Sew Simple by Julie Lavalette

Hello, it's Julie Lavalette here again today. It was so lovely to read all your comments on my Keepsake Box last week. I appreciated each and every one of them, thank you for taking the time to leave them for me. Well I think Spring is finally starting to show itself here in Scotland at long last. We have had a couple of sunny days this week. The Daffodils are all in full bloom, Lambs are in the fields huddled next to their mums and to my delight we have a Blackbird starting to make a nest in the bushes of our garden.

I decided this week it would be nice to show you a technique on a card. I had been watching a demonstration on the TV and Sheena mentioned using a mix of water and glycerine for a faux leather technique, and talked about how it made the paper more pliable and didn’t cause the fibres to break down into the usual flimsy manner. Thinking cap on I thought I would use this spritz mix in another way with my die cuts.

First of all, using a spritz bottle, mix 6 parts water to 1 part Glycerine (available at chemist/drugstore) and give it a shake before placing spritz lid on, otherwise the glycerine can clog your spritz top. I die cut my Anastasia Border out with white cardstock and inked the edges with distress. My Sweet Williams strip I distressed edges on both sides and stamped an alphabet image with Archival ink. On the reverse side of both die cuts I started to spray some of the spritz mix to dampen the paper leaving it for about 20 seconds to seep through the fibres. I then resprayed a little more to the front and the back of the paper this time. I then started to fold and crush the paper into a tight ball. Next step carefully unravel and spritz a little bit more of the mix on and repeat this process crushing the paper and unraveling. I used my heat gun to dry the unraveled paper. You will notice it starts to shrink and curl a little more at this point, be careful not to burn your paper. Applying the heat makes it dry firmer but with the Glycerine being used the paper is not brittle. Just remember the secret is to not over-soak your paper. Build it up gradually, adding the mix until your paper is wet and pliable enough to crush. As you can see this now gives your die cuts a lovely shabby vintage feel. 

With the flowers I did the same, but folded and crushed the paper from the edges towards the centre as the paper is a little more fragile here. Just before the paper was dry I placed my embossing tool into the centre to curve the middle then carried on drying. I then built my flowers up and placed some little white washed snap on’s into the centres.

The reason I called my card Sew Simple ...... I took a pen and drew little lines on my paper to give a faux stitch effect.

Cheery Lynn Dies used 

I do hope you feel inspired to give this a go and there is still time to enter our Challenge this week – Anything Goes. 

Hope you all have a creative weekend and see you all next Saturday.

Julie x


  1. How lovely! I am excited to add this technique to. Y bag of tricks. Just need the glycerine, and I will be on my Merry way. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Your card is lovely. What a great way to create the distressed look. The die cuts really look like fabric. Very cool.


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