Fall Leaves Card with Spellbinders and Distress Oxides

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Every fall I think I need some small leaves dies to make a bunch of different styles of fall cards. Do I ever find one? No, but this month I had one sent to me as a part of my subscription with Spellbinders. So, this week I am creating an easy but fun fall card using the Spellbinders October 2020 Small Die of the Month Kit, the Falling Leaves Card Creator. These subscription die kits are a great value and if you don’t want to subscribe, you can almost always find the kits for a one-time purchase on the Spellbinders website after the month is over.

For this card project I use Distress Oxides to create a watercolor-y background from which I die cut all my individual leaves and add them on to what I am calling the “card frame” dies from the set. The result takes a bit of time but not too much work for what seems like a pretty amazing result (if I do say so myself).

Please check out the video tutorial below or scroll down for step-by-step instructions with photos:


Step One – Watercolor Panel for the Fall Leaves 

Step One - Watercolor Panel
My completed watercolor panel

On a piece of cold press watercolor paper, smudge various fall shades of Distress Oxide inks in random spots on to the paper, completely covering it. I used Life Changing Blender Brushes to smudge the colors on to the paper. Mist water droplets on to the paper with a spray bottle (I used a Distress Sprayer) until the colors begin to run and blend together. The goal is to create an organic-looking blend of colors into each other like those you see on fall leaves. Let dry. If any of the colors are too faded or have blended too much, add additional smudges of ink over the paper and spray lightly again to create spots. Blot with a paper towel to remove the wet spots, if desired. Once dry, use the small individual leaves dies in the October 2020 Small Die of the Month kit from Spellbinders to die cut out several sets of leaves from the watercolor paper. Also die cut a few sets of leaves from Gina K Designs Metallic Gold cardstock. For reference, I die cute 4 sets of each leaves die from the watercolor paper and 3 sets from the Metallic Gold and had many left over leaves when the card was complete.

Distress Oxide Colors I Used: Mustard Seed, Bundled Sage, Carved Pumpkin, Candied Apple, Aged Mahogany

Step Two – The Fall Leaves Card Elements

Step 2 - Card Elements
All the necessary elements for the card

Create an A2-sized card base by cutting a piece of Fun Stamper’s Journey Grape Fusion cardstock to 8.5″ x 5.5″ and fold in half at the 4.25″ mark along the 8.5″ sides. If Grape Fusion cardstock is unavailable, Gina K Designs Wild Lilac cardstock is a great alternative. Die cut the smallest oval from the Elizabeth Craft Designs Stitched Oval die set out of Gina K Designs Metallic Gold Cardstock. Using the Spellbinders October 2020 Small Die of the Month set, die cut four of the squarish card frame corner pieces and 2 of the card frame connector pieces from Gina K Designs Charcoal Brown cardstock. Die cut two of the “Grateful” word dies; one from Gina K Designs Sweet Corn (or Wild Dandelion) cardstock and one from Fun Stamper’s Journey Grape Fusion (or Gina K Wild Lilac) cardstock.

Step Three – Assemble the Fall Leaves Frame & Embellish

Step 3 - Frame Assembly
Partially assembled card frame

Each card frame connector piece and card frame corner piece has a circle on one side that is an outline and one on another side that is a solid. Using liquid glue, adhere the outline circle on one of the card frame connector die cuts on top of the solid circle on one of the card frame corner pieces. Then adhere the opposite configuration – outline circle from a second corner piece on top of the solid circle on the same connector die cut to create one side of the card frame. NOTE: Lining up the die cuts against a straight edge, like a ruler, as you adhere them together helps keep the edges of the corner pieces aligned in a straight line. Now adhere the third corner frame piece to one of the corner frame pieces on the side you just assembled by adhering the outline circle on one of the die cuts on top of the solid circle on the other die cut; this creates one short side of the frame. Repeat with the last corner piece connecting to the opposite corner piece on the long side. Use the straight edge along each short side as you adhere the corner pieces together to keep the sides straight and aligned. Finally, adhere the last connector piece to the two disconnected corner pieces to complete the frame. Turn the frame over and add dots of liquid glue all across the back of it. Then flip over and adhere the frame to the front of the purple card base. There will be a small purple border all the way around the frame when it is positioned correctly in center of the card front.

Step 3 - Frame Assembly
The card front with individual leaves on the frame

Using liquid glue,. adhere the individual leaves die cut from the watercolor paper and the gold cardstock on top of the frame matching up the leaf shapes in the frame with the individual die cut leaves. Spread the colors of the watercolor leaves and the gold leaves across the frame in a visually interesting pattern trying not to group leaves that are the same color too close to one another.

Step Four – Complete the Fall Leaves Card

Step 4 - Completed Card
The completed card with embellishments

Adhere the yellow “Grateful” die cut on top of the purple “Grateful” die cut offsetting it slightly to up and to the right so the purple looks like s shadow under the yellow word. Once dry, adhere the “Grateful” into the center of the gold oval die cut. Add foam squares to the back of the oval and adhere into the center of the card base. It will slightly overlap the edges of the leaf frame in the center.

For the finishing touch, add light green adhesive gems in a larger size to the brown circles on the connector pieces of the card frame. Add the same adhesive gems in smaller sizes around the “Grateful” sentiment on the oval. It is best to use an odd number around  the “Grateful” for a more visually pleasing result. I sued five adhesive gems on the oval. Your card is complete. Enjoy!

Fall Leaves Card - Detail

Fall Leaves Card - Detail

Fall Leaves Card


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