August 21, 2021


A really attractive and different way to add color to a card is to use paper piecing. Notice the row of birds in the card below. Their color was adding through the technique of paper piecing.

To do paper piecing is easy, but does require a certain amount of fussy cutting. These birds were easy to fussy cut in that the three bunched on the right can be cut as one unit, with the little guy on the end being cut alone. But the outlines of the birdies are simple to fussy cut, so this branch full is easy for beginners or those who are not so fond of fussy cutting.

For paper piecing, all you need to do is stamp your image on the paper surface you plan on using in your finished piece. Then stamp the same image again on a piece of Designer Series Paper that lends itself well to your subject matter. In the case of this card, I chose a very subtle design on my paper in a neutral, birdlike color. This choice worked well for the birds.

Keep in mind when paper piecing that the DSP you are using is subtle enough that the stamping is not lost in the design. You still need to be able to see the details of the birds.

I die cut the finished image with a scalloped edged rectangular die and added a bit of baker's twine behnd the piece.

Mounted upon some leafy Designer Series Paper to give the impression of the branch in trees worked well in this case.

A closeup of the fussy cut birds and the minimal coloring I did with Stampin' Blends:

Follow along for a tutorial on recreating this card. 

Basic White cardstock
A Designer Series Paper that is somewhat birdlike
A leafy Designer Series Paper

Free As a Bird stamp set (Page 83, Annual Catalog)

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Stampin' Blends in: Light Granny Apple Green, Light Flirty Flamingo, Light Soft Suede

Die Cutting machine
Scalloped Contours dies (page 158, Annual Catalog)
Paper Snips
Gold/White cord
Stampin' Dimensionals

Fold a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Basic White cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Cut a piece of DSP with a leafy design to 3 3/4" x 5". Take a piece of gold and white baker's twine and wind it horizontally around this piece of DSP, taping the ends on the back. Add the piece to the white card base.

On a piece of white cardstock, stamp the branch with four birds in Memento Tuxedo Black Ink. On a piece of Designer Series Paper with a fairly neutral birdlike design, stamp the birds again. Fussy cut the birds (three birds can be cut as one piece). Once the birds are cut out, adhere them over their stamped counterparts on the white piece.

Color in the branch, leaves and flowers as you wish, or not. Your choice.

Using the scalloped frame die that measures 2 1/2" x 3 3/4", cut out the finished birds.

Add this completed panel with Stampin' Dimensionals centered onto the front of the card.

Have you ever done paper piecing? If so, did you enjoy it? If not, now that you've seen how easy it is and the wonderful detail it adds to a card, do you think you will? What are your feelings about fussy cutting?



  1. I like your card, and I think it could have been better if the birds were more colorful, like blue birds with their blue feathers and dusty orange breast. Please don't take offense.

    1. You're probably right. But, where we live in Wisconsin, this is how most of the birds look. Sort of a literal interpretation I guess. No offense taken.

  2. Love these sweet little birds. Here in Maine, most of our birds come in neutral colors, too.

    1. Thanks, Michele. Yes, in Wisconsin we have mostly drab birds. But I love 'em all!

  3. These are adorable little birds! I have not tried this technique. I tend to get too fussy with my fussy cutting and it gets real stressful real fast.

    1. Fussy cutting becomes quite a bit easier if you don't cut right up to the line, but leave just a bit of a white border. You don't need to be quite so "fussy". Give that a try; maybe that would cut down on your stress level. It's more of the look you get when you die cut something.

  4. I've never done this myself but the final product is so pretty! And great tutorial. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen

    1. Thank you, Kathleen! And, please give it a try -- it is so gratifying!

  5. The birds are so sweet and adorable. I have never tried this process before but it is pretty when finished. #HomeMattersParty

    1. Please, Donna, give it a try! It is so satisfying and I always love the results! You can do it with the clothing on a figure, stamped images of flowers. The possibilities are endless!