Acetate & Tissue

by Beate Johns

A great technique to try when you need vibrant colors or if you want something to look like it is caught in a liquid (fish) or a crystal (like a fossil in amber!).


  • Rubber gloves
  • Tissue Paper
  • Acetate, Window sheets or other acetate, such as overhead transparencies
  • StazOn Ink™ or Versamark™ and Embossing Powder
  • Stamps, Gina K's Holiday Cheer used here
  • Crystal Effects™, or other clear drying glue or glaze
  • Dye Ink Reinkers
  • Pearl Ex or Glitter , (optional) Pearl Ex can be rubbed in with the reinkers for a more sparkly, metallic look
  • Neutral colored cardstock


  1. Step 1

    Stamp your image on the Acetate with Stazon™ . If you use overhead transparencies, you might be able to emboss your image as well. Just be careful heating your image or you will warp the actetate.

  2. Step 2 (Optional)

    Stamp your neutral colored cardstock with an image you want to appear in the back of your Acetate piece.

    This will only work if you use light colored reinkers for your background..

  3. Step 3

    Turn the "unstamped" side of the acetate up and scribble Crystal Effects™ over it.

  4. Step 4

    Add a few drops of dye ink reinker randomly around the sheet.

    Don't use too much. You can always add more later.

  5. Step 5

    Wear a rubber glove and move your reinker over the entire image. You can do that by smearing the ink, or tapping it with your finger.

  6. Continue to move your ink around until you like the coverage. Add more reinker drops if neccessary.

    When using multiple colors, be careful that they don't blend too much or it will look muddy.

  7. Step 6

    Apply a light dusting of glitter to add some sparkle.

    Pearl Ex™ can be used here as well.

  8. Step 7

    Add a slightly bigger piece of tissue paper over your piece of Acetate.

  9. Step 8

    Turn Acetate piece around and place it on top of your neutral cardstock piece.

  10. Step 9 (Optional)

    If you want a less wrinkly, more liquid, clear look, press your Acetate into your cardstock.

  11. Continue to move the glue/reinker mixture around with your fingers until you like how it looks. Let dry.

  12. Step 10

    Cut your image down to the size needed. (Spellbinders Label 3 Nestabilities were used here.)

  13. Step 11

    Finish your card.



    Cut it up.
    Cut your finished piece apart and use only part of it. This sample uses only one of the three pears.

    Skip the stamping.
    Skip Step 1 and don't stamp an image on the acetate. Use it as a background and layer a cut out image on top, or stamp on it later.

    Paint it
    Apply your reinker to the glue mixture with a paint brush for more control.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Acetate & Tissue. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Which side of a transparency do you stamp on, the shiny or mat?
Mimi  |  Mon Jan 14, 2008 at 5:40 AM
Hi, This is great. I never know what to do with the staz on ink and never thought about using transparencies. Thanks..
Dottie Watson  |  Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 5:25 AM
can you use glaze from ranger or judi kins instead of the chrystal effects?
nina  |  Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 10:32 AM
WOWWWWW the effect is so cool, your a genoius!!!!
i guess its up to us what side its up or down on the paper on the card or?
nina  |  Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 1:23 PM
What is your source for acetate sheets
I have looked for them ever;ywhere
Please reply directly..
Vicki Romaine  |  Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 6:33 PM
You can use any clear drying glue.

You can get acetate sheets in any office supply store. Look for transparency sheets.
beate  |  Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 6:37 PM
I did this technique and found the colours came out better if the re-inkers or alcohol ink was dappled on to the tissue AFTER it was glued to the stamped acetate. Since the tissue is wet from the glue, the colours spread sort of like watercolours. They are brighter, and you can control where you put the colour. They don't get muddy at all!
Sharon G.  |  Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 1:58 PM
Thank-you so much for this will be perfect for the page that I am currently working on!
jaime  |  Mon Apr 7, 2008 at 6:53 PM
This technique is so cool. Is there a difference between acetate sheets and transparency sheets?
Alison  |  Wed May 28, 2008 at 11:33 PM
Alison, there is no difference. Transparency sheets are acetate sheets.
Hugs and smiles
beate  |  Thu May 29, 2008 at 4:42 AM
Great technique, I will certainly try this. Good
Magie-Anne  |  Thu Jun 5, 2008 at 1:41 AM
Great technique ! How did you come up with this? Great Job and Thanks
RSweetLuxeree Rita  |  Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 3:26 PM
I am playing with this technique and my reinkers are really thick, i can't get just a bit of colour or a soft look. Can they be thinned or do you have another suggestion. Thanks for the great tutorial.
nancy  |  Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 10:45 AM
This looks super fun Beate! I'll have to give this a try!
Lori Barnett  |  Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 10:22 AM
This is so pretty. I love your tutorials. Thanks for the info...I will try this one asap.
Jan D.  |  Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 2:23 PM
My stazon ink pad detached from its container. Anyone know how to fix it?
Cindy P  |  Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 7:53 PM
How amazing! I love how the card has turned out, and will have fun thinking of other ways to use it.
Belinda  |  Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 3:15 AM
This is a really fun technique. I tried it with a Santa silhouette stamp. It took me a few times to get it right-ish though smile I got carried away with the glitter and the paper wouldn't stick, then I used too much ink and it looked like Santa was flying into a typhoon. My third try was pretty good, and the effect is REALLY cool. I love the dimension. Fun fun fun! Thanks for another great idea.
Jenna  |  Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 12:31 PM
what kink of tissue did you use
Martha Anderson  |  Mon Nov 9, 2009 at 6:08 AM
hey there ! want to know how to scratch an image to make it 3d .using scratch knife by stampbord . bought everything to do it . and thought i wld find out how to. i was wrong never did . can you help in any way . love love love beate johns tutorials . keep up the good work lady .
anne marie  |  Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:06 AM

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