Handmade by Linda Fields

Welcome to Part 2 of this two part blog series where I show the steps I took to create Asian Inspired Cards with matching Envelopes and handmade Boxes to hold them.

Slide Between Yin and Yang Cards

Cutting Edge Perspectives

Ever want that perfect backdrop but just can’t find it? Make it! As shown in part 1 of this blog series, I used metallic watercolors to create my backgrounds that change in the light. I experimented by creating one big back drop that I cut down after versus cutting the paper in advance to make 8 different designs. Both have their pros and cons. I encourage you try both to see which one you love most.

Laying Out

I highly recommend doing temporary layouts. Play with your pieces! Look to see what looks best. This is a great way to get different ideas and yes, while you can keep referring to your originally sketched ideas, you may find new ideas emerge from creative play! Remember, know where your focus is. This is where the eye goes first. Use texture, color, movement to direct the eyes over your entire piece but your goal is to finish where you start and so keeping the eye in a loop. You can do this in so many ways. Tip when stamping, do your mock layout within the stamping tool so your stamp placement is perfectly placed!

All That Glimmers

I could have stopped with the metallic backgrounds stenciled with watercolor but temporary layouts showed me I needed more. First black and white mats to create a finished frame. I used to measure these before cutting but now I use a pencil to mark placements and found it far more accurate when cutting. I attached these pieces using foam tape to create dimension but it still felt ordinary. Introducing the many wonderful uses for embossing powder to create shimmer, shine and wow! Run or dip the paper edges on your embossing ink pad! Pour the powder over, heating one side at a time. I used Altenew’s Fine Gold and Silver Embossing Powders to create beautiful frames. I also embossed the Tall Foliage Stencil and some of the sentiments. The gold and silver fine threading was that perfect, final touch to tie it all together.

Make Any Box

Need a box to hold all your beautiful cards? You can make any box you want! What size are your envelopes? Your box needs to be 1/4″ larger than your envelope size and the lid needs to be 1/8″ larger than that. Stack your cards and envelopes. How tall is your set? I found creating a 1″ tall base for my 4 dimensional cards with matching envelopes was the perfect depth. So for 5″x7″ cards with 5.25″x7.25″ envelopes, I needed 8.5″x11″ paper cut down to 6.5″x8.5″ for the base and a second sheet cut down to 6.58″x8.58″ to make the lid. Use a scoring board to create a 1″ crease on every side. Repeat for both sheets of paper. Flip the paper over and use a bone folder to set the crease on all sides. Cut once for each corner, tapering the sides, to create flaps. Glue these tabs in place to create your box base. You can use your fingers to keep pressure on the paper until the glue dries, you can use reusable tape to keep it in place, or you can use these wonderful corners by We R Memory Keepers. Repeat for the box top and you’re done!

Wrapping It Up

I highly recommend decorating your box before you glue your flaps in place. I know, you’ll be so excited to glue those flaps in place so you can hold your finished box but it’s so much easier if you glue the flaps last, after you’re done designing. As stated previously, I up cycled cardboard from my Altenew purchase. It was perfect to glue behind my backdrops to hard strength and stability. I didn’t have the right color ribbon so I used Altenew Black Ink to color half a chiffon ribbon. The covered the brass coins with Metal Wax to make one silver and the other gold. They create a wonderful finishing touch but to up that special touch one more notch, I did not secure the coins down so they slide back and forth! The inked, dual ribbon makes such a pretty, unusual bow. I made two boxes, one black the other white, and exchanged the lids to mimic the Yin-Yang symbol because we are, after all, very much the same and yet uniquely different at the same time.

The Grand Finalle

This was such a satisfying, wonderful process creating and completing this project. Thank you so much for being here! I was wonderful sharing this with you. Are you inspired? I hope you share all your creative makes with the world!


Handmade by Linda Fields

Take your card making to the next level! Welcome to Part 1 of this two part blog series where you’ll learn the tips and tricks I used to create Asian Inspired Cards.

From Inspiration to Creation – Slide Between Photos


Last year November I was honored when my application to participate in Altenew’s Education Certification Program (AECP) was accepted. This blog is my Level 1 Project. The assignment was to create two card sets; one masculine, one feminine, with matching envelopes complete with packaging. There are so many great Altenew classes to learn from but Clean & Simple Boutique Cards, Let It Shine, and the Celebration Stencil Techniques courses were my favorites. I highly recommend these great courses you can take whether you’re in AECP or not!

Finding Inspiration

Have you ever been so excited you can’t focus on one idea? Or get so nervous your mind goes blank? Finding your inspiration can help turn your creative energy into something beautifully unique. Pinterest is a great platform I use to find inspiration. Check out my “Inspiring Cards” board to spark your next amazing idea!

Developing Ideas

Getting inspired, while important, is only half the battle. Do you own a journal to sketch your layouts and fine tune your ideas? Take notes and draw your answers to questions like: 1) What card size? 2) What measurements? 3) What colors? 4) Simple or dimensional? 5) What theme? 6) Who is this for? 7) What occasion if any? Your answers are only as limited as your imagination so sketch your layouts, write the details down, and start a great reference book for all your future makes!

Getting It Together

Feel that? You’re focused and ready but hold on… you must pull your materials together first. Remember those questions? I took the same steps when creating my Asian Inspired project. I wanted clean, simple styling reminiscent of ancient Japan but with a slightly modernized look. The Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine) theme was the perfect choice. Black and white became my baseline colors with green, gold, pink and silvers completing my palette. I used rice paper for delicate, earthy texture and metallic watercolors for beautiful, watery movement. Shimmering embossing powders and thread helped tie everything together.

Penny Pinching

Think you can’t afford the materials you need? Time for great substitution tricks! Need a heat gun? Use a blow dryer! Want a stamp shammy? Use a lint free, cloth paper towel! Only have white paper? Perfect! Use any color ink(s) to create the paper you need! Don’t buy more ribbon. That’s right, use your ink pad to color the ribbon you already have! Don’t forget about up-cycling. I ordered Altenew’s “Tall Foliage” stencil and used the included cardboard packaging to add strength and stability to handmade boxes! (see packaging, part 2)

Creating Backgrounds

I absolutely love creating my own papers. It’s downright addicting! I used both black and white watercolor papers. Spray a pan of watercolor paints 2 or 3 times and let it sit a few seconds to get the colors started. I used the wet-on-wet watercolor painting method. I used a fat round brush with a fine tip similar to what the Japanese used for their beautiful calligraphy. Using clean water, I got the paper wet before adding color, letting gravity paint for me, and drying each layer with a heat gun before repeating the process. Metallic watercolors have a magical ability to change color depending on your perspective and lighting!

Stencil Painting

Let me be clear, using watercolors on a stencil is risky! Water allows your paint to be transparent but use too much, it leaks beneath your stencil until you have a mish-mash mess. So I encourage you to experiment on scratch paper before applying new techniques to your project. I’ve learned since but I had to turn my boo-boo’s into happy mistakes. I used black micron pens and white gel pens to ink fine details over the stenciled leaves.

Conclusion – Part 1

Excited to see more? Check out Asian Inspired Card Sets – Part 2, for more tips, tricks and all the steps I took to create this project. I can’t wait to see you there!