EBE by Julie Ebersole, Essentials By Ellen Release, Guest Designer, Stamping

Clean & Simple Grid Patterns with Joan Bardee

Join us in welcoming Joan Bardee back to the blog! We’re thrilled to have her here showing how she was inspired by our newest release (available HERE, only on ellenhutson.com!).

Hello crafters! I’m so excited to be on the Ellen Hutson blog using a fun set of stamps and coordinating dies called Mail Call from the June 2023 release. Julie Ebersole designed it so you know it’s got to be awesome!

I’m sharing some tips on how to make a card using a grid design or layout, and by that I mean a design that has images laid out in horizontal and vertical rows like you see on graph paper. Grids are simple to make and, because everything is in its place, create a calm design that is pleasing to the eye (at least my eyes!). I make them all the time and am sharing my process.


  • If you are unfamiliar with grid layouts, get inspired by searching “grid design cardmaking” or something similar on Pinterest, You Tube, Instagram, etc. Don’t limit yourself to card inspiration – quilts and fine art are full of beautiful examples of grid layouts. 
  • Select your products – find smaller dies, stamps, and/or ephemera that can be repeated or combined with other similar items to form a grid on your card. Mail Call is perfect for a grid because it contains a small rectangular image, but any die or stamp that is small enough to be repeated or combined with similar items will work. I guarantee that your stash is full of dies and stamps that will work with a grid layout!
  • To save time and product, make a version of your card with scrap or typing paper.

Here I taped a die from Mail Call onto a folded piece of typing paper and ran it through my Platinum 6 die cut machine once. This created 8 die cut rectangles.  

Take the die cut scraps and place them on a piece of cardstock to see how they will fit on an A2 (or whatever size) card. I used a piece of yellow cardstock so that I could see the margins around the die cut papers better. I also selected a sentiment for the center of the card and made sure there was enough room around the sentiment for all the die cuts.

In this case, first time was the charm, but sometimes I find that my grid idea isn’t going to work, but that’s ok. Better to use up some scrap paper than good cardstock.

Tip: Figure out your sentiment and where it is going to go before you start making the card. I often place a strip sentiment in the center of a grid layout, but there are alternatives. For this card, I stamped it directly on the cardstock, making the sentiment part of the grid itself, and I loved how it fit perfectly. I could have stamped and die cut the sentiment and added it that way, but stamping it directly on the card base makes it stand out more.

Stamp, Color, Die Cut

Next is the fun part – make all the elements of your card. Stamp your image, color if needed, and die cut. I used Neenah Solar White cardstock.

Tip: One way to add interest to a grid is to use different images or vary the colors. For this card I stamped all the images in Memento Tuxedo ink and colored them with Sketchmarker alcohol markers – New York Pink (R103), Cheese (Y13), and Frosted Jade (B22). I colored around each flower rather than the flowers themselves just to do something a little different.

Coated each flower in Tonic Nuvo Crystal Glaze.


  • Start with the center of your grid and work out. In this case, I stamped the sentiment directly in the center of the card and then adhered each die cut image with Scrapbook Adhesives Crafty Foam Tape (the added dimension literally adds a pop to a grid layout and makes a big difference).
  • There are a few ways to place die cuts in a perfect/near perfect grid: 1. Eyeball the placement and adhere while standing up (otherwise you’ll get a distorted view); 2. Use a cover plate or stencil such as this one to mark the cardstock; 3. Lay out on a gridded mat or paper, and when you are satisfied, cover all or most of the items with removable paper (such as a large post it tape or washi paper or Press n’ Seal), flip over, add glue or foam tape to the bottom of each image and then adhere; and 4. Measure and mark with a ruler. I used option #1 (eyeballing) for this card.
  • When stamping directly in a grid layout I use the MISTI to help me line up the images.

Tip: Other ways to liven up a grid layout: contrasting card base, embellishments, turning the images in different directions, placing the images in a row and have line sentiments between the rows, etc. Don’t be limited to one idea. There are so many fun grid layouts out there.

I hope you’ve been inspired to try a grid layout. Thanks so much to Ellen Hutson LLC for having me today! I loved being here because Ellen is personally and professionally a fantastic person. It’s an honor to be on the blog!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Julie June 12, 2023 at 5:09 pm


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