Beautiful Backgrounds #1: Navy & White Emboss Resist



What’s more classic than the combination of navy and white? A few years ago, Stampin’ Up! used the Night of Navy and Whisper White combination in a selection of Designer Series Paper and card samples in their catalog. That inspired me to use navy and white in my card projects. I love this combination of colors because it is so crisp. It can easily be masculine, feminine or patriotic.

The emboss resist technique is a great technique. The smooth surface you get from  the melted embossing powder resists the ink. You can use any dye- or water-based medium for this technique. You can make sprays made from reinkers and water. You can use Brusho and water. You can watercolor with your inks over the embossed images. All of these ways will work. I chose to use my Night of Navy ink pad and sponges. I also like to use the Direct to Paper method to apply the ink to the cardstock.

Be prepared with lots of pieces of Whisper White cardstock. This technique can be a little addicting. You will want to try it with tons of your stamps to see the magic when the images appear as you apply the ink. I will make cards with these backgrounds and show them in another post. Cards made with these backgrounds can be found here. All supplies are linked at the bottom of the page.


Using Beautiful Bouquet stamp set and white emboss powder



Using Flourishing Phrases stamp set and clear emboss powder–This larger stamp covers more area with fewer images.



Using Colorful Seasons stamp set and white embossing powder



Using Petal Palette stamp set and clear embossing powder–This stamp image is supposed to be varied in texture, not a solid image.



You can use several images, as in this background, or just one. It’s up to you.

How to Make the Emboss Resist Background
  1. Rub your Whisper White cardstock with an Embossing Buddy (antistatic powder tool). This step is very important. Any stray specks of embossing powder will be very obvious on your finished project.


    You can see some extra embossing powder in the upper left and along the lower right edge. These spots can be trimmed off or covered with a sentiment or embellishment.

  2. Stamp your images with Versamark ink. You can make a specific pattern or stamp randomly. Both look good. If you have trouble seeing where you have already stamped, hold your paper in the light at an angle. There should be a slight glare where you have already stamped an image.
  3. Cover your images with clear or white embossing powder and tap off the excess. Use a scrap piece of paper (or your favorite method) to catch the extra embossing powder. Make sure all of your images are completely covered with powder. Use a small, dry paint brush to remove any stray flecks of embossing powder.
  4. Put away your excess embossing powder! Make sure the lid on the powder container is closed.
  5. Use your heat tool to melt the embossing powder. When the powder turns shiny, move to another area. If you keep heating one area too long, you can burn the embossing powder and your cardstock. Watch your fingers! The heat tool is hot.
  6. Allow the melted embossing powder to cool for a moment. It is still soft for a few seconds after heating and can smear
  7. Cover your work surface with a large scrap piece of paper. Junk mail or grid paper works well for this.
  8. Apply Night of Navy ink to the entire surface of the Whisper White cardstock. You can sponge the ink onto the cardstock with a stamping sponge, a sponge dauber or a sponge brayer. You can also drag your ink pad directly across the surface of your cardstock. It is natural to have slight variations in the ink coverage. Add more ink for a deeper color.
  9. Take a soft cloth or a paper towel and buff the ink from the top of your embossed images. You can slightly dampen your towel with a little water to help remove the ink.
  10. Set aside your backgrounds to allow the Night of Navy ink to dry.
  11. Cut your cardstock to the appropriate size and apply to your project.


  • Your fingers will get inky. Make sure you wash your hands before moving on to another part of your project.
  • Don’t skimp on heat tool or embossing powder quality. You want a heat tool that gets very hot. You cannot use a hair dryer because it doesn’t get hot enough to melt the powder. You want an embossing powder that melts quickly and smoothly, leaving behind a nice, shiny finish. Both the Stampin’ Up! heat tool tool and embossing powders will give you a good result.
  • Make sure your ink pads are juicy. You need a well-inked Versamark pad to get good stamped images. The embossing powder sticks better if your Versamark pad isn’t dry. You will use a lot of Night of Navy ink for this project, especially if you make more than one. Reink your pads as needed during the project.
  • You can vary the amount of ink you add to get a streaky or mottled look.
  • Cut pieces of cardstock slightly bigger than you want to use in your final project, if possible. For a 5 1/4″ x 4″ layer, I start with a piece of Whisper White cardstock that is 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″. I can then trim it to size after I have completed the emboss resist technique. The edges of the cardstock can sometimes have fingerprints or other imperfections that don’t look so good. This leaves some room for them to be trimmed off.
  • Warm up your heat tool before you start to melt the embossing powder. This will help melt the powder more efficiently without warping the cardstock as much.
  • The heat tool can blow loose embossing powder all over the place, so make sure to replace any loose powder into your container and close the lid. Otherwise, you might have a big powdery mess to clean up.
  • I like to use the sponge dauber to apply ink. I apply about 3 or 4 layers of ink to get the depth of color I like. The fastest way to apply ink is using the Direct to Paper Method. Direct to Paper also uses the most ink so you definitely will need to reink your Night of Navy ink pad.
  • I like to place a piercing mat under my cardstock when I stamp with photopolymer stamps or large background stamps. This helps get a crisp, complete image when stamping.
  • I was looking at my finished pieces laying in a pile and thought it would be great to make a navy and white themed photo album. Hmmm, there’s a thought for a future project….

Supplies Needed:


Inky fingers are happy fingers! Did you know that the Stampin’ Scrub can remove ink from your fingers, too? Run water over the insides just like when you are cleaning ink from it and rub your fingers on the pads.

Stamped images © 1990-2018 Stampin’ Up!® Photograph images ©2018 Sara Eby

Introducing the Beautiful Backgrounds Series

This series will showcase basic or simple techniques that you can use to make a background mat for the front of your cards, a scrapbook page or a book cover, among other things. The techniques cover a large area of paper, making them perfect for a *WOW* look behind a focal image such as a sentiment on a card or a photo on your scrapbook page. Just choose a size that will fit your specific project.

Some of the projects will help you use your scraps. Other techniques will use items that you probably already have in your craft stash. You might need to purchase a few items for a couple of the backgrounds, but these supplies will make good additions to your crafting tools. Some of the things you might need to purchase are a brayer or a glittery ink or pen like Wink of Stella. I will list all of the materials needed for the technique in each blog post.

These techniques are easy to do once you know how to do them and will add a nice *POP* to your cards and other paper projects.  I have about 26 different background styles to share with you. I hope you enjoy this series and try the techniques for yourself. Let me know how it goes! I love hearing from you so leave a comment.

PLEASE NOTE: These techniques are ideas that are passed around the crafting community. I do not know who originally created these techniques. Most of the ideas have been around since before YouTube, Pinterest and blogs. I will try to mention the person who taught me the techniques if I can remember a specific person who introduced them to me.

I do not own these techniques. Feel free to use them at home for yourself, in classes or for items you sell. You may not copy my photos, images or blog posts for use on your own blog or business page or website. However, feel free to post a link to my posts or pin pictures to Pinterest, share on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. You may use any PDF printouts in classes or for your own use as long as you leave my copyright and contact information on the printout.