One Layer Wetlands Card


Clean and Simple cards is a look that resonates with many people.  Today, learn how to make the simplest of cards with this how-to video and tutorial.  This project was made for the CAS this Sketch Challenge #82 using the Wetlands stamp set by Stampin’ Up!.

The sketch is quite simple, so I kept the card simple:

CTS_Sketch82nwetlands stamp set

A simple mask and easy sponging will yield a scene that blends seamlessly into your one layer card.  Enjoy this video:


I think you’ll agree that it’s an easy card to make.  You can do a ton of these and quickly have a unique little stack to send out anytime!

wetlands one layer cardcards made with wetlands stamp set

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wetlands stamp set stampin up

Wetlands Seascape Watercolor Tutorial

wetlands watercolor

I was feeling artistic last night and wanted to bring my watercolor experience this past few weeks full circle by combining my first ever landscape with one of my favorite Stampin’ Up! stamp sets – Wetlands.   Here are all the details to this journey plus several tips on supplies at the end that I like to use for this medium.  I know it’s long, but it’s quite in depth! Enjoy this tutorial.  For the complimentary article on tools and supplies click here.

As you may have read a few weeks ago, I took a local art class in watercolor.  If you didn’t see my first ever landscape, it’s pictured below, but I’ve detailed the process here – you have to see what it started out as to appreciate the end result.  Check it out here.  I still can’t believe I turned my beginning mess into something beautiful that I’m actually quite proud of.  (that’s hard to do, I’m quite hard on myself with my own artwork)  Since my original had more mistakes than imaginable, I thought it might be fun to try it again, just in a smaller version that I could use stamps on as well to combine two artistic passions.

watercolor wetlands tutorial

I was undecided on size, so I took out the stamp I wanted to use – the sandpipers from Wetlands.  It’s a rather long stamp and to get the perspective right, I realized my card was going to have to be much larger than the traditional A2 size (5 1/2 x 4 1/4).  I held the stamp up to my grid paper and settled on a  4 x 6” size for my watercolor image with a final card of  5 1/4 x 6 3/4”.  Now that I have the Envelope Punch Board, I never worry about fitting my card to an envelope – I can just make whatever size I need!

I used my painting and other similar cards as inspiration.  I used my 100 pound rough watercolor block which is 9.4 x 12.6 inches.  I wanted to work with something that was secured and wouldn’t warp.  Of course, I wasn’t paying attention, and used the side which wasn’t glued – so that kind of worked against me in the end at the bottom – oh well!  I won’t make that mistake a second time…lol!  Here’s my workspace:


Creating this seascape comes over several stages.  To begin, you don’t need to worry too much about being too precise, just throw down some yellow ochre wash (really light – really watered down) in the general area and let the painting form from there.  I used a size 14 brush.


Using Yellow Ochre in a variety of consistencies from water, milk and cream – create your rocks from the edge of your negative space.  To give them definition, decide where the light is coming from and start to shadow the rocks with a rather light wash of paynes grey or yellow ochre or a mixture of both with some burnt sienna in them.  Keep it on the light side and build up your color.


Add some more definition to the bottom of your rocks with a variety of consistencies of Burnt Umber and Paynes Grey as shadows under and between.  Use that also to define your cliffs and crevices.  Use your imagination or photos as inspiration for tone.

I went rather light in my card because it was small, you see much more depth in the full watercolor painting of my original.  I used several images of water colored rocks that I found online as inspiration as I found rocks quite difficult to attempt.  But after a few, I got the hang of them.


Use a variety of washes and mixtures in a milk consistency of Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and Payne’s Grey as you can see here.  TIP – Paint a quick swatch on a scrap piece of watercolor paper so that you know if you need to go heavier or more than likely – lighter with water.  This is a great habit to get into rather than practicing on your painting.


Next I added the blues to create the sea and sky.  I used Cerulean, Ultramarine, Prussian and Paris Blues in addition to Paynes Grey to darken any up if needed.


I started with the water.  Begin with a very light wash of Paynes Grey – super light for the boundry of where you want your water to go.  Then layer a really light wash of Cerulean Blue over that.  Don’t worry if you get too much color on the beach part.  I went back and forth getting it just right.  While that area is wet, use a clean watercolor brush to push the color from the beach back into the sea.

Add a light ultramarine/cerulean wash to the darker areas of the sea.  Once you have it the depth you want, let it dry.  Once dry, add some highlights in pure Ultramarine, but keep it minimal – just a highlight to show variety in your water depth and character.  I also added three small strands of a light watered down Prussian Blue after.


Go over it with a clean wet watercolor brush to soften up and blend in the colors.  Play around with it, I guarantee you – you will mess it up, but while it’s wet, you can adjust it.  It’s quite forgiving, and that’s the beauty of water coloring!  Take note of the sea above and in this photo.  You can see how I blended it out a bit using a clean wet brush.


For the sky, start with a rather light wash of Paris Blue.  Choose a blue that is a bit more sky color rather than the bright sea colors.  They relate, but you can see the difference in hue between the two.  As it was still wet, I brought the intensity of the color closer to the cliff line.  I was a bit over-zealous and crossed over into my brown, but fixed that with a little Olive/Burnt Sienna mixture.  It added some color break and interest too – a happy accident.

For the clouds, while the sky was wet, I took a clean wet brush and removed some of the blue by gently moving my brush around in spots.  It creates a nice natural look of billowy clouds.


If you make a mistake, don’t fret – go over that area first with a clean wet brush and work the color back to where you want it with a light scrubbing motion.  If that doesn’t work, just adapt!  TIP – Work in light color washes first, that way you can always bring the intensity up or adjust as needed.  It’s harder to take away – not impossible, but harder.

To stamp, I removed my piece by cutting it off the block (for more on my watercolor block, read below).  I needed to use a stamp-a-majig, so I wanted to have a flat surface.  The birds were a bit long, so I left off the last two.  I inked the image up and wiped away the reflections and last two birds with a wet paper towel.  Position your transparent piece to exactly where you want it.  If you don’t have a stamp-a-majig, use a piece of transparency, or plastic to get a feel for where the birds need to be.  There’s nothing worse than spending all that time on a masterpiece only to mis-place your stamped image!


Once your scene is dry – I can’t stress that enough – do not attempt this with a wet scene.  A hairdryer will dull your colors, so air drying is the best option.  Clean up, work on your sky, something so that your sea dries.  Lightly go over your birds with a small watercolor brush (I used a size 1) in a very light Paynes Grey wash.  Be careful not to add too much water, you don’t want your image to run.  You can use Staz-On Permanent…I used Memento Tuxedo Black Dye Ink.  I have a good result with that black ink pad.  Be sure to let it dry after stamping.  I added a bit too much grey to the shadows in the water, try using a light cerulean wash instead.


With your small watercolor brush, add a very light Cerulean wash around your stamped images to fill in the water where needed.  Be careful not to touch your birds if you’ve used Dye Ink!  This really finished my oncoming water on the shoreline and added just the right amount of color.  Remember with layers you can bring your scene to just the right color level.  You also create interest with under layers.  Just be careful not to wash away your underwork when doing this, a light touch is key.

The birds give the scene a human interest.  It’s important to put something there – a house, boat, people, something.  It helps to balance the scene and make the reader connect with the painting.  TIP – Notice that I placed the birds in the forefront of the painting.  The stamp that I used was large in comparison to the scene, so it’s important to have the perspective just right.  That’s why the rocks are larger in the foreground and get smaller as the scene goes back.


To finish your project, matte your cut out painting onto Very Vanilla leaving a 1/8” border.  Pop that up on several stamping dimensionals (I used 12!) to really keep it elevated.  Matte onto another piece of Very Vanilla cardstock for the card base.  I used a greeting from the Four You stamp set by Stampin’ Up.  I inked that up first in Stampin’ Up!’s Island Indigo, stamped off then in Marvy Light Blue for just the right blue.

Note – there is no white on my card at all. I think it’s best when your painting is completely painted!  My beach area has a super light wash of Yellow Ochre/Burnt Sienna and in spots Paynes Grey.


I have some great tips and DIY solutions for supplies and tools for getting started in a complementary article to this post here.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on this scene.  It’s super fun, is quite satisfying and I know the recipient of this card will love it, especially when they realize you pretty much created it yourself – Be sure to sign and date it!

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Simple One Layer Wetlands

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I needed a super quick birthday card the other day and decided to try some acrylic block stamping.  The sandpiper image from the Wetlands stamp set is the perfect image for a beach scene. 

Creative Tips –

  • I used my Stampin’ Write markers to create my own scene on one of my larger acrylic blocks. 
  • For my sand, I used Crumb Cake, and then created my water with Bermuda Bay.  Next I drew a sun in Crushed Curry and colored my sky in Island Indigo around it.  Wetlands 005 009
  • I spritzed my block with a light mist of water and stamped onto a folded piece of card stock.
  • My sandpiper birds were then stamped in Early Espresso as was my greeting from Four You.
  • Here is a similar card done and matted onto Bermuda Bay for a contrasting look, which do you like better – one layer or matted?  Let me know if the comment section.

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This card literally takes minutes and is a cute simple watercolor of a fun beach scene.  It’s yet again just one more reason you want to have the Wetlands stamp set in your arsenal – it’s versatile, and easy to use!

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Stamp Sets – Wetlands (126697c, 126695w), Four You (130538c, 130535w) Ink – Early Espresso, Stampin’ Write Markers: Island Indigo, Crumb Cake, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry Paper –Whisper White (100730)


Wetland Reeds and Sunshine

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The sun shines 6.9 out of 7 days here in Florida – there’s  a reason it’s called sunny Florida.  So I wanted to do a sunny card that reflects the summer feel and what better than the reeds stamp from the Wetlands set.  When I decided to make this card I decided on a particular view – I thought what would a field of wheat look like if I was laying on the ground.  And here is the end result!Wetlands 004 Front

Creative Tips –

  • A one layer card would keep the simplicity of the scene in the forefront.  To create the white space, I masked off the top 1 1/4” and bottom 1” of my card.  I stamped my reed (wheat) in Versamark and then the Crushed Curry Classic Ink several times across my card.  Wetlands 004 CU
  • I embossed them with Clear Embossing Powder and used the Crushed Curry Stampin’ Write Marker and VersaMarker with Clear Embossing Powder to fill in the base of the image.
  • Soft Sky Classic Ink formed my base for the sky.  I used a brayer to apply a good base across from the top and base, and then again from the left and right.  Wetlands 004 Side
  • Using 1/2” on my brayer, I applied some Pacific Point to the top of my sky.
  • For a little more depth, I sponged a tiny bit of Midnight Muse at the very edge of the upper sky.
  • The greeting is stamped in Pacific Point using the new Four You set.

This card reminds me of the mid-west.  It just makes me happy and I see field of wheat and grass in the late summer.  I hope you like it too! 

Be sure to check back in the beginning of July for my online brayer classes and technique videos.  You won’t wan to miss these step by step how to videos that will help you to master this amazing and artistic technique. 


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Wetlands 004 Angle

Stamp Sets – Wetlands (126697c, 126695w), Four You (130538c, 130535w) Ink – Soft Sky (131181), Pacific Point (126951), Crushed Curry (131173), Midnight Muse (126860), Crushed Curry Stampin’ Write Marker (131264), Versamark (102283) Paper –Whisper White (100730) Cool Tools – Brayer(102395),Stampin’ Sponges (101610), Clear Embossing Powder (109130)

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Wetlands One Layer Card

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It’s been a while since I’ve made a One Layer Card and the Wetlands stamp set is the perfect set for this.  Here is a creative scenery that’s quick, easy, cost effective and just beautiful for anyone receiving this in the mail.  So get out your brayers and sponges today, and follow along with the tutorial.

Creative Tips –

  • I created a mask for the top and bottom using two sheets of printer paper.  I have to admit, my first try at this was foiled because I only used one sheet and the ink bled through to my project.  That’s one of those argh moments!Wetlands 003 Side
  • I brayered my sky and water with Soft Sky and then added a touch of Island Indigo at the top.  My Island Indigo got a little too strong about 1/2” in so I went over it with more Soft Sky to blend it out.  You can usually blend out mistakes with a little more ink in a lighter color.
  • I tossed my top mask (the blue one) and flipped my bottom mask around.  I sponged in my Sahara Sand in a circular motion to create my land.
  • For the horizon, I used a straight edge piece of printer paper and sponged on a little Island Indigo.Wetlands 003 CU
  • I stamped my birds in Early Espresso, any lighter color would not stand out enough.  I tried Basic Gray and even that wasn’t dark enough.  To test out my colors, I stamped my birds on my scrap brayered piece of printer paper that I tossed.
  • Keeping my bottom mask in place I stamped the reeds in Wild Wasabi.  I’ve tried this in lighter shades of green before and they too aren’t dark enough.
  • Brayer cards with scenery work great if you have a focal frame at the bottom of your card, as if you were standing right there looking out at your scene.Wetlands 003 Front
  • Once I had my reeds where I wanted them, I colored my reed stamp in using my Wild Wasabi marker, but only colored the grass portion.  I stamped this over my images to make them a bit fuller and bring my focal frame a little closer to the middle.
  • Normally I would use my white gel pen for some highlights, but I wanted to keep this card light and airy and uncomplicated – so I decided to leave it out.

I love this card – best part – it only cost 1/2 a sheet of Whisper White.  So if you’re stamping on a budget and have to make a lot of cards – next time try some one layer cards!

Learn how to master the techniques behind this card 

Two comprehensive classes leave you feeling like an artist ready to create any scene possible with brayers and sponges.  Detailed step by step video instruction, and much more.  Check it out in the classroom here: Find out more here


Wetlands 003 Angle

Stamp Sets – Wetlands (126697c, 126695w) Ink – Soft Sky (131181), Island Indigo (126986), Sahara Sand (126976), Wild Wasabi (126959), Wild Wasabi Stampin’ Write Marker (131264) Paper –Whisper White (100730) Cool Tools – Brayer (102395),Stampin’ Sponges (101610)