Hi Crafty Friends!

Today I am posting a project for the AECP Level 1 Class – Easy Die Cutting Techniques taught by Yana Smakula.  As you know die cutting is one of my favourite things to do and I love Yana, so needless to say, I really enjoyed this class! This is the third class I have taken for this level.  Links to all my class posts are at the bottom of the post.


There are a lot of great techniques demonstrated in this class by Yana and it made me want to pull out my die cutting machine and get to it!  I decided to combine a couple of techniques in one card and chose stenciling with dies and inlaid die cutting.  I’m a big fan of the current trend for “eclipse” inlaid die cutting so that’s what I decided to work on.

Overview of my card process

I pulled out these two backgrounds from my stash – I keep an extensive stash of backgrounds ready to use – and decided to use the one on the right.  This one was made with Mustard Seed Distress Oxide and a bit of Seedless Preserves and I thought it would make a lovely autumnal card.

I chose this Shutter Cover Die from Altenew to make my stencil, and I cut it from white cardstock from my stash.

Then I used a small cosmetic sponge with more Distress Oxides in Ripe Persimmon, Rusty Hinge and Twisted Citron, sponging them through the stencil, at random places on the background.  As you know I like making big cards, so these backgrounds are 8.25 x 5.25 inches.  The cover die is sized to fit an A2 card which is about half the size of my card, but that doesn’t matter since I am stenciling randomly on the background, so remember you are not always constrained by the size of your dies!

Initially I planned to use the background in portrait format but then I decided I wanted to spell out the word AUTUMN with my favourite Bold Alphabet dies, so I turned the background around to landscape mode and I like how the stenciling now looks like stripes.  I placed the dies on the background and lined them up with a T Ruler, then placed masking tape across them to hold them in position while I die cut them.  There are 2 x U’s in Autumn, so the masking tape method is very handy for ensuring you cut the second U in the right place, and perfectly lined up.  I also cut another set of letters from black craft foam as I wanted some dimension.  I chose this bright orange cardstock as my card base, and then glued the background to it.  After that, it was just a matter of gluing in all the craft foam die cuts and then placing the card die cuts on top for gluing.

I wanted to add something else to the bottom of the card, and decided to use these leaves I had cut from the Garden Hydrangea set to use for another card.  They were already stamped with the green ink to match the other card, but I wanted to re-colour them to match this card and decided the best way to do that was to use my Inktense pencils.  I also found this little bird I had coloured but not used on another card and he looked so cute perched on the top of the N that I had to use him, along with some leftover leaf fronds from the other card.



I really enjoyed making this card, and although I have done both these techniques before I have not done them together so doing the class made me think about how I could approach die cutting differently.  I also do not do enough stenciling with my dies overall, so I will definitely be doing more.  Also the die cut I used for the stencil is now covered in Distress Oxides in a lovely autumnal blend, and can be used in a future card as an already prepared and coloured die cut!  Bonus!  I hope you enjoyed reading about this card and that you find inspiration from it.


Altenew – Shutter Cover Die, Bold Alphabet Dies, leftover Garden Hydrangea leaves from other card
Distress Oxide Ink Pads – Seedless Preserves, Mustard Seed, Ripe Persimmon, Rusty Hinge, Twisted Citron
Gina K – Tangerine Twist cardstock
From stash: white cardstock for die cutting, black craft foam, leftover leaf fronds and bird die cuts from another card, cosmetic sponge
Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive
Inktense Pencils


FYI Here’s a list of the Classes for Level 1:

.All About Layering 1
.All About Layering 2
.Clean & Simple Boutique Cards
.Easy Ink Blending Techniques
.For The Guys
.Let It Shine
.Celebration: Stencil Techniques
.Seasonal Scene Building
.Easy Die Cutting Techniques
.Irresistible Inking Techniques


Empire of the Cat

Artist / Designer at Empire of the Cat
Artist, Designer, Blogger, cat mama, librarian, computer geek.
Loves travel • nature • books • Art Journalling •
Maker of cards, drinker of tea, hoarder of craft supplies.Love paper, ink, paint, colour and shiny things and mixing my mediums. Minimalism was never my thing!
Empire of the Cat

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