Easy Watercolor Stamping Techniques

Hi! I normally create “clean” cards and struggle with “artsy” looks. But today I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try the “messy” watercolor look with stamps. I like when other people do it… so it was time to try it myself. And it was fun!

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

[All supplies are linked in the text below and in the thumbnails at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used at no cost to you.]

All of these cards feature easy and “messy” watercolor techniques using stamps and markers or inks. I show many different techniques. I know these looks aren’t for everyone (they are a stretch for me!), but maybe one of the techniques will inspire you. They all showcase the gorgeous new Essentials by Ellen Mondo Sakura Stamp Set. This set is excellent for trying out new techniques.

My first example shows one of the easiest techniques! I applied soft-colored Tombow Markers (you could use any waterbased marker) directly onto my Essentials by Ellen Mondo Sakura Stamp Set. Before stamping it, I misted my watercolor paper with water and stamped into the water. The water causes the color to move, creating a not-so-perfect look. If you want it to be “cleaner”, use less water. Messier? More water! I added a faux stitching line using the Essentials by Ellen Plaid Maker Stamp Set, and a sentiment from the same Essentials by Ellen Mondo Sakura Stamp Set.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

My next card features the same technique, but this time I inked the stamp with Distress Ink and misted much more water onto my watercolor paper before stamping. This results in a fun effect where the color moves. So different for me… and so cool! I then black heat embossed the same image on top to give it definition. I added a Pretty Pink Posh Hello Friend Die Cut sentiment.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here I used the same technique but with markers. So much fun!

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

You can also ink up your stamp with markers or ink and stamp it… and THEN mist it. This also causes a more of a bleeding effect. Once it dried, I heat embossed the image with Hero Arts White Satin Pearl Embossing Powder and added a sentiment with the Essentials by Ellen Strong Die and Stamp Set.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is the same technique… but using markers as ink instead. I then white heat embossed the image on top and added a glitter sentiment created with the new Essentials by Ellen Classic Block Alpha Dies.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

I really like the glittered letters on the soft, messy background.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

And another… this time I added a “HELLO” Essentials by Ellen Block Word and “beautiful” Essentials by Ellen Mondo Sakura Die Cut.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

You can get more “controlled” results by inking a stamp and then misting it with water before stamping. This makes it look like the flowers were handpainted. You can also do this with markers or inks.

This sentiment is simple to add. I die cut the word “HAPPY” from the Essentials by Ellen Block Word Die Set directly onto the stamped area. I also stamped the “birthday” from the Essentials by Ellen Totally Random Saying Vol 2 Stamp Set. I assembled the piece onto the card with craft foam behind it. The set-back “happy” adds fun interest.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

These next two cards were also created by inking the stamp and misting it before stamping. However, this time I used less water… and the first and second generation image. This card is the first generation. I used a Essentials by Ellen Block Word  “FRIEND” die to cut from the flower… and stamped “marvelous” from the Essentials by Ellen Totally Random Saying Vol 2 Stamp Set and “thank you” from the Essentials by Ellen Good Fortune Stamp Set.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is the second generation image. I just misted the stamp a bit more without reinking first… and you get a softer look.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

You can also mix techniques to get the results you want. For this card, I was looking for something a bit more wild. I inked the stamp with Distress Ink and misted the paper before and after stamping. This causes the ink to move even more. I then heat embossing the image with Hero Arts White Satin Pearl Embossing Powder and added a silver glitter “friend” die cut from the Pretty Pink Posh Hello Friend Die Set. The stamped sentiment is from the Essentials by Ellen Good Fortune Stamp Set.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is another card using the same mix of techniques as the last. I really like the look of the Hero Arts White Satin Pearl Embossing Powder over the “watercolor”… as it picks up the color and makes it look metallic. I again added a stacked “friend” die cut from the Pretty Pink Posh Hello Friend Die Set.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

You can go really wild and add lots of water before and after stamping. This one was done with bright markers. I didn’t like it at first but I do after completing the card. I like this sentiment, too… “wonderful” is from the Essentials by Ellen Block Word Die Set and “beautiful” is from the Essentials by Ellen Mondo Sakura Dies.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is one last one created by misting the paper before and after stamping with markers. Once it dried I also added a bit more movement with a wet brush. I gold heat embossed the flowers on top before adding my sentiment using the Essentials by Ellen Block Word “FRIEND” die and Essentials by Ellen Good Fortune Stamp Set.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Another fun technique that you can do quickly is to heat emboss an image and then quickly watercolor it in. Quickly! By keeping it a bit messy, you can create beautiful looks. Here, I scribbled my markers on glass and added a bit of water so I could paint in the image with soft colors. I then stamped a message from the Essentials by Ellen Totally Random Saying Vol 2 Stamp Set.

Watercolor Stamping Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

It is fun to step out of your crafting comfort zone. I hope you give it a try!

SUPPLIES

Want to find the products I used? I have listed them below. (Compensated affiliate links used at no cost to you. Thank you! Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. All products were personally purchased except those with an asterisk or Essentials by Ellen. As always, this post was NOT paid for or sponsored.) Click on the icons below each product picture to go to a favorite store.

Essentials by Ellen Mondo Sakura…
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Mondo Sakura Dies
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Classic Block…
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Essentials by Ellen Block Word Dies
[ ELH ]
Pretty Pink Posh Hello Friend Die
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Plaid Maker Stamp…
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Strong Die
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Be Strong Stamp Set
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Totally Random…
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Good Fortune…
[ ELH ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ ELH ]
MISTI Bar Magnet
[ ELH ]
MISTI Mouse Pad Insert
[ ELH ]
MISTI Creative Corners
[ ELH ]
Tim Holtz Watercolor Paper
[ ELH ]
Tombow Dual Brush Pens
[ AMZUS ]
Distress Ink Mini Inks
[ ELH ]
VersaMark Ink
[ ELH ]
Versafine Clair Nocturne Ink
[ ELH ]
Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer
[ ELH ]
* Tim Holtz Tonic Glass Media Mat
[ ELH ]
Anti Static Powder Bag
[ ELH ]
Hero Arts Heat Gun
[ ELH ]
Hero Arts White Satin Pearl Embossing…
[ ELH ]
Hero Arts White Embossing Powder
[ ELH ]
WOW Gold Sparkle Embossing Powder
[ ELH ]
Ranger Black Sparkle Embossing Powder
[ ELH ]
Bead Tray
[ AMZUS ]
T-Ruler
[ ELH ]


Leave a Comment

55 thoughts on “Easy Watercolor Stamping Techniques”

  1. What a wonderful post! I am just getting into watercolors and appreciate the comparisons (and photos) of how different techniques turn out.

  2. Yup, this technique would be out of my comfort zone of card making but I’m willing to give it a try….
    Love seeing all of the cards you made….tfs

  3. Beautiful cards! These looks are a little outside my comfort zone, too but I love the results. Thank you for all the ideas and samples!

  4. Jennifer .I really enjoyed this tutorial painting with the Tombow brush watercolor markers and Distress inks to watercolor your cards. The messy coloring came out very soft and colorful. Thanks for your great tips.

  5. Your cards are so fantastic it gives me the envy to try this technique…. but I like clean coloring 😉 !

  6. Sometimes Jennifer it is good to step out of your comfort zone, look what a great cards you made and how much fun you had. Not surprisingly of course with the beautiful stamps by Ellen Hutson, I love this Mondo Sakura stamp set. Thank you for the great video tutorial and all the gorgeous cards you made.

  7. Beautiful watercolor stamping! I love the embossing over top! So many fun ways to change things up. Like you said,” step out of our comfort zone” it’s good for us once in awhile ❤️ Thank you for sharing this amazing video

  8. This was a lot of fun to watch and see all the different ways to present the messy watercolored images. I do watercolor, primarily with inks, but it can be time consuming, so you’ve inspired me to try some looser ways of watercoloring. Thanks for the great video!

  9. Wow great cards. I like every one of them. I jumped on that floral stamp. Beautiful job and lots of easy to follow instructions.

  10. Jennifer, I love that you share your creativity with others!
    I’m writing to tell you about the poor customer service I’ve received at SimonSaysStamp, a company you endorse. I’ve ordered several times, and each time have waited over a week for them to ship the items that they have in stock! It’s criminal to charge $7 shipping when it doesn’t leave their facility for a week. When I complained, they said they were backed up at the warehouse. For two years? In my last order they finally credited the shipping charge, after I asked to speak to a manager. I bet youdon’t get that slow service from them!
    Thanks for all you do,
    MaryG

  11. Like you, I’m not big on messy, but I do these. I pinned several pictures, so I can go back, remind myself how you did “messy neatly,” and CASe your beautiful layouts! Thank you!

  12. I love all of these. Re-stamping and embossing the design really makes the watercolor look great. Thanks for this technique idea.

  13. I sometimes feel sorry for the world of engineering……you followed your true compass and passion here to the paper crafting world and we are all so much better for it. These cards, like all the others you’ve shared, are amazingly creative and beautiful. I often wonder if your brain ever truly sleeps; how could it with all this creativity you share? These techniques are such fun Jennifer and something we can all reproduce with whatever tools we have in our arsenals. Thanks so much for loving our card making community and sharing that love with all of us. I hope you have a fabulous week. ~HUGS~
    #kindnessmatters

  14. Stunning cards as always. I too envy those that can create the messy look and make it look beautiful! I love how you still stayed true to your own personal style though. You have inspired me to also try stepping out of my comfort zone 🙂

  15. I’m betting you had a blast! And by overstamping and embossing you “cleaned” them up so while “outside your box” they still look like something You created.

  16. These are absolutely beautiful! I didn’t think I really liked the messy look but these are gorgeous. Thanks so much for your awesome video!!

  17. when i first saw this stamp set yesterday i knew i had to have it – now i really must have it! love all your examples – have tried some before, but it was good to have a review all in one place – all gorgeous cards!!

  18. Wow! These cards prove how great things can turn out when you step outside of your comfort zone. Thanks for sharing how you pushed yourself to create something unique. I’m in love with the bold black outline cards! I can’t wait to try the technique.

  19. Fun techniques—I love loose watercoloring on my cards. The Mondo Sakura stamp caught my eye immediately on Ellen’s site.

  20. Really pretty! I have just the perfect stamps that I haven’t used enough which would be perfect for this! Thanks for sharing!

  21. You are truly amazing and looking forward to trying these techniques. Getting ready for a craft sale and want to make many cards for that. Thanks for all you do!

  22. Love the “messy watercolor” look, but have been unable to achieve it without it looking like a 2 yr old’s creation. After your post I now have hope to make some cards worth sending. Thank you.

  23. Thank you always sharing your great ideas! I can’t wait to try some of your watercolor techniques.

  24. Hi Jennifer!
    The cards are beautiful! I love how they turned out.
    But I have to admit my favorite is where you stamped, embossed, then put in color with a paintbrush.
    Thanks for sharing your work.

  25. These are beautiful! I especially love the bold black sentiments against the softness of the watercolored flowers.
    My watercoloring skills are pretty limited, so I am looking forward to trying these techniques.

  26. Do I ever love all those cards!! What great techquines. I can’t wait to try them out. Thanks for the video and showing how to do all the different ways.

  27. I have always been afraid of the “messy techniques” but you make this look so easy and beautiful, I will be trying this technique for sure. Thank you for sharing.

  28. You might have been outside your comfort zone, but this is one of my favorite videos! I love messy watercolor, but am not always happy with the results when I try it. You’ve given me lots of ideas!

  29. Amazing cards! I am afraid to watch any more of your videos. Every time I do it costs me $$$$$…but brings lots of joy, too! How do you get the watercolor paper to dry flat? Mine don’t and then its difficult to get them to look good on the card base.

  30. Love, love, love-ity love!
    Like you, I’m someone who usually makes clean cards, but admires the ‘messy’ ones that others make. Kelly Latevola is one of the queens of messy cards that look stunning. But when I watch her paint, my heart is in my mouth half the time, thinking, “Oh no, it’s ruined!” (spoiler alert: it never is – she always manages to save it and make it turn into something amazeballs!)

    Thanks for sharing a way to make messy cards, and then tie them together to make them look finished and… not so messy, haha. I think these are like the “smart casual” of cards. I admire people who can rock trackpants and a beanie and still look put together, but if I try going down the street dressed like that, I just look like I’m wearing my pyjamas! So I need a little more “smart” in my “casual”… and these cards are exactly that! They let me enjoy the messy… without my card ending up looking like perhaps I’m just very bad at painting and don’t know how to stay in the lines, haha!

  31. Every single one is beautiful. I love watercolors, so this is right up my alley. I will be trying some more watercolor stamping like this one day, hopefully soon. Thanks for this great informative video.

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