Mondays with Melissa: Make Your Sentiments Take Center Stage

We are excited to share a new version of Make It Monday called Mondays with Melissa! We all enjoy Melissa Phillips eye-catching designs in her soft, shabby chic signature style. Today, Melissa shares creative tips on ways to use your paper crafting supplies to design amazing projects.

Hello!  I have a couple of cards to share with you today using a fun technique to help make your sentiments take center stage.  My cards uses the Emboss Resist technique…which is a favorite of mine, but not one that I often use for my sentiments.

On my first card, I stamped my sentiment on a die cut heart, cut using the Limitless Layers:  2 1/4″ Hearts die collection.  I began by stamping “love” from the Sentiment Staples:  I Love You stamp set using watermark ink.  I then heat embossed it using white embossing powder.

Next, I sponged on Aqua Mist ink and allowing the sentiment to become visible.  I sponged Pale Peony ink over the bottom portion of my heart and then added a bit of water to create a soft, watercolor feel.  Once my heart had dried, I added the second portion of my sentiment, stamped in Ocean Tides ink.  I then added the “hugs” die cut, cut using the Bold Borders:  Polka Dots die, cut from Berry Sorbet cardstock.

To create my card, I started with Sweet Blush cardstock and then added patterned paper to the front.  I love the softness that rounded corners adds, so for this card, I rounded my bottom corners.

Next, I added Bitty Big Spring Moss paper across the bottom half of the card.

I added an Aqua Mist block of cardstock to the center of my card, stamping it with the Vintage Type stamp set, stamping with Hawaiian Shores ink.

To create a spot for my stamped heart to rest, I used the Shape Shifters:  Square 4 die, cut from Stamper’s Select White cardstock.  I added stamped flowers from the Seasonal Borders:  Spring stamp set in two of the corners.  I added a bit of my favorite aqua seam binding as well, because I thought this card just needed a bow :).

My stamped heart with the sentiment was added next, tying in all of the lovely, fresh colors used on the rest of my card.  To finish I added aqua sequins.

I love the softness of the emboss resist sentiment, mixed with the bold die cut “hugs”.


  • STAMPS:  Sentiment Staples:  I Love You, Seasonal Borders:  Spring, Vintage Type
  • INK:  Aqua Mist, Sweet Blush, Pale Peony, Hawaiian Shores, Berry Sorbet, Spring Moss, Fine Linen, Hibiscus Burst, Ocean Tides
  • PAPER:  Aqua Mist, Stamper’s Select White, Sweet Blush, Bitty Big Spring Moss
  • DIES:  Shape Shifters:  Square 4, Limitless Layers:  Hearts, Bold Borders:  Polka Dots
  • OTHER:  patterned paper, seam binding, sequins, white embossing powder, watermark ink

I used the gorgeous Circle of Love stamp set on my next card.  I began by stamping a few of the florals in the lower left and upper right corners.  I stamped using Pale Peony, Lemon Tart, Berry Sorbet, Ripe Avocado, and Spring Moss ink.

In the opposite corners, I used the Corner Adorner:  January Mini stamp set, stamping in Spring Moss ink.

To create my focal point where my sentiment would be, I began by  using the Nesting Basics:  Ovals and Nesting Basics:  Pierced Ovals.   I then stamped my florals using Olive Twist ink and added the solid florals stamped in Spring Moss, Prairie Grass, Lemon Tart, Summer Sunrise, and Berry Sorbet.

I then stamped my sentiment using watermark ink to the center of another die cut circle.  After heat embossing it with white embossing powder, I sponged on Summer Sunrise and Pale Peony ink.  I love how it makes the sentiment stand out but remain soft and subtle as well.

To finish I added my oval to the center of my card, adding a few sequins to bring in a little shine.

Once my card was finished, I felt like it was missing just one more little addition.  So, to step up my card I used the Delicate Dies, cutting them from Stamper’s Select White cardstock.  I snipped them in half and trimmed them just a bit before tucking them under my sentiment.

I love the addition that one more layer adds, and by cutting it from white cardstock, you get the intricate details, without it overpowering your card.


  • STAMPS:  Circle of Love, Corner Adorner:  January
  • INK:  Lemon Tart, Spring Moss, Prairie Grass, Olive Twist, Pale Peony, Berry Sorbet, Summer Sunrise
  • PAPER:  Stamper’s Select White, Sweet Blush, Bitty Big Spring Moss
  • DIES:  Delicate Dies, Nesting Basics:  Ovals, Nesting Basics:  Pierced Ovals, Nesting Basics:  Circles
  • OTHER:  watermark ink, white embossing powder, sequins

I hope you’ll put your favorite sentiment stamps to use this week and try a bit of embossing as you design your card.

Thanks for visiting!


Papertrey Ink

Author Papertrey Ink

More posts by Papertrey Ink

Join the discussion 48 Comments

  • 1
    Carmela says:

    Melissa, I love your style and have copied many of your designs. Thanks for your inspiration and the design tips!

  • 2

    Beautiful cards and tips Melissa!

  • 3
    Alison says:

    Loving all the different layers! Great job to each of you !

  • 4

    Lovely cards, thanks for the tutorials!!!!!!!

  • 5
    Sue says:

    Great tips, and I love your cards. Thanks

  • 6
    Birgit A Norton says:

    Beautiful!!! I really enjoyed the step by step photo’s. What a great tutorial and stunning card. Thanks Melissa!

  • 7
    Sandy Dayhoff says:

    Oh my goodness, this is WONDERFUL! I love both cards, Melissa, and how you have shown the process step-by-step! I will be looking forward to each “Mondays with Melissa!”

  • 8
    Helen says:

    These cards are so lovely–each so uniquely crafted. They highlight the sentiment so well. Thanks for sharing these great designs.

  • 9
    Andi Schalow says:

    Just beautiful, Melissa! You have such awesome talent, thank you for sharing it!

  • 10
    Tina B. says:

    I look forward to Mondays with Melissa. I’ve always admired the softness of your color choices and designs and the step-by-step tutorials.

  • 11

    Melissa, your cards have always been such an inspiration and these two are certainly no different. I will be looking forward to Mondays with Melissa eagerly. Blessings to you.

  • 12
    lindac says:

    Love your cards, Melissa.

  • 13
    christal mclean says:

    Melissa, this is exactly what I need in card crafting; step by step instructions. I’m one of those who don’t think outside the box as easily and really need ” the recipe” to get started. I am absolutely thrilled I bought these sets and love the new inspiration. Way to start off this new and improved segment of Make it Monday with a bang! Love you and your style!

  • 14
    Diana K says:

    So beautiful! Love this step-by-step format!

  • 15
    Annette Gordon says:

    I just love your cards and the different layers, and your talent for putting it all together. Beautiful!

  • 16
    merryf says:

    so nice to see you on a Monday morning, Melissa! You have a special talent in multi layering — I can’t wait to learn from you!

  • 17
    Becky Green says:

    STUNNING AS ALWAYS, Melissa!!! I LOOOVE ALL of the layers on BOTH of your cards & the soft touches you’ve added! Seeing your creations ALWAYS make me SMILE! LOOOVE how you’ve stamped the Shape Shifter Square die on your first card (Decking out your die) 😉 & the LOVELY flowers on your second card with the addition of the Delicates Die! LOVE that die by the way! 😉 SO GLAD you are taking this new position! I KNOW you have MUCH to teach us, & I am a WILLING LEARNER!!! I’VE ALWAYS LOVED YOUR STYLE! 😉

  • 18
    Martha Gordin says:

    I love to use layers in my cards but you inspire me to take it to the next level. I like seeing your cards develop step by step with clear explanation of why you do each step. Your color choices pull everything together so beautifully

  • 19
    Nancy Penir says:

    Melissa, your cards always inspire! Love the step by step tutorial to each design. Looking forward to each and every ‘Melissa-episode’. Hugs!

  • 20
    Cindy Otto says:

    Beautiful, as always, Melissa! What makes your cards so amazing are all of the lovely layers! So glad you are back creating!

  • 21
    Peggy says:

    Lovely cards , Melissa. Love your style !

  • 22
    Nancy Guse says:

    Melissa, I love this! Your cards are always amazing and this step by step is wonderful! Very exciting to see that we will be seeing you on Monday’s!!

  • 23
    VickiA says:

    What beautiful cards Melissa! Thank you.

  • 24
    Jane says:

    What beautiful cards. Thank you once again for the inspiration. So happy you’re back!

  • 25
    Marcia Hill says:

    Two absolutely GORGEOUS cards Melissa! I too loved the step by step photo’s on how to create your lovely layers! I’ve always loved your style and will look forward to Monday’s even more now (but NO pressure…you take care of yourself!!). Thanks so much for sharing with us and you have a blessed week!! :0)

  • 26
    Catherine Milne says:

    Step by step…your instructions are so clear! These are lovely cards and I look forward to Monday with Melissa. I’m so glad you’ll be part of the “new” PTI and my week.

  • 27
    Chris Lawlor says:

    Beautiful cards and instructions, thank you Melissa! I love how you showed the step by step and gave the color combinations used.

  • 28
    Debbie says:

    Beautiful, Melissa! Like so many others I enjoy the step by step process photos. Take good care of yourself.

  • 29
    Stephanie Clapper says:

    I can’t think of a better way to start the week, than with Melissa. I tend to reach for bolder colors. So, whenever I try my hand at softer palettes with BEAUTIFUL layers, Melissa has been my inspiration. I’m looking forward to Monday’s with Melissa and so happy she’ ll be creating for Papertrey. Thx Melissa!!

  • 30
    Cynthia Evanoff says:

    I am so delighted to see a post from you, Melisa. This is a beautiful and peaceful card obviously made from the heart…thank you.

  • 31
    Greta H says:

    I especially love the second card, but both are gorgeous, Melissa! Wonderful tutorial with great ideas I want to use! I’m assuming this new version of MIM doesn’t include a challenge as I don’t see a link up. I’m going to miss that.

  • 32
    Sharyn Polesel says:

    So happy to see you posting! These are fabulous and love the step by step tutorial. I will look forward to Monday morning!

  • 33
    Francie says:

    These are lovely, as always! I discovered PTI from your cards in Pinterest. I am SO glad to see you featured on Monday’s! Looking forward to many, many more beautiful cards from you! ❤️ Francie

  • 34

    To watch you transform all these pieces of papers into beautiful works of art is inspiring, thank you. I’m looking forward to future “Mondays with Melissa”. Soooo good to see you back!

  • 35

    Second comment, are we linking a card to this or not anymore. I made a card right away after seeing your gorgeous work. You always inspire, Melissa!

  • 36
    Denise perhay says:

    Made me happy to see your catds today. Love your directions!

  • 37
    Stephanie says:

    SO happy to see Melissa’s post today! I’ve always been drawn to her unique, feminine style, and can almost hear her sweet voice in the background as I read the post. Beautiful cads, clear step-by-step instructions. Thanks Melissa!

  • 38
    Beth says:

    So happy to see your post this morning and excited we will see your segment every Monday. I love your cards and love the step-by-step instructions.

  • 39
    Cindy Beach says:

    Thanks so very much for a wonderful tutorial, Melissa! I was amazed how much the die cut you added last to the second card polished it off beautifully! I look forward to seeing you share whenever you are able. LOVE these gorgeous cards and I’m inspired to incorporate these techniques when I can. I always love seeing the flirty bows and soft colors you add. Makes me want to make something right now!

  • 40
    BarbaraMae says:

    Awesome cards and awesome instructions!

  • 41
    Susan W. says:

    Happy to see you are still with the PTI DT Melissa! Love your two gorgeous cards…soft colors and lots of layers! Are we no longer linking up cards on Mondays?

  • 42

    Your cards are ALWAYS beautiful. I love your style and the colors you choose. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  • 43
    Lynn W says:

    I am happy to see Mondays with Melissa as a new PTI feature. The thorough instructions take the guesswork out of “How did she do that?”

  • 44

    Just lovely Melissa! Love all the layers and your inspiration! Looking forward to more Mondays with you!!

  • 45
    Kinjal says:

    Amazing layering of cards .. love your creation Melissa.. Thank you for giving me Knowledge

  • 46
    Julia L says:

    I absolutely love your cards! Your style always catches my eye! So glad to see your latest projects!

  • 47
    Traci Major says:

    Meslissa, I am so glad to see your new challenge! Of course, your techniques are always so soft and pretty…and I so appreciate you sharing your techniques with us! Please take good care of yourself. Blessings, Traci

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