Stampin Up Swirly Frames: Adding Depth to Your Cards

You know those moments when you think you have a stroke of brilliance, but then realize it wasn't?  That's pretty much what happened with today's card.

But even though that light bulb moment dimmed, another light bulb fired up!  And that's one of many reasons we make cards, right?  Those flashes of creative genius keep us going and inspire us to try new things.

When I was placing my first order from the new annual Stampin' Up! catalog, I knew I had to have the Swirly Frames.  KNEW IT!



Depth and texture.

When you create and have depth and texture to your cards, you really see the wow factor.  Sometimes it is really there, and sometimes we want to create the illusions of depth and texture.  Today's card is going to focus on both actual and illusions of depth.


Illusions of Depth

This stamp set does it for us.  Let's take a look at it and then we will chat about it….


Stampin Up Swirly Frames | stamp set


See how you have more broad lines and more skinny ones?  As you look at it, which lines drop backwards visually, which come to the forefront of the image?  Instant depth, with just one stamp.

Another way to think of this is with two step stamping.  Where you might use two stamps to create one image, like a flower.  You use two stamps and two different shades of color to create depth within your flower image.

So by just stamping one image from the Swirly Frames stamp set, you automatically have created the illusion of depth on your cards.


Actual Depth

This is when you incorporate raised elements on your cards.  The easiest examples of this are adding Dimensionals to your cards.  Or a bow, a button, a sequin, etc.

With this, there are elements that are actually off the base of the card creating depth.


Creating Both

I was wanting to create a card that had both using the Swirly Frames stamp set.

Remember when this post first started where I said there was a first light bulb moment?  I thought FOR SURE that the Sliding Door Framelit that is the actual door would fit perfectly inside the Swirly Frame big rectangle.  Nope!  Well, it fits, but not to scale.



Stampin Up Swirly Frames | the issue


After reality really set in, I still wasn't ready to give up on the idea.  1/4″ was all that was missing.  There are so many ways to add that, right?

I considered adding a 1/4″ strip and wrapping ribbon around it to cover up the seam.  But that was a solution for one card, but what about when I wanted to do it again and again?


Let me let you in on a secret…

Well, it's kinda a secret.  I have shared this in Stamping Family over and over again, especially in our Behind the Scenes videos.  (Where they see me start with next to nothing and watch the entire creative process played out.  Everything to picking supplies, to removing supplies and the why's behind it all.)

When you are in a creative hot spot, go dig in your scrap bin.  Your scraps are these odd little shaped gems that can totally revive any stalled project!

And that's exactly where this fix came from – a patterned paper scrap.  It was only 1/2″ x 2-1/2″ wide.  Many might have thrown that away.  (For those of you that just gasped, I know, I can't believe it either!)

All that needed to be done was add it below my white card panel and trim off the excess.


Stampin Up Swirly Frames | the fix


By adding that patterned paper scrap, we even had more actual depth added to the card.

Just with these layers, the goal was accomplished, but it was no where near complete.


Making the Card

With this basic layout, there are so many things you can do with it, right?  Think of all the images you could use on this card.  Your sentiment could be on your raised panel, or not.

I opted to have my sentiment in a non-traditional place, and opted to add back in more texture with the same color, yet different style, of patterned paper.  And then I chose my graphics.

Luckily for me, they both came from the same stamp set, the new Stampin Up Varied Vases bundle.  Any bundle that has a punch is a usual automatic purchase for me.  I love die cutting, but LOVE punching!

Here is the Varied Bases Bundle:


Stampin Up Varied Vases | the stamp set


First I punched out my vases.  The patterned paper I chose is the newest In Color collection paper stack.  I chose to go with Lovely Lipstick.  The reverse side of it is the stripes I used to elongate my Whisper White panel we discussed earlier.

I used a post it note to cover the lower section of the Whisper White panel where I did not want my stems to be, as I didn't want to put my vases at the bottom of the Whisper White panel.  Then after I stamped the stems, I removed the post it note.

Then all I had to do was stamp my red flowers and my sentiment.


Stampin Up Swirly Frames | the stamping


The Finishing Touch

There was still something missing.  I wanted a little more pop of something.  If you know me at all, you know my first thought is to add a bow.  I used to hate tying bows and would always give them to Heidi to tie for me.  Then Heidi moved.  Far away.  I went years without bows on my cards.

Then I saw a video where they used a fork.  It was brilliant.  However, it had a lot of flaws.

I didn't want to have to buy an assortment of forks to have different sizes.  Also, I would never categorize myself as coordinated.  So holding the fork while tying the bow with only two hands… well, a lot of ribbon went in the trash and a lot of money went into the swear jar!

My hubby and I got to working on a solution that took the idea of the fork, and ran with it.  Then my club ladies wanted one.  Then my class ladies wanted one.  Then we started selling them, then we starting selling them online.

Almost every day we get an email on what the 10 Second Bow Maker has done for someone in their lives.  We truly believe that there are tens of thousands more bows on cards because of it.

Matt still makes these to help out stampers.  Every time he thinks we are going to wrap it up, we get another email, and off to Home Depot he goes 🙂

If you struggle at all with tying bows, click here to see the 10 Second Bow Maker in action.


Stampin Up Swirly Frames


Do you see all the areas where depth was created on this card?  From the stamp set, to the Dimensionals, to the bow at the end?  All adding up to a visually pleasing card layout.  And it all started with the Stampin Up Swirly Frames stamp set.


Stampin Up Swirly Frames | Creating Depth

The Supplies

Here is a list of the supplies you will need when you are ready to grab the stamp set that will instantly add depth to your card making.  Simply click on a picture below to order any of these items:

Thank you so much for joining me today for this project idea.  I so love creating both actual and illusions of depth on my card, and the Stampin Up Swirly Frames stamp set is such a great and easy way to do this!  In an upcoming post, we will do the same thing with texture, so keep checking back for that.


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