March 25, 2023


In the world of stamping, have you ever heard of the technique referred to as "thumping"? A really useful technique for certain situations, it gives you a unique look every time you do it, no matter how hard you try to duplicate your efforts.

Read on, and we'll talk about how to do some thumping.. It's a very easy technique, but, as I said before, it is completely unpredictable. It is actually perfect for subject matter such as fall foliage, as I used in my card.

You can get the variegated look of a fall leaf  by doing thumping. To do this, you need your choice of water-based markers. Stampin' Write Markers are perfect for this. You need a solid stamp, such as this large maple leaf and its little seed helicopters. 

Choose maybe 3-4 colors that will work well for what you intend to accomplish. The first step is to lay down a base color. I used the lightest color, which was So Saffron. I simply inked up the stamp with this color in the conventional way

Starting with the lightest color of the markers, So Saffron,  and holding the stamp facing up in your nondominant hand, thump all over the stamp randomly using THE SIDE OF THE MARKER. Turn the stamp as you thump so not all the color strokes are in one direction. Taking the next lightest color, do the same thing in parts you hadn't thumped with the first color. Continue until you run out of colors. Remember to keep turning the stamp. When you've used all the colors, go back and fill in some of the spaces where there is no color.

In "normal" thumping, at this point, you would huff over the inked stamp. Then, before the stamp goes dry again, you stamp your image.

My card, however, was done a bit differently. When the "thumping" was finished, I spritzed it sparingly with water. Then I stamped it. By doing it this way, the colors bleed and blend differently. 

As shown in the photos below, I tried FIVE different times to get the look I was hoping to achieve. To be honest, I wasn't completely happy with any of the five.

Before trying thumping, I attempted something a little different on this first leaf. I simply inked up the leaf with the ink pads themselves. While the colors were good on this one, I did not like the lines made by the ink pads.

It was at this point I decided to try the thumping technique.

In the next photo, I once again inked up the stamp with the So Saffron base. I then thumped with Stampin' Write Markers in Merry Merlot, Pumpkin Pie and Old Olive. I didn't mind it too much, but wish the color had been more evenly distributed.

The next leaf showed the veins nicely, but I still wasn't thrilled. Should I give up?

The photo below compares all my attempts:

I finally ended up using the one below, even though it was far from satisfactory.

After cutting out the leaf with a die from the Seasonal Labels dies. I wanted to mount this to a background of the same color, but wanted to jazz it up somewhat. 

First I embossed a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of the cardstock with the Painted Textures 3D Embossing Folder. While this added some interest to the background, it was still too drab for my taste. 

I remedied that with a little light ink added to the peaks of the embossing with an Embossing Brush. Keeping the light touch with the ink was key to a successful background. I popped up the leaf diecut with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals.

The card was finished by adding the textured panel to a card base made from the same cardstock.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever used the thumping technique yourself? Were you happy with the results? Do you have any other variations you could add?

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.
- Emily Bronte -




  1. I have never tried this technique but I do love how it looks.

    1. Please give it a try! It is really fun and surprising.

  2. I love this, and the thumping process sounds like a dual purpose effort - creating something beautiful and off-loading some stress with each thump!
    Thank you for joining us at

    1. Thanks, Sue! You made me giggle when I read about your stress relieving!

  3. Love this one too! I think all of your leaves turned out perfectly if you ask me. I sure do like the idea of thumping... ;) thank you for sharing with Whimsy Home Wednesday!