Creative Background Layout

Hello! Richele here, I’d like you to meet Ty my three year old Grandson.

Today I want to share with you how to use your die cuts in a different way. If you look close you will notice die cut letters built into the background.

Die cut letters using the Word Play die from the Tim Holtz Alteration line. I used Natural Sticky Back Canvas and Metal Foil Tape to die cut my letters from. Because both have an adhesive back it will make it easy to stick the letters down to my background (watercolor paper).

I randomly placed my letters and numbers to a thick piece of watercolor paper that fits my frame. The size of my frame is 9 x 9. Paint the entire surface with Gesso including the letters and numbers. Before it dries wipe off some of the Gesso from the metal letters.

Die cut the Washer Border from manilla card stock and Gesso down small pieces of the border in a few places on your layout. Be sure to coat the top of the Washer border with Gesso too.

Stamp a few images in the background to create interest using a black waterproof ink. Layer Gesso over parts of the stamped images. Dry with a heat tool.

Now for the fun! Be sure to protect the table surface you are working on. Spray the entire piece of watercolor paper with Dylusion Ink Sprays and watch the magic.

Let the ink dry a little then blot off the excess ink with a paper towel roll.

As it dries the color will fade back a little. Dry with a heat tool.

Embellish your page as desired. I used “Chit Chat” words to describe Ty and several other Idea-ology elements for my layout.

Mat your photo with black card stock and pop dot to the background.

Die cut a heart from kraft card stock using the Movers and Shapers Heart die also from the Alterations line.

Think outside the box! How can you use your dies to create something new and different?


Surfaces: Claudine Hellmuth Studio- Sticky Back Canvas Natural; Ranger Ink Metal Foil Tape, Manila Cardstock; Watercolor Paper; Kraft Cardstock
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology- Filmstrip Ribbon, Chit Chat, Locket Keys, Mini Numerals, Alpha Cards, Charms
Ink: Ranger Ink Jet Black Archival, Dylusion Ink Spras- London Blue, Vibrant Turquoise and Pure Sunshine
Mediums: Claudine Helmuth Studio Gesso
Fibers: twine

The following two tabs change content below.


Sizzix puts creativity in your hands with the craftiest die-cutting and embossing possibilities! Visit | - The Start of Something You. Since 1977, Ellison (the parent company of Sizzix) has been the global leader in empowering the individual to express their personal creativity through a premier suite of innovative products. The company is committed to celebrating style and leading creative expression for generations to come.


  1. says

    Your layout is inspiring. Ty is adorable – reminds me of my third son. Would you share which colors of dylusions you used? I love the mix.

  2. says

    This looks great – thanks so much for sharing your technique. I’ve wanted to try some Dylusions for a while, now they are a “must buy” for me!

  3. Anonymous says

    How inspiring. Love it. What a handsome little guy Ty is, and how lucky he has such a creative grandma:)

  4. says

    How beautiful this project is. Richele, u r a creative genius. Love your work. The colors are blasting! I love those Dylusion colors. Gots to get some! Thank you for the tutorial.

  5. says

    Wow thanks for the great explanation of how to do this. I am so going to have a go. I have seen these and wondered how it was done. Sandy :)

What do you think?