Bisous! A French-inspired Melange of Color & Texture

Front view of French-inspired card showing both plenty of color and texture in background materials

Bisous! Kisses to you! I’d love to show you how to make a card similar to this one, loaded with color and texture so rich and juicy, you’ll almost want to make two – one for you, and one to give away. (I think I stroked mine so much I almost stroked the Eiffel Tower right off the paper. Almost. *ahem*)

Plain cream cardstock gets a total makeover

By now you’ve probably figured out I’m allergic to “plain” cardstock. And white space. You know what I mean – all that space with nothing on it, regardless of the color of the paper. This paper really gets a makeover – there’s no plain-ness in sight. I call it my instant marbling technique. It’s so easy, I forgot to even take pictures! 

  1. Start with plain cardstock, take a bit of matching shimmer paint (here’s my homemade recipe), and swish and swirl it here and there onto the cardstock. Don’t get too heavy-handed, and don’t completely cover the layer. A little is all you need. Try to match the color as closely as possible – in this case, I used cream on cream cardstock.
  2. Let the shimmer paint dry.
  3. Sponge stamp ink on the paper with short, circular motions. Again, don’t be too heavy-handed. This whole process should use a light, feathery touch. Use two shades of ink, if you like. I used light and dark browns.
  4. Say “Ooh la la!” while sponging. Feel French. Have a bonbon. Have two. Say “bonbon.” Let the sound of the “n” come out your nose. “BonBON!”
Close up of stamp and embossed detail showing color and texture of base layer
I’ve always wondered what that French script stamp really says…

Color and texture – a greeting card’s best friend

Why is that, you wonder?

Because with a busy background, you don’t have to fiddle and futz so much with the greeting and embellishment(s). You can keep it somewhat simpler. Or real simple. (Though mine’s only in the realm of somewhat simple here.) So give textured backgrounds plenty of respect – they do a lot of heavy lifting.

To proceed with my background, I stamped it with a French script stamp. Unfortunately, this particular stamp is only a couple of inches wide, so I had to repeat it a few times. But it’s my favorite stamp and it really adds pizzazz in a quiet, elegant way. Even when I stamped one of the sections upside down.

No, you can’t tell. No you can’t.

To finish things off, I heat embossed the Eiffel Tower in gold. It’s so purdy… (that’s not French for “pretty.” It’s Texan.)

Close up of stamped and heat embossed greeting with embossed edges

Mix your precious metals

The greeting gets lots of attention too. The center die cut has been sponged with three colors of ink on cream cardstock (two shades of brown and one of blue), then it was edged with gold embossing and centered with copper embossing. The blue layer was edged with gold embossing.

After that I tucked a couple of blue die cut flourishes underneath. The French love flourishes. I do too.

Close up of blue messy bow, custom colored paper rose, and a custom made gold tassel - lots of color and texture here
Lots of color and texture in this embellishment!

Even though there are only four colors used overall, you’d think there are more, but nope, just four:

  • Cream
  • Blue
  • Gold
  • Copper (and brown, which I consider the same in this context)

The reason it may appear more colorful is because of all the texture. This card just makes you want to touch it all over. (I know I did.)

Last on the menu was the “messy bow,” which I made with blue seam binding. I added an ivory mulberry rose which I hand colored with alcohol markers and a tiny tassel which I created out of gold cord. Oooh la la!

And that’s it for today’s card. It was surprisingly simple to put together. Of course I finished the inside quickly and easily with a couple of layers of contrasting cardstock and some light stamping using the French script stamp (right side up this time). You may choose a different stamp.

Angled view of French-inspired card
Tres bien!

Now it’s your turn

Go ahead – create a card with a color and texture filled background. Don’t leave a lick of white space, not one lick. Then share it on Facebook and “laissez-nous devenir fous”! (We’ll go crazy in the best sense of the word.)

We’re waiting for you. Happy crafting! 

You might also like:

How to Color Mulberry Flowers Using Alcohol Markers
Herringbone Technique – The Vibrant Power of Repeating Pattern
Spoiled Kitty with a Distressed Embossed Background
How to Stencil with Glitter and Turn Dull into Dazzling

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