August 6, 2019


In today's post I am going to be talking to you about a papercrafting technique that has been around for a long time. It is referred to as Smackin' Acetate. I think it also goes by other names, but that's the one we'll use today.

The Smackin' Acetate technique -- in this case anyway -- involves adding color to an acetate sheet, spritzing it with water, then placing a piece of cardstock over the inky mess.

For my card, I used a half sheet of Transparency (do they even make that anymore? Isn't everything PowerPoint now?) Anyway, I had a few sheets of it, so that's what I grabbed. Otherwise, Stampin' Up!'s Window Sheets (page 169 in the Annual Catalog) work great too. Another great option is the clear plastic stuff that sometimes covers crafting products. 

All you need is a chunk that is a little larger than the piece of cardstock you want to use. In this case, my cardstock measures 3 3/4" x 5". So a piece of acetate measuring a mere 4" x 5 1/4" would work adequately. The good thing is that, once you're finished with your project, it can easily be wiped clean for future use. Just store it somewhere you can find it next time you want to do the Smackin' Acetate technique!

To do the technique, use Stampin' Write Markers. I used Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Cherry Cobbler, Daffodil Delight, Calypso Coral and Melon Mambo. You don't need to use six colors, but that's what I did. 

The photo below shows how I did mine. Scribbling with the side of the brush end of the markers, I made random marks all across the acetate. Just think of yourself as a kid again, a kindergartener having lots of fun being free and enjoying it all without any thinking!

The next step involves spritzing the colored acetate with water. The less water you add to the color, the more pen strokes you will get in your final piece. I spritzed mine pretty good so I did not get such obvious marker strokes.

As soon as your acetate is spritzed with water as you wish it to be, lay your piece of Whisper White cardstock straight down onto the wet color. 

Pick the piece straight up off the acetate. Shown below is what mine looked like after being pressed against the spritzed acetate. I used my Heat Tool to dry it so I could continue to work with it rather than wait for it to dry naturally.

I used Memento Tuxedo Black Ink to stamp the single bird from the Free As a Bird set (page 92). Then, this was a cool discovery I made! I used Stampin' Blends to color in my bird. I purposely used the Memento ink with the intention of doing this. But I wasn't sure how the Blends would work against a colored-with-ink background. 

It worked beautifully! The Stampin' Blends I used for my card were Light Soft Suede, Light Mango Melody, Dark Petal Pink, Dark Old Olive, Light Poppy Parade and Light Cherry Cobbler.

I stamped the bird and the leafy branch directly onto the Smackin' Acetate background, then colored them in with the Blends. On a piece of Whisper White scrap I stamped the two flower images and colored them with the Blends. I then fussy cut them, glued the bud flat and popped the large flower next to it with a Stampin' Dimensional.

I added the birthday sentiment from the Seaside Notions set (page 139), cut it out with an oval from the Stitched Shapes dies and popped it a bit to the right of center with a few Stampin' Dimensionals. I chose a pink satin ribbon -- long retired, but it looked good with the background colors -- and tied it in a knot, attaching it with a Glue Dot.

Although it looks fairly dark, I chose to mat it with a piece of Cherry Cobbler, picking up on the flower colors, then added it to a Whisper White card base.

There! Now you know how to do one of the versions of Smackin' Acetate. It's one of those cool techniques where you never know what you're going to end up with, no two ever exactly alike. I love the arbitrariness of techniques like this! Give it a try!



  1. Very Pretty! I'm going to have to try this technique with my granddaughter I think she'll love the scribbling part and she'll be good at that. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Glenda! Have fun creating with your granddaughter! How old is she?

  2. Oh I had forgotten all about this technique! What a pretty card. Pinned.

    1. Thanks! Yes, it's a great technique that I keep forgetting about too!

  3. It's just lovey, thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

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