August 31, 2019


There seems to be many ways of doing a technique referred to as "ghosting". In fact, I have done a few of the other ways myself.

Recently, however, I ran into a suggestion to do "ghosting" using a stencil! 

I had just received my order for the new Basic Pattern Decorative Masks, only $6.00 for four 6" x 6" masks! I felt this was the perfect opportunity to put one of these masks, a.k.a., stencils, to work. I chose the one that looks like a forest of trees. By the way, this set of masks can be found on page 35 of the Creativity Is Calling catalog, which goes live on September 4.

The first one I tried was in my mind not quite a success. I'd used Gray Granite cardstock and ink, thinking that would be a good combination for the look of a forest. Using White Craft Ink against the fairly light color of cardstock inhibited me unduly when trying to line up the mask again to use the Gray Granite ink. And then, once I'd finished I felt the white couldn't be seen well enough.

Let me back up a bit. 

In order to do the Ghosting in this fashion, cut your cardstock to the size you want to work with. I cut mine to 3 3/4" x 5", a size that allows for a mat and then the card base.

Lay the cardstock onto your work surface. Position the stencil over the cardstock. With some sort of removable tape -- I used Post It Tape -- adhere the mask in place while you do the first step. 

The photo below shows my mask taped in place, as well as the Sponge Brayer.

You can use any of your favorite tools to add the ink, such as Stampin'  Sponges or Sponge Daubers. I, however, decided to dig out my unopened box of Sponge Brayers (page 181 of the Annual Catalog) and give them a try. I had had this box tucked away ever since they'd been introduced years ago.

Once you have the mask taped in place, use one of the Sponge Brayers to begin brayering White Craft (Pigment) Ink across the stencil. When inking up the brayer, run it across the ink pad several times, always in one direction, to ink it up well. Once you have the layer of white ink laid down, carefully peel the mask up and away. Immediately clean off the sponge brayer and the mask with warm water before continuing. Because Craft Ink stays wet fairly long, use the Heat Tool to make sure the ink is completely dry before moving on to the next step. 

Once the first layer is dry, reposition the mask. Only this time, move it just to the right or left or up or down from the first bit of brayering you did. Just a little "off" from the first layer of ink. This will give the ghosting effect.

I chose the same ink color as cardstock color I was working on. Using a second sponge brayer, repeat the process, only this time with the matching ink. Carefully remove the mask. Since this is water-based ink, it will dry quickly. Wash off your brayer and the mask.

As I mentioned, my first try was not a success. At least, I thought it was at first. 

So I tried it again, carefully choosing a color on which I thought white would show up better. This time, I went with Old Olive. This is a nice color to use for a forest in the middle of the growing season. However, these trees don't have any leaves, so, to me, it looks a bit weird.

Shown below are my two attempts. I must admit that working on the green, it was easier to see the white ink for repositioning.

Well, so there you have it. My two attempts. Now what? I decided to embrace it all and turn them into simple cards.

Although they don't look very red in the photos, I'd stamped two cardinals in the trees of each of the "forests". 

This first photo shows my first attempt with the Gray Granite cardstock and ink. Once the white ink had dried further, it showed up a bit better than I'd originally thought it would.

Then we have the Old Olive attempt. While easier to work with, the final look isn't quite as satisfying as I'd mentioned previously the question of why bare naked trees are set against a green background?

And, then close-ups of what the trees look like after their ghostly treatment:

The two cards side by side. The serene feeling of the background 
prompted me to add this particular sentiment.

Now that you know how to do another version of "ghosting", do you think you'll give it a try?



  1. I think they both came out great! I just tried ghosting for the first time this year making a card using an old stamp set and I thought it was a lot of fun. Such a cute and subtle effect. Pinned.

    1. Thanks! Trying new and different variations on old techniques is always a lot of fun, right?

  2. interesting techniques, visiting from the Really Crafty Link Party

    1. Thanks, Linda. I'm glad you find them interesting. Give it a try!

  3. Great techniques! I think they turned out lovely! Found you at Labor-day-song-grand-social-linky-356-grandparents

    1. Why, thank you Sylvia! I'm so glad you found me! Come back soon!

  4. This is a lovely technique, they look great.
    A very different type of ghosting than the one I'm aware of!!!

    1. I know! I was so excited to discover it, and I love the results!

  5. Interesting technique! I love the addition of the cardinals. They perfectly set off the rest of the card.

    1. Oh, thank you, Michelle! I just was not sure about those cardinals.

  6. Great technique, Linda. I'll have to give it a try! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ's!