Crafting On The Go + GIVEAWAY

Hi! In My Favorite Crafty Things Series (which will be back soon), I showed several cards I made at a crafting retreat. Many people asked for more info on those cards, so I decided to put together a video. At the same time, I thought I would share some tips about crafting when away from home. (I do that a lot!)


[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links used at no cost to you. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

While at a retreat, I die cut, stamped, and colored many “card elements.” When I got home, I simply put them on different all-white, textured backgrounds. And boy was that fun! I used dies for my backgrounds, but you could always do white-on-white heat embossing with stamps instead. Creating many cards like this is a great way to use any supplies you have been wanting to use. And the designs are simple… so no need for any mojo. 🙂


Here are several cards I created with the amazing Birch Press Layering Dies. These die sets are pricey (they include THREE background dies) but are fun, versatile, and a perfect thing to ask from Santa. 🙂 I *love* white-on-white, layered, die cut backgrounds. So classy!

This first one features the Birch Press Dazzle Layering Die Set – a favorite of mine. I added a Penny Black Manger die cut with a Hero Arts Mini Christmas white embossed sentiment. And lots of Clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen


Using the same Birch Press Dazzle Layering Die Set, I added a panel with a Taylored Expressions Nativity die cut and Gina K Home For Holidays sentiment. Such a great message!


I also really like the Birch Press Sevilla Layered background. So much detail! I added an Avery Elle Ornamental die cut along with a Avery Elle Merriest sentiment…


Sometimes coloring outline images just takes too long… and you can save time by going with a tone-on-tone coloring instead. I colored in the Wplus9 Holiday Houses with a Clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen and it is gorgeous in real life. The sentiment is from the Poppy Stamps Christmas Greetings Stamp Set and the background features the Birch Press Tilter Layering Dies.


For a more playful look, I used the Birch Press Circa Layered Dies for the background and a sentiment from the great new Amy Tangerine Cheers Stamp Set. That heart is from the new Hero Arts Hearts Infinity Die Set – more on that below…


This next card makes me smile. The Birch Press Delfina Layering background is so beautiful and the Pink and Main Oh Deer Stamps fox is adorable! I also added a sentiment from the Your Next Stamp Cool Banner Stamp Set…


I am always making cards for teachers – I never seem to have enough. Therefore the Reverse Confetti All Apples Stamp Set is one I reach for often. I added the apple to a classic Birch Press Honeybee Layering background. Such a quick card to pull together…


… and another with the Birch Press Maxwell Layering background…


You can also get a layered look using single background dies. Here, I added a white Hero Arts Star Confetti Die Cut Background panel to the front of a white card with foam adhesive and the results are incredible! That Your Next Stamp Magical Unicorn was the perfect addition and such fun to color. Oh – and the sentiment is from Concord & 9th Kindhearted Stamp Set…


This next card features the same Hero Arts Star Confetti Die Cut Background along with stamped images from the My Favorite Things Merry Everything Stamp Set…


The Hero Arts Circle Confetti Die also works great for quick backgrounds. I used it for a “snow” feel, but it can be a “party” background too. I just adhered it flat onto the background without foam adhesive so there would be less bulk. The skating cutie and sentiment are from the My Favorite Things Polar Bears Stamp Set. And by the way – I added shimmer to the sentiment strip too…


I just love this snowman from the Mommy Lhey Doodled Sweater Stamp Set. And the sentiment? I can’t get enough of it! Will use all year round.



Another way to use background dies is to use them with an embossing pad to create an impression. The texture is wonderful! All you need to do is sandwich your paper between a Spellbinders Tan Embossing Mat and a background die and run it through your die cut machine as you would an embossing folder.

The Lil Inker Tribal Chic Die is great for making impressions using a Spellbinders Tan Embossing Mat… and makes a perfect backdrop for this Reverse Confetti Bear Hugs koala cutie. The sentiment is from My Favorite Things Essential Sentiments Stamp Set…


I also used a Spellbinders Tan Embossing Mat to impress the Reverse Confetti All Framed Up Dies for this next background. I really like how these dies can be used together or separate. And there is that fantastic Amy Tangerine Cheers sentiment again…



Embossing folders are also great for quick backgrounds. For this first card, I used the new Sizzix Leaves 3D Embossing Folder for a fun, textured look. I again used an adorable Reverse Confetti Bear Hugs koala image along with a Your Next Stamp Cool Banner sentiment.


And for another embossed background, I used the Sizzix Woven 3D Embossing Folder. I really like that Your Next Stamp Silly Monsters Stamp Set! And the fun sentiment is from the Waffle Flower Purse-nality Stamp Set…



Another fun way to add interest to a simple card background is to use a frame.

Here, I added a Avery Elle Postage Stamp Die frame with foam adhesive. It seemed the perfect showcase for the perfect Neat and Tangled Little Baby Jesus Stamps.


I hope these bundle of cards inspire you to create colored elements on-the-go… and to add them to white textured backgrounds. It is fun!


I very often take my crafting on-the-go… airplanes, baseball games, car rides, etc. I had been looking for a very long time for the perfect, compact crafty bag. And I am thrilled to say I finally found it! I use the Hanging Traveler Case from Thirty-One Gifts. I show a closer look in the video, but I like it for many reasons. It is compact and completely zips closed so nothing falls out. It has several pockets and even spots for markers. You can even get it personalized. (I plan to get a couple more with personalization.) I am so happy to finally find the perfect on-to-go crafting bag!



If you are interested in ordering one, you can get it HERE. My friend Stephanie sells it via Thirty-One Gifts. I will earn credits from any sales of this bag (or any of their products) via HERE by 12/7/2016… and we will use ALL of the credits to purchase Thirty-One totes that we will fill with female “stuff” and donate to a shelter. What a great way to give back this holiday season!

If you are purchasing, you can also check out her other stuff. I also like the Tall Organizing Tote for bigger crafting on-the-go… and the Utility Totes for carrying big stuff around and for grocery store runs. Oh – and they have some great specials right now, too. Just be sure you are shopping under “Jennifer McGuire’s 31 Soiree” so we make sure all credits go to the pouches for donations. Thank you!

Thirty-One ships in US. If you are international and want to learn more, please contact Stephanie. She is the best!


I have said many times that I think Hero Arts is the best company out there. Their generosity and integrity impresses me over and over. So… when I approached them and suggested that they release their Nesting Hearts Infinity Dies early and donate a portion of the sales, they said yes! Please check out the hearts that are exclusively available HERE. (They will be in stores in mid-December.) For a limited time, Hero Arts will donate 25% off the profits of the Nesting Hearts Infinity Dies to The Kind Campaign to help fight bullying. Awesome, huh? You can get your set HERE – it is a good one!


Interested in winning a Birch Press Layering Die Set? For your chance, leave a comment below by 11:59pmEST on 12/10/16 telling me your favorite background technique. (The winner’s name will be randomly selected, emailed and posted on my “Winners page” after the giveaway closes. International folks are eligible, too! Prize personally donated.)


Interested in the products I used? To make them easy for you to find, I have listed them below. (Compensated affiliate links used at no cost to you. Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. All products were personally purchased except those with an asterisk. As always, this post was NOT sponsored.) Click on the letters below each picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Ellen Hutson (EH), etc.

Leave a Comment

838 thoughts on “Crafting On The Go + GIVEAWAY”

  1. Gosh I don’t think I have a favorite – but I do love the look of ink blending with distress inks. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  2. You ALWAYS open my eyes to new ways to use what I have!! I love your blog and emails!
    I like using a dusting of pigment over a nice textured background

  3. I love using embossing folders to create backgrounds but right now I’m also trying watercolor washes and ink blending. Thanks for all the great ideas in your video and for showing more of those gorgeous layering sets from Birch Press.

  4. My favorite background technique is probably texture paste through a stencil. I just love the popped up look. I don’t have any background dies because of their expensive, but they look awesome!

  5. I love different techniques like a floral background, but I think I just love a good solid color. Sometimes just the image on a crisp color card or sometimes layering different coordinating colors. I just love color.

  6. My favorite would have to be the Birch Press layering dies? Thanks for opening our creative minds to this product!!!

  7. I love using a larger flower stamp or single image to make my own designer paper. It’s simple, you can use whatever colors you want, and it uses what you already have!

  8. I don’t really use anything on my backgrounds, but you’ve definetely inspired me:). Thank you for all the crafty ideas!!

  9. Brusho is my favorite medium for completing backgrounds, quick easy and beautiful. Thank you for sharing, you provide so much inspiration. Thank you!

  10. I like watercolour backgrounds and embossed backgrounds. You can get such alot of different looks with these techniques.
    Thanks for the chance to win a prize; us international folk so often get excluded for various reasons on other blogs.
    Cheers Ann

  11. Water color and embossing folders have been my go to so far. I am still new to card making. But these layering background dies are the bees knees!!! Beautiful!!!

  12. I’m really not great at using backgrounds. Often like to start with printed card stock…sort of cheating! I really liked the “religious” cards you created….like to celebrate the meaning of Christmas, or as the cliche goes, “the reason for the season.” Thanks for your happy creations; I always like your creations.

  13. J love so many different techniques I have a hard time choosing. Ink blending, emboss resist, and watercolor wash probably top the list. I am going to give the die embossing a try and want to add a Birch Press background die to my stash.

  14. My favorite background techniques are watercoloring and embossing and then perhaps adding a little bit of a color rub.

  15. I love all the ideas you share with us! I learn new things and empty my checking account with each video! LOVE IT THOUGH! Shimmer spray is my favorite background! Always makes everything look special!

  16. I love the birch press layering dies! Such a clever concept and it’s also nice to get three separate background dies to be used separately as an alternative to layering.

  17. So many great background ideas! I tend to use embossing folders the most, when I’m not doing a CAS card. Thanks for all the inspiration. 😀

  18. I have to say my favorite background technique is anything messy. LOL Distress ink is usually involved. Ink blending & stamping with water are favorites. I also love to ink up embossing folders/plates (I still have & use the old black one sided Texture Plates from Sizzix.). I’ve been wanting to try your embossing with layering dies (e.g. Infinity dies, Nestabilities, etc) as well. Love how that can add interest to the background but not takeaway from the focal image/sentiment.

  19. Oh my word these birch press layering backgrounds are magnificent! I love them. I love diecut backgrounds or embossed. Makes a statement with little effort.

  20. I love those new dies! I really like the embossed folders and the impressed designs. I always enjoy your favorites videos because they are so informative!

  21. My sister lent me a snow flake one that I’ve been enjoying. I love the versitility of these dies with the emossing pad, though. Looking forward to getting some!

  22. I love the Birch Press layering dies. I just ordered some. What paper do you use when you die cut them so that your card is not super thick? Love all your videos. Thanks.

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