Masking 101

Hello fellow stamp lovers!  Ally here! Today I’d like to teach you a few fun ways to MASK.

What’s masking you ask? Well in art, masking is using materials to protect areas from change.  In other words you cover one area to avoid changing it by applying something over top of it.

Today I’m going to show you some fun ways to mask and create some fun patterns.  Let’s begin…

I’ve had this idea floating (no pun intended… LOL!) around in my head for weeks.  I wanted to create a fun fishy shape and stamp all of his scaly details.  So I designed a cute little fishy image in my cutting machine design software and then cut it out in pieces; a fish body, 2 fins, a large eye ball and a tail piece.

Fish have scales… it’s the first thing you think of when you think of fish and I knew the Funky Circles stamp set was PERFECT for stamping scales so I grabbed that set and some bright orange ink to start.

In order to create that scaly look, I needed some simple masks.  So I stamped a few of the circles that I was going to use as scales onto the sticky part of a Post-It Note and cut them out.

Then I created another fast mask to cover the head of the fish so I didn’t ink it up.  I again, used a simple Post-It Note paper and cut a curve into into it to mimic the curve of the fish’s body.

Then I inked up my little circle stamp and began carefully stamping along the edge of the mask.  I wanted to ensure that the outer ring of the circles touched each other.

Then I took my mini circle masks and carefully placed them over top of my already stamped circles.  I took my inked up circle stamp again and carefully positioned them in between each pair of touching circles to create the scale detail.

I continued on until the end of my fishy was all scaly!   A super duper easy way to mask!


I also wanted another scalloped circle detail at the bottom of my focal panel on my card.  So I marked on my card front where the bottom edge of the panel was going to go using a light pencil line.  I then found the center of the focal panel and marked it on the line. I placed a Post-It Note at either end of the line to mark off the edge of the panel going up.

I then drew a light pencil line below that line to ensure I didn’t stamp any farther down on the card front.  Then stamped my first circle using the pencil marks as my guidelines.  Since the tops of the circles are hidden under the front panel I didn’t bother masking this part of the stamping off.

I continued my stamped circles all along the pencil line and down to the Post-It Note masks to create my scalloped border.

And once again… here’s my final card.


I also used the “ME” from the She Says – He Says stamp set, the Funky Alphabet for the word “bite”, the Funky Flowers set for his fin and tail details and the Backgrounds stamp set as a subtle back drop for my fish.

I took the same techniques again and applied it to another little fishy and came up with this card…

Got Worms?

I again used the Funky Circles to create his scale detail.

I then used the Funky Flowers set for his fin and tail detail and also the for swirly water details behind him.  The little tag is from the Road Trip set and the alphabets are from the Mini Alpha stamp set.

I hope that you too will pull out some masking supplies and create a fun and simple card the next time you’re stamping.   I hope that you’ve learned something new today and I hope you use this simple and easy masking technique soon!

Happy stamping!

About Allison


  1. cindy Groh says:

    Cool. I do love masking. I am actually presenting a tutorial on my blog today on it.

  2. jaine says:

    That’s brilliant Ally the fish is so cool and funky.

  3. marsha. says:

    Wow, these cards are so much fun!

  4. Maryfrances says:

    I LOVE the way you explained how to do the fish scales….so easy and I am so going to give this a try. Love how bright and cheery these cards are!

  5. Agata says:

    That’s a fantastic idea! I love that fish with its scaly details! Thanks for sharing!

  6. jill says:

    cuuuuuuuute!!!!! love these cards!!!! they have that certain “bite” of attitude that i love so much. awesome job, ally.

  7. Jolene says:

    LOVE these!!

  8. Amy Baldwin says:

    This card is beyond fabulous! All the details and techniques look amazing!

  9. rebecca keppel says:

    that fish just rocks and I love the sentiment in the first one lol :)

  10. Martine says:

    very cool!! LOVE those fishies! great cards!!

  11. Stephanie says:

    How fun. I love masking and adore your fishy cards.

  12. Cari Locken says:

    Wow!!! That’s awesome!!!

  13. Janet Zeppa says:

    Your fish just make me smile!!!

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