At Taylored Expressions, we are always inspired by the creativity of designers from around the crafting world and we are so lucky to have such a talented Creative Team.
Today we have a step-by-step tutorial from Blog Team designer Lisa Henke,
who shares how to use our Cutting Plates, ink, and acrylic sheets to create gorgeous ombre backgrounds.

A Note from Lisa: I am so excited to show you all how easy and quick a stenciled ombre background is to create. The best part is, I created my own stencil with a few supplies you probably already have on hand! I love the soft look of inking when working with stencils. It's also like magic every time you remove the stencil and see the pattern you created. You don't need to go out and buy a bunch of stencils --  just use your cutting plates. This works best if you find one that has some thicker, more substantial border lines to work with. I chose the Spotted Cutting Plate for my background today.

Step 1: Use your cutting plate to create the stencil by running it through your die-cut machine. Add a metal shim to make certain to get nice clean cuts from your die. The acetate is a little thicker to cut than regular card stock. 

  Step 2: Take your time to carefully punch out all the clear pieces from  your stencil. The acetate can tear if you do this too quickly.

Step 3: Tape down your stencil on top of your trimmed piece of cardstock.

Step 4: Ombre ink pads (such as the one pictured above) are easy to work with because all three colors are all in one pad. However, you can work with any inks such as Distress or other water-based inks, choosing three shades of the same color. Starting with your lightest ink, ink up your sponge applicator. Using circular movements, work the ink onto your cardstock. Keep adding the lightest ink until you are about halfway down the paper.

Step 5: Once you are a fourth to halfway down your cardstock, pick up the mid-tone color you have chosen to work with. Move on to this darker mid-tone color, being sure to blend up into the lighter color for a more natural blend.

Step 6: Carry the middle color all the way to the bottom and then start picking up the darkest color. As you add the darker color, start off the paper, but from the bottom. Again, making sure to blend up into the mid-tone color. This will give a great ombre effect to your project.

Step 7: Carefully pull up your tape and watch the magic happen!

To assemble her card, Lisa used our Calendar Critters stamp set and coordinating dies. She colored up the pup with Copics and then used the coordinating Calendar Critters Dies to cut him out. Lisa also added a row of x's and o's from Little Bits - Love Confetti. To give them some dimension, she cut out 3 layers of each from Oreo cardstock. Lisa added a die-cut Sign Post die to stamp a sentiment from Calendar Critters in black ink and then tucked it behind the pup. To finish the card, Lisa tied on some red twine and added some sequins and a trio of red enamel hearts.

We hope you are inspired to make your own Cutting Plate stencils to create your own beautiful ombre backgrounds. When you have made your project, visit our Facebook Page and share with us!

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