Adding shimmer to embossed backgrounds

Spectrum Noir Shimmer background tutorial 1

Create a shimmer background

This tutorial will focus on how to add shimmer to embossed backgrounds with Spectrum Noir AquaTint inks.

Gather your supplies

First, get all of the supplies you nee din one place, to make crafting easy!

You will need Gold or Silver AquaTint inks to recreate this project.

In addition to this you also need a piece of foam or a sponge of some kind. You also need an embossed piece of cardstock. If you would like to color your background like I did you can use any kind of dye inkpad with some ink blending foam.

Watch the video

Other ideas with AquaTint inks

The metallic AquaTints are favourites among the design team and many artisits & colorists. I personally use them to splatter over my cards for shimmery dots.

Spectrum Noir Shimmer background tutorial 2

I also use them to mix with different watercolour mediums to add shimmer and I sometimes like to add stripes or to dress up the edges of my cards.

Supplies: AquaTints: 70

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Tutorial credit: Maya Isakkson

Creating a Sunset with Spectrum Noir Markers


Creating a beautiful sunset background is quick and easy with Spectrum Noir markers! This tutorial will show you how to do just that, by hand. You can then use whatever stamps you’d like for creating a scene – no additional colorign needed! This technique is great for making quick scenes, multiple cards, or for highlighting a silhouette image.

The following colors are used in this example: GB5, TN5, OR2, TN3, OR1, CT4, CT2


Beginning with the CT4 marker draw the shape of a half sun.

Blend from CT4 at the outside edges to CT2 in the center.


Add CT2 to the outside edge of the sun then extend color out a little further with CT4.


Using GB5, fill in a rectangle shape surrounding the sun just up to the edge of the CT4.

This shape measures approximately 7″ x 3″. You can make yours any size that will suit your project.


Add TN5 over the top of the GB5 at the outer edge on three sides.


Add OR2 over the top of the same 3 sides extending the color past the TN5 as shown above.


Repeat the process using TN3 extending in past the OR2 a little bit.


Next color with OR1 over the whole background up to the point of the CT4 yellow.

Use the OR1 to blend the background colors together, keeping the stroke direction of the coloring horizontal.


Use the CT4 marker to blend the edge of the background into the CT4 around the edge of the sun.


Use GB5 to do a final blend of the background colors all the way up to the edge of the sun, again keeping the coloring strokes to a horizontal direction.


The final piece will look similar to this. Each one will be unique!


On a piece of acetate, stamp some scenery elements using Staz-On Jet Black ink. Use stamps that are reversible so that the stamped acetate can be turned upside down to have the ink on the underside. This will help prevent the stamped image from being scratched after assembling. Trim the acetate and the sunset background to the same size, attach the acetate (stamped side down) over the background using brads.

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Tutorial credit: Jodi Clark

Project Details:

Spectrum Noir markers: GB5, TN5, OR2, TN3, OR1, CT4, CT2
Spectrum Noir UltraSmooth Premium White Cardstock
Paper punch
Staz-On Jet Black
Stamps used: Stampscapes Lakeside Cabin and Stampscapes Pine Row

Christmas Ornament Using AquaTint Inks


The Christmas is almost upon us and there is nothing more special than receiving a present that shows attitude and personal touch.
That’s why I offer you to make a traditional Christmas tree ornament by using your Specrum Noir AquaTint Inks. The theme is snowy winter night because of how much I like the color combination blue, white and gold.
It takes less than half an hour and will be fun.


Here’s the list of what you’ll need to make you Christmas ornament:


Step 1
I decided to recreate a snowy Christmas night into my ornament and I have chosen dark blues Spectrum Noir AquaTints Inks and a stamp with trees used as a foreground on my winter sky.  You have to create the background with your Spectrum Noir AquaTints Inks – I  did choose wet on wet watercolor technique.


Step 2
After making the background you need to outline the template that was into the ball.  If there’s no template, outline the half of the ornament but in this case cut inside the shape to be sure the contour will fit into the plastic ornament.


Step 3
Once you outline the shape continue and stamp the background. Make some snowy winter sky and trees. I wanted my winter night to be more realistic, so I stuck the warm yellow cardstock on the back of the wooden house. This way it looks like there’s light through the windows.

Step 4: Decorate the second background with AquaTints Inks and stamp. Use it for the back side of your ornament because it has to be perfect on both sides. You can use some sentiment like me or even put a picture of your sweetheart or a baby etc.

7_sn Front side

8_snBack side

Step 5: In the end assemble the Christmas ornament. You could insert some artificial snow or ice.

Add some embellishments – for example I put paper poinsettia and a few tiny cones.

1_snSpectrum Noir AquaTints Inks list:
02,07, 08 – Landscape & Primary sets

I hope you enjoy this and give it a try !
Share a project you make using this tutorial with us on our Facebook page, tag us on Instagram (#spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua) or on Twitter (@SpectrumNoir)! We’re also on Pinterest so tag us there as well for a chance to get re-pinned to our Colorist Creations board!

Tutorial credit: Mila Popova

Watercolored Trees


Watercoloring is quick, easy, and on-trend this year! This tutorial will share how to watercolor some snowy trees with our Aqua markers.


First cut a piece of watercolor card to size.

Then scribble the Spectrum Noir Aqua markers onto a stamping mat or acrylic block. This card uses Moss and Navy.

Stamp the tree stamp in to the ink and on to the card.


Using a waterbrush, blend the color so that it is not quite as blotchy.


Add some shading around the trees using Slate.


Optional: go around the outline with a fineliner just to give it a bit more detail.


Cut the image down to size and layer it onto black card.


Layer the image onto the card and add a die cut sentiment. Finish it off by adding some snow and glitter.

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Tutorial credit: Fiona Robertson

How to match the wrapping paper with your card


In this tutorial I’ll show you a quick and easy way to make a beautiful gift set.

I love to match the wrapping with the card on which I write the birthday wishes on. That’s why I always keep a pack of simple kraft paper in my stash because it’s very easy to be modified.

One of the easiest ways to make it colorful is to take a stencil (or two) and to apply different patterns.


I usually go with some acrylic paints which I apply with a makeup sponge.


Then when I make the card I stick to the same color scheme (kraft and green) to color the central image.

Here I used my favorite Spectrum Noir markers to color the trousers in khaki with EB1, EB2, GB8, and GB11.

For the brown coat I used TN2, TN3, TN4, TN5 and EB3, EB7 and added the contrast blue-green vest (BT4, BT9; GT2, GT3) and scarf (BT2, BT4; GT1, GT2).

Then I stenciled the same patterns on the designer paper on the background and added some more hexagon shapes using Crafter’s Companion dies to unify the whole set.


Wrapping and tying with a simple brown string and it makes a stylish gift for one of the boys in your life, don’t you think?

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

Sparkling up Colorista Foil Pad


Here is a really quick and easy tutorial to show you an alternative way to color up your Colorista foiled coloring pads!


Remove the selected design from your pad and lay it flat onto a craft mat, completely saturate it in water.


Using some of your sparkle pens, add random droplets of color over the entire image, it will start to cauliflower out… we like that though, so don’t be worried!


Place some paper towels/kitchen paper under your design and tip it up so the color runs off onto the kitchen roll.


You can repeat the first few steps and then turn it sideways.


At this stage you can leave it to dry naturally, or pat dry with a piece of kitchen paper, then leave it to thoroughly dry out before adding to a project.


The effect of this looks really cool, and you do not need much to make it into a card, I matted it and stuck it to my card base and added a ribbon bow, really effective.

Tutorial credit: Jo McKelvey

Sparkle Pen & AquaBlend Pencil Techniques


Looking for new ways to use Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens and AquaBlend pencils? This tutorial that will do just that! Create a super sparkly Halloween Trick or Treat card while learning a couple different ways to use your coloring tools. Supplies are listed at the bottom of this post.


1. Die-cut card base from kraft cardstock. Use an anti-static pouch to treat the card front before stamping. This helps prevent stray embossing powder from sticking where you don’t want it.


2. Stamp the image(s) onto card front, using Versamark ink. Sprinkle with clear embossing powder. Tap off excess powder, and then heat set with heat embossing tool.


3. Gently squeeze a few drops of Onyx Black and Sterling Silver Sparkle pens on the pad of ink blending tool.


4. Swipe the ink blending tool across the card front several times until covered. If you run out of ink to finish swiping, squeeze a couple more drops of Sparkle pen inks on the ink blending tool.

TIP: It’s best to start off the edge of the paper, to avoid  a blob of ink color in one spot.


5. The embossed images resist the Sparkle pen ink, which creates an amazing shimmer background. Set aside to dry.


6. Treat a panel of kraft cardstock with anti-static pouch. Stamp image onto panel, using black VersaFine ink (or other black pigment ink that can be embossed). Sprinkle with clear embossing powder. Tap off excess powder, and then heat set with heat embossing tool. Color the image with Sunshine, Carrot and Parakeet AquaBlend pencils. Color spider eyes green, but leave the bodies uncolored.

TIP: You don’t need to fully color the pencil in each area of the image. What you are doing is laying down the color and then blending it out in the next step.


7.  Use Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens to wash over the colored areas over for an immediate blended “Sparkle” effect. (Moonlight pen over yellow areas, Pink Champagne pen over orange areas, Emerald Green over green areas.) By using a colored Sparkle pen to watercolor over the AquaBlend pigment on kraft card stock, the colors are more vibrant and full of sparkle.

TIP: Let each color dry before moving on to the next. This will prevent the colors from blending together. If you want to speed up the drying process, just heat for a quick second with the heat embossing gun after each color.


8. Color the spider bodies with Onyx Black Sparkle pen.


9. Treat a panel of Yellow Pearl Shimmering cardstock with anti-static pouch. Stamp sentiment, using black VersaFine ink (or other black pigment ink that can be embossed). Sprinkle with clear embossing powder. Tap off excess powder, and then heat set with heat embossing tool. Die-cut sentiment with circle die.


10. Assemble card as follows: Trim image panel as desired and adhere to orange cardstock panel. Attach to card front with dimensional foam tape. Attach sentiment with dimensional foam tape. Embellish with a few star sequins.

We hope you give these Sparkle pen and AquaBlend pencil techniques a try. Experiment with different color combinations and papers. Most of all, have fun creating!

Don’t forget to share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir tag) – we’d love to see your coloring projects!

Supplies used for this tutorial and card project:

  • Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen
  • Spectrum AquaBlend Pencils – Primaries Set and Florals Set
  • Crafter’s Companion Kraft Cardstock
  • Crafter’s Companion Shimmering Cardstock – Yellow Pearl
  • Crafter’s Companion Halloween Trick or Treating EZ Mount Rubber Stamp Set
  • Crafter’s Companion Die’sire Create-A-Card Die – Ruth Die Set
  • Crafter’s Companion Die’sire Essentials – Circles Die Set
  • Orange Cardstock
  • Ink Blending Tool & Foam
  • Die-cutting Machine
  • Heat Embossing Tool
  • Anti-Static Pouch
  • VersaMark Ink Pad
  • VersaFine Onyx Black Ink Pad
  • Clear Embossing Powder
  • Dimensional Foam Tape
  • Adhesive

Watercolored Background & Image


Everyone loves to create a quick and easy card. And the watercoloring trend is so fun and popular right now! I am sharing with you how I made this card with a watercolored wash background and some watercolored trees.. it’s on trend and quick to make, too! That’s a perfect combination!


First I colored a piece of watercolored card using Marine, Bud Green and Kingfisher Spectrum Noir Aqua Markers.


I laid background aside to let it dry and stamped and white embossed the trees.

Next I colored some sections of the trees randomly using Moss Green and Cobalt Spectrum Aqua Marker.  I then loaded my brush with water and brushed over each of images.


I gradually added more color until I got the required shade and so it would stand out against the background.


Next I cut out each of the images, being extra careful not to cut off any of the white embossing.


I laid the trees aside and moved back to the background, now that the background has dried I added some splashes of water, the water reactivates the color.


Next I added some splodges.


And then I thought the background would look extra cool with some additional splodges so I white embossed a few more splodges.

I then added sticky fixers and layered the trees onto the card, added some pearls, gems and sequins and of course the sentiment.

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Tutorial Credit: Fiona Robertson

Layered Backgrounds using Spectrum Aqua Markers


Spectrum Aqua markers are the perfect medium for creating stunning layered background papers for your papercrafting projects.


Begin by scribbling various colors of Spectrum Aqua markers on a large acrylic block.


Spritz water over the acrylic block. Take a piece of high gloss cardstock, lay shiny side down on top of the acrylic block, carefully lift paper, dragging slightly to pickup of some of the color across the page.

Lay paper flat, color side up, until dry.


There will still be color left on the block, and it will yield much prettier results than it looks like it would!

Spritz the block again, repeat the process with a new piece of high gloss cardstock, this time dragging a little bit more across the block to pick up more color.


You will probably be able to repeat the process one more time, achieving three different backgrounds ready for some stamping.

My first laydown of paper is on the left, the second one in the middle, and the last one on the right.

You will notice how they get progressively lighter, as there is less color left on the block each time.


Begin with the first colored background. This will be the most vibrant colored background.


Ink up a pattern stamp using Spectrum Aqua marker Crimson. Spritz water over the entire stamp, then stamp onto the background paper.


Choose a second pattern stamp (chose a floral stamp for this one) and stamp over background using Staz-On Jet Black ink.

Trim down, and this first background is finished and ready for a project.


Choose a background pattern stamp for the second background paper. I have chosen a script one that gives pretty full coverage across the paper. Color the stamp with Spectrum Aqua Sepia.


Stamp the pattern (script) stamp over the second background paper. Do not clean the stamp yet.

Next, a tree background stamp was stamped on top using Staz-On Jet Black ink. This second background paper is finished and ready for a project.


Before cleaning the pattern stamp (script) from the previous step, spritz the stamp with water and stamp over the third background paper.

Since this paper is already lighter in tone, the lighter coverage of remaining Spectrum Aqua Sepia on the pattern stamp pairs with it quite well.


Ink up a pattern stamp to top off this third background using Staz-On Jet Black ink. Here, I have inked up some areas darker than others to give a vintage effect.


Stamp over the third background paper, trim down, and this one is complete and ready for a project.


It is so quick and easy to create custom backgrounds using your Spectrum Aqua markers. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and would love for you to share with us your custom backgrounds you create using it!

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Project Details:

Spectrum Aqua markers: Navy, Bud Green, Gold, Crimson, Sepia
Spectrum Noir High Gloss cardstock
Crafter’s Companion UltraClear 5″x7″ Acrylic Block
Small water spritzer bottle
Staz-On Black ink
Stamps used:
Honeycomb and Script Bkgd stamps from Justrite Papercraft
Tree Branches and Vine with Flowers Bkgd stamps from Seaside Stampin’ Ink

Tutorial Credit: Jodi Clark

Watercolored Background


Quick & easy cards come in handy for so many occasions, and you can create ones that look like a lot of work went into them…. when really they didn’t! Spectrum Aqua markers help easily create a watercolored background. This tutorial will share with you how I made this clean and simple card.

You don’t have to be experienced and you don’t need to have a lot of pens to make an effective card!


First I cut a piece of watercolor card to size and brushed with water.

Next I scribbled the colors I wanted to use.


Then I loaded my brush with water and brushed over the ink to blend it out and into each other.


Dry off the card using a heat gun or you can leave it aside to dry.  

Then I stamped the image using black archival ink over the inked up card.


Cut the stamped image down to size.


Layer the image onto some colored cardstock, stamp some slodges and a sentiment and then adhere the image onto the card! Easy, right? Give it a try today!

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Tutorial credit: Fiona Robertson