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
















































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596 thoughts on “Video: Watercolor Backgrounds & Iron-Off Embossing + Birthday Hop + Giveaway!”

  1. I love the techniques that you show us! And now I have a new one to try!! All of the cards on this hop were so great! Took a little bit from each one of them! Love Hero Arts – they were the first stamp company that I purchased from!!!

  2. All your recent watercolors projects are soo much fun, that I am going to buy watercolors next week end and give it a try!

  3. Wonderful color combinations, I especially love the linen/pumice stone for it’s elegant look.
    What a fun hop and wonderful giveaway. I seem to shy away from background stamps, but you use such wonderful techniques with them!

  4. As always, your cards are just amazing. I just ordered the watercolors from Simon Says store. Can’t wait to try them

  5. I am always looking for a way to make a card that is beautiful with less layers but color and a sentiment – ta-da! Beautiful work as always from a great teacher. Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. Wow! I really love that technique! And I had to have all those background stamps too! Thanks for the great video!

  7. These cards are so beautiful and fairly simple. For someone who isn’t great with a blank canvas, your videos are so inspirational. Thanks for the chance to win a great prize.

  8. I love your videos and I can hope that one day I, too, will be a proud winner of one of your giveaways. :-).

  9. You do a really good job in selling those backgrounds Jennifer. When I saw the first stamp, I thought to myself, I wonder what she’ll do with that? Well, you showed me!!! It was beautiful!! I loved all the cards. So beautiful. Thanks for pointing out your discovery about Pumice Stone and Antique Linen with perfect pearls. I never would have guessed! I love those little blending tools! I can hardly wait to get some. Thanks for another great video!!

  10. Productive! Six gorgeous cards?~you GO, Girl! My fav is the Hero Arts & Basic Grey Deco background stamp…such an elegant Damask Funky look with this cool technique!

  11. Hi Jennifer,

    I don’t iron clothes, either :o) I love your watercolor backgrounds and I would love to win your favorite stamps. Thanks for the chance.


  12. Aaaahhhh! There was a sale yesterday on the mini distress ink pads! But I had my second thoughts! If not, I be having these already in my collection! They cost less than USD$10 per set!!!

  13. What a great technique. Your cards turned out great, some are fun and energetic and others are elegant and all done with the same technique! It is amazing what the change of color will do to a project. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I love to do watercolor–backgrounds and even central images! Thanks for sharing, and now I’m going to have to get me a small cutting board to tape down my watercolor paper–it always curls! Great tip!

  15. Water coloring is a trend I’d really like to have a go at. I love all the projects you’ve done. These are lovely!! Thanks for the how-tos and the tips that make even me think I can do it. 😉

  16. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these!! Thanks for sharing such a great idea! I have an iron that I decided would be used just for crafts,but haven’t really had a chance to use it much. Now I have an excuse 🙂

  17. I truly enjoy all of your videos.
    Love learning all the new trends and techniques.
    Thank you for sharing!!

  18. You always have such interesting ideas and beautiful cards! Hope I can make these cards half as well as you do! Thanks for sharing your talent.

  19. I like your background stamps. Such and easy way to add pizzaz to your card while keeping it simple. Would be good just to have some of the cards on standby waiting to add whatever sentiment.

  20. I like using background stamps, but hadn’t ever thought of using your technique. How neat and pretty! Thanks. WRE

  21. Another great post. Your creative mind must seldom stop. Thanks for sharing again. Thanks for the chance to win some stamps.

  22. Ugh. I might finally have to break down and buy some background stamps (and find somewhere to store them!)

  23. These cards are wonderful!! I love all of them and enjoyed watching your video too. I just love these background stamps. I am a big Impression Obsession background stamp collector but have really also been loving the hero arts/basic grey backgrounds! Great job. Thanks for sharing.

    Katie B.

  24. As a long time stamper, I find this technique to be life changing! Blessings to you and thanks for showing this!

  25. Hi Jennifer! Love this technique and the colors are so vibrant and happy! Thanks for the inspiration : )

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