Caught in Crystal is a favourite technique of mine because the end results are so vibrant and the effect is so very easy to create.

You can find many variations and adaptions of this technique all over the internet, see the links section below for galleries and links.

Below you can read my own instructions for this technique

Caught In Crystal Project

What You Will Need

  • Stazon Inkpad
  • Or any inkpad which is suitable for stamping on acetate. For example: memories, ancient page, crafters ink or brilliance. *All Inks must be heat set first to make permanent.

    • Rubber Stamps of your choice
    • Heat Proof Acetate
    • Acetate for laser printers/photocopiers are suitable
    • Johnson’s Klear Floor Wax: Available from all supermarkets for approx. £3 International Brand is known as ‘Future Floor Wax’
    • Paint Brush
    • Fine Glitter
    • Tissue Paper
    • Re-inkers, Posh Impressions Rainbow Inks, Artists Inks or Metallic Acrylic
    • Paints
    • Baby Wipes for cleaning stamps and paint brush
    • Kitchen Toweling for Blotting
    • Heat Tool
    • Double Sided Tape
    • Card and Papers for layering your artwork

    How To Create

    1. Using a rubber stamp of your choice, stamp onto acetate with a black stazon inkpad. Taking care not to wobble or move your stamp. Heat the image with the heat gun to dry.

    NOTE: Although the acetate is embossable and heat proof, you must still take care when applying heat. If you hold your heat gun too close or for too long onto the acetate you will cause it to warp and wrinkle.

    2. When the ink is dry, turn the acetate over and place it onto your work surface. You are now going to work on the BACK of your stamped image.

    3. Dip a paint brush into the floor wax, and paint a layer of wax over the top of your stamped image. Do not paint too close to the edges of the acetate as wax may seep under the acetate and spoil your image.

    4. Sprinkle a small amount of fine glitter into the floor wax on the acetate, you do not need a lot. If you add too much glitter the tissue paper will not stick to the acetate properly.

    5. Crinkle a sheet of tissue paper up into a tight ball, then open it up and place on top of the glittered floor wax acetate and pat it down.

    6. Dip your brush into floor wax and gently ‘stipple’ the surface to help the tissue paper stick down. If at any point you tear the tissue paper, don’t panic, as you can ‘patch’ it up using scrap pieces of tissue to mend it.

    Don’t forget to clean your brush using a baby wipe in-between colour changes etc.

    7. While the floor wax on the back of the tissue paper is still wet, you want to add some colour.

    In the traditional version of this technique you use dye reinkers. If you do not have many reinkers you can use artists inks or inkabilities posh impressions inks. You can also use metallic paints to get a different effect too.

    Take 3 different ink colours which compliment one another. For example: blue, red and purple work well together, as do greens, orange and yellow.

    8. Dip your brush into one of the ink colours, and drip ink from the brush randomly over the tissue paper.

    9. Clean brush, then repeat above step using another ink colour, then finally add your 3rd ink colour.

    10 . Clean your brush, and dip into floor wax, use the floor wax to coat the back of the inks you have just applied to allow colours to blend together freely.

    11. Next place a spare piece of tissue paper over the inked surface, and also place a folded sheet of kitchen toweling. Pat the towel to blot and absorb any excess ink.

    12. Pull off the kitchen toweling and the spare sheet of tissue paper. (do not pull off the first layer)

    Set the spare sheet of tissue paper aside to dry. You can use this for another project later on.

    13. Use heat tool to dry the inked tissue paper on the back of the acetate, taking care not to overheat.

    14. When dry, apply one final layer of floor wax to the tissue paper to seal. Apply heat to dry once more.

    15. Crop around your ‘Caught In Crystal’ acetate art, and layer it onto complimentary papers and cards using double sided tape. Your card is complete.

    Caught In Crystal Cards

    Using Artists Inks:

    Using Metallic Acrylic Paints

    Rainbow Tissue Paper Cards

    This card idea came about when I was playing with the Caught in Crystal Technique.

    As I was blotting off the excess ink I couldn’t help but notice how much ink you took off and it seemed such a waste.

    I decided to ‘mop’ up the ink with a spare piece of tissue paper and recycle the ink to use for another card project.

    If you followed the caught in crystal instructions, you will already have set aside a sheet of rainbow coloured tissue paper, this is what you need for this project, use a heat gun on if it hasn’t dried.

    What You Will Need

    Rainbow Tissue Paper
    Rubber Stamps
    Ink Pad
    White PVA Glue
    White Card
    Layering Papers and Card Blanks

    How To Create

    1. Lay your rainbow tissue paper onto your work surface and stamp directly onto it using inkpads and rubber stamps of your choice. Allow ink to dry. Use heat gun to speed drying time if you wish.

    2. Crumple tissue paper into a tight ball, and open it up again.

    3. Take a sheet of white card, and paint a thin layer of white pva glue over the entire surface of the card.

    4. Pat the tissue paper onto the glue, use the paint brush to stipple the paper onto the glue to make sure it sticks down properly.

    You want to allow some wrinkles to remain as this gives your card its ‘rustic’ flavour. Don’t forget to clean paint brush with baby wipe before the glue dries.

    5. Allow glue to dry, you can speed drying time up by heating with a heat gun if you wish.

    6. Crop or tear round your stamped tissue paper and layer onto card with double sided tape to finish.

    More Tissue Paper Cards

    Another way of adding colour to tissue paper is to direct to paper; sponge or stipple inks direct from your inkpads to the tissue paper itself to create a rainbow background.

    You can stamp onto card stock, then glue plain white tissue paper over the top of your artwork to give it a rustic effect.

    Why not try hilighting the wrinkles in the tissue paper by sponging over them with darker inks, or with golds or silvers to add a ‘crackle’ effect.

    Why not try using different colours of tissue paper and stamping on that? For example use metallic inks on black tissue paper?