Watercolor Bokeh

by Diane Dimich

Recreate a fun photo effect using reinkers and stenciled circles.


  • Watercolor paper
  • Dye re-inkers (Stampin’ Up! Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie used here)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Containers for water
  • Aqua Painter or watercolor brush
  • Heat gun (optional)
  • Circle dies (Stampin’ Up! Circle Framelits used here)
  • Acetate
  • Die cutting machine
  • sponge dauber
  • White pigment ink pad (Stampin’ Up! White Craft pad used here)
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (Stazon Jet Black ink, stamp, rhinestones, and adhesive used here)


  1. Step 1

    Secure a watercolor paper panel to a piece of scratch paper or to your work surface with removable tape.

  2. Step 2

    Add 3 drops of dye reinker into 10 drops of water in a small container.

  3. Step 3

    Brush clear water across the watercolor paper to wet the surface evenly.

  4. Step 4

    Dab various colors of ink onto the wet watercolor paper, making sure to cover the paper so there is no white showing. Let the watercolor paper dry completely.


    To hurry up the process, use a heat gun.

  5. Step 5

    Cut acetate with various sizes of circle dies to create a stencil.

  6. Step 6

    Using a sponge dauber, white craft ink, and the stencil, color in circles all over the watercolor paper, overlapping some. Use the sponge dauber to fill in any blank spaces.

  7. Let the inked panel dry completely.

  8. Step 7

    Embellish the panel as desired.

  9. Step 8

    Assemble and complete the card.


Your Turn

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

This is beautiful. Thank you for the tutorial. I also appreciated your moving right along when you got an ink blotch that you had not intended. We all have had that experience - it's not about being perfect, it's about how we deal with our imperfections! You dealt with grace, humor and expertise. Thank you.
Hanna Lyons  |  Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 2:35 PM
Thank you for showing us this technique!
Jo Ann F.  |  Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 1:40 PM
This looks awesome! I gotta try this soon! smile
Marie Bingaman  |  Sat Feb 28, 2015 at 11:34 AM
Love this technique. Can't wait to try it different shapes.
Pamela Gutta  |  Sat Mar 7, 2015 at 8:45 PM
I LOVE this technique .... and so easy! Just beautiful. Thank you.
Janet Noakes  |  Sat Mar 21, 2015 at 8:14 AM
This is beautiful! You used my favorite combination of colors, and the bokeh effect pulls them altogether nicely. I learned a lot!
Lela Meinke  |  Sat Mar 21, 2015 at 9:52 AM
Thank you so much for this. I tried it yesterday and it is beautiful!! I cut a stencil using my Sizzix, wafer circle dies, and a piece of acetate. it's a keeper.
Hanna Lyons  |  Mon Mar 23, 2015 at 8:48 AM
Brilliant technique, thank you for the tutorial, Cathy x
Cathy Roffey  |  Fri Apr 24, 2015 at 7:20 PM

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