Transparent Layers with Anna-Karin

Hello everyone! Anna-Karin here with a fun tutorial using quite many transparent or translucent products. As a child, my favourite Lego pieces were always the transparent ones, and today I love to use transparent elements in my art. I made a tag and a card, let’s start with the tag.

It is fun to work on a transparent background, and even more so if you add layers of other transparent or translucent items, so that you get a glimpse through the different layers. You don’t need to use as many transparent items on a project, try adding just one or two, or work on a transparent surface placing solid items on top (or underneath). Or how about make a mini-album with clear pages?

I started by going through my stash and pulling out transparent and translucent products. These are some of my favourite surfaces (left to right): Judikins Embossable Window Plastic, clear packaging, Ranger shrink plastic, and Wendy Vecchi’s Clearly for Art Modeling film. I didn’t use all of them in my projects, but most.

Here are some examples of translucent products: Simon Says Stamp Glassine Envelopes, vellum, and Tim Holtz Frosted Film. I used the envelopes and the Frosted Film, if you want some vellum inspiration, have a look here and here.

There are also many transparent or translucent embellishments: Tim Holtz Facets, Film Strip Ribbon, Corked Domes, Corked Vials, Memory Glass, Fragments Charms, and in the middle to the right Maya Road Vintage Raspberry Beads. You can find a lot more clear items at Simon Says Stamp.

But you don’t need to stop there, there are also many transparent or translucent mediums and embossing powders. These are just some examples: Stampendous Shaved Ice, Tim Holtz Rock Candy Distress Glitter, Crackle Paint and Stickles, Clear Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE), Wendy Vecchi’s Translucent Embossing Paste, Glossy Accents and clear embossing powder. Let’s start with the tag:

I die cut a tag from clear packaging, you can also use Clearly For Art Modeling Film or a heavy transparency.

I like the look of white stamping on a transparency, and Stazon Cotton White works really well for that. Unless you used the ink pad very recently, you need to re-ink it before stamping.

When I have this ink pad out, I like to continue stamping more images for later use. I used the dragonfly on the card below. This was stamped on a sheet of clear Modeling Film.

I stamped a sentiment on a fragment with Jet Black Stazon. You can also use Archival Jet Black, but it takes a bit longer to dry. When the ink was dry, I adhered a piece of Frosted Film at the back. The film is self-adhesive. Trim the edges.

A label was die cut from Specialty Stamping Paper and I applied Translucent Embossing Paste through a stencil with a palette knife. Leave to dry.

When the paste is dry, ink the label with Distress Ink. The paste will resist the ink. Splatter the label with some water for more texture.

I really love Wendy Vecchi’s Clearly For Art Modeling Film, it is so versatile. Here I covered it with Frosted Film, die cut and painted the back white. For more modelling film ideas have a look at these posts: Wendy Vecchi Inspired Frame, Jumbo Tattered Florals Shadow Box, and Joy to the World.

Carefully heat the Modeling Film Leaves with your heat gun (don’t burn yourself!) and shape the leaves. It is easier to work one branch at a time. The Film keeps its shape perfectly. Adhere to the tag behind the label. For more ideas using Frosted Film see December Luminary and Book of Random Things. I also filled a Corked Vial with Rock Candy Distress Glitter, pierced two holes in the tag and tied it with twine.

A Raspberry Bead was sewn to the centre of the flower. Love the look of this bead. If you want a coloured bead, you can easily colour it with Adirondack Alcohol Inks.

The Frosted Film gives a great translucent look to the fragment. I also added a piece of Film Strip Ribbon.

At the top of the tag, I folded over Film Strip Ribbon and attached with staples.

And onto the card, using even more transparent products. I was having fun! For more ideas regarding clear cards, check out this and this post.

Modeling Film is very sturdy and perfect for a clear card base. Fold a piece in half and dry emboss the front. This creates a really great look.

A glassine envelope was filled with Shaved Ice fragments and tied close with a clear button.

The letters were die cut from grungeboard, painted white and coated with a thin layer of Glossy Accents. Rock Candy Distress Glitter was sprinkled over the letters. When dry, the glitter was inked with Peacock Feathers.

I stamped the dragonfly on both clear Modeling Film and Shrink Plastic. Cut out the dragonflies.

Punch a little hole in each shrink plastic dragonfly. Shrink two dragonflies and two circles accordion to the instructions on the packaging. Colour them on the back with alcohol ink. You don’t want to colour on the front, since the alcohol ink with dissolve the stamping.

Coat with Glossy Accents, which gives a great finished look to shrink plastic.

Heat two Modeling Film dragonflies with your heat gun, again be careful not to burn yourself. Shape the wings.

The Modeling Film dragonflies were layered and attached to the card with a small brad. The dimensional wings keep their shape perfectly.

The glittery letters add bling to the project.

The shrink plastic dragonflies were also attached with small brads. Love how you can see the embossed swirls through the dragonfly.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it inspired you to use some transparent or translucent products in your next project.



Surfaces: Wendy Vecchi Clearly For Art Modeling Film; Ranger: Shrink Plastic, Specialty Stamping Paper; Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Frosted Film, Grungeboard; clear packaging

Dies: Sizzix: Tag & Bookplates, Mini Baroque Movers & Shapers, Vintage Market XL, Garden Greens

Embossing Folder: Sizzix: Burlap & Swirls

Stamps: Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz: Classics #1, Attic Treasures, Mixed Media, Steampunk

Ink: Tsukineko Stazon: Jet Black, Cotton White; Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Ink: Stream; Distress Ink: Tumbled Glass, Peacock Feathers

Paint: Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Paint: Picket Fence

Glitter: Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Glitter: Rock Candy; Stampendous Shaved Ice

Stencils: Wendy Vecchi Stampers Anonymous: 3 Fresh Flowers

Mediums: Wendy Vecchi Stampers Anonymous: Translucent Embossing Paste; Ranger Glossy Accents

Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Corked Vials, Film Strip Ribbon, Fragments Charms, Mini Fasteners; Maya Road Vintage Raspberry Beads; Autumn Leaves Clear Bag-O-Buttons; Simon Says Stamp Glassine Envelopes



Anna-Karin never fails to inspire me! Loving all her ideas this week.

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  1. Love your transparent pieces of art Anna-Karin, I love how you have added one layer of transparent product on top of another and you can see all the way through. Lovely pieces. Love the white stamping too. Tracy x

  2. beautiful! a real inspiration to me; I can’t wait to get home and try this!

  3. Anna- KArin this is a great tutorial! love your transparent pieces, especially the dragonflies! thanks for sharing with us your inspirational work! BArbarayaya

  4. This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing how – I will try and play some more with my acetate and transparencies – love what you have shared here thank you!! Karen x

  5. My head is spinning with all the details in this posting. I absolutely loved your finished pieces and want to try some transparent ones myself. I am going to bookmark this post so that I can refer back to it. Thank you for sharing these great techniques!

  6. Wow I absolutely love the all the details and the piece you made…Tim-holtz products are just breath-taking and you have made the best use of it..especially those dragonflies..also love that sentiment..Thank you for sharing the tutorial!!

  7. Anna-Karin, you really have a knack for transparent/translucent art. Absolutely beautiful! I love the white stamping on acetate. I am excited to try these techniques and even happier that I have almost everything you used in my crafty arsenal.

  8. These are beautiful! Thanks so much for the tutorial. Love the blue on the card. It really pops and there’s just something about little glass bottles. I just adore them LOL!

  9. wow, thanks for all the ideas. how beautiful these are. i love the flower w/ translucent paste and then coloring with distress ink. i will try that.

  10. A wonderful tutorial for really beautiful and stunning projects. As always, there is so much detail to look at and to admire and I just love what you’ve done and created…it’s fabulous work Anna-Karin!! :)

  11. What an outstanding tutorial, Anna-Karin – so many brilliant ideas, fab tips and techniques and all done with your usual clarity and great photos… thank you so much!
    Alison xx

  12. Amazing work, Anna-Karin! I love how you build your layers and all the little details you added to your tag and card. Thank you for the inspiration.

  13. stunning projects! I love what you did and how you shared the different transparent products! Many of my favorites!

  14. OMG! Love this tag! Took me a while to read this post because I had to keep clicking all the links to see her other, totally awesome projects!

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