The long awaited sponging tutorial

At long last I have created a sponging tutorial.  The photos from the tutorial worked well and the colours are accurate.  Unfortunately I had trouble photographing the final product(above) and getting the colours right.  In reality they are a little more vibrant.  (Also I think the camera lense has smudges on it as my photos always end up with smudges at the top or right hand side)  I know I have taken forever to do this tutorial but in deciding what to do I realized that it would be best to start with the simpler version: a sponged card without embossing so this is it.  I may even get around to another tutorial which includes embossing, but I know you will only believe that when you see it!

First I positioned post-it notes to create the borders of my scene.

Next I cut a hilly edge on another post-it note and positioned that two thirds of the way down the white space.  When doing a snowy scene I often divide the scene to allow two thirds sky, one third snow, otherwise there is too much white space.

I punched a circle out of post-it with a circle punch and positioned it in the sky.  For sponging I use a quarter of a circle sponge.  I have some from Stampin’ Up and some Dollar Store; the SU ones are better.  I start sponging with the lightest colour first and it often takes quite a while to build up the colour.  Remember you can always add more colour but you can’t take it off!

This is how I keep my sponges.  When I started sponging I didn’t allocate one sponge per colour I was a bit more random.  I soon discovered it was worth having more and keeping them labeled.  Mine are sorted in the old SU categories because I still think in the rich regals, soft subtles, etc.  I have yet to move on.

We interupt this tutorial to show you the downy woodpecker who flew in for a little suet mix while my daughter was taking a few photos for this tutorial.

After sponging with the lightest colour, which was Almost Amethyst, I started sponging with Brocade Blue.  I left a ring of amethyst around the moon and started the brocade outside that.

Then I moved onto Elegant Eggplant.  I just keep on sponging until I am happy with the blend and coverage.  It always looks more dramatic once you have lifted the masks at the end, so I peek underneath occasionally to see how strong the colour is.

Next, some trees.  I repositioned my hill mask, moving it left  and a little below where it was previously and removed the moon mask.

I stamped the trees in black, being careful to avoid the little grassy bits at the base of each tree.

At this point I also did a little sponging to show the edge of the snow bank.  I usually do a bit with the sponge, but to sponge a smaller area I use a q-tip.

Then I added some trees in Eggplant which I first stamped on scrap and then on the card so it would be paler and appear more distant.

I moved the hill again and sponged the edge of the hill to create the next snow drift.

You can add another few trees here also if you like so you have some more in the foreground.  Then move the hill mask again and sponge along the edge again.

Once you have the snow drifts and trees you want remove the hill mask and sponge a little colour along the lower edge so your scene will have an edge one the masks are removed.

There you have it.  If you lasted this long, well done.  If you are interested in having the original card leave me a comment and I will pick a name at the end of the week.  If you make a card using this tutorial let me know and I will put your name in the draw twice.  Thanks so much for dropping in and for all the encouragement you give me.


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Hugs & Wishes
Inks:   Basic Black, Almost Amethyst,Brocade Blue, Elegant Eggplant
Cardstock:   Flourishes Classic White

35 Comments on “The long awaited sponging tutorial”

  1. Dianna says:

    I love to sponge, and I love sponged backgrounds. Thanks for the tutorial!


  2. nancy littrell says:

    I loved this card when I 1st saw it and I still do. TFS your wonderful tutorial. Yes, please put me in your drawing 🙂 Again, TFS

  3. Nice job Heather! Personally I find it hard to follow with the woodpecker — we don’t have those here in AZ – LOL

  4. DAWN RIVERA says:

    What a great presentation of a tutorial.So clear, now I say practice ,practice ,practice and maybe I can learn to make a beautiful card some day. Thank you ~

  5. sue says:

    Heather, thank you so much for going to the trouble, and taking the time, to do this tutorial! I know there are many happy stamper out there tonight, and I’m one of them. This card is beautiful, as are all of yours, and I’m so very pleased to see it develop step by step. Thank you for sharing your gift with us!

  6. Candi says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial – yes, long awaited! I plan to give this a go tomorrow, though I’m sure it will take a LOT of practice to get an end result that looks even remotely like yours. Would I like to receive yours? You BET I would!! TFS!!

  7. JodyM says:

    Thank you for your wonderful tutorial. I am really enjoying all your creations!

  8. jackie says:

    thank you for the tutorial. i love your style!

  9. Heather this card is so pretty! I love the colors! And this sponging newbie needs all those step by step instructions…. with the woodpecker commercial break too! lol Thanks again for sharing your creativity with us!

  10. Hilde Jaeggli says:

    I just love your card. Thank you so much for the very good tutorial

  11. Trudi Miller says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial – hoping to have chance to have a play with this technique in the near future

  12. Diane says:

    Thank you so much for doing this tutorial. I have long admired cards such as this, but not had the courage to have a go…I will try now.

  13. Janet Kay says:

    OM Goodness, you make it look easy, I have to try it! Thank you so much for sharing your talents! I love the card!!! 🙂

  14. Kathy says:

    Thanks so much for the step by step! The snow drifts make the card. They really give the scene depth and beauty. I’ve played around with sponging a sky before, but now I’ve got to try the hills and how the light and shadow look on the ground. Nice picture of your little visitor outside your window 🙂

  15. Bahb says:

    Oh well, it was surely worth the wait. I had bought and cut the SU sponges, as you recommended, and that improved my sponging a bunch! But this tutorial may faciliate my breakthrough to sponging beautiful enough to post. For me, the trick is to have enough ink on the sponge, but not too much.

    As for Mr. Woodpecker, I’ve always wished to see one of the Downies. He’s gorgeous! I saw a Pileated once, in my forest-yard, and he never returned. I suspect he was migrating then, north to south. A flock of 5 Acorn woodpeckers lives here during the warmer parts of the year. Perhaps it isn’t the same five, but always the same number. They dash about and play almost like puppies.

    Tanks so much for the tutorial.


  16. Maribeth Thomas says:

    I love your style – simple and beautiful. I hope to copy this for my Christmas Thank You notes. Thank you for taking the time to complete the tutorial; it is very helpful. I visit your blog often for inspiration.

  17. Norman McDonald says:

    It was most interesting to see the detail and thoroughness with which you presented your editorial, but what has been equally fascinating is the range of comments you have received and the the breadth of appreciation from people who obviously already know a great deal about card making, and certainly much more than I do. You have shown yourself once again – not only as a creative artist but as a gifted teacher. Congratulations!

    Of course, all this began many years back. Recently, I re-read the Christmas letters and found this paragraph in the 1983 edition.

    “Heather commenced tertiary studies at the Canberra CAE, undertaking Primary Education for a B. Education degree. She has found it a very full program, limiting somewhat the time for the craft interests she has developed in recent years. Nevertheless, she has continued spinning and knitting of raw wool and the making of some clothes. Her one Batik print for the year has been a forest scene made as a twenty-first birthday present for David.”

    Twenty-seven years later, we have just returned from Christmas in Canberra. The print still hangs proudly, if a little faded, in David’s home.

    I would like to think that in another 27 years, some of your current productions will be inducing the same proud memories.


  18. Yvo says:

    it´s wonderful, i am very thankful for your tutorial


  19. *Chrissie* says:

    Thank you so much for this Heather, your cards are always inspirational and I really appreciate the thoroughness of this super tutorial. I shall certainly be having a go, but before I do I really must get some larger post-its!
    Happy New Year!

  20. marty ferraro says:

    your cards are spectacular.
    your color is stunning.
    thanks soo much for sharing your talents and inspiration. these cards are brillant!!
    marty ferraro

  21. *Chrissie* says:

    I have had a go Heather… you can see my effort

  22. mustavcoffee says:

    Totally Fabulous and a great tutorial:0) xx

  23. […] Several people have asked what I use for sponging; I cut circular sponges into quarters which you can see in my sponging tutorial post here. […]

  24. This card is adorable!!! Thanks so much for the tutorial, I have to try it myself!

  25. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!!! I love learning new things and step by step pics def. help!

  26. Dear Heather, it is amazing what you do with your inks and talent! I am a Mexican woman just starting in this “sponging” thing. I will love to receive your card. God Bless You. Susy Whisenant at and I am going to make the card!

  27. Wow thanks for the tutorial, this is truly gorgeous card and now I can have a go. Lol. Kezzy 🙂 xxx

  28. Maggie Carter says:

    Thank you for the very helpful tutorial. I can’t wait to try this.

  29. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial, I love the card and will have a go soon

  30. Carole says:

    Absolutely beautiful thank you for the detailed tutorial and great pictures to include woody the woodpecker

  31. susie says:

    Your finished card is more than beautiful and so elegant too. I plan to use your tutorial, but I think I’m going to wait until after Christmas. thanks so much for taking the time to make this tutorial.

  32. BeverlyBL says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. Your card is just beautiful. “Lovely As a Tree” just never gets old. I love that set.

  33. Bev Otto says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to show us how to do your beautiful work.cant wait to do this on some of my cards. Once again much appreciated. Bev.

  34. Phyllis T says:

    Well that was certainly informative. Thank you for
    Sharing your technique. It’s beautiful.

  35. Rhonda says:

    Absolutely beautiful I am going to give this a try thank you for the tutorial

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