5 Tips and Tricks to Create a Watercolor Look with Layering Stencils | Stencil Techniques + Video Tutorial

by Therese Calvird

Hi, it's Therese, and I am back with another edition of Take 2 with Therese. Today, I'm sharing two card ideas to create a watercolor look with ink blending and layering stencils!

New Watercolor Look with Layering Stencils!

@altenew_ 5 Tips to Create a Watercolor Look with Ink and Stencils! Layering stencils and ink blending are the perfect combination to create beautiful detailed cards very quickly, even if you are not a skilled colorist. 

But, what if you want a ‘watercolor look'?  Well, did you know that you can do that, too?

I'm going to share 5 Tips & Tricks to help you create, plus a BONUS tip!

Both of today's cards were made using the beautiful Mega Blossom Layering Stencil, but this technique could easily be stretched to many other layering stencil sets that are available. 

Can you imagine this technique in a ‘graphic pattern' style!

Watercolor Look Technique No.1 – Simple Watercolor Image!

Tip #1 – Use Watercolor Cardstock

Watercolor paper is made specifically for watercoloring and it has a coating on one side which makes it more absorbent. 

Regular cardstock will not tolerate the layers of water required for this technique.  The paper may buckle or tear, and the watercolor may spread out, bleeding through the paper which will make it difficult to get nice smooth lines.


Using Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper will make it easier if you plan to do any stamping on the finished piece as it has a smoother finish!

@altenew_ 5 Tips to Create a Watercolor Look with Ink and Stencils!

Tip #2 – No Watercolors?

Not sure if watercoloring is for you?  Did you know that you can watercolor with any water-based ink pad?  This is a great way to try this medium without any extra cost to see if you like the techniques and results. 

Simply ‘smoosh' an ink pad onto a non-porous surface such as a palette or plate and pick up the ink with a brush dipped in water.

Like it? Love it?  A good place to start is watercolor half pans, these are compressed squares of paint that come in premade colors, so if you are not confident about color mix then this is a great option.  Or, you could try some Watercolor Tube paints, you need only a few to get started as you can create your own color mixes with these. 

Many of these are also lightfast tested which means you will know if a certain color will fade or change in the presence of light (particularly important if you are painting a piece that will be on display for extended periods).  These paints go a LONG way!

@altenew_ 5 Tips to Create a Watercolor Look with Ink and Stencils!

Tip #3 – Sticky Grid Mat!

To hold stencils in place while coloring, use a tool such as the Sticky Grid Mat.  This is a game changer as it decreases the chance of tearing the cardstock when removing tape.

@altenew_ 5 Tips to Create a Watercolor Look with Ink and Stencils!

Watercolor Look Technique No.2 – Splattered Watercolor Image!

Let's change it up a little.  For the next card design, I thought it would be fun to use ‘splatters' through the stencil to create to base portions of the image.  You may notice that it has a very similar look because I kept the same basic design and colors, but it definitely changes it up… and it was fun to do! 

AND I didn't use any extra tools for this technique, you can see how in the video linked below.

Tip #4 – Mask

Be sure to mask or ‘cover' areas of the stencils that may be exposed when ‘splattering'. Simply use a scrap piece of cardstock, post-it notes, or low tack tape (be very careful to remove this gently).

@altenew_ 5 Tips to Create a Watercolor Look with Ink and Stencils!

Tip #5 – Drying Time

Allow adequate drying time between each watercolored layer of the stencil. This will help prevent color bleeding and muddying of colors which will also give a more defined and crisp color to the layers.

@altenew_ 5 Tips to Create a Watercolor Look with Ink and Stencils!


Choose colors that blend well or ‘play nicely together', so as not to get a muddy look.  And, if you are not sure, simply check on a tool such as a color wheel or just combine the colors together on a scrap piece of cardstock to see what the results are.

Altenew Mega Blossom Stencil Sweet Sentiments Classical Sentiments Take 2 With Therese card video 2 copy

Watch the video below:

I hope you are inspired to create a watercolor look with your inks and stencils today! Let me know in the comments below if you are going to try either of these techniques. Have fun crafting!

Other Supplies:
Fresh Dye Inks – Sunray | Chamomile | Frayed Leaf
24 Watercolor Pan Set – Green Meadows | Cherry Blossom

~ Supply List ~

47d2a72b 006f 4a3d a21f 14533aaf442b


You may also like


mfergu01 January 17, 2024 - 3:06 PM

Really fabulous, Therese! I especially LOve your look at Pointillism!

Jan Castle January 17, 2024 - 3:59 PM

I am drawn to the splattered rose…but both are beautiful! TFS! Will be giving this a try!!!
Paper Hugs,

Bobby Hagen January 17, 2024 - 9:32 PM

I loved all the tips and tricks, Therese. The splattered rose is so unique and beautiful.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.