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Wed 11

Die Cutting with Napkins Video by Dave Brethauer

Hello and welcome!

Like everyone, I am always trying to think of new and different ways to stretch my supplies and I want to share with you a technique that is inexpensive and easy, and it is something that you will have so much fun doing!

Check out the video for how to cut paper napkins with your dies so that they are still sturdy enough to craft with. I did a little experimenting before I recorded the video to see what works!

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

What you will notice with this technique is the terrific texture that appears when you color the die cuts with watercolor! The die cuts puff up and wrinkle a little bit when you add liquid to them, changing the smooth die cut surface into a slightly puckered shape. The color spreads quickly - sort of a faux watercolor technique - and because of the layers of napkin, the color is rich and deep when the paint soaks in. I accented the watercolors with a gentle coating of metallic watercolor to give them a little sparkle. For the projects in the video, I used some Gansai Tambi Watercolors and Starry Color paints - but try this with any regular and metallic watercolor!

You can experiment with how many layers of paper napkin you use, colored napkins,  - or maybe try tissue paper! The possibilities are endless!

Glad Tidings Berries Card

94306 Silverdale Branch

CL5245 Tidings Wreath Clear stamp set

Nap (1 of 16)Napkin2--3

I really like how the texture catches the light and shadows!

Nap (8 of 8)

Thankful Corner Branch Card

94301 Harvest Branch Corner Frame 

CL5243 Grateful Autumn Clear Stamp set


Once the piece is dry, it may not be completely flat - this is OK! It will add a cultural feel to your project.

Nap (14 of 16)Nap (14 of 16)

Night Before Christmas Card

94290 Corner Holly Swirl

CL5234 Typewriter Holiday Elements clear stamp set


Dies that have cut lines really show off this technique - the napkins retain those deep cuts and puff up around them.

Nap (7 of 8)

Nap (8 of 8)

Frosty Pine Card

94283 Pine Needle Oval Frame

CL5244 Holiday Greenery clear stamp set

Distress Oxide Peacock Feathers, Faded Jeans and Walnut Stain for the background

Nap (4 of 16)

Nap (1 of 16)

Here you can see how much the pine needle die cut is thicker and more raised than the background inlay.


Holiday Poinsettias

2229 Delicate Poinsettia

2235 Winter Berries

CL5246 Merry and Bright Mistletoe clear stamp set



Nap (14 of 16)

This technique really shines with leaf and floral shapes - the texture looks like real poinsettias!
Nap (14 of 16)

Autumn Leaves

2248 Autumn Leaf Set

30117 Wrapped Stitch Frames

CL5243 Grateful Autumn clear stamp set

Napkin--8Nap (3 of 8)Nap (4 of 16)

The crinkled look on leaf shapes makes them look real!


This is such a neat technique with a lovely effect, thanks for sharing your experimentation.

wow - what a fun technique with gorgeous results - off to my craft room to have a go!!

WOW! These are awesome Dave! I love it!

spectacular! i was always taught to unlayer the napkin first and only use the top layer. i really like the depth and dimension you achieved using multiple layers. thank you

Beautiful designs Dave! I'm supposed to be working on another project right now - but this is 1000x better!

I love this technique, thanks for sharing : )

Cool technique. Beautiful samples.

Wow! Really simple and so effective way to add textures and dimensions to the diecut!! Thanks for sharing!! Amazing cards!

Fabulous. Love the holly corner with the text background. So cool. Hugz

This is awesome! Thank you for sharing!

These are gorgeous. Went out and bought all the napkins in the whole store! LOL Thanks Dave for sharing this fun technique!

Thank you for sharing! Cool technique!

This is so cool! I especially like how the poinsettia came out. Thanks for the how to.


What a wonderful idea! Something new I need to try. Good to hear your voice, Dave.

Absolutely gorgeous! I need to try this!

Genius! This is a must do for me. Thank you for sharing a wonderful technique.

You are a genius! Beautiful.

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