today I have my second design team project for the Papercraft Business Challenge Blog. January’s theme is “Anything Goes” with an optional prompt of “Something New”. If you want the full details, click here.

For my card, I did use a couple new to me products, particularly the Arteza Real Brush pens and Neat and Tangled’s stamp set called Fairy Dust. If you’d like to learn more about the real brush pens, more information with a couple of links will be shared below after I share how I made this card!

First I cut some Canson Watercolor paper slightly larger than an A2-sized card and taped it down to my work surface with washi tape to minimize warping. I selected a few Arteza pen colors in yellow, orange, pink and purple hues. I started with the yellow and orange colors first. I gently swiped horizontal streaks of the colors onto the watercolor panel and used a very wet paintbrush afterwards. To help minimize the harsh lines, I used a lot of water to blend and soften the colors. I used a heat tool to help the drying process.

I used my EK Success anti-static powder tool to treat the whole surface of the panel since I would be heat embossing. The first round involved using the large stamp to create the image of the sparkling bits. I used Versamark embossing ink and Ranger’s Sticky Embossing powder for that stamped image. I needed a sticky surface to be able to rub some Nuvo Gilding Flakes in Silver Bullion. That resulted in the stamp image to have less detail but I didn’t mind. Next, I heat embossed the sentiments “You make life” and “Sparkle” to help frame the image.

Staying true to the sentiment, I added Pretty Pink Posh sequins in Sparkling Clear, Pink Blush, and Pink Peonies on the panel. For the last bit of sparkly-ness, I used a thin strip of DCWV shimmery cardstock for the right side of the panel as well as some Stickles Glitter Glue in Crystal. Since the watercolor paper was slightly warped, I adhered this panel onto 110lb. cardstock using double sided tape to make sure the edges wouldn’t peel up.

January DT Project

So there you have it, my design team project for the month of January! We’d love for you to come play along in the challenge, so please come on by and check it out! 

You have all month to create and share with us, as well as a chance for a prize! All papercraft projects are welcome.

Want to check out last month’s Papercraft Business Challenge project I did? Check it out here  and check out my fellow Design Team sisters projects here.  

Read below if you’d like more information on the Arteza Real Brush pens. Until next time, happy crafting!

In a nutshell, the Arteza Real Brush Pens are water-based ink pens with a flexible real brush tip (nylon bristles). Using the pens with a little bit of water can create a beautiful, watercolor effect. You can read more about the product here with the option of purchasing them straight from the brand’s page .

These pens are very similar to the Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens. Arteza’s price point is much lower and there are 48 colors offered. One thing I personally disliked was that the pens didn’t list any color names or a numerical way of organizing them. My personal solution was to create a swatch kit so I could reference it for projects. One thing I’ve also learned is that once a pen is out of ink, they aren’t sold individually at this point, so you’ll need to purchase a set again.

To get a more detailed video on these, I’d highly recommend Jennifer McGuire’s YouTube video here to see if these are a great fit for your crafting needs!

Fun With Food: Pizza Themed Card | Lawn Fawnatics Challenge 20

Hello all!

In this post, I am sharing my pizza themed card with you, that I’m also entering into the Lawn Fawnatics Challenge Blog #20 Fun With Food.

I have a weakness for puns  so when Lawn Fawn came out with a stamp set of pizza (one of my favorite foods!) AND puns in winter 2016… I bought it ASAP! Recently I purchased a majority of their  Valentine’s release and couldn’t wait to start making valentines. One thing I love about Lawn Fawn is that their products are complementary and versatile, so my pizza card was primarily created using my existing Lawn Fawn goodies!

Recently, I purchased the Umbrella Crafts Jumbo Pendant dies from and glancing at them made me think of a pizza slice! I started off with an A2-sized base using Neenah Desert Storm cardstock. I angled the pendant die horizontally like a pizza slice and made sure the straight, vertical side (the base of the die?) slightly hung off the base so the die wouldn’t cut the crease of the card. I ran it through my Big Shot machine and whew, my vision worked so far!

To create the “cheese”, I used a smaller pendant die to diecut Lawn Fawn Sunflower cardstock. The gorgeous, lacy borders were created from Gauva and Chili Pepper cardstock, using the latest Lacy Borders die from the Valentine’s release!

I used a circular stamp from Let’s Bokeh to stamp the “pepperoni” using Chili Pepper dye ink and the solid heart stamp from Pizza My Heart using Gauva dye ink.

Using Jet Black ink, I stamped the “No Matter How You Slice It” sentiment on the front and then “You Have a Pizza My Heart” sentiment on the inside.




My next personal challenge is creating a donut shaped card. I can’t wait to test out my idea for that! Are you participating in the Lawn Fawnatics challenge?! Let me know below!

Craft Parcel First Impressions- LATE POST | Simon Says Stamp

I wasn’t planning on buying much for Black Friday (is this a lie we tell ourselves or is it just me???) but I found a couple crafty deals I couldn’t pass up. I took a gamble and purchased the Craft Parcel from Simon Says Stamp for $67.99. Simon Says Stamp marketed it as a ‘perfect parcel of crafty supplies’ that you could just add wrapping paper. It was advertised as having a retail value of at least $200, so I thought I’d try it out.

In previous Simon releases (literally minutes after the release), some items would sell out while it was in your cart or when you’re checking out. I played a little mental game thinking, “Eh, if the purchase goes through, then it was meant to be.” Lo and behold, I got one! I looked up YouTube videos from previous years of these Craft parcels just to get an idea of what type of products I’d get or how much product would be in this mystery box. More of my thoughts later in this post!

I’m not too familiar with some of these brands but I have listed what the actual products are that I’ve received in my parcel and I’ve grouped them into different categories for the photos (stamps, dies, embellishments, etc).

First Impressions

First and foremost, I received a large amount of products that I can believe at the full, suggested retail price, it did total $200 worth. For $67.99 PLUS the shipping cost of $6.99, I am not fully convinced this purchase is one I adore or believe it was worth splurging on.

Not going to lie, I feel like I’m betraying one of my favorite companies, but I also wanted to be honest in my initial impressions.

Maybe my opinion will change as I play and use the supplies, but at this point I was a little disappointed (or maybe perplexed?) on how I could put all these goodies to use!








I think there were a lot of random products and I guess I was under the impression it would be a bit of a curated box like a card kit where the elements coordinated with one another. I guess I didn’t take it literally that the products would vary this much.

When I was looking online at Simon Says Stamp to see if the products were available (especially ones that probably had coordinating elements such as additional paperpads or stamps) , many of the products were no longer available. My biggest annoyance, not going to lie, was receiving the Webster Pages’ A5 planner inserts that were dated for 2015/2016!!! The miscellaneous papers (taken from other paper pads) I’ve received weren’t labeled so not sure what brand these were (for future references).

Overall, I received some interesting products and this is a challenge for me to craft outside my crafty comfort zone. Do you have any experience with this particular release or from similar companies? Where did you get your inspiration for making cards with the supplies you’ve received? I’d love to hear!

Items in my Craft Parcel:

  • Webster’s Pages A5 15-month week view October 2015-December 2016
  • Prima Marketing 3D Wood Alphas 1.75” (56 pieces)
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint in Sunny Day
  • Crate Paper Cool Kid Wood Embellishments
  • 12 pieces of a paperpad
  • 4 pieces of colored cardstock
  • Sullivans Embroidery Floss
  • Mommy Lhey Phantom Mist Pen
  • Crate Paper Sequin Hearts
  • My Mind’s Eye My Story 24-cut Journal Cards
  • American Crafts Thickers Stickers Coastline
  • Bella Blvd Paper Secrets of the Sea Paper Pieces
  • Washi Tape
  • Heidi Swapp Art Screen Ink in Silver
  • Royal Posthumus Woodies Stamp Pad in Deep Dark
  • Cas-ual Fridays 3 In a Row stamp set
  • MFT Kitschy Kitchen stamps
  • Taylored Expressions Stitch by Stitch 2
  • Taylored Expressions Mane Event stamp and die
  • Echo Park Fall is in the Air die set
  • Simon Says Stamp Mum die
  • Simon Says Stamp Summer Fun die
  • Simon Says Stamp Ornate Leaves die


Everything’s Cooler With You | Papercraft Business Challenge

Hello crafty friends!

Today I’m sharing a card I have created for the Papercraft Business Challenge Blog! Stay tuned at the end of my post so you can learn more about the Challenge and if you’re interested, come play along! I’ve shared in a previous post that I was chosen to be one of the DT members and I’d love for you to check it all out!

To start this card, I cut two A2-sized panels from some 110lb cardstock. One of the panels went through my diecut machine with a Sizzix circle die because it’ll act as a window for the stamped images when I assemble the card later on.

For the ink blending, I got my inspiration from the cool pictures I see about the Northern Lights. I used Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks in Cracked Pistachio, Broken China, and Iced Spruce for the base layer and top layer. To prevent harsh lines between the ink colors, I used a light hand when doing my blending (in a circular motion starting off of the panels) and I would go over the “boundary” (where the two colors would meet) to soften the transition between them.

I used the snowflake images from Lawn Fawn’s Beary Happy Holidays stamp set in Simon Says Stamp White pigment ink to stamp both panels. I chose a pigment ink because it would give me a grace period of staying “wet”, so I would be able to apply Perfect Pearls powder on top! I used one of my spare paintbrushes to dust a fine layer of Perfect Pearls on top of the stamped snowflake images. I brushed the powder back and forth lightly over the image until the pigment ink was covered. I took a Swiffer cloth to lightly buff away the excess powder. It’s a bit of a mess and will migrate onto you, but I can deal, ha! I’m not an expert on Perfect Pearls but I have seen other crafters use a water mister to help “set” the powder, so I held my mini water mister about a foot away and did a couple quick spritz. If I didn’t “set” it like that, the powder can smudge off. If you check out Jennifer McGuire Ink on YouTube, she has fabulous videos explaining this product and other techniques that work well with this product!

As I let those panels dry, I worked on my two polar bear images. I stamped the polar bears using an alcohol friendly ink because I knew I would be coloring with Copic markers, which are alcohol-based. For my white polar bear, I colored his scarf using BG15 and BG18, with his ice skates in BG15. I used R22 to create some pink cheeks and their inner ears for both bears. For the other bear, I used E00 as her overall body color, with E77 for her ice skates, and R22 for her scarf. I used my Sizzix Big Shot to die cut the images out. Before assembling the finished product, I needed to stamp my sentiment and wanted to attempt a circular angle for it. That’s why I love my MISTI tool because it can help manipulate my sentiment’s shape (without doing stamp surgery!). My sentiment didn’t come out as black and crisp as I wanted (probably because of the Perfect Pearls in some areas) so I used my Papermate Flair tip to go over the sentiment.

Finally, I adhered the panels together using my Tombow adhesive tape runner. I wanted a bit of dimension, so I adhered one of my bears with foam tape. I put the finished piece on a gray cardbase, slightly wider than an A2-sided card.



I hope you are inspired to create a seasonal card or crafty project. Come enter the Papercraft Business Challenge blog this month, we’d love for you to join us!

For the complete set of rules and information, come visit the Challenge Blog  here. 

Quick Details on the Challenge Blog:

  • A new challenge starts at the beginning of each month (December 1st!)
  • All papercrafters are welcome to play, submitting papercraft projects such as cards, scrapbook layouts, mixed media, planner spreads, etc!
  • With your NEW papercraft project, you’d link your project post and use our linky tool so we can check out your project
  • We’ll have one winner per challenge (with a prize) and a Top 5 nominated by us DT members!

December’s Prize is this Magnolia Designs- Christmas Eve Edwin stamp!

PB Challenge Prize December

Snowflake Cards | Ink Blending

Okay, I may fall into the unpopular camp, but I don’t want to do anything holiday related until at least after Thanksgiving or December 1st. Is it me, or does it seem like every year the U.S. moves up the fall and winter holidays earlier and earlier in the stores? Maybe it’s because I now live in the South, but I feel like people started decorating and putting up Christmas trees around HALLOWEEN. What, what, what?!

So, now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I can now start flexing my holiday-themed muscles in cardmaking. Plus, I used crafting as a deterrent from shopping some excellent (but probably unnecessary) Black Friday deals! Real talk… I did purchase items but at least I stopped before I did tooooo much damage 😉

To start, I cut two A2-sized card fronts from 110lb Recollections white cardstock. The most time consuming part is what comes next… die cutting your masked paper. I used Lawn Fawn’s Mini Snowflakes dies on some Simon Says Stamp masking paper. Some of the dies were very intricate so it was a time consuming process to poke out the masks and find an edge you could separate the backing. I tried being random (can any crafter really do this organically and have it look great?) in where I placed these masks.

For the pink card, I used Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry Distress Oxide inks. I have a heavy hand by nature, so I had to pounce the ink blending tool lightly around the masks versus using a circular motion, to prevent them from peeling up. Before peeling up the masks, I decided to spritz the card front with some Perfect Pearls mist (a small amount of the product with water in a Ranger Mini Mister). The picture doesn’t do it justice, but in the right light, there’s a subtle shimmer.

The second card was a bit of a gamble, because I wanted to create a galaxy background. In the same fashion, I pounced my blending tool with the following Distress Oxide inks: Peacock Feathers, Broken China, Salty Ocean, Cracked Pistachio, and Faded Jeans. The part that can make crafters feel regretful is when you add Black Soot or a similar ink on top to add the “blackness” of the galaxy. I squeezed a tiny dab of white acrylic paint and black acrylic on my stamping pad and watered it down. Placing this card panel in my “splatter box” (aka old shipping box), I flicked some of these paints to mimic stars(and planets, I suppose?). Finally, I spritzed some Perfect Pearls mist from a foot away. The card was a little damp and peeling up the masks for this card front took a little longer because it was starting to rip from the moisture. If I create this card again, I would use less o the mist and maybe use a quick shot of my heat tool.

Finally, I mounted these card fronts onto some card bases. It’s always so satisfying to pull up the masking paper to reveal the stark white image against your ink blending.

The finished card fronts prior to mounting them onto card bases

Have you tried this technique? Are you finished with your holiday cards? I don’t have many to make but I better get going so I can mail them out before the holidays!

Doing My Best | Kelly Purkey Planner Stamps

This is a late blog post of a card I made last week. I used the Kelly Purkey Doing My Best Planner stamps for this card, in combination with Lawn Fawn mini dye ink cubes. This card was validation of some sorts that I was trying to do my best with the crazy week I had… starting with a long week, being sick, lack of sleep and self-care, and mood swings because of feeling crappy. Nobody gave me grief for being off my game, but I suppose if someone was frustrated with me, this would be the card I’d give to apologize for my less than stellar self at a time like that 😉

I used my MISTI stamping tool and MISTI Creative Corners to draw a faint diagonal line to be able to line up the sentiment, Doing My Best.

I haven’t done rainbow stamping in awhile, so I stamped the sentiment out in ROY G BIV fashion, using the inks Lobster, Carrot, Sunflower, Fish Tank, Sugarplum, and Fresh Lavender.

Surrounding the rainbow sentiment, I decided to stamp the other images and words in Manatee ink to help accentuate the stamped sentiment.

That’s basically the rest of the card! I was itching to do more to the card but I couldn’t decide of any other embellishments. So I decided to go with a philosophy that can be hard for me to follow at times… less is more.


Are you able to create and craft when you’ve had an exhausting or ill week? The nurse in me would like to give this PSA: Keep yourself well and make sure you disinfect shared surfaces at work and at home! 🙂

A Crafty Announcement! |Papercraft Business

Hello friends! I’d love to share with you an exciting and crafty announcement!

YAHOO! I am THRILLED to announce that I have made it onto my very first design team! I am sure I will be posting more about this in bits and pieces but I’d love to share a few things already!

Papercraft Business is ran by Lisa Walsh where her mission is to provide papercraft bloggers helpful and valuable content to help them (including a relatively new crafter and blogger like myself!) grow their blog. Click here to check out the website. Don’t forget to check back often because more useful and fun things will be shared! One thing that drew me in is how information is shared in an inspiring and friendly way.

Papercraft Business will be hosting monthly challenges over on the NEW Challenge Blog once a month, starting in December. Click here to learn more info but don’t worry, more information to come in the upcoming weeks!

I’m so honored to have been chosen and I can already tell with my beginning interactions with Lisa and the other DT members, I will learn and be inspired by each and every one of them!

In the meantime, totally check out the Papercraft Business website because there’s already a lot of fun and informative articles and freebies being shared and planned! I’ve joined the Papercraft Business Facebook page and signed up for Lisa’s FREE 5 day e-mail course, Find Your Blog Purpose. If you’re new to me and Paper Tokens (hello!), I’ve only been blogging and crafting since 2016. The opportunity to be a part of the Papercraft Business community AND the design team have come at the perfect time as I work on formulating my 2018 blogging and crafty goals!

The first challenge will open in just a few short weeks (December 1st) so as we get closer, I will be sharing more information! Thanks for stopping by!

Blessed to Have You | Honey Bee Stamps

When you’re feeling less than inspired to create or craft, what are some strategies you use to (hopefully) get your crafty mojo back?

Some of the tricks I use are some of the same methods other crafters and bloggers I follow employ. I usually get inspiration from social media, primarily Instagram. Usually this method for me helps me think of techniques, color palettes, or card layout inspiration that I would like to do.

I usually sift through my craft supplies to see what “speaks” to me after scrolling through Instagram. Sometimes it’s my patterned paper, embellishments, or my color media that gets the wheels turning. Quite frankly, sometimes I do these two methods and I still have no urge or inspiration to create.

I just wanted to share that quick blurb to get new ideas from you or to give you a little more insight on how many (if not all) my cards come to be.

For this card, I was looking through my paper pads and I unburied a pretty old DCWV (Die Cuts with a View brand) and I cam across the Gilded Paper Stack 12×12 paper pad. I was drawn to the paper that had gold foiled flecks and I decided to experiment and use it as my background for the card!

I used Honey Bee Stamps Bless Your Heart stamp set, using the Blessed sentiment. First I used my EK Success powder tool to give the A2 sized card front a good coating of powder, since I knew I wanted to do heat embossing. I put the card front in my MISTI tool in case I’d need to do repeat stamping. I arranged the sentiment and used Versamark ink twice. I used Ranger Sticky Embossing powder and used my heat tool to transform the powder into a nice, shiny sentiment!

I placed the card front into an old packaging box because the Tonic Studios Nuvo Gilding Flakes can get really messy! I took a pinch of some of the flakes, lightly laid it over the Blessed sentiment and then used my fingers to massage the flakes onto the embossed sentiment. I purposefully used Ranger’s Sticky Embossing powder because this powder can be used perfectly for this type of technique! I used my Tsukineko Stipple brush to really brandish the flakes into the sentiment.


I wanted to have a little more detail on the card, so I pulled out another beloved Honey Bee Stamp set called Country Wreath. I used a few of the flowers, leaves, and wreath to create some interest below the sentiment. For my inks, I used Simon Says Stamp Dark Chocolate ink, Hero Arts Pumpkin Pie and Red Royal, and Lawn Fawn Doe ink.

Lastly, I stamped the sentiment, To Have You, below the Blessed sentiment and mounted my card front on some 110lb brown cardstock from the Recollections brand. While holiday cards are fun to make, fall themed cards are my FAVE! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!