Get a 3D look by masking stamped images.

Stamped projects can easily be made to appear 3 dimensional through the use of a simple technique called masking.
To “mask” an image means to cover up a previously stamped image so that another may be stamped over it. When the cover is removed, the overstamped image appears to be behind the first image.  
It is important when beginning such a project to think it through.
What object is desired “in front”? That image should be stamped first.
Then each image in sequence as they proceed to the “back”. Follow these simple rules as many times as necessary to achieve the look you want.

  • Stamp the first image in place on your card panel.
  • Stamp the same image again on scratch paper or a repositionable “post-it” type note paper. 
    • Be sure to get some of the image on the sticky part of the note paper.
  • Cut out the mask very carefully with sharp scissors.
  • Cut OFF the outside line of the image.
    • This will prevent your image having a “ghost” of empty space around it.
  • We usually cut two or three at a time so we have extra “masks” for later.
  • Use a mask to cover your original image positioning it carefully inside the lines.
  • Stamp your second image over the top of the first image + mask.
    • Using a stamp positioning tool will help to get this image exactly where you want it.
  • Repeat this process, masking the second image, if more layers are desired.
  • Remove the masks to view the layered artwork.
  • At this point you can color your piece remembering that objects farther away will be darker and more shadowed than those close up.
  • A nice effect is to cut out portions of one image and layer them on top to create another layer of dimension.

Another fun masking technique is called “mortise masking”. In this technique you are stamping something through an opening or frame to make it appear as though it fills the frame.
  • Stamp your image on your card in the desired location
  • Stamp your image again on a repositionable post-it type note.
mortise masks stamped on post-it notes
  • Use a craft knife and cutting mat  to cut out the opening in the image. BE SURE to CUT OFF the entire line of the inner frame. This allows your inner image to come all the way up to the edges of the frame. The image on the left above is cut correctly.
  • Position your mask over your original image and stamp your inner image through the opening. Press Firmly
  • Notice how the inner design comes right up to the edge of the opening. If you don’t cut off the lines when you make your mask, you’ll end up with “ghosting”, like this:  (the image on the right has been masked correctly)

You can see how the image doesn’t fill in the corners or come all the way to the edge of the design.

If you want to stamp around the image after this, then make a new mask following the directions for regular masking and mask this image to stamp your background.