Masking Alternatives

by Jennifer McGuire

Learn some tricks for masking detailed images without fussy-cutting.


  • Stamps (Mama Elephant Pandamonium, Clearly Besotted Celebrating You, My Favorite Things You’re Super, Hero Arts Enjoy Today used here)
  • White cardstock (Neenah used here)
  • Coloring medium of your choice (Copic Markers used here)
  • Ink and inking tool (Ranger Distress Inks and Ink Blending Tool used here)
  • Mists (Hero Arts Silver and Unicorn White, Perfect Pearl + water mix used here)
  • Glossy Accents
  • Embossing pen (VersaMarker used here)
  • Clear embossing powder
  • Heat gun
  • Rubber cement (Elmers brand used here)
  • Tape for masking (Painters Tape or Micropore Tape recommended)
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (Avery Elle Finished Frames dies, thin paint brush, and die cut machine used here)


  1. Step 1

    Color a stamped image on white cardstock.

    To create a white border around the image and keep the panel in place while coloring, mask the outer .25” of the cardstock with tape.

  2. Step 2

    Cover the stamped image with Glossy Accents, being careful to stay within the lines. Let dry completely.

  3. Step 3

    Apply ink over the cardstock using a sponge, dauber, or other inking tool. The Glossy Accents will resist the ink and therefore mask the stamped images.

    Remove the tape masks and buff off the excess ink from the Glossy Accents with a cloth.

  4. Step 4

    Use the panel to complete a card.

  5. Step 5

    For another way to mask images, cover a colored image with an embossing pen such as a VersaMarker, being careful to stay within the lines.

  6. Add clear embossing powder and heat set.

    If needed, add another layer of embossing ink and powder.

  7. Step 6

    Apply ink over the cardstock. The heat embossing will resist the ink and therefore mask the stamped images.

  8. Remove the tape masks and buff off the excess ink from the heat embossing with a cloth.

  9. Step 7

    Use the panel to complete a card.

  10. Step 8

    A third method is to cover the stamped images with a thick layer of rubber cement, being careful to stay within the lines. Use a thin paint brush that has been designated for this technique to get into tight spaces. Let dry completely.

  11. Step 9

    Apply ink over the cardstock, and flick on various mists if desired. The rubber cement will resist the ink and therefore mask the stamped images.

  12. Step 10

    Remove the tape masks and use a clean cloth to rub away the rubber cement.

  13. Step 11

    Use the panel to complete a card.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Masking Alternatives. 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 what great techniques
eluned jeffery  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 3:35 AM
What great masking ideas. Thank you!
Kittie747  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 3:47 AM
This is such a wonderful tutorial i will certainly have a go.
Shirley Gaskin  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 4:49 AM
Fantastic ideas - thanks so much for sharing your tips Jennifer! I never would of thought of doing anything other than cutting a mask!
Jocelyn Knight  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 5:05 AM
Sweet cards! Your tutorials are so well done-- thorough and chock-full of great tips!
Carolynn  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 5:06 AM
Great ideas, thank you. I watch a lot of your videos on YouTube. You are a great teacher.
Emilie Boyd  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 5:46 AM
Awesome techniques. Thanking for sharing your talents.
Maria Binish  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 5:51 AM
I had used liquid masking fluid before, but the rubber cement should be a much less expensive option. Great tips!
Lois Bak  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 6:42 AM
Thanks for the great tip!
kaycstamper  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 7:44 AM
Thanks so much for the wonderful ideas- great job on the tutorial and the video grin
Julie Gearinger  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 8:17 AM
What great masking techniques...I will surely try them out (especially the rubber glue technique). Thank you.
Dori Rios  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 8:56 AM
Love these ideas for masking as I sometimes use very detailed stamps and really dread fussy cutting a mask. Thank you so much!

Can you tell me what removable tape that was you used to mask the borders?
Laura C.  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 9:15 AM
Thanks for the tutorial Jennifer! Terrific cards! I read your blog every day. I have tried two of these techniques but have not used rubber cement to mask. It would seem that it would affect what you've colored but apparently it does not, which is a good thing. On my next trip to the store I intend to buy some so I can try it. smile
Gabby  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 9:35 AM
This was a wonderful tutorial. Thank you so much.
MrsNemo  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 9:56 AM
Awesome options!
muscrat  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 9:57 AM
Wow, Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. You make these techniques look so easy. I'm so happy to see you doing tutorials here Jennifer. Your videos are so full of tips - love them.
Darlene Gabriel  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 10:20 AM
Your rubber cement technique is absolutely brilliant, Jennifer!!!! I use rubber cement all the time for gluing layers together (everyone thinks I'm but it is unbelievably efficient.....tons of wiggle room and then just peel away the excess.

Anyway......NEVER thought of using it as a mask....I can't wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Jo  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 10:59 AM
Awesome techniques!...thanks for sharing.
Jamie Patsilevas  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 3:47 PM
Frisket or masking fluid works great too.
Rebecca Ednie  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 7:42 PM
Jennifer, I'd like to say thank you for the techniques you've shown here, as well as the wonderful videos you have on You Tube. My only complaint is that your great ideas have dented my crafting budget big time! Stencils, embossing paste, and now masking fluid! I've tried the VersaMark pen and clear embossing powder with the old SU Watercolor Wonder crayons, and I love that technique. Can't wait to give the others a try. Thanks again!
Barbara Joyce  |  Wed Oct 8, 2014 at 11:47 PM

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