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YOU’VE GOTTA TRY THIS! Using contact paper for watercolor masking – Make a Card Monday #285

Happy Monday all! Today I tried out a new way (to me at least) to use die cuts with watercoloring. I used contact paper! This is such a fun way to use dies! I’ve always wanted to use diecuts as masks while watercoloring, but haven’t found a way to do it that was convenient. Until now! I came across some watercolor artists using contact paper and I was intrigued.

(Wondering what I used in this video? Everything is linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post, or in the text below. Compensated affiliate links used when possible).

I wasn’t sure what type of contact paper to purchase. But then I saw instagrammer Sarah Style watercoloring over contact paper she’d cut with her Silhouette Cameo electronic die cutting machine. It looked to work really well for her so I thought I would test out the contact paper she recommended with traditional metal dies. And it works! The dies cut the contact paper beautifully!

The contact paper is almost perfect. I wish it was just a tiny bit more tacky (to help any areas where watercolor can seep underneath intricate areas), but that’s my only complaint.

YOU'VE GOTTA TRY THIS! Using contact paper for watercolor masking - Make a Card Monday #285

YOU'VE GOTTA TRY THIS! Using contact paper for watercolor masking - Make a Card Monday #285

I did one test run before I started filming and used an intricate greeting die. There was no seeping of watercolor under the contact paper mask. However, I was also using a different watercolor paper. So the type of watercolor paper might affect how well the mask sticks. I’ll need to experiment more, I think. For the pre-filming test, I used Canson Montval watercolor paper. For the cards today, I used Arches cold press watercolor paper.

I used Paper Fashion watercolors for the cards, and a bunch of dies. I used four different dies for the masks: Thank You Heart, Stacked Diamonds, and Outline Floral Frame from Simon, and the Flower Cover die from Pink & Main.

YOU'VE GOTTA TRY THIS! Using contact paper for watercolor masking - Make a Card Monday #285

YOU'VE GOTTA TRY THIS! Using contact paper for watercolor masking - Make a Card Monday #285

As for the greetings on the cards, I diecut each greeting four times and adhered the layers together to create dimensional die cuts. I used four dies from Simon: Thinking Of You, Oh Hello There, Small Hello, and Big Thanks.

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you try out masking with contact paper! :)


Compensated affiliate links used when possible. Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer. All other items were personally purchased. Items below are shown in the order they appear in the video.

Contact Paper
*Simon Says Stamp Thank You Heart dies
[ SSS ]
*Simon Says Stamp Stacked Diamonds die
[ SSS ]
*Simon Says Stamp Outline Floral…
[ SSS ]
Pink & Main Flower Cover dies
[ SSS ]
*Simon Says Stamp Thinking of You die
[ SSS ]
*Simon Says Stamp Oh Hello There die
[ SSS ]
*Simon Says Stamp Small Hello die
[ SSS ]
*Simon Says Stamp Big Thanks dies
[ SSS ]
*Waffle Flower A2 Layers dies
[ SSS | WFF ]
Waffle Flower A7 Layers dies
[ SSS | WFF ]
Arches Cold Press Watercolor Pad 9×12…
Gemini Junior Die Cutting Machine
[ SSS ]
Martha Stewart Craft Knife
[ SSS ]
Therm O Web Purple Tape
[ SSS ]
Tim Holtz Craft Pick
American Crafts Paper Fashion Basics…
Hardboard, 9×12
[ SSS ]
3M Scotch Blue Masking Tape
*Royal & Langnickel Zen Watercolor…
[ SSS ]
Precision Heat Embossing Gun
[ SSS ]
Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, 110…
[ SSS ]
Scor-Pal Scor-Buddy scoring board
[ SSS ]
Simon Says Stamp Teflon Bone Folder
[ SSS ]
3M Scotch Foam Tape
EK Success Tweezers
[ SSS ]
*Gina K Designs Connect Glue
[ SSS | GNK ]
Dahle Self-Healing Cutting 18×12 Mat
[ SSS ]

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  • Reply Kristie Maynard August 12, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    What a fabulous idea. I would have never thought of it. I would think that it would stick to much to the paper to peel off easily, but obviously not. I have some contact paper, but it seems really, really high tack, but I’ll try it and see what happens. I will try it on some scrap paper first and see how it sticks. These cards are beautiful! Thanks so much for showing this to us!

    • Reply Kristie Maynard August 12, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      Ahhhhh, now that I see it on Amazon, I see that it is repositionable. DUH!!!

  • Reply Patt H. August 12, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing this awesome trick. Love all these examples!

  • Reply Debbie P August 12, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    WOW! Beautiful cards.Love the idea. I will have to try this.

  • Reply Teresa Doyle August 13, 2019 at 3:50 am

    I love this technique and totally plan to try it. All of your cards are fantastic.

  • Reply Charlotte Cosci August 13, 2019 at 4:49 am

    Very interesting technique. You actually created a self-adhesive stencil from a die cut. What a great idea. I’m not much into watercoloring; perhaps this will change my mind. Thanks, Kristina.

  • Reply Birgit Norton August 13, 2019 at 5:00 am

    These are all beautiful! I love this idea and hope to try it soon.

  • Reply Geneviève August 13, 2019 at 5:01 am

    That is so nice I am just sad I threw mine away a few month ago not knowing what to do with it

    I thing i will try it with layered dies
    Thank you for the great tutorial

  • Reply Jeanne Paglio August 13, 2019 at 5:19 am

    Wonderful results! I have been tempted to try this, but was worried the contact paper would be too sticky for the w/c paper and ruin it. This video has inspired me to take a chance. Thanks so much!!

  • Reply Lori Prince August 13, 2019 at 5:21 am

    These are lovely!!! I love that some of the paint seeped under the mask. I will be trying this!

  • Reply ROSALIE JOHNSON August 13, 2019 at 5:40 am

    How is this different from masking paper?

    • Reply Kristina Werner August 17, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      Traditional masking paper breaks down when water is added on top. It’s similar to placing a regular piece of computer printer paper on top of your watercolor and painting over the top. The paint will seep through to the paper underneath. Contact paper is plastic and protects the watercolor paper.

  • Reply Kathie Kinnaman August 13, 2019 at 7:36 am

    So you use the contact paper as a mask and then you just throw it away? That seems cost inefficient.

  • Reply Barbara Smith August 13, 2019 at 8:55 am

    WOW! I can’t wait to try that technique!

  • Reply Becky Green August 13, 2019 at 9:06 am

    This technique is actually on my to do list, Kristina! SO GLAD to see it worked so well for you! CAN’T WAIT to try this out! (My plans are actually to use it on something different from Water Color Paper…. ;) ) BEAUTIFUL WORK!!!!!!! ;)<3

  • Reply Andrea Hastilow August 13, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Fantastic idea, thank you for all the advice, especially the money saving bit, my bank manager will love. Such pretty results, I want to try now x
    Just used your link for this & another of your link for a block of the extra white cold press you also use sometimes, ssshhh don’t tell the other half hehe x

  • Reply Jan Castle August 13, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Really like your cards and the technique!!!!

  • Reply Cindy C. August 13, 2019 at 11:24 am

    All so beautiful!!

  • Reply Maureen Reiss August 13, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    These are Beautiful!!! What a great idea TFS!!!

  • Reply Sue D August 13, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Very pretty and great technique. I may give this a try with the contact paper I already have.

  • Reply carmen smith August 14, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    I love this look. I don’t have any background dies. I was thinking I would cut some background designs on my Silhouette out of stencil material, then adhere it to the watercolor paper with Pixie Spray for a similar effect.

  • Reply Henriëtte August 14, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    A great idea Kristina! I love the gorgeous cards you made with the masks using the contact paper.
    Thank you so much for showing.

  • Reply Denise Raley August 15, 2019 at 10:24 am

    COOL COOL JUST GREAT.!!!! Anybody would love to get this card. I’m so ready to try this!!!

  • Reply Kelly August 15, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Fantastic video! You have inspired me to get out the watercolours!!

  • Reply Darnell Jean Knauss August 15, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    I’m with you, how have we missed this? Thank you for doing this video, Kristina! Your cards are gorgeous! My order from Amazon is on its way!! Hugs, Darnell

  • Reply Kenny Fry August 17, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Very, very, very cool, and the funky music was perfect…

  • Reply Sue C Speck August 17, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Was so hot to try this, so I raced to my local WalMart and got the only brand they had: Duck. Duck makes great products, but not for this technique. I tried it in three machines, with a metal plate, shims, and multiple passes – but that sucker just wouldn’t cut. This was my one and only failure with my Gemini Jr. Sob. Thank God you provided a link to the brand you used and thanks to Prime, I got my roll in two days. Cut like a dream and this technique will always be my go-to for stenciling with die cuts. And the Kittrich brand of shelf liner has a permanent home within grabbing reach of my craft table . . .

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