Guest Blogger: Yana Smakula

Hello, friends! This is Yana Smakula and I am excited to bring you my monthly video tutorial for Papertrey Ink from the “In The Studio with Yana” video series. I am sharing video tutorials on the 24th of each month, you can catch previous episodes HERE.


Today I’m sharing one layer, mail-friendly wedding congratulations cards featuring a simple window design and drop shadow stamping.  I started working on my projectsby stamping heart wreath from the To Have & To Hold stamp set in Tropical Teal and Ripe Avocado inks onto A2 side folding note cards. 

I picked this particular stamp set for my cards because of it’s coordinating dies. The dies include not only the outer cut edge for the heart, but also the inner cut edge allowing us to cut the image out in 3 different ways. 


To create a sentiment for this project I went with “So Happy For You. Congratulations!” message from the Bold & Beautiful Sentiments set. I stamped sentiments with the help of a stamp positioner and not only stamped them on the front, but also on the inside of the card making sure to maintain exact placement. 


To Have & To Hold set has a number of tiny florals and leaves that can be used to dress up the wreath. There are also coordinating dies available allowing us to cut these images out and pop onto the wreath. I wanted to step outside the box and use these in a different way. 


Why not turn an outline shape into a solid one? Using small flowers and leaves I stamped images inside the heart shape using same ink colors to create the illusion of a solid floral heart. You can also reverse this idea and stamp tiny shapes outside the heart outline and keep the inside white. 


After my stamping was done I walked away from my cards for about 10-20 minutes. This allowed the ink to dry completely. I needed the ink to be bone dry to ensure I would have clean heat embossing. 


I prepped my stamped card front for heat embossing with the help of an anti static powder tool, replaced it back into my MISTI, moved it up just a fraction of an inch and stamped the sentiment once again but using clear embossing ink. After adding gold embossing powder I heat set it and was left with a beautiful gold heat embossed image with a black drop shadow effect. 

It’s best to shamp the shadow first and do heat embossing later (versus doing heat embossing and adding a shadow) as embossing powder creates a sleek surface that’s unable to absorb the ink. Therefore if you add a shadow after you heat emboss the image part of the ink will sit on heat embossing and you will run the risk of smearing it and ruining your project. 

At this point the card design already looks fantastic and you can keep it as is. I however, wanted to step mine up, so I used a coordinating die and cut the inside of the heart out to create a window in the front panel. I re-adhered the die cut heart on the inside of the card to continue the design. 


I'd like to encourage you to pull out your stamps and inks and create identical or similar projects! 

Have fun stamping! 


Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

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