Techniques by Freyja - based on a Class given at Blade Rubber

This technique for making cards is easy, fascinating and a great stress reliever. The results are truly stunning and each one a surprise!
Use any colour card stock, stamping ink and embossing powders. A5 is a good size to start with and will make two cards. First choose papers and bits and pieces to collage onto your black background. These can be metallic, plain or printed papers, left over scraps with nice textures, whatever you like and DON'T worry about the look of your collaged sheet as the overall design won't matter one bit because you're going to cut it up into tiles and each little piece becomes its own little piece of art. Don't cover the whole sheet, leave some of your background sheet showing. Use whatever you want. Tear, cut some with fancy scissors or straight to vary how they look when glued down. If you like, add a few little dabs/strokes of a metallic paint, some PearlEx or some interference acrylic here and there.

Now, pick some stamps to use on your paper. Work to a theme or just randomly until you're satisfied with the balance. Don't overlap the stamps too much, as it makes the piece too busy. Vary the direction you stamp the stamps, and put some on diagonally. Use various colors of ink. Don't feel like you have to cover every bit of the paper with stamping, as open areas are nice too. You can add later, if a square needs a little something more. Apply some embossing powders here and there, especially to the areas where the ink has been applied to a glossy paper or a metallic piece, where the ink won't dry on its own. Melt the embossing powder thoroughly, or you might find later that you have areas that still have loose powder.

Make sure you're happy with the result, but don't fret too much as you're going to cut it up. It is important to get these cut accurately and squarely, so don't do this in poor light or when tired. Once you have all your squares cut mix them up and pick out to piece back together! Put to one side any piece that you don't like, but most of your squares will be wonderful! Once you have glued down the squares onto your chosen piece of paper/card trim around and layer onto another metallic, black or other colour/texture paper, or you can apply this directly to your card or project.

Alternative Serendipity Design Ideas:

  • Start with a base of various co-ordinating images stamped with dye inks, plain or rainbow onto a piece of cardstock. Stamp closely but not using too many colours, three or four are plenty. Stamp and emboss word or small stamps over with one or two metallic embossing powders. Cut and assemble and add a tag using one/two of the base stamps.
  • Just use embossed images for the base with a few bits of added paper here and there. Cut and assemble adding small punched motives or dusting over with PearlEx for colour interest. Experiment with various coloured base cards.
  • Find an attractive newspaper or magazine picture with interesting colours and mix with bits of toning Mulberry paper. Over stamp/emboss picking up the colours.
  • Re-stamp and emboss waste, damaged pieces of acetate. Paint the backs with two or three colours of nail varnish. These look wonderful and jewel like when cut and mounted.
  • Likewise above using any damaged or badly made backgrounds. These often make better Serendipity than perfect work. Just add a few pieces of paper and embossed images and let the background show through .

An A6 card you will take 3 x 3cm squares across and 4 down or 3 x 3.50cm squares.
Use a large square punches for 3.50 cm squares or a rectangular punch for quick and easy shapes..
For 3cm or other sizes use a rotary wheel cutter or craft knife with a cutting mat and ruled lines.
A sturdy personal trimmer/cutter is perfect for cutting any size or shape, even without a ruler if there are both vertical and horizontal rulers on the cutter table.

PVA glue is messy but efficient. Pritt Stick is fine and cleaner, you might have to restick a few pieces. Always glue on a wax paper sheet, non stick and easily wiped over/ replaced when dirty. It is a good idea to emboss your various chosen pieces before tearing and sticking to the base card to avoid glue problems. Some pieces will need re-sticking after heating.


  • Try using postage stamps, sweet wrappers, skeleton leaves, doilies – colour white ones with dye ink, wrapping paper.
  • On finished work: tiny peel off motifs or scrap pieces of peel–off. Punched motifs, extra stamping/embossing if needed.
  • Decorate with charms, threads, greetings or co-ordinating tags and tiny labels.
  • Use Marvey metallics to add colour and squiggles if needed.
  • Spare pieces can be punched or used with peel–off leaves etc. Cut around for distinctive embellishments for Serendipity or other cards.
  • When finished piece looks rather heavy or dense consider alternating the squares with plainer textured/stamped co-ordinating squares or include a stamped image among the squares. Some of the best results are done this way.
  • Choose a theme if you do not know where to start. Colour, animals, flowers, Asian, Egyptian, contemporary, classical, sparkling, pretty, Christmas, personal etc. You get the idea? A theme concentrates the mind!
  • Try different shapes, squares, diamonds, rectangles, strips etc. Even circles and hearts etc using giant punches can be incorporated as a part of a card.Tiny shapes look great if you have the patience to stick them down. Hearts arranged in a circle look very impressive. Keep odd pieces to add to other cards, boxes etc. great embellishments when needed.
  • Try mounting on various coloured layers for effect. The same tiles on different colour mounts and with different embellishments give totally different results, no need to be boring, be adventurous.

Have fun and make some fabulous cards

©Freyja Lee for Blade Rubber Stamps 2009
Freyja is a regular teacher of popular Classes at Blade Rubber