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.


In this month episode I’d like to encourage you to pull out your PTI ink pads and try your hand at watercoloring easy backgrounds for Christmas cards. The cards I’m sharing today are much easier to make than they look, trust me!   


I started working on these by heat embossing snowflakes from the Silver White Winters stamp set in White and Gold embossing powders onto Arches Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper. You can also try using Silver embossing powder for this card design – I bet it would look just stunning! 


Next, I picked a few colors of my PTI ink pads and water-swatched them on the same Arches Hot Pressed Paper to be able to see how how a particular color would look on my paper. I picked Aqua Mist, Hawaiian Shores, Tropical Teal, Enchanted Evening, Dark Indigo and True Black. While I didn’t use Black on its own I mixed it with the other colors to get a darker shade. 


Be sure to watch my video tutorial above to see the watercolor process in detail as well as to learn tips and tricks. Once my coloring was done I added a generous amount of white and gold pearlescent splatter to create a “beautiful mess”. 


I trimmed my watercolor backgrounds to 4 x 5 ¼ “ and foam mounted onto an A2 side folding card bases. I also heat embossed “Season’s Greetings” in white embossing powder onto Pure Poppy cardstock and foam mounted onto the cards. 


Finally, I embellished my projects using Gold & White confetti. 

While the white snowflake card looks much better on the photographs, I personally prefer the one with gold snowflakes as they look much more festive in real life. Which card do you like best? Share below! 


Even if you don't have watercolors in your stash I'd like to encourage you to pull out your PTI inks and stamps, get some high quality watercolor paper and give this idea a try! 

Have fun stamping!  


  • STAMPS: Silver White Winters
  • PAPER: Pure Poppy, Stamper's Select White
  • INK: Hawaiian Shores, Aqua Mist, Enchanted Evening, Tropical Teal, True Black, Dark Indigo
  • OTHER: White Fun Foam, Scor-tape, MISTI, Glue, Arches Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper, Silver Black Velvet Brush #8, Flat 1” wide brush, Confetti in Gold & White, Crystal Katana Tool, Finetec Pearlescent Watercolors 
Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

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Join the discussion 19 Comments

  • 1
    ML says:

    So pretty! I love the colors you chose and can imagine the technique with many other color combinations.

  • 2
    HJ says:

    Your cards are beautiful! Great video, which gives me inspiration to try this technique! Have a wonderful day!

  • 3
    Sandy Dayhoff says:

    They are both beautiful! I am leaning toward the gold one though! I am looking forward to trying this technique! You make it look SO easy!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • 4
    Nancy says:

    Fabulous video, clear, concise and very informative. Your manner of speaking is wonderful, easy to hear and understand, not a lot of unnecessary chatter too.
    Thank you so much for this information, I really didn’t know all the “in’s & out”s of water coloring and your video explains it perfectly. I am definitely going to pull out some of my PTI inks, hot press watercolor paper, embossing powder and stamps.
    Thank you so very much!

  • 5
    Karen P. says:

    I like both cards so much I am going to make some cards like these. I think I like the white best as white is usually my first choice on most things but really like the god one too.

  • 6
    Debbie says:

    Your tutorials are always so informative and enjoyable.Thank you for all the great tips.

  • 7
    Greta H says:

    Gorgeous cards! Thanks so much for the video with clear instructions!

  • 8
    Sherri says:

    Gorgeous cards! Thanks for the video.

  • 9
    Mary W says:

    Accenting the blue one with bright Christmas red was a very unexpected but beautiful thing to do!

  • 10

    Oh, Yana! Both cards are truly lovely! You are a wonderful teacher and I really appreciate all of the helpful watercolor tips. I love your embossing in both cool, fresh white and warm, rich gold! I’m so inspired to try your ideas on my next card! ♡

  • 11
    margessw says:

    Thanks for this great video and cards !

  • 12
    Beth Stiver says:

    Beautiful cards and loved seeing her process of watercoloring.

  • 13
    Sandy M says:

    I have to try this. It is so beautiful. Like you, I love the gold card the best.

  • 14
    Donna K says:

    Wow, so beautiful. I love both of them. Great instructions and easy to follow. thanks

  • 15
    RobiW says:

    Beautiful! What a lovely stamp set.

  • 16
    Helen F. says:

    Beautiful cards, Yana. Thank you for the video and great tips!

  • 17
    Chris says:

    Both cards are stunning! The instructions were very easy to follow,and your speaking is very clear – thanks for taking the time to produce a perfect video!

  • 18
    staceylovespaper says:


    As always, your cards are stunning!! I love the colors and the water coloring. The pop of red is fantastic, and the gold and silver splatters really finish it off
    Thank you for a great how-to video, I love watching your process!!

  • 19
    katevdp says:

    I look forward to your videos each month Yana. These cards are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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