Video: Watercolor Backgrounds & Iron-Off Embossing + Birthday Hop + Giveaway!

Hello! Today I am part of the A Blog Named Hero 2nd Birthday Celebration Blog Hop. (More on that below.) I also have a video showing how to easily create eye-catching watercolor backgrounds with Distress Ink and water… along with iron-off embossing. Don’t get scared – it is easy! And I have 6 birthday cards to prove it. :) Oh, and a giveaway!

[Supplies are linked in the thumbnails at the end of this post.]

Watercolor backgrounds are so incredibly easy when you team up awesome background stamps with heat embossing, Distress Inks and pearlized water. Add a bit of ironing, and you have “how-did-they-do-that?” watercolor backgrounds.

All of these cards were done with the same technique. I started with my favorite watercolor paper and clear heat embossed a Hero Arts background. (I used six different ones – they are all linked in the thumbnail images at the end of this post.) I then applied Distress Inks in various colors. Next, I very generously sprayed the pieces with pearlized water. (I make my own by putting approximately 1/2 teaspoon of Perfect Pearls Pigment Powder into a mist bottle full of water. I have stored it this way for years! But you could just use regular water or another shimmer mist.) Once it was dry, I ironed off the embossing and am left with interesting, one-of-a-kind watercolor backgrounds.

For some of the backgrounds, I applied the Distress Ink with my Mini Ink Blending Tool. For others, I just went direct to paper with the new Mini Distress Inks. These little ink cubes are easy to use and especially great if you want to get lots of Distress Ink colors without breaking the bank.

I kept the sentiment simple, using a fun one from Hero Arts with Liquid Platinum embossing powder on a label die cut.

By the way… I used a cutting board for working with this background. This was so helpful!

Here is a closer look at each background…

Fun, huh? If you like this technique, be sure to also head over to the Hero Arts Blog HERE. I showed in a video how I did the iron-off embossing with watercolor technique to create this card…

Want more ideas for iron-off embossing? Check these out:

  • By Marion – I love Marion’s stunning use of this technique. Such bold color!
  • By Laura – Laura (who is only 16!) used soft watercolors for a simple but stunning look. She has a video, too!
  • Another Example – Here is another from me. This technique is addictive!


As I mentioned, these birthday cards are part of a celebration of A Blog Named Hero’s 2nd birthday. A Blog Named Hero is one of the best challenge blogs out there with some of the nicest gals. There are lots of incredible cardmakers participating today, so I encourage you to check them out! ***** Next be sure to hop on over to the fabulous blog of Cristina Martinez. ***** (If you want to start at the beginning of the hop, head to ABNH.)


As a thank you for sticking with this long post (ha) and hopping in the ABNH Blog Hop, I have giveaways! There are TWO ways to win. First, leave comments on all the blogs on the hop as ABNH will be picking winners of Hero Arts and Simon Says Stamp prizes. Also – from me – one lucky winner will get two of my favorite Hero Arts background stamps. For your chance, leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 4/6/14. Good luck.


Below are the products featured above. To find them at Simon Says Stamp, click on the SSS below the thumbnails. For Ellen Hutson click on EH
















































593 CommentsDistress Ink, Hero Arts, Tim Holtz Products

  1. Deborah R

    Hero Arts and Simon says stamp-two of my favorites! Thanks Jennifer.

  2. jengd

    These are all gorgeous! I love the bright colors with the white contrast!

  3. Kris in Alaska

    Wowsers! I’m amazed at your talent and creativity! Fun cards!

  4. I love all of these! I can’t even pick a favourite. Your crafting is seriously amazing.

  5. Thanks for sharing this fun technique!

  6. What a fabulous technique and the end results are WOW!

  7. Chrissy

    Another amazing set of cards! I love that the backgrounds steal the show :)

  8. Angie Linton

    Love the cards – the backgrounds are so beautiful! Another great and fun technique.

  9. Tina Kloepfer

    Oh wow! Such a cool and pretty effect to spray with Perfect Pearls water and iron off embossed images. You’re such a technique wizard! Love your blog :)

  10. WOW! All those beautiful backgrounds. I want some perfect pearls now lol.

  11. Marlyn Rojas

    It’s a beautiful tecnique, thanks for share!

  12. These cards are amazing! I bought those little blending tools and can’t wait to get to work!

  13. Marty

    Love ALL these backgrounds- so fun and fresh looking.

  14. Rachel

    Gorgeous cards. Think I might ‘need’ some of those mini blending tools ;)

  15. Jessica

    Love these cards…makes me want to replace my old blending tools with the new ones!

  16. Lee MacAdam

    Love this technique Jennifer. You have such wonderful ideas.

  17. ClaireBoyd

    Such amazing background effects – I love it. I have got to have a go at this

  18. Julia Chan

    brilliant technique, so much in love the distress colors blending itself after the water mist, and the pearl effect looks gorgeous, you are right, the Pumice Stone and Antique Linen are now a must-have item in my collection…. thanks so much Jennifer ^^

  19. Jennifer Harrison

    These cards are beautiful!

  20. laura mm

    Beautiful cards! Thanks for sharing your technique :)

  21. What a fabulous technique! Your cards are gorgeous! TFS! xo

  22. Fabulous backgrounds! And I hope to win very much!)) Thanks for this chance))

  23. Jeannie

    This is the video that brought me to your blog. This is simply incredible! Thank you for the detailed video and the inspiration!!

  24. rkokes

    beautiful technique-not sure I could get my iron to cooperate as we don’t get along. :) Love the results though!

  25. Hi !!! Thanks for all these techniques !!! I used two of these and i have post it on my blog if you want to see… Thanks again !!!

  26. Rosann Barnes

    Omg those are fun ! Like your storage resource ( should I not be able to find my first choice … a container from Michael’s with handles … I think it would hold them all)

  27. Joe-Anne

    your water coloring cards are very elegant looking and you’re right Jennifer, it is a simple technique with beautiful results.
    thank you

  28. BJ

    Beautiful backgrounds. Love those mini distress inks and those daubers are awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  29. Gorgeous cards! I tried out the technique using Inktense pencils rather than Distress Inks. Took a bit more work (and a spritz of yellow Dylusions) to get the colours to blend but got there in the end.

  30. Ronda

    Beautiful card and some wonderful ideas. Thank you for sharing

  31. Karen L K

    Jennifer this is such a fun great look. Thanks for sharing this!!

  32. Carol Moody

    I did a boo boo ….I thought you used white embossing powder will finish them!!!!!!

  33. Please help, I don’t mean to sound foolish but when you placed the paper over the card to iron it, did you say typing paper? If so, why is it necessary to use typing paper?

  34. Christi D

    I love background stamps

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