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Monday 7 September 2009


A very popular technique in cardmaking is 3d decoupage. It is available widely as pre printed sheets and you will often see step by step ones where they contain the whole image and various pieces of the design such as this sheet (Transport decoupage by La Pashe) below.
This makes starting 3d extremely easy!

If you have dexterity problems there are now even "pop out" sheets available so no cutting involved making it a popular technique for many cardmakers newer and more experienced.

Many newer cardmakers start with 3d decoupage sheets and may move onto stamping. That doesn't mean you can't use them anymore, there are some beautiful designs available that unless you're an expert at colouring you can't replicate so intermix them with your stamping, make custom backgrounds to go with them or mix and match them with other techniques. Its also quite theraputic to sit down and cut out your designs ready for use on a rainy day!

So how do you make them 3d?

It tends to be a personal choice, most people use either silicone glue or 3d foam pads which are small squares that come in varying thickness (usually 1-2mm) There are clear foam pads now available but I haven't seen them yet!
TIP! For smaller areas you can cut the foam pads to size!

You build up your designs in layers as the decoupage sheet pic shows above and simply add your silicone or foam pads to the back and layer them on top of each other. Most designs are between 2 and 5 layers. If they have a greater number of layers I tend to use a lower thickness in foam pads (1mm) otherwise they do get very bulky! For 2 or 3 layer designs I use 2mm.

Here's an example of a 3d decoupage design on a freebie sky background I printed out.

This shows the layers between the design using foam pads which aren't visible when viewed on the front.

3d is not limited to pre printed sheets either. Many stampers use it in their work to add that extra dimension. The difference is that YOU need to decide which bits are 3d! Many crafters struggle with this but its soooo easy! Look in front of you now. You'll probably see the keyboard with the monitor further away. Imagine taking a snapshot so you would have the base layer as the monitor and add to your design with the keyboard being the top layer as its nearest to you, look at the image and decide which parts are nearest to you and start with the ones furthest away, see Simples!

For stampers most usually colour and cut out a whole image and mount it onto a panel using 3d pads such as the GDT from challenge 2 example from Lilian Tan

Others make areas of the design 3d just to give some depth like this below (Image is by Victoria Case Art Designs) The image is a digital stamp and I have copied the flowers and printed a sheet of them out (so I can use the flowers elsewhere too!) This adds some depth as the fairy is clearly sitting behind the leaves at the front.

Below is another example of stamping 3d. Firstly I stamped the floral design and coloured in then stamped again and cut out parts of the image and mounted these with foam pads so some flowers and leaves are further back and some are nearer the front giving the image some depth.

If you've never tried 3d before either as printed sheets or used with stamping have a go! It brings a whole new look to your work!


  1. Really great tutorial. I've had the same problem with foam pads and lots of layers. Irecently did a decoupage and just used a set of pads I'd gotten free with a magazine. My finished image is about 3-4cm thick! Learnt that lesson now though. I might try glue next.



  2. Those clear foam tabs are on Amazon. Look for "KoolTak" clear foam pads...they're pricy tho. I'm also going to try clear dimentional silicone from Hobby Lobby. Thought I'd let you know.


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