Cardmaking, Die Cutting, EBE by Julie Ebersole, Essentials By Ellen, General

Get a Great Looking Pile of Backgrounds Quickly with an Acrylic Block, Some Ink and a Water Bottle

Do you ever wish you had a pile of backgrounds ready to quickly add a great image and sentiment to? Your obliging EH Design Ambassador Daniel is here to share a great technique you can use to create a ton of backgrounds in minutes.

This week, as I worked on lots of projects, I stumbled across this fun idea of stamping with an acrylic block. I didn’t invent this, I just added my own little twist to it.

I love that it combines ink smooshing with a bit more control. Clean and Simple cards make me smile the most, so I also love how much white I can leave behind with this technique.

To begin, I added some Bellini, Samba and Rockin’ Red inks to a larger round acrylic block from Catherine Pooler. You could use either one of the round sizes available but I like the bigger one for this project.

Then, I sprayed it about four times with a Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer and pressed it onto the front of some watercolor paper. I twisted it a bit and let it sit on the paper for five minutes, piling a few more blocks on top for some weight.

After lifting up the blocks, I trimmed the cardstock panel down by a 1/4″ on all sides with the Tim Holtz Deckle Trimmer and popped it up on the front of an A2-sized card base with foam tape.

Next, I stamped the hedgehog and forest image from the Hedgehog Day by Anita Jeram stamp set from Colorado Craft Company with Intense Black Ink.

I would normally choose a more muted palette for my hedgehogs, but since the background includes bright saturated colors, I chose a more saturated set of Copic markers — YR27, YR24, YR21, G16, G14, R14, W8, W6, and W1.

To color this image in, I used my favorite method — Storybook Style Copic Coloring. With this method, you don’t worry much about blending, you just dot in the colors with small splotches. It gives the look of watercolor without all the water!

After coloring, I die cut the image out with the Hedgehog Day coordinating die and laid it over the front of my card. I decided it would look best if the die cut was rounded and fit inside the circle. So, I used an Essential Circles die and cut out the scene with it using my Spellbinders Platinum 6 die cutter.

Next, I cut up a bunch of little pieces of foam tape and popped up the little hedgehog scenes with them over the front of the circle.

I pulled out the Nice of You stamps and die and grabbed one I had already heat embossed on Pitch Black cardstock with White Embossing Powder and popped it up on the front with foam tape.

To add a bit of shine, I laid down some Big Apple sequins from Catherine Pooler with some liquid glue.


  • When stamping with the acrylic block, have several panels of watercolor paper and ink combos on hand to make several backgrounds at one sitting. You make like some more than others or you may want to have some ready for a quick card project.
  • When you press down the acrylic block, twist it around a few times to smooth out the circle. If you have splotches you want to cover, you can lift up the acrylic block, spray it again and put it down carefully in the same place. (I left some white spots on my design because I liked the look.)
  • When choosing a Copic color palette, limit your selection to just a few color families to keep your project unified and cohesive.


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1 Comment

  • Reply maureen k morton February 16, 2022 at 9:54 am

    Really like this result….wish we had a short video, however. Thanks!

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