Inkless Images

by Beverly Stewart

Create a sculpted cardstock embellishment using a stamped image as a guide.


  • Heavy solid color cardstock (Stampin’ Up! Pistachio Pudding used here)
  • Outline stamp (if floral, thicker stems and leaves are preferable. In this sample: Love is Kindness (a la carte) by Stampin’ Up!)
  • Detail scissors and/or craft knife
  • Ink (any kind or color - will not show in final project)
  • Thick foam mat
  • Bone folder
  • Plain paper scrap
  • Stylus with medium or large tip
  • Glue Dots or preferred adhesive
  • Dimensionals
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (2 different embossing folders and matching textured cardstock shown here)


  1. Step 1

    Stamp an outline image several times on heavy cardstock and once on a piece of scratch paper. Choose an image that has detail but is not too delicate to cut out.

    Looking at the stamp image, determine which portions of the image might project toward the viewer or be raised if the object were 3-dimensional. These may be objects or sections that appear to be in the foreground, or are overlapping another object.

  2. Since we are working in all one color, determine which parts of the image can add texture to your finished project. In this image, the newspaper wrapping and the string will definitely be the outer layers. File that thought away for a later step.

  3. Step 2

    Cut out the base layer (here, flowers and leaves). You may choose to cut more than one layer to add dimension. Here, the leaves will add dimension to the bouquet, so more layers of leaves are cut than of the tulips.

    For areas that might overlap or pieces of the image that wrap around, imagine where the outlines would go where the image disappears inside the wrapper, and cut on the imaginary lines. Though it won’t show in the finished product, the cuts need to lead the eye to suggest continuity.

  4. In the sample base layer, the stems and leaves are separated, but the tulips are left uncut. In layer 2, the tulips are cut and split with more detail. In layer 3 the tulips are completely cut away, just adding greenery to embellish.

  5. Step 3

    Gently shape the smaller and rounded elements of the image with a stylus, pressing into a foam mat with a circular motion.

  6. For larger sections a bone folder may also be useful. Curl blade-like sections (like the tulip leaves) with a bone folder much like you would curl ribbon with scissors. They should have individual shapes, but not be too curly. Separate the individual stems by working them with your fingers so they do not lie flat.

  7. Step 4

    When working in only one color, texture is extremely important. Vary the texture of your pieces with techniques such as embossing or Faux Suede.

  8. In the sample, the faux suede piece is used to wrap the bouquet.

  9. Step 5

    Add dimension with additional cuts of cardstock, such as the tie used here, to assemble the embellishment. Use adhesive as needed to hold the elements together (glue dots are used in the sample).

    Paper has a grain, just as wood does. You can tell if you have cut across the grain if the paper tears easily and looks ragged. The paper will be stronger if cut along the long grain. If making a tie, simply cut a thin strand of paper about 1/16" wide. Gently tie it around your image. If you have accidentally cut across the grain, the paper will likely tear when you tie. If so, try again, cutting down the opposing side of the paper this time.

  10. Step 6

    Add dimensionals to the back of the image to prepare for mounting on your card.

  11. Remember to emphasize texture and create dimension when working with a single color, inkless image. When assembling the card, alternate layers of textured and plain cardstock.

  12. Step 7

    Adhere the image to the finished card base. Keep embellishments to a minimum to keep the focus on the inkless image. Cards will need extra padding or a box for mailing.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Inkless Images. 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.

Thank you Beverly, your card is lovely! This is my first time to see the process to make Faux Suede. I will use it soon!
Suzanne Ward  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 4:05 AM
Hi Beverly, That is just beautifull, I've never seen anything like that before, great looking card, Cheers Anna.
Anna Kluytmans  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 5:08 AM
Love how your reversed the stamp and created a whole new look! Wonderful smile
Suzanne Hicks  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 6:00 AM
Beverly--excellent tutorial--love this, I love the way you demonstrated this "art"...facing the audience! I will try this! Thanks for sharing!
Susanne Gleason  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 6:43 AM
Thanks Beverly! What a gorgeous, delicate card. You did a wonderul job on your video.
Leanne Cyr  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 7:06 AM
What a great idea and a beautiful card. I always thought monochromatic cards were so elegant. Can't wait to try it.
Fran MacDonald  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 8:41 AM
Your card is so sweet! I like the technique for making that adorable bouquet. Plus, I now know how to make faux suede! Thanks for the tutorial.
Becka  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 8:58 AM
Beautiful, and a great idea. TFS
Dorothy  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 9:33 AM
Oh my! I love this stamp whenever I see it used but this, Oh my! Just spotted it on Pinerest and had to see more!!!
angela bode  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:20 AM
This is really eye catching. Love the process and your demonstration of the process was very clear.
Beverly  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:56 AM
What a fabulous technique, Beverly! I will certainly be looking at my stamps differently from now on. Your video tutorial was nice and clear and as an added bonus I now know how to make faux suede plus how to cut thin strips for tying that won't tear as easily. Thanks for the inspiration as well as all the tips and techniques!
ratlines  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:56 PM
Beverly, this is the most interesting technique I have seen to date! I have never even heard of making your own "faux suede". Your card is absolutely stunning!

I'm extremely busy right now, preparing for my wedding, but you can bet the first chance I get that I will be attempting to make this.

Your instruction was excellent and easy to follow. Thank you so much for sharing your artistry with us.
Nancy Monahan  |  Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 2:31 PM
Absolutely fabulous! And with one of my latest favorite images! Thanks so much for sharing this technique! Must try! ~Kim Marie
Kim Marie  |  Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 6:46 AM
Way to go, Miss Beverly.
Beverly Parkison  |  Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 2:29 PM
Beautiful card! I have all those supplies, lol! This blogger in France is always using SU products to make dimensional cards and always admired how much patience she has! Thanks to your tutorial, I now have a better sense for how to make "sculptured" cards. Here is a link to her blog, fyi:
Kathy  |  Sun Jul 26, 2015 at 1:27 PM
Judy Magnuson  |  Tue Sep 1, 2015 at 7:13 PM
I just now have been introduced to this! I can't wait to try it! Thank you!
Sharon Madson  |  Sun Sep 13, 2015 at 8:45 PM
i never knew you can do this to paper. What a fabulous technique. am learning something new every day thanks.
Angelina Quinones  |  Sun Jan 17, 2016 at 1:24 PM

Page 1 of 1 pages

You need to be logged in to comment


Splitcoaststampers's privacy policy