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MFT Academy: Paper Piecing

Welcome back to the MFT Academy!  Barbara is returning as our Guest Professor today with a paper piecing tutorial.  Paper piecing is a great technique to use for “dressing” characters and adding pattern and style to your cards.  Paper piecing is a great alternative to coloring that allows you to add texture, interest, and pattern to your projects.  In addition, it is lots of fun, creatively!

We will starting with the basics and then move on to more complex designs, in case you are not familiar with the technique.

  • Copic-friendly paper and Copic markers of choice
  • Memento Ink Tuxedo Black
  • Liquid glue
  • Sharp detail scissors
  • Optional, but helpful: angled tweezers, curved detailed scissors, craft knife
  • Patterned papers of choice
  • Stamps of choice: Pure Innocence Birthday Girl, Pure Innocence Goldfish Girl, Pure Innocence Bedtime Story

Paper Piecing Basics:

When choosing your papers, it’s important to consider the size of the area to be paper pieced and the scale of the pattern in the paper.  Think about what this would look like in real life; for example, you probably wouldn’t see this dress or balloon with large patterns.

Choose images with large open areas, as they provide the perfect space for a smooth expanse of pattern that is not too fussy in design.

If you will be coloring any portion of your stamped image, be sure to complete all coloring before adding paper piecing, otherwise, you might accidentally color onto your paper pieced elements.

Use sharp detail scissors; curved scissors are often helpful.  Cut along the center of the stamped line. This ensures your pieced element will be neither too small nor too large.

Let’s begin with a simple image with open areas, Pure Innocence Birthday Girl.

Select the stamp and papers you want to use and stamp the image on
your base paper and as often as necessary on your patterned paper. For
this image, the dress and the balloon will be pieced, so it has been stamped three times; first onto white paper for the base, and then onto each of the two patterned papers.

You only need to stamp the areas of the image to be covered on your patterned papers, and some parts will be very small.  Scraps come in handy for this technique.

Step 2: Cut out the patterned paper.  Hold your scissors still while closing and opening the blades, and slowly turn the paper into the blades to maintain the best control.

Step 3: Run a marker around the cut piece to hide the white edge. This will help provide a smooth transition between the cut paper and the main image. Work from the back to avoid slipping and marring the front. Water-based markers bleed less than alcohol markers and are recommended.  However, alcohol markers can be used with success if done carefully.

Step 4: Color all portions of the image that will not be paper pieced such as skin, hair, and shoes.

Step 5: Adhere patterned paper to image using liquid glue.  This allows you a few seconds to slide the paper around
for the most accurate placement. Cover most of the area with a larger applicator.


Then, go around the edges with a glue pen to keep the edges down tight.

Step 6: Adhere patterned paper. Angled tweezers are optional, but often helpful for proper alignment.

This image is now ready to be used on a card.

The second card is a little more involved and introduces layers.

General Instructions:

Now that you’re familiar with the basic technique, you can begin adding some shading to build dimension and depth. Use a neutral color for shading.  Copic markers in the W range work well.  Start with a lighter color than you think you’ll need.  You can always add additional layers of color to deepen the shading.

With a more complex image like this, you will stamp, color, and add a second layer for arms and/or hands that are placed on top of your pieced layer. This provides dimension and texture to a flat image. This extra step creates a 3D effect with a more “natural” appearance.  Be sure to color small elements such as arms and hands, before cutting them out.

Decide where your light source will be coming from to determine where to apply shading. Lay down a narrow line for items close to each other, blend out more for items further away; darker area closest to item being shadowed

When making paper choices, vary the patterns: one floral, one striped, one with dots, etc., although two different floral patterns can work if one is subtle.  Keep at least one a subtle pattern, or as is found in some collections, a “solid” pattern. Too many strong patterns can look “busy” and detract from the overall design.  Here are the papers I chose for this card:

Step 1: Stamp the images. For this card, I stamped the image, or parts of the image, 7 times.

  1. The main image
  2. Shirt
  3. Second arm to be colored
  4. Fish food can
  5. Second sleeve
  6. Pants
  7. Fish bowl stand


Step 2: Color the image, cut out the papers, and edge each piece with a marker. Note that I left a little extra on some of these pieces.   This helps avoid butting two pieces against each other, which is often difficult to do perfectly, and also makes for a much smoother transition from one paper to another. Some areas will have paper layered on top, so they don’t need to be trimmed off.

Step 3: When adhering the pieces, keeping in mind how the layers will fall. First the pants.

Step 4: Then add the top.

Step 5: Next the fish food can, followed by the second arm.

Step 6: And last, the tiny sleeve and fish bowl stand.

This view shows the dimension achieved with the layers.

Step 7: Add some shading under the added-on arm and sleeve, and under the edge where the top covers the pants, and it’s ready to put on a card.

For the last card, we will use paper piecing to build a scene using a more complex image.

Step 1: Stamp the image onto scraps of paper for each element in your scene. Examine the scene and, working from back to front, visualize the layers and which paper works best for each layer.  For Pure Innocence Bedtime Story, it has been stamped nine times.

  1. The entire image has been stamped onto orange chevron paper, this will become the room’s wallpaper, the very bottom layer of our image.
  2. This complete image was stamped to Copic-friendly paper and will be used for the headboard and the night stand and lamp base.
  3. This image will be used for the Pure Innocence head.
  4. This will be used to add Pure Innocence hands holding the book.
  5. This layer is for the pillow behind her head.
  6. This layer will be used for the turned down sheet.
  7. This layer will be used for the book cover.
  8. This layer will be the bed spread.
  9. This layer will become the lamp shade.

Step 2: Color the image portions and cut out all the pieces. For small pieces like the extra set of hands, be sure to color first and then cut.  Tight areas, like that shown by the arrow, are easier cut out with a craft knife.

Here are all the layers, colored, cut out, and ready to assemble. I could have paper pieced the little PI’s pajama top, but to keep from adding another pattern into the mix, I colored it.

Step 3: Start to build the scene. Begin by adhering the bed/night stamp image to the “wallpaper” layer.

Step 4: Next, adhere the pillow layer.

Step 5: Add the turned-down sheet.

Step 6: Add the bedspread

Step 7: Adhere the colored PI layer.

Step 8: Next, add the book cover

Step 9: Add the hands and the lamp shade.

Step 10: Trim off the bottom, add shading with markers, and it’s ready to put on a card.

Low-key patterns were used in the card design, and a few from the scene were repeated in order to keep the card from looking too “busy”.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you’ll be inspired to give paper piecing a try!  Use the keyword MFTED8 in your gallery upload on Splitcoaststampers so we can admire your creations.
If you have any questions, email, and we’ll be happy to help you.
Comments { 30 }

MFT Academy: How-to Add Grounding to Your Images

Welcome back to the MFT Academy!  Inge is your Guest Professor today and she’ll be showing you how to use Prismacolor Premier Pencils to ground your images in mud, grass, water, and snow.   Grounding your images gives your card a more finished look and ensures that your images don’t appear to be “floating”.
If you’re not familiar with Prismacolor Pencils you can find an introduction to working with Prismacolor Premier Pencils here.  
Supply List:
  • Prismacolor Premier Pencils
  • Paper Stumps
  • Gamsol (solvent)
  • Memento Ink: Tuxedo Black
  • Acrylic Block
  • Big Shot
To begin, we’ll start with PI Prehistoric Girl and add some mud below her feet.
Step 1:  Stamp PI Prehistoric Girl with Memento Tuxedo Black onto Sweet Tooth Card Stock.
Begin by drawing scalloped lines to the left and right of her feet using 943 Burnt Ochre.

Step 2: Dip your paper stump into solvent and blend the scalloped lines slowly using a circular motion. If you’re not familiar with how to blend Prismacolor Premier Pencils, you can read more in THIS MFT Academy Tutorial.

Step 3:  Using 947 Dark Umber, draw scalloped lines over the previously blended lines.


Step 4: Once again, blend with your paper stump and solvent, using a circular motion.
Step 5: Using 935 Black, draw in your scalloped lines again, over the blended area.

Step 6: Once again, blend with your paper stump and solvent, moving in a circular motion. Repeat the process of adding more depth to the ground, then blending, until you’re satisfied with the result.
Your ground is now complete!

Pure Innocence Prehistoric Girl
LLD Document It

LLD Journal It-For the Record

Grounding with grass provides a springy, fresh look to stamped images. The image has been stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black on Sweet Tooth Card Stock.  

Step 1: Using 1005 Lime Peel, lightly shade around the feet using small, side-to-side strokes.

Step 2: Blend using solvent and a paper stump using the same small, side-to-side strokes.

Step 3: The ground closest to her feet will be slightly darker because of the shadow cast by her body. Add additional strokes to create deeper shading using 1097 Moss Green.

Step 4: Blend with solvent and your paper stump, making small, side-to-side strokes.

Step 5: Next, we will add blades of grass using 1005 Lime Peel.  Make small, upward vertical strokes to draw in the grass. Give the grass a more natural appearance by not drawing them identically to one other. The blades should be assorted lengths and thicknesses to give the ground a more realistic feel.

Step 6: Using 1097 Moss Green, draw in additional strokes of grass between and on top of those you’ve already drawn.

Step 7:  Repeat this process using the darkest green, 988 Marine Green, adding darker strokes over and between those you’ve already drawn.

Step 8: Blend very lightly using solvent and your paper stump.  Be sure to maintain the individual blades of grass.
Step 9: Using 943 Burnt Ochre, add some shadows at the base of the blades of grass.  Small, rough, uneven strokes are used here.
Step 10: Blend lightly with solvent and your paper stump.
The grass is now complete!

Pure Innocence Birthday Girl

Jumbo Fishtail Banner STAX Die-namics

Fishtail Flags STAX Die-namics

Dog Tag Die-namics

Open Scallop Doily Duo Die-namics

Blue Print 1 Die-namics

Hemp Cord

Heavyweight Card Stock Sweet Tooth

Heavyweight Card Stock Natural 

Heavyweight Card Stock Tangy Orange

Heavyweight Card Stock Bubblegum

There are many other ways you can ground your images. On this card, I demonstrate how to ground your image in a puddle of water.
Stamp the image with Memento Tuxedo Black on Sweet Tooth Card Stock.
Step 1: Using 1023 Cloud Blue, draw a curved, irregular line around her feet to create the border of a small puddle of water.

Step 2: Blend with solvent and your paper stump using a circular motion.
Step 3: Darken the outer rim of the puddle using 1103 Caribbean Sea.
Step 4: Blend with solvent and your paper stump using a circular motion.
Step 5: Using the darkest color, 1079 Blue Violet Lake, deepen the edge of the puddle and then blend with solvent and a paper stump.
Step 5: For the finishing touch, add a little shine and reflection to your puddle using Stickles Stardust over your colored area.

Pure Innocence Firefighter Girl

Fishtail Flags STAX Die-namics

Blueprint 1 Die-namics

Rounded Banner STAX Die-namics

Photo Corners Die-namics

Button Border Die-namics

Hearts A Plenty Die-namics

Blueprint 1 Die-namics

Hemp Cord

Heavyweight Card Stock Sweet Tooth

Heavyweight Card Stock Kraft 

Heavyweight Cardstock Tangy Orange

Adding snow to your winter-themed images adds a realistic touch.  Snow is white, but has some grey tones and sparkle.
Begin by stamping PI Warm Wishes with Memento Tuxedo Black on Sweet Tooth Card Stock.
 Step 1: Draw small mounds of snow by drawing in wide scalloped lines at her feet using 1050 Warm Grey 10%.
Step 2: Blend with solvent and a paper stump.
Step 3: Use 1051 Warm Grey 20% to darken the snow mounds.
Step 4: Blend with solvent and your paper stump.
Step 5: Add more depth with 1052 Warm Grey 30%.
Step 6: Blend to soften with solvent and a paper stump.
Step 7:  Make your snow glisten with a touch of Sitckles Stardust.

Pure Innocence Warm Wishes

Traditional Tags STAX Die-namics

Blueprint 1 Die-namics

Jumbo Fishtail Banner STAX Die-namics

Fishtails Flags STAX Die-namics

Say What? Die-namics

Let it Snowflake Die-namics

Hemp Cord

Heavyweight Card Stock Sweet Tooth

Heavyweight Card Stock Natural

Heavyweight Card Stock Kraft

Heavyweight Card Stock Sno Cone

Heavyweight Card Stock Berry Licious

Grosgrain Ribbon Sno Cone


We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you’ll be inspired to ground your images too!  Use the keyword MFTED7 in your gallery upload on Splitcoaststampers so we can admire your creations.
If you have any questions, email, and we’ll be happy to help you.
Comments { 15 }

MFT Academy: Die-namics Not Just for Paper

Welcome back to the MFT Academy!  Melody is your Guest Professor today and she’ll be sharing some fun tips and tricks using our Die-namics dies with an assortment of cutting materials. 

I love My Favorite Things Die-namics, in fact, it’s hard to remember how I ever made projects without them. Today, I’ll show you a number of different things you can cut with your Die-namics other than card stock.

I use a Big Shot to do all my die-cutting, using the standard recommended stack.  You can find recommended cutting stacks for assorted die-cutting machines at the bottom of THIS page.

When using alternate cutting materials, you can modify your sandwich stack to help increase the pressure placed on the die.  This will ensure the very cleanest cuts.  Add a sheet of paper or the Metal Adaptor Plate to your sandwich stack as a shim.  Running the sandwich stack through the machine twice is also advisable.  The pressure will vary from machine to machine, so you will need to experiment to see what works the best for you and your die-cutter.

Create Your Own Chipboard Embellishments:  You can easily make your own embellishments using My Favorite Things Die-namics and cardboard or light weight chipboard.
You may be able to find 12 x 12 sheets of thin chipboard at your local scrapbook store. You’ll also find thin chipboard all around your house.  Recycle cereal and cracker boxes, the back of paper pads, etc to create your own custom embellishments. Use corrugated paper to add texture and rustic detail.Chipboard embellishments add great dimension to a card or scrapbook page.  Follow these steps to create this glittered, chip board camera:
Cut all three pieces of the Behind the Camera Die-namics from chip board. Run twice through the die-cutting machine or add the Metal Adaptor Plate for the cleanest possible cut.
  • Paint the camera with black paint and allow to dry.
  • Add a second coat of paint using black glitter paint.
  • Cut the middle circle once more from card stock, stamp the sentiment and adhere the card stock to the chipboard.
  • Paint the smallest circle with black paint, allow to dry. Add a coat of black glossy accents.
  • Adhere the three circles together using dimensional adhesive.
  • Embellish with rhinestones.
Create durable chipboard elements with this technique.  For the next sample, the Keys and Locks Die-namics were cut once from black card stock and once from light chipboard. Liquid glue and black embossing powder has been added for an eye catching effect.
Die-namics will also cut a wide range of materials beyond card stock and chipboard.  Let’s take a look at some other products you can play with!

MFT Die-namics will even work with fabric, and will instantly add handmade charm to your project.
Iron-on patches are the simplest way to add fabric to your projects. The patches already have a backing which will stop fraying. Iron-on patches are readily available at your local fabric store.  Running the material through the die-cutting machine twice will ensure the cleanest cut.

Use scraps of fabric you may already have in your stash, or purchase small amounts at the fabric store. Most fabric stores have fabric quarters in the quilting section, which will include an assortment of patterns to work with. 
Add an iron-adhevise to the back of fabric before die-cutting. This adhesive backing will make the fabric easier to cut, and also helps reduce fraying. The package instructions clearly explain how to apply the iron-adhevise. Heat ‘n Bond Lite can be purchased at most craft and fabric stores.

Leave the paper backing on until after die-cutting. Since fabric is generally thinner than card stock, you will want to add an extra sheet of card stock or a piece of light weight chipboard to increase the pressure between your Die-namics and your cutting material.

Use fabric in place of patterned paper in your card-making. The red gingham fabric was cut with the largest Rectangle STAX.  The Heat n Bond adhesive backing can also be used to affix your fabric layers.  In this example, using an iron on low heat, the red gingham fabric was adhered to a layer of white card stock. This ensures that the fabric is smoothly adhered to the card stock.

Experiment with different fabrics to create flower embellishments. You can create this fluffy flower using chiffon and tulle with the Circle STAX and a Pink Lemonade Button. Since tulle is so very thin, fold it into a numbers of layers and also add an extra piece of lightweight card stock to your stack for a clean cut.
This sweet custom embellishment pairs perfectly with the Baby Onesie Die-namics.  As outlined above, Heat ‘n Bond Lite was applied to the back of the fabric to ensure a smooth cut.


Next I wanted to show you how quickly and easily you can make fabric yo-yo’s using the Circle STAX Die-namics.
Cut a circle using one of the dies in the Circle STAX Die-namics 1 or 2. I am using the largest circle in Circle STAX Die-namics 1. In this case, you can cut the circle with or without the adhesive backing, since we are not concerned about fraying.
Use a needle and thread to run a long basting stitch around the edge of the circle. I am using red thread so that you can see the stitches in my sample, but normally you would match the thread to the fabric. You can also use the basting stitch on your sewing machine.
At each end leave threads that are long enough for you to pull the two threads together in the middle. Knot your thread in the middle and cut off the excess thread.
Sew a button to the middle of the yo-yo.

Burlap adds rustic charm, along with lots of texture and dimension.  The iron-on adhesive is highly recommended when working with burlap, as it really helps reduce fraying.

Felted Die-namics:

Felt is a very popular cutting material for Die-namics.  Use it to create luscious flowers, or add soft fuzzy details to your cards and pages.  Whenever cutting felt, run it through your machine twice. Consider adding the Metal Adaptor Plate to the sandwich stack for the most crisp edges.
My Favorite Things Felt is a wool blend felt which comes in a wide variety of colors.  This felt works perfectly with Die-namics.  Use a low temperature glue gun or glue dots to hold the felted elements together.

Layer assorted cutting materials to fill your projects with depth and texture.   The base of this tag was cut from Kraft card stock, and then covered with burlap.  The Mini Hybrid Heirloom Rose has been cut from felt.

I hope you are now filled with lots of new ideas for ways to use your Die-namics.  The next time you are ready to throw out that cardboard box or packaging, give it a second look! During your next visit to the craft store, look outside the scrapbooking section to see what else you can add to your paper crafting projects.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you will be inspired to use your Die-namics to incorporate new materials into your cards and pages. Use the keyword MFTED6 in your gallery upload on Splitcoaststampers so we can admire your creations!
If you have any questions, please email, and we’ll be happy to help you!
Comments { 36 }

MFT Academy: Recessed Stamping

Welcome back to the MFT Academy!  Barbara is your Guest Professor today, she’ll show you how to create this gorgeous clean and simple card with a step-by-step tutorial.

Recessed stamping is a great way to easily add dimension and add extra interest to your clean and simple designs without losing the CAS look. There are quite a few My Favorite Things stamp sets that will work with this technique, but today I’m using Lisa Johnson Designs Pretty Poppies paired with MFT’s Smooth White card stock.


Step 1: Cut card stock 4 1/8″ x 5 3/8″ to layer on an A2 size (4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″) card base.

Step 2: Lay out the dies and stamps to get a basic idea of how the design should look.

Note: Do not put your dies too close to the edge of your card front–no closer than 1/4″.

Step 3: Once the dies have been positioned, secure them to the card stock with removable tape.

Step 4: Cut out the dies, but do not throw the die cuts away; they can be used on another project.

Step 5: Using another piece of Smooth White card stock, stamp the images.

Step 6: Color the center of the bottom poppy with Copic markers using the following colors:

Step 7: Lay down YG91 in the center, then starting on the outside with W9, work back towards the green with W7, W5, W3,
and W1.

Step 8: Continue to blend the layers of color until your center looks like this:

Step 9: Trim out the images using a pair of scissors, leaving about 1/4″ margin.

Step 10: Test the images behind the die-cut openings to make sure the arrangement is properly aligned.

Step 11: Stamp the stems on the card front.

Step 12:  For this design, the stems needed to be longer. To accomplish this, ink up a portion of the stem stamp and extend as desired.


Step 13: Do another trial fit. There will be a gap where there’s no stem on the stamped image.

Step 14: To remedy this, line up the image precisely with the stamped stems and place light pencil marks where the stem needs to be extended onto the image.

Step 15: Stamp stems over the pencil marks.

Step 16: Stamp the sentiment.

Step 17: Place narrow strips of foam tape on the back side around the die cut holes.

Step 18: Remove the tape backing one at a time, and then lower the card front over the stamped images, lining up the openings and stamped stems. The back will look like this when done.

Step 19: Add dimensional foam tape to the back of the card front to ensure that  the card front doesn’t sag around the die-cut openings.

Step 20: Adhere card front to base card.

Step 21: Add embellishments as desired. This card only needed a few black dots to create balance.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the tutorial, there are quite a few MFT stamps and Die-namics dies that work well with this technique. Here is a card using LJD Sweet Roses and Die-namics LJD Roses and Leaves.

And here’s another using Inspired by Up, Up and Away and Die-namics Up, Up and Away.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you will be inspired to try your hand at the technique. Use the keyword MFTED5 in your gallery upload on Splitcoaststampers so we can admire your creations!

If you have any questions, please email, and we’ll be happy to help you!

You’ll find links to the product used in today’s tutorial just below:

Comments { 27 }

MFT Academy: Coloring On Kraft with Prismacolor Premier Pencils

Welcome back to the MFT Academy!  Inge is your Guest Professor today and she’ll be showing you how to color on Kraft card stock using Prismacolor Premier Pencils.

When coloring with Prismacolor Premier pencils on Kraft card stock, no additional solvents or tools are necessary, the pencils will actually blend themselves.  Prismacolor Premier pencils contain a high-quality color pigment and have a creamy consistency. The more layers you add, the better the colors will blend together.

I hope you’ll sharpen your pencils and follow along with today’s tutorial!


Step 1. Cut a piece of Kraft card stock measuring 11 x 4.25, score and fold to create a card base.

Step 2. Stamp the image and a matching sentiment.

Step 3. Using a ruler and a fine liner, draw a frame 1/4 inch from all edges.

Step 4. The following colors will be used for the skin tones: 914 Cream, 940 Sand, 939 Peach, 927 Light Peach, 943 Burnt Ochre.

Step 5. Apply a base layer of color for all areas of skin using 914 Cream.  Color in little circles and make sure the entire surface is colored.  Try to avoid coloring onto the stamped lines wherever possible.

Step 6. Once you’ve colored all the skin, it will look like this.

Step 7. Using 940 Sand, color all the skin again.  This creates a warm underground for your final colors.

Step 8. Color all of the skin again with 939 Peach.

Step 9. Using 927 Light Peach, you will color with small circles to blend all the colors.  Don’t worry, while the color doesn’t look great at this point, it will come together quite nicely in just a few steps.

Step 10. Add shadow using 943 Burnt Ochre, continuing to color in small circles. The shadow would appear where there the least amount of light is. Assuming that the sun is directly above the head, the shadow would appear under the hairline, just under the chin, along the underside of the arm, and where the pants would cast a shadow on the legs.

Step 11. Next, blend softly with 939 Peach.

Step 12. Once the skin is finished, using 935 Black, add the black lines for the eyes back into place.  You can also fill back any areas of the stamped line that has inadvertently been colored over.

Step13. The skin is now complete, and we’ll move onto the hair.

Step 14. For the hair, we’ll use 914 Cream, 1002 Yellowed Orange, 1032 Pumpkin Orange, 944 Terracotte, 947 Dark Umber.

Step 15. First, fill in all areas of the hair with 914 Cream.

Step 16. Using 1002, add small strokes where the shadow begins.  For example, just where the pony tails begin and under the edge of the flower in the hair.

Step 17. Repeat with 1032 Pumpkin Orange.

Step 18. Repeat once more with 944 Terraccote.

Step 19. Lastly, repeat using the darkest color, 947 Dark Umber.

Step 20. Blend together using 1002 Yellowed Orange.

Step 21. Add highlights with 914 Cream just where the sun would touch the hair from above.

Step 22. For the clothes, we will use 938 White, 1069 French Grey 20%, 1072 French Grey 50% and French Grey 70%.

Step 23.  Apply a base color of 938 White to her clothes.

Step 24. Using 1072 French Grey 50%, add shadows.  On this image, you’ll find shadow under the ruffle of the shirt, along the outer edges of the pant leg, and where the jar would cast a shadow onto the shirt.

Step 25. Intensify the deepest areas of shadow using 1074 French Grey 70%.
Step 26. Blend using 1069 French Grey 20%.
Step 27. Add very small white lines surrounding your image to indicate motion.
Step 28. Next we will create grounding using 1005 Vert Lime, 1097 Moss Green, 947 Dark Umber and 938 White.
Step 29. First, draw a few blades of grass using 1005 Vert Lime.
Step 30. Next, using 1097 Moss Green, add blades of grass between the Vert Lime blades.
Step 31. Next, add additional blades using 947 Dark Umber.

Step 32. A few lines of 938 White will add a bit of highlight to the grass.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you will be inspired to try your hand at the technique. Use the keyword MFTED4 in your gallery upload on Splitcoaststampers so we can admire your creations!

If you have any questions, please email, and we’ll be happy to help you!

You’ll find links to the products used in today’s tutorial just below:

Comments { 31 }

MFT Academy – Coloring Hair with Copic Markers

Welcome back to the MFT Academy.  Michele is returning as our Guest Professor and today she’ll be showing you how to color hair with Copic Markers. She’s working with a series of images, so she’ll have lots of tips and tricks to share with you.


Before we begin, there are a few things to keep in mind when coloring hair.  Hair is not one flat color. For example, brunette hair has a basic brown color, and also contains both highlight and shadow.  The amount and location of each will depend on the light source. To simplify this tutorial, we’ll assume all light sources are subtle and coming from the front. Another important “rule” to remember is that your marker strokes should always go in the same direction as the hair.  You’ll see more about that in just a bit.
Remember that when “blending” one hair color into another, it is not necessary to smoothly blend the colors.  It is also okay to leave white areas uncolored. We’ll color hair three ways in this tutorial, simple hair using Pure Innocence, and then two more detailed examples of hair-coloring using the new Doodle Garden line.  Let’s get started!

Coloring Simple Hair – Pure Innocence Freckles
In the photo below, you can see the difference made by adding just a few areas of shadow.  Begin by adding short strokes of Y21 on both sides of the part in the hair, moving down toward the center of the head. Then start down by the corners by the ears, adding strokes up towards the center of the head.  Leave a small bit of white in the center to create a highlight.
As illustrated below, add additional strokes with each of the deeper colors, each time using slightly shorter strokes.  Each time, you will begin at the part and move down, then start again near the ear, and move up.  Lastly, blend the edges of the darker colors using the lighter Y21 marker.  If you look closely you can see that a bit of white was left just behind the barrette to create a brighter highlight.

You can see a quick video of these techniques in action HERE, or simply click play below:

Here are some other recommended color combinations for simple hair.

Coloring More Detailed Hair – Doodle Garden Hunny Bunny

Let’s move onto a more detailed image.  The principles here are the same, however you have more space to work with.  In the following photo, I’ve drawn arrows to indicate the direction of the marker strokes.  Since this hair is straight, all the strokes will be straight up or straight down.

Step 1:  Begin by adding strokes of Y21, lifting the marker lightly off the paper at the end of each stroke as demonstrated above.
Step 2:  Using E31, begin to build shadow.  The strokes will be shorter than those used in Step 1.
Step 3:  Using E35, and even shorter strokes, continue to deepen the shadow.
Step 4:  Using very small strokes with the E39 marker, create the deepest shadow just along the edges of the hair and around the hairband.
Step 5:  Use E35 to blend the edges of E39 using straight strokes and lifting the marker lightly off the paper at the end of each stroke.  

Coloring Hair with More Detail and Curl – Doodle Garden Far Out
With this next image, we’ll take a look at how to color more complex hair. Notice that this image has different directions within each of the strands.  Some pieces of hair seem to go behind others, and there are places where the hair curls forward.
For example, look at the longest strand of hair in the ponytail on the right.  The pointed tip (A) appears to curl just a bit, creating a shadow.  Moving up, the strand of hair widens and curls forward (B), toward our eye, which would create a highlight. The hair then curls back (C), creating a shadow, then forward again (D), creating a highlight.  As we move up, the hair strand becomes tighter (E) so the hair will be darker. Light will hit the top bend of the hair (F), and as we move into the area of the hairband (G), the hair is very tight so this area will appear darker.
Of course, light source plays a major role in the location of highlight and shadow which turns into an entire area of study on its own. To simplify things here, I have assumed the light is coming from the upper left.
Step 1:  Using E13, lay the base color for the hair, leaving the areas of highlight white.
Step 2: Using E15, begin to add a deeper shadow.  The strokes should be shorter than those used in Step 1.
Step 3:  Blend the E15 edges using E13.  The blending strokes should continue to be in the same direction as the flow of the hair.
Step 4:  Use the E18 marker to add the deepest shadow.

Step 5:  Use the E15 marker to blend the edges of E18.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you will be inspired to try your hand at the technique. Use the keyword MFTED3 in your gallery upload on Splitcoaststampers so we can admire your creations!
If you have any questions, please email, and we’ll be happy to help you!
You’ll find links to the products used in today’s tutorial just below:

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MFT Academy – It’s Your Turn!

We hope you’ve had a chance to read Michele’s post in our MFT Academy series. If you missed it, you’ll find the full tutorial content HERE. Michele will show you step-by-step how to build texture with pointillism using Copic markers.

You can also use the pointillism technique to create textured fur like Michele has done HERE with Pure Innocence Bunny Ears.

Add shading to white areas of your image with pointillism as Michele has done HERE with Doodle Garden Hunny Bunny.

We look forward to your creative uses of the pointillism technique in the Splitcoaststampers gallery.  Be sure to use the keyword MFTED2 in your gallery upload to Splitcoaststampers so we can enjoy all the texture-filled creations.

We hope you’ll put the tutorial to work, and we can’t wait to see what you create!

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MFT Academy – Building Texture Using Pointillism with Copic Markers

Welcome to the MFT Academy.  Your guest professor today is Michele, who will be teaching you how to create texture with your Copic markers using the Pointillism Technique.

Hi everyone!  I’m here today to share a fun, texture-building technique using your Copic markers. I’m using the Raptor Round Your Finger image from our new Doodle Garden line.
Before we begin, let’s talk briefly about combinations of ink and paper.
I prefer Memento Tuxedo Black when coloring with Copic markers.  This ink yields a crisp image and dries very quickly.  Adirondack black and brown will also work well, however they require longer drying time.  I have also used Brilliance ink with nice results, but you must heat-set the image before coloring.  Solvent-based inks (such as Staz-On) do not work well with Copics as the alcohol in the Copic ink will reactivate the stamped ink line, resulting in smears and bleeding lines.
As for cardstock, I always reach for X-Press It Blending Card.  It blends beautifully, is not prone to bleeding, and is bright white. The Blending Card has a tight grain, which means you’ll need less ink and your markers will last longer.
Step 1:  Stamp your image onto X-Press It Blending Card using Memento Tuxedo Black.
Step 2:  Using E00, you’ll begin by creating strokes along the left side of the face, pulling color in and lifting toward the center of the face.  Repeat this process with strokes coming from the right.  Be sure to not stroke all the way across.  This will create a soft highlight in the center.

Step 3:  Repeat the process with E11, but with shorter strokes.
Step 4:  Going back to E00, you’ll blend the edges of the E11 strokes.  Use a circular motion to blend the outer edges of the E11 lines.  Use the original motion (“sweeping in” from the edges) with E00 to ensure a smooth blend.
Step 5:  Use R20 to add rosy color to the cheeks.  Beginning along the left side of the face, just under the eye, pull color diagonally up from the outer edge to just under the eye using short strokes.  Move down the cheek line, adding strokes, each one longer than the last, until you reach the center of the cheek.  Once you reach the center, the strokes should become increasingly shorter until you reach the bottom of the cheek.  Repeat for the right cheek.
Step 6:  Using E00, move your marker in a circular motion to blend the edges of the rosy cheeks into the face.
You can see a quick video of these techniques in action HERE, or simply click play below:

Step 7:  Lightly color the body with E31. This is a base color, so your coverage does not need to be smooth.
I have intentionally left a bit of white at the tips of his spikes to create highlights.


Step 8:  Using the tip of your E33 marker, begin adding dots.  Be sure to leave some of the base color showing.
A few notes about the dots:  Vary the size of the dots by changing the amount of pressure that is applied to the tip of the marker.  Also, try not to “lay down” your dots in straight lines.  If you see areas that seem too straight, just add more dots.
Step 9:  Continue adding depth using an even darker brown.  Layer E35 dots over most (but not all) of the E33 dots.  As we add darker dots to create depth, be sure to add some very tiny dots of darker color in the lighter areas.  This will help build texture.
Step 10:  Using our darkest brown, E79, add small dots in the deepest, darkest creases, i.e. around the face, behind the front spike on the head, around the belly, along the base of the arms and feet, folds of the legs, and along the base of tail.
Step 11:  Returning to E31, add dots to blend the darker areas into the lighter areas.
Step 12:  Using YR16, add random dots throughout the body and color in the spots, leaving some white areas to represent highlights.
Step 13:  Color the belly using Y21.  Use the original “sweeping” motion we used when coloring the face.  Sweep color in from the left and right sides, leaving some white showing in the center of the belly.
Step 14:  Using E31, and the same method as above, sweep color in from the sides along the belly lines.
Step 15:  Using the sweeping method once again, use E35 to add shading along the outer edges of the belly.
Step 16:  To blend the E35 lines, use Y21, and sweep in from both the left and right sides, leaving some of the belly white.
Step 17:  Because the hearts will be colored red, and red can sometimes be a tricky color to work with, I’m going to add the shadow around my image first.  This way, the red won’t accidentally pull into the background area, should my marker slightly cross the line.
Using BG70, pull color from the outer edges of the image toward the edges of the paper, lifting the marker off the paper as you pull.
Step 18:  Using Colorless Blender with circular strokes, blend the edges of BG70.
Step 19:  To intensify the shadow, use small sweeping strokes of BG10, beginning at the image lines, and moving out toward the edge of the paper.  Blend the BG10 edges using BG70.
Step 20:  To ground the image, first wet the area using Colorless Blender.  Use G21 to add the base ground color.  Use uneven strokes from left to right, and then again from right to left.
Step 21:  Using the same technique above, add G24 close to the image, leaving G21 showing at the bottom edge.
Create blades of grass by using G28.  Touch the tip of the marker to a spot on the ground and whisk marker up and off the paper.  Next, place your marker tip at the base of the same stroke, and whisk in additional blades.
You’ll see step-by step how the ground and grass were colored in THIS quick video, or simply click play below:

Step 22:  Apply a base color to the hearts using R22.  Leave some white showing. Using R24, and beginning at the base of the hearts, sweep marker up to create the first layer of shadow. Repeat with shorter strokes using R37.  Lightly blend the R37 edges with R24.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you’ll be inspired to create your own texture-filled projects. Use the keyword MFTED2 in your gallery upload on Splitcoaststampers so we can admire your samples.

If you have any questions, email, and we’ll be happy to help you.

You’ll find the products used in today’s tutorial in the MFT Boutique linked just below:

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MFT Academy – Your Turn to Try!

We hope you’ve had a chance to peruse Inge’s beautiful post for our new MFT Academy series. If you missed it, you’ll find the full tutorial content HERE.  Inge will show you step-by-step how to color with Prismacolor Premier pencils.  We invite you to play along and put your pencils to work too!  Be sure to use the keyword MFTED1 in your gallery upload to Splitcoaststampers so we can see all the gorgeous Prismacolor samples in one place.

 Joanne has colored up the new Doodle Garden: Sweet Friend, you can read more on her blog post HERE.

Inge has put her pencils to work again, this time using the new Raptor Round Your Finger. Be sure to visit her blog HERE to see all the details.

We hope you’ll put the tutorial to work, and we can’t wait to see what you create!

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Introducing MFT Academy – Class Is in Session!

Welcome to the MFT Academy – your guest professor today is Inge, who will be teaching you about coloring with Prismacolor Pencils.


Hello everyone.  I’m here to show you a bit about coloring with Prismacolor Premier Pencils. So grab a cup of coffee, scroll, and enjoy.

Choose the materials you want to work with. For this project I’ve selected:

  • PI Being Cute Is What I Do
  • Memento Ink: Tuxedo Black
  • blending chalks
  • paper blending stumps
  • odorless spirits (odorless mineral spirits, OMS, gamsol)
  • brushes
  • Scor-Pal
  • Prismacolor Premier Pencils that match your patterned paper.

tip: I always choose my patterned paper before starting to color.  That way you don’t have to search endlessly for matching paper once you’ve finished coloring an image.

Step 1. Stamp your image with Memento Ink onto Neenah Classic Crest white. This paper is perfect for blending with pencils! I always stamp two images to experiment a bit with colors. Choose pencils that match your patterned paper.

Start coloring with Peach 939.  Color the entire face, and her arms lightly.

Step 2. Dip the paper stump into your odorless mineral spirits, and then move in little circles around your colored area.  The blending solution makes the color look soft and smooth.

Step 3. Take a darker color, in this case 1092, and make a bit of a shadow around her hairline, and on her arm closest to her body.

Step 4. Using your paper stump and odorless spirits, repeat the blending process for a smooth finish.

Step 5. Color a bit with the darkerst color 943, where a shadow would fall. In this instance that would be along her hairline, and on her arms just closest to her body, for more depth.

Step 6.   Repeat the blending process as outlined above. Skin is ready, colored with three different pencils.

Step 7. The hair is first colored with 945, then you’ll blend with the paper stump. Two small areas of white are left to represent a highlight where the light reflects off of her hair.

Step 8.Take a darker color, 947, and add some deeper shading closest to the hairline, down towards her ears, and again where her pigtails meet her hair elastic.  Repeat the blending process with the paper stump and odorless mineral spirits. Maintain the small spot of white as a highlight.

Step 9.  Now we are going to make some pleats. This might look difficult, but by practicing you can easily get fun results! I’ve used three different green tones: 1096, 1097, 1098, and started with the lightest color.

When you look closely at her blouse, you will notice scalloped lines at the bottom. Draw a line straight up from each of the pleats, stopping about half way up, and then draw a line down from the top portion of the blouse.  Be sure that the lines are alternating, not crossing.

Step 10. Blend using the paper stump and odorless mineral spirits.  Blend only on one side of each pleat line.

Step 11. Take a darker color and repeat the process.  Draw a second layer of pleats directly on top of original set, and they will blend nicely. Again, blend only on one side of the pleats for a soft look.

Step 12. Blend using the paper stump and odorless mineral spirits.  Then, repeat the pleat-drawing and blending process with the darkest color.

Step 13. For her trousers, I’ve used three different grey tones: 1061, 1063, 1065, and worked in layers as I did with the skin tones.

First, starting with the lightest color, fill the entire area.  Next, blend with the paper stump and odorless mineral spirits for a smooth finish.  Then, add shading  where her shirt would cast a shadow (onto the top portion of her pants) with the middle toned grey, and blend.  Lastly, add the deepest layer of shadow with the darkest grey, and repeat the blending process.

Step 14. Now we are going to make some red cheeks. I heart red cheeks:) Put a bit of the red chalk on your brush and dab it gently onto her cheeks.

Step 15. Using the same greens you’ve used to create the blouse, color a matching underground for her to stand on.  (Stay tuned for an upcoming MFT Academy tutorial focusing on creating grounding for your images.)

Step 16. Add a background for your image by adding a bit of blue chalk with a brush.

Step 17. She’s ready to use for your card or project! If you’d like you can stamp the edges with Finishing Flourishes Stamp Set. It gives the image a nice vintage look.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions, you can email, and we’ll be happy to help you!

Here are the links to the products I’ve used:

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