August 1, 2020


You all know that I love art supplies. Even things that aren't actually art supplies. More like what others might consider garbage. (!!!) Like leftovers that are meant to be thrown away. 

You Paper Pumpkin subscribers know about all the pieces that are left over from punching out diecuts. Right? And we all know that we end up with lots of those. Doesn't it break your heart to throw away something PAPER? 

A past Paper Pumpkin kit came with leafy stems die cut on a sheet of cardstock. The leaves needed to be punched out from their paper homes. Once the leaves are punched out, you just toss them. Right? Me? Never. I saved them.

I recently came across this punched out piece and decided to put it to work. 

Using it as a stencil, I moved the leafy stems all around a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock using a sponge dauber to add the ink. When diecuts are placed very close together on a sheet, as these were, you need to be extra careful to keep your stenciling from wandering into a nearby spot.

To make my stenciled background, I used my sponge dauber with Pear Pizzazz ink. I wanted the leaves to be fairly delicate, and a lot of the other greens would have been too dark and too in-your-face to please me.

Once my stenciling was finished, I wanted to cover up as little of it as possible. So I decided to use the single bird and the leafy branch from the Free As A Bird stamp set (page 85 in the Annual Catalog), stamping them in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on Whisper White cardstock, then coloring them in with Stampin' Blends. The Blends I used were Light and Dark Crumb Cake, Light Pumpkin Pie, Dark Petal Pink and Light Old Olive.

I discovered that one of the frame die from the Stitched So Sweetly dies on page 179 in the Annual Catalog would accommodate these two pieces nicely. So I cut one of the frames from Whisper White cardstock. My next move was to fussy cut the bird and the branch. I then adhered them to the white diecut frame.

Placing that onto my leafy piece, the white frame blended in too much, so I went back to the drawing board -- my die stash -- and grabbed one of the gorgeous frames from Ornate Frames (page 182) and cut that from Old Olive cardstock so it stood out nicely against the lighter Pear Pizzazz stenciled leaves after I added the white piece to it.

I almost left it at that, but then decided to add a little greeting. I stamped the "hello" from the Free As A Bird set onto a little tag I cut from one of the Ornate Frames dies. After threading a little striped baker's twine through the tag and tying it into a bow, I popped it up with Dimensionals.

Mounted onto an Old Olive card base, bringing back to mind the Old Olive I used in the ornate frame, my card was finished.

I am so happy I didn't throw away that leafy "stencil"!

OK. Now it's your turn. Do you ever save stuff that actually was meant to be tossed out to use as an art supply for a future project? If so, do you ever actually use it or does it just complacently rest amongst all your crafty stash? Just wanting and waiting to be needed . . .



  1. Oh I just love this stenciled background! It gives it such a pretty watercolor look. Pinned.

  2. Thanks for letting me play along each week, Marilyn!

  3. What a beautiful background for your bird! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ's.

  4. Aw, thanks, Marilyn! You made me smile!

  5. So pretty, Linda! Thanks for sharing with Creative Compulsions!


  6. Very creative idea and a great way to get a new look. I hate throwing out paper too. Thanks so much for sharing. #HomeMattersParty

    1. Thanks, Donna! And I'm glad you feel the same way I do about throwing away those potential art supplies.