How to Get the Perfect Layering When Making Cards

Written by patricia voldberg
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How to Get the Perfect Layering When Making Cards
Three-Dimensional Layering (flower pattern image by Sean Gladwell from

Three-dimensional layering was tremendously popular in the 1960's and 1970's, and layering on cards is still elegant after all these years. Layering is a technique that builds upon itself, producing a distinctive three-dimensional effect. Looking for ways to dress up cards or invitations? Try layering those invitations. Layering is a chic way to add instant sophistication. The best part is that creating this dramatic effect takes minimal effort; the beauty is in the details. Make a pre-party card event and have friends over for a little do it yourself fun.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Stamp images
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat with marked grid lines
  • Clear glue dots
  • Spoon, pencil, paintbrush handle
  • Metal ruler
  • Paper and card trimmer

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  1. 1

    Choose a stamp that can serve as a focal point. The best stamps have bold designs with distinct sections. It is essential to be able to build up different sections of the stamped image. Flower stamps with layered petals provide added depth to layered projects. Character stamps allow elevation of limbs, clothing and tools. Stamp the image onto scrap paper and try different configurations before moving on to quality paper. There is no right or wrong way to layer projects, which of course is half the fun.

  2. 2

    Layer the focal point. Stamp, colour and carefully cut out original and duplicate images onto different coloured piece of paper. Select and cut out all or some of the elements of the design. For designs with multiple pieces, it may help to match numbers placed on the original and duplicate pieces. If the focal point is a flower, cut out individual petals, and curl them upward using the edge of a spoon, a pencil or the handle of a paintbrush. Hide any cutting marks by colouring the edges. Apply hot glue to the underside of curved petals to give them shape (optional).

  3. 3

    Assemble cutouts from the image. Attach each element to its corresponding location on the original design. Mount the cloned pieces on top of the original with foam mounts or glue dots, which raise the image. Apply one or two depending on the desired height. Tweezers help position smaller pieces. Decide how many layers are effective by trying different configurations. Start working from the bottom and build toward the top.

  4. 4

    Complete the layering process by matting. Decide what frame surrounds the focal point. Matting adds a complimentary or contrasting layer below the focus, which attracts the eye toward the artwork. Use a paper trimmer to cut a slightly bigger frame. Straight edges are a necessity for perfect layering. If using two mats, make the second one 1/4 inch smaller on all sides. Stop layering before it becomes visually too much.

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