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. Thank yu for all the ideas. My favourite technique is that you teach use to think about what else we can use the products for. One thing can be used many was, with different paper/ products.

  2. I love the embossing folders but I was very amazed at the layered background with the Birch Press dies! I want them now! Thanks for sharing these techniques!

  3. My favorite backround was the Birch Press Dazzle Layering Die Set. Love the winding of the pattern.
    They are all beautiful.
    Merry Christmas.

  4. Such beautiful artwork, as always! I love those background dies, what an interesting concept to Layer dies like that. My usual background technique would be Embossing or just simply layering different colors of card stock.

  5. My favorite is currently dressed inks and a blender tool. My second favorite is embossing folders. There are so many that offer a wide range of texture and they are very inexpensive. Thanks for you inspiration.

  6. I love embossing and feel it adds so much to a background. My Christmas cards this year are in part using this technique.
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. I like using stencils and dies as backgrounds. I don’t have any of the dies you shared, I like the layered Birch Press ones. The look is amazing. Thanks for the opportunity!!

  8. I love watercolored backgrounds, but I have recently started experimenting with using dies to emboss after I saw you show the technique in one of your videos.

  9. I use my embossing folders quite a bit for backgrounds. I’ve been doing some ink blending but I need a lot more practice!

  10. Its hard to choose just one background technique but I have to say I’m excited to try the distressed ink lifting or the masked stripes

  11. WOW! Thanks for sharing all of those great ideas. I use embossing quite a bit. I wasn’t familiar with the Birch Press Layering Background dies; I would love to try them out.

  12. Hi Jennifer, my favourite background techniques are tone on tone stamping and embossing using embossing folders. Also beautiful backgrounds can be created using stencils. Thanks.

  13. Favourite is a heat embossed background I think, but I absolutely love making embossed ones and am playing with the layers. The Birch Press look AMAZING!

  14. The layering background dies is what I would love to do for backgrounds – so in other words, a 2017 goal. I usually do watercolour backgrounds or patterned paper. You have inspired me to break out my embossing folders again – thanks for that 🙂

  15. My favorite background technique is using embossing folders. But I love all the great ideas you share with us!

  16. It is so difficult to pick a favorite background out of the ones you shared … I pick the Birch Press – they look amazing. Out of those I like the Honeycomb, Maxwell & Delfina. Thank you so much for sharing the crafting on the go. I sat down last night stamped a few items and cut them from corresponding dies. They are just waiting to be colored! Last thing – embossing with the Spellbinders dies has never crossed my mind! I have so many new options I can’t wait to start!
    Merry Christmas!

  17. I absolutely love the Birch Press Delfina die!!! It makes for a fabulous background, but then again….. they are all so very lovely!!!

  18. My favorite background technique so far would probably be the emboss resist technique that you showcased a while back with distress inks. So fun!

  19. Thanks for doing the lesson on using colored pencils on a a stamped flower. I have wanted to use my white pencil but did not know where. I am new to a lot of this but your lessons are a great help. Thanks again.

  20. Its either a watercolour wash or soft ink blending for favourite backgrounds. Awesome cards and great ideas.

  21. My favorite background is made with embossing folders. The die cuts are new to me and I would love to try that technique

  22. I am pretty new to stamping and card making. Have to admit, I absolutely love embossing folders. So quick and effective. Really makes the rest of the designs pop! Thank you so much for all your beautiful inspiration!

  23. Right now the background technique I use the most is ink blending or watercolor. However, those birch press layering dies look amazing! I’m also inspired to try using my dies for embossing!

  24. Birch Press has now become a favorite background technique and looks to be the simplest with stunning results.

  25. I have just stared making cards so I don’t have much experience. I have only done solid color background layered on top of each other but I really like this technique! I think doing them in different solid colors to make them ombré look!! I think I like the Delfina the best!!

  26. My favorite go-to background technique is using embossing folders, but right now, I’m playing with watercolors. I love your videos. Keep up the good work!

  27. I’d say my favourite background technique is a toss up of using ink blending with stencils and watercolour. What a great giveaway! I love the Birch Press Dazzle die set!

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