Letting the Background Stand Out

Normally in our card making we have a specific focal point on the front of our cards.  It could be a die cut, or a grouping of die cuts, or perhaps a stamped image or a bit of ephemera.  The background is usually something that compliments our focal point.  But what if you want to emphasize the background?

You might have made your own background with embossing, ink smooshing, mica sprays, alcohol inks.  Or maybe you’ve bought a new pad of gorgeous paper.  Whatever that special paper is and how it’s made, you want to emphasize that on your card and not cover it up.  Today, I’ll be showing you 4 examples of how I have let my background stand out!


This first example is using a 3D embossing folder.  I’ve had this folder for a few years now and I don’t remember who makes it, but there are other companies who have similar 3D embossing folders on the market now.  I gently went over the top of the embossing folder with a white pigment ink pad.  I cut it to 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ and let it dry.  I then used a die to cut it.  My die was from Penny Black called Curved Stitch.  I was careful of my placement of the die so I could maximize the surface.  I probably ended up cutting 1/2″ off the bottom.  I die cut my “thanks” word die out of the same blue paper and created a space for it by spacing my 2 panel pieces far enough apart.  I added baby blue pearls before and after the sentiment and I popped up my 2 pieces of embossed panel with foam tape accenting it further.

My next example is using a foiled and colored panel.  This foilable panel is from Brutus Monroe and is no longer available.  However, many companies have foilable panels that would work.  I simply die cut my sentiment (from Simon Says Stamp) from gold mirror card stock, backed it with a  red banner and adhered it to the panel.  I then adhered the panel to an olive green card stock base.  I also added a few gold foil pearls.  You can see how the background takes center stage on this one.

This card was made using Carta Bella’s Flora 5 paper pack.  This was one of those papers that needed a card of it’s own!  So pretty – I am a huge fan of black backgrounds with florals.  I die cut 3 botanical elements from Spellbinders.  I ink blended on the yellow and green sprigs and used magenta glitter paper for the spiral one.  I cut the patterned paper to 4″ x 5 1/4″ and then cut 3/4″ off the right side.  I backed the panel with olive green paper, then using the same olive green cut a narrow strip and adhered it to the right edge of the flower paper.  I then cut a wider strip – about 1/2″ – of some yellow orange paper.  I placed my sprigs together and where they met adhered a wax seal.  No other embellishments and no sentiment.

I  love how this card turned out!  I just purchased the Bee Happy Kit from Reminisce.  It’s 12 x 12 and there are 8 pcs of double-sided patterned paper and a sheet of stickers.  Since I didn’t want to waste any of these gorgeous paper I decided to make a 5″ x 7″ card.  The paper was already inked in the upper left corner.  I cut a 4″ x 6″ piece of paper, backed it with a piece of dark brown paper and mounted it on a 5″ x 7″ base made of some ivory parchment card stock that I picked up at a local office supply store.  I simply added one sentiment sticker and a partial border sticker along the bottom.  I added thin brown peel-offs from Love From Lizi and a few enamel dots around the sentiment.  The paper is definitely the star of this card!

I hope I’ve inspired you to have a try at designing cards that let your background take center stage!