Creative Squad

Happy Holidays – Jennifer Gallagher

Hello everyone and welcome to a Happy Holidays post from our Creative Squad. Today we have a group of super cool looking cards from Jennifer Gallagher that you can make with the whole family! Jennifer is using my Kassel, Park Blvd 4×4, and Flower Maze stencils and this month’s theme: Happy Holidays – It is a time of year where we are celebrating and coming together and enjoying some merriment. Create something holiday related (whatever holiday you may be celebrating) and enjoy the season!


This month we are celebrating the holiday season and what better way than to create some fun holiday cards. You’re going to love this tutorial because it’s fun, easy, and family friendly. So break out your favorite n*Studio stencils and let’s get started.

I began by drawing a simple tree shape onto craft card stock and cutting it out with a craft knife. I kept both pieces, one we will use as a stencil and the other as a mask.

Using the tree mask and Nat’s Park Blvd 4×4 stencil, I placed the designs down using a low tack washi tape. The mask allows me to protect the area where I don’t want to apply color.

Next, I applied distress ink in blueprint sketch to the Park Blvd. stencil. This creates a lovely halo around the tree.

I placed the tree stencil in the spot where the mask was and applied mowed lawn distress ink. Next, I laid Nat’s Kassel and Flower Maze stencils down and applied lucky clover distress ink over that.

Now is the time to pull out all of your favorite washi tapes. I chose one of my favorites and used a small piece to create the tree trunk. Then, using a Sakura Gelly Roll in black, I outlined my tree and halo.

Now it’s time for the remix! Change up your ink colors, stencil designs, and washi tapes to create different designs. I suggest trading out the Kassel stencil for Nat’s Flower Maze stencil in your trees. Some additional ink colors I used are picked raspberry, wild honey, and shaded lilac. Check out these variations:

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. This would be a great craft to make with your kids and grandkids. There is nothing better than receiving a handmade card around the holidays. If you try out any of this month’s tutorials, be sure to share with us. Happy Holidays!


Thank you Jennifer for this kick off to our December Creative Squad posts – love how doable the cards are and the very fun results – great design!

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Jennifer used:

Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Layered Stencil Holiday Cards – DIY Play Date

Last week Kim and I got together to make some holiday cards based on this snowflake card I made for my Deck of Cards Challenge – Kim was really excited about playing with the process. It is so simple and easy and wow does it make some gorgeous cards. We made a stack of layered stencil cards – snowflake inspired designs, patterns that reminded us of stars, and just festive layers of color and shape that would bring joy to the season.

All you need is: blank cards, stencils with a radial pattern, Distress Inks, ink blending tools, masking tape, and some pens or markers to finish them off.

We began applying the Distress ink through a stencil, held in place with masking tape, onto the front of a blank card. Here is my Valley Road stencil.

This one we blended out the color – the inks work really well for blending – and kept the design a single layer. I would later add a top to the design as if it were a tree ornament.

But the real magic happens when you start building up layers of color and pattern. Here is my Toledo stencil as a first layer in blue.

Then we rotated the stencil and added another layer in green. Be sure to have several different ink blending pads for different colors – so you do not contaminate the colors.

The resulting layers of color and pattern have a softness that is quite lovely. Here I added in some extra sparkle and lettering with a fine point pen.

In this way, layering up different stencils with different colors, we created some beautiful holiday cards.

Sometimes we used larger stencils like my Manhattan stencil here, and only stenciled a small part of them.

Here we taped off a part of my Star Struck stencil.

We found that about 3 layers of pattern and color gave us the most successful designs. We also played with the color wheel – the above cards use all warm colors, just perfect for a star.

The above card was made by layering up my Valley Road, Flower Maze, and Grove Street stencils. To really push the snow element, we added my What’s the Point stencil for the dots.

We hope you give this technique a try – get some stencils and ink and try layering up some designs. You will love the results!

Here are some of the supplies we used for these cards:


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Mirror Mirror – Linda Edkins Wyatt

Hello from my Creative Squad. Today we have a beautiful collage and stencil project from Linda Edkins Wyatt to inspire you. Linda is using my Manhattan, Ornament Wallpaper, and Versailles stencils and this month’s theme: Mirror Mirror – A mirror can be a reflection of many things. We look into them every day and can see who we are outside and in. But they can also just be a fun visual tool to play with as we flip and reverse images and patterns. Play with reflection this month.


I adore playing with mirror images! But, when I pulled out my Nat Kalbach stencils, I had a Homer Simpson “D’oh!” moment. They were all geometric and already in a mirror image layout! I freaked out a little. I had to move my orderly Virgo mind outside the box to tackle the mirror image theme in a new way.

I didn’t really have any idea of how to create a mirror image with stencils that were already in a mirror image, so I calmed myself by gelli printing in a rainbow of colors, plus black and white.

An interesting aspect of the gelli plate is that after you pull the first print, the image left on the plate is the exact opposite. I got a bit excited when I saw my pile of printed deli paper growing and started thinking about the mirror image using both color and the reverse images.

I love portraits, so I decided to try a face…after all, that’s what you usually see in the mirror, right? I sketched out a face shape, slightly off center, and added marks for the features and hair.

I decided to make her clothing a mirror image. I used both the positive and negative gelli prints and cut them to fit the space I had sketched in pencil.

Next, the background. I again used a positive/negative, but this time one on the left and one on the right.

My concept was that society often sees things in black and white, but inside my head there is usually an explosion of colors and shapes and ideas. To convey that, I decided to have the hair made up of a rainbow of deli paper gelli prints.

When the hair was done, it was time for a face. First, I painted a skin tone. Next, I chose some Jane Davenport washi tape with eyes and a mouth. I added extra paints, colored pencils and posca pens until the face was complete and the washi tape sections blended with my own colors. I tend to subconsciously make my women look like me, so I tried to do a “not Linda face” and went for a deeper, multicultural skin tone.

Once the gelli prints were all on the canvas (I used both a glue stick and Golden heavy gel gloss to adhere the cut paper to the canvas), I wanted to add words, lines and dots. The words were printed on Avery clear mailing labels; I carefully cut them to fit in the white swirls running through her hair. (Be sure to have very clean hands when handling the printed words. Also, using tweezers helps get the words exactly where you want them.)

I also added colored deli paper circles floating in the hair to add visual interest and to spot the colors around the canvas. Since deli paper is sheer and I wanted the circles to pop, I glued the printed deli paper to white cardstock first, then cut the circles and placed them around the canvas.

For the center of the body, I added a pink “button” with the words of encouragement for both the soul and the world: peace, hope and courage.


Thank you Linda! Love that you were able to interpret the theme in a way that inspired you to create such a striking canvas – looks awesome!

Want to give Linda’s project a try? You can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies she used:

Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me or tag me #natkalbach how you used my stencils and stamps – I would love to share your projects in my next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Stencilbop Challenge Prompt 31

Wow – this is our last day of the Stencilbop Challenge, August 31, and I thought Free Jazz would be a good prompt- I cannot wait to see what you came up with. I chose to mix my manufactured stencil design with some hand cut free form stencils and masks.

I used an acetate sheet and just created some oval shaped forms and cut those out. I used a blending tool and some stamping inks to transfer and stencil into my artjournal.

I used some of the stencils and masks to determine the area to stencil over with my Stencil Girl Products stencils. Here I am applying the Manhattan stencil.

I also added some of my foam stamps as I thought they would go really well with it overall. 

Free cutting some stencils is a great way to personalize your art journal pages and give them that extra oomph. 

I hope you enjoyed this Stencilbop challenge- thank you so much for being part of it- that was super fun! 

Here are some of the supplies I used in this final prompt:

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Stencilbop Challenge Prompt 30

Here is your recap for the Stencilbop Challenge prompt for today, August 30 – Kinda Blue

While I love using my stencils in it’s entirety I also love looking at parts of the stencil that make up a shape or pattern. 

I often use masking tape to define the area I want to stencil – Like here the star shape I masked off in my Kassel Stencil. 

I used different blue ink pads and a blending tool to add the star to my art journal background. I filled in with my little Star Tag rubber stamp too.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Join us for the final day of the Stencilbop Challenge on Instagram! Here is the prompt list:

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Stencilbop Challenge Prompt 29

This is a recap of today’s Stencilbop prompt, August 29 – Tone it Down

Often times I use my left over page in a second art journal or try new things out and the spread then looks kind of crazy but also kind of interesting. 

Instead of painting over the spread I love to tone it down with a stencil – usually using one with bigger openings and a lighter color paint. 

Here I used the Versailles Stencil with white spray paint. 

Here are some of the supplies I used in this prompt:

There’s still time to play along with us on Instagram! Here is the prompt list:

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Stencilbop Challenge Prompts 27 & 28

Here is your recap for Stencilbop prompts 27 and 28:

August 27 – Cut

It’s so much fun to use Stencils as a cutting template in your art journal. 

For this art journal spread I used my Star Struck  Stencil and traced it into my journal.

Then I cut the openings out of the paper with a craft knife…

…and mounted one of the Suminagashi papers that I printed a while ago behind it.

I really like the simple look of this. 

August 28 – Collage

Collage is such a classic artmaking technique. I wanted to combine it with the use of stencils.

For this art journal spread I used some spraypaint through my Santa Fe stencil and then traced some of the elements of the stencil onto an old letter that I had found in an antique store. 

I cut the pattern elements out and applied them- sometimes offset with a glue stick to the spraypainted pattern. 

Another fun and easy way to use stencils. 

Here are some of the supplies I used for these prompts:

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love the fussy cutting with that stencil. Looks great and perfect for a unique page in an art journal or on a project.

    Reply

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Stencilbop Challenge Prompt 26

This is a recap of today’s Stencilbop prompt, August 26 – Homely

I just recently purchased an awesome VerDay Metal Paint kit by Relics and Artifacts which let’s you create different patinas on a variety of surfaces. 

I thought it would be fun to use Bronze and create patina with my Buenos Aires Stencil.  I painted the frame in Bronze, let it dry, repainted it, then added the stencil on top and sprayed with the patina solution over the stencil. 

After a couple hours the reaction was complete and I love the out come on the frame. I added a picture of my other half and cannot wait to put the frame onto my new studio mantle. 

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Stencilbop Challenge Prompt 25

This is a recap of the Stencilbop Challenge prompt for today, August 25 – For You

For me stencils are a great way to add a special personal touch to kraft envelopes, which I use for shipping out my products.  

Sometimes when I am about to finish up a spray paint session I just grab a couple envelopes and add some color to them. 

Hope these make someone happy :)

Here are some of the supplies I used in this prompt:

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