Distressed Leaf Notecard – Tutorial


I’m continuing on with “Leaf Week” in which I’m trying to use leaf images in ways other than fall themed.

Now this card is visually interesting, don’t you think?  Get a load of that shadow on the left and bottom side of the main image panel.  That panel is not raised, it is glued directly onto the panel under it, but putting in the shadow with markers really makes it look dimensional.  Follow along with todays tutorial to see just how to get that effect and maybe save some dough on postage by cutting down on card stock layers.  :)


Stamps:  Stampin’ Up With Gratitude, French Script, Stitched Exotics

Paper:  Stampin’ Up River Rock & Very Vanilla

Ink:  Stampin’ Up River Rock, Distress Ink Peeled Paint, Aged Mahogany & Black Soot, Palette Noir Black

Accessories:  Prismacolor Marker Chartreuse, Faber Castell Black Marker, Going Gray marker, Aqua Brush, Small post it note 


Masked the center of a 3.75″ x 3.75″piece of River Rock card stock with a small post it note.  You could cut a shape out of the sticky part of a large post it note to and use it if you don’t have small post it notes.  (Nope I don’t have stock in the Post it Note company.  I should since I use them almost every day, lol)


Now beware, Distress inks go on very dark and then dry much lighter.  You’ll see :)

Dragged the Peeled Paint Distress ink pad directly over the card stock and mask.  Dragging it from left to right and then top to bottom.


Stamped a large leaf twice on the card stock using Peeled Paint distress ink.


Stamped stitched designs with Aged Mahogany Distress ink.   This looks sooooo very dark now, but it will dry much lighter, trust me.


Removed post it note mask and stamped a smaller leaf in the center of the card stock with Palette Noir Black ink.  Note:  I used the Palette ink because I am going to color the leaf in with a Solvent based Prismacolor marker and the Palette ink won’t smear with them.


Colored the leaf in with a Chartreuse Prismacolor Marker.


I used a piece of coarse sand paper to distress the card stock edges and center a bit.  Sand paper is a great distressing tool and very economical too, as far as tools go.   Also, see how much lighter the ink is getting as it dries.


Stamped a small leaf image randomly on a 5 1/8″ x 5 1/8″ piece of Very Vanilla card stock with River Rock ink.


Dragged the River Rock ink pad directly across the card stock from left to right on the top of the card stock and then top to bottom on the right hand side of the card stock.


Used an Aqua Painter and River Rock ink and watercolored the small leafs loosely.


Glued the Main image panel to the center of the background panel.

I inked only part of the French Script back ground stamp before stamping it in two different directions using Black Soot Ink.

By inking only part of the background stamp it gives this worn away look.   Note:  Yep, I know I stamp it up side down.  :)


Dragged the Peeled Paint ink pad randomly over the edges of the background panel.


Dragged the Aged Mahogany ink pad randomly over the edge of the background panel.  The splashes of Red really add something.  :)


Now to create the shadow for the main image panel.   Using a SU Going Gray marker, made a thick line under the main image panel and to the left side of it.


Using a fine point black marker, drew a line right against the left and bottom sides of the main image panel.  Like magic, instant dimension.  :)

I also darkened the outside of the main image leaf with the black marker to make it pop a bit more.

Note:  I messed up and got black marker on the main image panel bottom left corner.  Solution, sanded it off with the sand paper.

Additional Note:  Faber Castell markers are wonderful!  They are Indian Ink markers and very dark.  You can get them at about any art supply store or online at DickBlick.com.


Here it is the finished card measuring 5.25″ x 5.25″.


Hope your day is spectacular in every way!

Until my next post. . . .. . . .


42 responses to “Distressed Leaf Notecard – Tutorial

  1. Beth Van Brunt

    another great tutorial. Thanks for explaining the shadow effect, (and how not to panic when you make a mistake) it’s great information to have to give a card that extra zip.

  2. Lisa Foster

    Spectacular effects! Thanks for the tutorial! I love how you have created such depth…and yes…very visually interesting…TFS! Have great day!

  3. thanks for showing us little things to do to make the card “pop” I just love your tutorials!!

  4. Karen from Ontario

    I just love all your work and you are so generous to share your tutorials with all of us!! You are amazing.

  5. Roxanne Stevens

    Love this one too! I’m going to try this this weekend also. Saturday is stamping day.

  6. love it wow
    Thanks for the great tip also.

    Have a super day

  7. Phyllis Gunn

    Yep, yet another brilliant creation! As stated before by others, this one is going to be attempted this weekend. Normally I don’t wait until Saturday to stamp but this week is busy. Thank you for your contributions, as usual, always appreciated.

  8. Great tutorial,

  9. This is beautiful Michelle. Very different from your other posts. I love this style too!

  10. Another fantastic looking card. Is there no end to your talents???

    Totally loving all the different leaf looks. I would love to see you perform some of your tricks with the SU Lovely as a Tree set (only so’s I could copy them lol!!)

    Thanks for sharing, again!!


  11. Amazing!!! Love all of the interest and dimension you have created! Love these colors and images too…okay love everything about it! TFS!!!!

  12. Gidget-Trish

    Great card. Love the shadow effect and being taught how to achieve the look. Thanks so much. You’re awesome! Have a wonderful day.

  13. wow. I am loving leaf week… I don’t want it to end. Also, thanks soooo much for giving each size of the paper you used. Oh so helpful.
    thanks a million…

  14. Very cool Michelle! I love how you created such dimension on this card. Another beauty!

  15. Bonjour Mme Zindorf!

    Depuis que j’ai decouvert votre site, ma maison a l’air d’une zone sinistree! Il va sans dire que je prefere vos idee au menage….

  16. Oh Michelle – brilliant!!!! I must go try the collage look. What an inspiration!

  17. Very clever on the 3D shadow! Lovely card, too!

  18. Hi Michelle, you did it again an amazing card. I can’t believe it, I’ve been looking for information and ideas on distressing for ages. So I now know what I’m doing at the weekend.

  19. Laurie Helgason

    The card looks like a piece of art that should be framed and hung on a wall.

  20. Michelle, beautiful card. One of my favorite styles of stamping is this kind of collage style effect and I’ve never mastered it. You are truly an artist! Thank you for taking the time to share each individual step.

  21. GASP! This is beautiful. Once again, thank you for your tutorial. I still say you make it look easier than it is. :)

  22. Fantastic card! You had me fooled with the shadow! I love all the distressing and inking.

  23. Sharon in NE

    Great trompe l’oeil!

  24. Sandy in AZ

    I LOVE it !!!!

  25. What a great tutorial!!! On my blog Ou can see, what I’ve done.

  26. Thank you for sharing your artistic talent with us. I have the French script backgrounder so now I can use it for this tutorial!

  27. Veee (vlstrs)

    I love all of the techniques that you teach. You break everything done into simplicity itself. That is genius!

  28. I have been LO-V-ING! Leaf week! Its so inspiring to see all the different cards that can be made with them (and not just more of the fall theme). Your technique for the layering is a great idea and the way you did it makes it so realistic. Love your cards and your blog!
    Best wishes,

  29. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  30. You are a genius! I have got to try this soon.

    Thank you!

  31. I love how you framed in the leaf!

  32. Sue (Snellybelle)


  33. I am ABSOLUELY IN AWE over all of your fabulous tutorials!!! I can’t get out of your Blog!!!! You are amazingly talented — course, I already KNEW that!!! You are doing a fabulous job here — totally fabulous!!!!

  34. Beautiful green leaf! I love this finished product. Gorgeous!

  35. Michelle – another Hit! I love working with leaves and you have taken leaves to a completely new dimension! Just got my friendship stamp set this afternoon and can’t wait to ink it and try your full moon technique! If I get it done and it’s presentable, I’ll send you a BLOG link.
    Keep inspiring me!

  36. Linda Marie

    Goodness Michele that looks like pattern paper! Thanks for sharing your God-given talent w/us!!

  37. Nicole Steele

    Oh my word, Michelle, this has to be one of my favorite cards ever, by anyone! I have the French Script background, Peeled Paint Distress Ink, and leaf stamps, too, so I could follow the tutorial! Fantastic card!

  38. I recently discovered your blog. Today I had to get out the toys and follow this amazing tutorial step by step. Then, once I got it down I made it a bit differently. I’ve posted my card on my blog if you’d like to take a peek. http://dappledesigns.blogspot.com/
    Thanks so much for sharing this.

  39. I really love this ! cant wait to try it .
    thanks so much for the inspiration.
    Im really loving your “theme of the week” ideas keep it up

  40. WOW – this is a great tutorial and I just love the colours! TFS!
    Helen, Cape Town

  41. Me again – I have had a bash at this one too Michelle – another brilliant tutorial. Thank you for encouraging me to get inky again :0)

    My attempt is here:-

  42. Michelle,

    This is sooooo beautiful! It’s breath taking! Oh, you’re so very talented. Thank you so much for sharing all your beautiful work of arts. When I ‘grow up’, I want to create like you! …in the meantime, I’m just going to visit your blog for your creations.