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Making Elegant Cards with Patterned Paper Overlays

I love patterned paper. Who doesn't? When I'm in my local scrapbook store (yes, I am blessed with the most amazing store nearby--well, almost nearby....about 15 miles), the one product that I buy the most of is patterned paper. Patterned paper is so versatile-- you can cover cards with it, trim pennants, even make embellishments. I could go on and on, but you get the point-paper is the one essential I always but the most of. The best patterned paper combines gorgeous details, bold motifs and prints, textures and an elegant color scheme. that's not only timeless, but trendy. SEI's newest release nails all these points (again) with their newest release, Mia Bella.

I love to play with paper and experiment with it. One of my favorite techniques for patterned paper is making it transparent and using it as an overlay.
To make your transparent banner overlays really stand out, use patterned paper that contrasts in both design and color, while layering darker overlays on lighter backgrounds and vice versa.
You can make your overlays into strips, like what I used for the banners and "faux" tape on the cards, or you can create a block of patterned paper overlay by placing strips of tape over a block of patterned paper.

Overlays are so easy to make, you're going to want to do it all the time! But, keep your electronics far away, the process can get a little wet. 
materials: Paper from the Mia Bella collection | Water | Clear tape (not glossy)

|1|  Trim strips of patterned paper. If you plan to only make strips of overlays, measure the width of the tape, and trim your patterned paper accordingly.

|2|  Cover the patterned paper with tape, smoothing out any wrinkles. Make sure there are no bubbles. Trim the excess tape, and any areas of patterned paper not covered with tape.

|3|  Dip the patterned paper into water, and let soak for about five seconds.

|4|  Turn patterned paper over,  and use your "finger" to rub off the paper, leaving only one side of the patterned paper.

Note: Let the overlay dry before adhering. Affix to project with clear, double-sided tape.

Super easy eh? I only say to keep the water away because I learned my lesson well, when my husband had to replace my last Mac after I spilled coffee all over it. Apparently, turning the computer over to "drain" the coffee out didn't help. No liquids (mist or water) near electronics!


  1. carolynnclaire@gmail.com19 March, 2013

    At last!! a great way to use the small pieces of patterned paper that are just too gorgeous to toss-- thanks, Emily, cool technique!

    1. Carolyn, you are so right! It's great for using up all the little scraps of paper that crafters collect, and hope to use! Sometimes I hoard all the bitty scraps from my favorite collections, and then forget to use them! Woops! :-) Thank you for your super sweet post! I hope you try this technique! :-)

  2. Great tutorial Emily! I love learning new things :)

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  5. Who needs washi tape now that we can do this. Love the idea, thanks for sharing.

  6. What a cool technique, Emily. I am going to give this a try for sure!


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