Numbered Balloons Watercolour Background by Natalie

posted in: Blog, Natalie 1

Hello! And welcome to another card-making tutorial from me, Natalie. I thoroughly enjoyed making these birthday cards because I got to play with my two favourite mediums: watercolour and embossing powders. I really like this stamp set from Avery Elle too; it’s so versatile – you can create fun birthday cards for both the young and the young-at-heart!


Using Watercolour

A lot of people seem to be intimidated by watercolour as it has a reputation for being hard to master, but it’s not at all. It can definitely be unpredictable, but once you accept that, you can have a lot of fun just letting it do its thing. That’s how I made the backgrounds for these cards. If you’d like to try recreating them, you’ll find all the supplies linked below.



First, I cut two pieces of watercolour card to size: 4” x 4”. I then taped them to a clipboard using masking tape – I taped around all four edges of each piece of paper to keep them flat and to create a white border. Next, I used my water spray to give each piece a good spritz, and then, using a brush, I made sure that no area was left un-wet. Now for the fun part …


Choosing Colours

The trick to creating this look, is to do it in layers and to choose only three colours per card, making sure they are near to each other on the colour wheel so they blend nicely. Arm yourself with a brush, paper towel and a hairdryer or heat tool, and then use your brush to add small amounts of your watercolours all over the wet papers. Just touch the brush to the water and let the colours move and mix of their own accord.

If you like, you can use your paper towel to soak up any big puddles as these will take a long time to dry even when heated. Finally, give the papers a good blast with your hairdryer, and, once it is all dry, repeat the process again and again until you’re happy with the pattern: spray with water, drop in colour, soak up big puddles, blast with hairdryer.



Once my backgrounds were completely dry, I carefully peeled off the masking tape and removed the papers from the clipboard. I then placed them, one at a time, in my WRMK Precision Press Stamping Tool and stamped on the ‘HAPPY Birthday to YOU’ stamps in permanent black ink.


Heat Embossing

Next, using an acrylic block and embossing ink, I stamped the number 2 and number 8 onto black card and embossed the images using silver for the number 2 and gold for the number 8. I then cut them out with scissors, leaving a small black border around each – this really made the numbers pop – and finally stuck them to the backgrounds with my tape runner. There is a die set to go with these stamps, so you could use that to cut out the number and draw a black line around it once it is stuck down on the background.


Adding Stamps to Dies

Once I had the number balloons where I wanted them I added the ‘nd’ and ‘th’ stamps next to them and added the balloon strings. I also use the little bubble stamp a few times on each background. On the ‘8’ card, I embossed the little bubbles in gold, and on the ‘2’ card, I embossed them in Shimmering Pearl. Also, to add a bit more interest to the cards I drew squiggly lines around the backgrounds with a black pen.



Finishing The Card

Finally, I assembled the cards. For the ‘2’ card, I mounted the background onto a piece of purple scrapbook paper and then mounted that onto a 5” x 5” cream card blank. For the ‘8’ card, I ran a strip of washi tape across a 5” x 5” kraft card blank and then mounted the background straight on top. I used my tape runner to stick everything together.


For finishing touches, I used Nuvo Drops to add a little extra shine, sparkle and dimension.


And there you have it! Can you think of anyone who’d like their age in balloons on their next birthday card? Or maybe you know someone with a significant anniversary coming up? Thanks for stopping by. See you next time.


Find the card and ink supplies here and the basic craft supplies here


  1. Jeni
    | Reply

    Beautiful cards Natalie.

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