greeting cards

Butterfly trellis cards

A card with a pink butterfly on a vellum flower on a green background topped with a curvy trellis pattern.

It was time to make cards for my other half’s twin nieces again. Although they no longer live at home together, I carry on the tradition of making an almost matching pair of cards for them.

Almost three months into lockdown and I really wasn’t feeling like doing a lot of colouring and I was finding it hard to come up with a design. Then, somewhere in the many crafty blogs I skim, there was a card made with just dies and an ink-blended background, and that started me thinking.

I went through my stash of painted papers and found two similar watercolour panels and a couple of alcohol ink panels that looked like they would work nicely together.

A card with a pink butterfly on a vellum flower on a yellow background topped with a curvy trellis pattern.

The one thing I didn’t have was a large background die. Well, I have a couple, one for a 5″×7″ card and one that is US-sized (and most of my cards are A6). What I do have though, is a collection of patterns designed for use with electronic cutting machines — specifically the Scan N Cut but I believe they can be used or converted for use with other machines — created by the Gentleman Crafter. A bit of fiddling to get the machine set up right and I had two pretty panels.

Two very white panels. I grabbed my Delicata inks and dabbed colour over until I had a nice mottled, slightly shimmery effect, which looked much better on top of the watercolour papers. With those layered together and stuck to card bases, the backgrounds were complete.

The butterflies were simple, once I’d remembered that those dies cut much more cleanly using the precision base plate with the Big Shot, especially on the thicker glossy card that the alcohol ink panels were made of. They did need something to ground them on the background though. I cut flower shapes from pastel vellum, layered a couple together, and arranged them on the cards. A scattering of crystals finished them off.

A simple idea, but I think it worked quite nicely and it gave me the opportunity to use up a few of the many random panels I’ve created over the years.

Close-up of the pink butterfly.


  • painted papers:
    watercolour panels
    alcohol ink panels
  • dies:
    Clearly Besotted – butterfly duo
    Covermason – flower outlines
  • Scan n Cut:
    A6 card front design from Gentleman Crafter
  • inks:
    Delicata – golden glitz, celestial copper, dark brown shimmer
  • embellishments:
    green and orange crystals
  • paper and card:
    Papermill Direct super smooth 250gsm white
    Anita’s pastel vellum
  • tools:
    Brother Scan N Cut CM300
The yellow and green cards side by side.

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