Pastel Stencil Press

by Dina Kowal

Create two backgrounds using a stencil and pastels.


  • Smooth cardstock or watercolor paper - 2 panels
  • Stencil (A Colorful Life Designs 019157 Psychedelic Swirls used here)
  • Versamark ink
  • Die cutting machine
  • Silicone or rubber embossing pad
  • PanPastels or other chalk/pastel media
  • Soft makeup brush or other applicator
  • Washi tape
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (Impression Obsession DIE694 Sea Life Frame, DIE684 Scuba Divers, DIE797 Crazy Stitched Set, DIE798 Stitched Tag, DIE122 Snow Globe, A13010 Explore cling stamp, CL827 Introverting clear set, black swiss dot ribbon)


  1. Step 1

    Secure a cardstock panel to the back of a stencil with washi tape.

  2. Step 2

    Press a Versamark or other embossing pad through the stencil, coating the stencil with ink as well as inking the design onto the cardstock.

    Set the inked cardstock aside.

  3. Step 3

    Prepare a sandwich for your die cutting machine, laying down a rubber/silicon embossing mat, a new piece of plain cardstock, and the stencil with the inked side down. Lay a cutting plate over the top and adjust with shims as needed for your die cutting machine.

  4. The stencil will create an imprint into the cardstock as well as transferring the embossing ink.

  5. Step 4

    Use a soft brush or other applicator to apply PanPastel or another dry chalk/pastel medium to the panel. The medium will stick to the embossing ink.

  6. Step 5

    Use a soft brush or other applicator to apply PanPastel or another dry chalk/pastel medium to the inked panel from Step 2.

  7. Step 6

    Use the two backgrounds to complete cards or other projects.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Pastel Stencil Press. 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 for the video, I didn’t understand how you got two card stock from one stencil. Did you try sandwiching the stencil with CS then emboss? Beautiful work!
Melissa B.  |  Wed May 29, 2019 at 6:08 AM
Hi Melissa, I changed some wording to help clarify - there are 2 cardstock panels. The first one is inked in step 2. The second one is embossed with the inked stencil in step 3.
dina  |  Wed May 29, 2019 at 6:13 AM
Dina ~ This is AWESOME!! Can you give me examples of other type chalk/pastel mediums that would work in place of the pan pastels? I LOVE this technique; but, when I did a search for the pan pastels, I could only find them online and they seemed a tad pricey. I do not know enough to figure out what else would work!! Thank you for the inspiration and your assistance!!
Judy  |  Wed May 29, 2019 at 11:39 AM
Hi Judy, I have used craft chalk and perfect pearls on embossing ink with good success.
Robin Reinig  |  Wed May 29, 2019 at 1:46 PM
Thanks Robin! Those are the alternatives I mentioned in the video as well.
dina  |  Wed May 29, 2019 at 2:11 PM
Thanks for sharing - looks like a fun technique
Janine  |  Thu May 30, 2019 at 12:37 PM
Well guess what I used? Eye shadow!! Pastel colors! Decided I didn't want to buy pan pastels for one tutorial, but definitely plan to get some eventually!
muscrat  |  Thu May 30, 2019 at 3:12 PM
Yet another great idea to try - thank you for your inspiration and clear instructions (love that you give alternatives so that you don't feel you have to buy new products all the time when the craft room is already bursting)
Sue Fahey  |  Wed Aug 21, 2019 at 3:19 PM

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