Creative Uses: Custom Dimensional Background

Hi readers! Happy Tuesday, and WELCOME to the latest Creative Uses installment by the fabulous Debby Hughes! Be sure to watch the video, and enjoy!


Hello, Debby here today with a video below looking at how you can take one of your smallest dies to create a dimensional background. I used a rounded rectangle die from the Cuddly Critters Accessories set for the graffitied brick wall of this card by running it through my die cutting machine with some Arches cold pressed watercolor card and an embossing mat. The mat enables the die to be pressed in to the thick card without cutting all the way through and instead leaves a brick shaped impression. I ran the die backwards and forwards through the die cutter until I had a whole panel of bricks.


I then used this dimensional pattern as a guide to add watercolors. As I watercolor a lot I have collected a mishmash of my favorite tube watercolors in a palette, however, excellent alternatives would be the Gansai Tambi watercolors or Distress Inks. I cut the watercolored piece with the largest of the Stitched Rectangles to give a finished edge to the panel and splattered it with a combination of mists and paints.


I used the Painted Hello die to create the graffiti words; blending in Hero Arts Neon inks in to white card and then die cutting. I also cut some more of the hellos from black card and used these to back the neon ones so they popped off the brick wall nicely. The finished panel is then mounted on a Black card base.

I think this graffiti style would suit one of the categories I struggle with most – those tricky teens! And the wording can be switched out to fit the occasion with the wonderful array of painted style word dies available. Thanks for joining me today and I will see you next time for another look at how to stretch your supplies :D

Watch the video:


Thanks for reading today, and thanks to Debby for being our guest!


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  1. How very clever, Debby, to create that realistic looking brick wall. Agree the design is perfect for those difficult-to-make teen cards!

  2. This is absolutely irresistible. It was so clever how you imposed brick with rectangular dies. I love the water coloring you did on top. The hellos in different colors with a black shadow are perfect on the brick wall.

  3. Terrific card! LOVE your brick wall–awesome layers of colors. THANKS for the video. Don’t think I would have the patience to do that but it sure looks great! :)

  4. What a wonderful idea – I love how your card came out and I marvel at your patience!!! :-)

  5. Great idea for a background, but boy is that ever a lot of work! It looks amazing though! Love your watercoloring!

  6. TOTALLY in love with this awesome background!! So much depth and texture!! LOVELOVELOVE it!! TFS!

  7. If you were to cut fun foam or cereal box with the die a bunch of times instead of using it to make the impression, and then glue them down to a card stock base, you could use that as an embossing template with the right sandwich or shims and the silicone mat, then you only have to go through the process once and you can get the benefits of it over and over again :-)

  8. This is a wonderful use of that tiny die. The brick wall looks fab, although I think it might require more patience than I have for that kind of work.

  9. I love this background it is such a wonderful technique. I love the watercolor is beautiful.

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