My Convention Swap: Day Two

Yesterday I shared my 2015 Stampin’ Up! Convention swap cards with you. Woo hoo!  I was happy to showcase all five of the awesome 2015-2017 In Colors in these cards, but the defining element (in my opinion) was the glossy white Expressions Natural Elements that graced the front of each.  If you missed yesterday’s post, please take a peek back so you won’t miss anything.

Here’s a look at some of what you missed:

Expressions Natural Elements, 2015-2017 In Color Designer Series Paper Stack, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Today’s post is all about the transformation of those Expressions Natural Elements.  I thought I’d get away with just spraying my wooden elements with glossy white spray paint, but they needed a little more effort than that.  First, here’s another “infinity view” of the finished swap cards:

Expressions Natural Elements, 2015-2017 In Color Designer Series Paper Stack, Stampin' Up!, Brian King


STEP ONE:  Paint the edges with a small brush and white paint primer.  Although I purchased an primer-and-paint-in-one spray paint, the edges of these elements needed special attention.  The fronts of the elements are finished with a lovely shellack, but the sides are rough to the touch, so they required quite a bit of primer to prevent paint from just soaking in.  I wanted every visible edge of my sentiments to be white and glossy, so I had to start with a layer of primer around the sides.

STEP TWO:  Adhere the elements to a surface to be spray painted.  I added Stampin’ Dimensionals to a small pile of tongue depressors to give me a perfect handle for spraying the sentiments.  I’m not sure how I acquired the depressors (I know 100% I didn’t pay for them), but they sure came in handy!

STEP THREE:  Go outside of the Fungeon to spray your wooden elements with primer-and-paint-in-one spray paint.  I chose a glossy white paint.  Make sure you spray the front and sides evenly without spraying too much.

Converting Expressions Natural Elements from Flat to Flashy, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Note:  When I first decided to try these, I adhered an element to a piece of cardboard with some temporary adhesive and stood on my back deck to spray the element.  Not smart.  The adhesive didn’t hold, and the painted element came flying off the board – headed for my deck.  With cat-like reflexes, I kicked the painted element into the air so that it flew over the railing and so that no paint ruined the finish on my deck.  I’m good!

Converting Expressions Natural Elements from Flat to Flashy, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

STEP FOUR:  Let them dry.  I let these bad boys dry for 24 hours.  The can indicates that they should be dry sooner, but I didn’t want to take chances.

STEP FIVE:  Carefully Peal them off the Tongue Depressors.  The last thing you want to do is break these beautifully painted sentiments in half while pulling them off the tongue depressors – and I’ll tell you I broke several of them.  The easiest method of removal was to wedge in a pair of snips sideways to cut the dimensional.  If I got really close to the element, there was very little cleanup.  Yippee!

STEP SIX:  Glue them down.  These elements are easily glued down with Tombow Multipurpose Liquid Glue.  I added large dots of glue along the thick portions of the words and small dots randomly elsewhere.  It really took some patience, but the time was well-worth it.

Converting Expressions Natural Elements from Flat to Flashy, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Papers:  2015-2017 In Color Designer Series Paper Stacks, 2015-2017 In Color Cardstock, Whisper White  Accessories:  Expressions Natural Elements, 2-1/2″ Circle punch, Circles Collection Framelits, Stampin’ Dimensionals

I’m headed back from Convention today.  Woo hoo!  I look forward to sharing my experience with you in blog posts this coming week.

Thanks for stopping by today!


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  1. Oh man this post made me laugh out loud!!! The expressions Natural Elements have now been termed bad boys….. The picture of the paint and thanks in the garden is way too funny. I LOVE these swaps Brian. I’m sure all your fans at convention did too.

  2. Cheryl McAskill

    Too funny….that is what would happen to me, however I don’t think I would have had the ninja reflexes! Good save! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. [email protected]

    Did you cost out your convention swap per card? I know you are all about layers but it sure adds up.
    Was your card a front only? Or a full card?
    It was a great card

    • I didn’t cost it out, but it was worth every piece of paper to hand out cards I was proud of. They were all full cards – glad you liked them.

  4. I thought it was going to be spray paint…I have become a big fan of spray paint and have a “collection” in my basement…matt white, no glossy…looks like I will have to get glossy white now! I am not brave enough to spray paint on my deck…have to use the driveway.

  5. Whoah! How do you keep up with your blogging nd attend convention too!? Just saw you on the plane to Atlanta. I love your swaps, the instructions and the saga of the errant Element!

    • Ree, I wrote up all my posts in advance. There’s no way I would have been able to write up the posts while traveling – too much else going on. What a fun trip, huh?

  6. Wow, these look fabulous!!! Definitely a bit of prep work, but the effect is fantastic!
    Shanna 🙂

  7. Really nice job on those elements!

  8. Love the card swaps. I would like to have been a mouse in the corner when you were kicking the expressions in the air so it didn’t touch your deck. I am glad you are having a great time. I am sure everyone loves your card!

  9. I miss visiting you yesterday but I’m here today to tell you that all of this cards are fabulous, the preparation for those words is time consuming but the results are just lovely.
    Yikes Brian, those paint splashes would’ve definitely ruin your deck, lucky you have cat like reflexes, I can see you in slow motion, like those football stars kicking a goal, kicking that word, loaded with pain, onto the bushes.
    Thank you for sharing.

  10. Ninja Brian! Love the Elements, they add that POP to your cards. Love your backyard, such a peaceful setting. Perfect place to stamp!!

  11. I am laughing at your post. Love the part about cat-like reflexes and the sentiment flying toward your deck. That would have been me. Thank you for the details on how you did this! They turned out great!!!!

  12. Bwahaha! Thanks for the morning laugh! That made my day! I hope you didn’t get paint on your leg or shoes. I sure as heck wouldn’t have the patience that you have, doing so many of these! You, my friend, are a hoot!

  13. Your cards are beautiful, Brian. I can tell all your thoughts, planning and prepping made a very detailed card. Just gorgeous. When broken down into small preps, I’m sure you got the desired effect you wanted. I think they turned out great. I love your infinity views. On another blog . . . (Where the Rubber Hits the Road, Linda Heller ) I could spot your card laid out on her bed.

  14. To Infinity and Beyond! You are to be commended on the efforts you put in to create those very cool Flashy Elements! I’m so glad you explained the process because when I tried it and my edges were not cooperating, I’d have thought, “How’d he do that?”.

  15. I just realized – another card with no stamping!! Great instructions! Great card(s)! Thanks!

  16. No spray painting for me! I’ll find a way to use them Au Naturel

  17. Brian, you are too funny. You sure did a lot of work including the cat-like reflexes. I have the picture of this forever embedded in my brain. ? The work was worth it though. Your swaps are beautiful and so classy. I wouldn’t have the patience for it…maybe I would cheat and use tweezers and dip those little guys into a can of paint instead. But I’m sure they would come out all goopy. Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

  18. Cindie McDuffee

    Awesome idea and well executed project! The behind the scene play -by -play makes this card even cooler, IMHO. Tongue depressors and dimensionals …….love it!

  19. This was an Awesome idea, Brian. Thanks for the share. The white is lovely, but can you just see this in Silver, Gold, or Bright Christmas Red. WOW, the possibilities are endless.

  20. So Brian – #1 How long did it take you to make your swaps and #2 You actually painted the gazillion little wooden words all around the edges with a brush before spray painting them? My word, you are one dedicated guy, that’s for sure. The cards are frame worthy for sure and everyone that got one was certainly lucky. WOW – I can’t imagine myself doing all that without “losing it” and changing my idea around. You are so special – even more special than your cards for sure, and that’s saying a whole lot! LOL

  21. Now I appreciate the card even so much more because of all of your efforts! Thank you for the beautiful swap!

  22. Brian, these cards are gorgeous. You’re so creative and clever. Maybe I’ll start calling you C-Square, get it creative, clever C squared. I think I taught school too long. Awesome job and great tips.

  23. Beautiful! I love the glossy white!

  24. All this work from a guy that told me one time that he wasn`t into card swapping ! Loved the play by play of prepping . Belongs on Craft Channel and America`s Funniest Videos .
    The end result was worth it !
    Glad you are back ! You looked pretty snappy in your striped suit . You must share some pictures with all your fans !!

  25. Brian, you are too funny. First, it always cracks me up when you call your craft / stamping room the FUNGEON. Second, your scenery outside of your fungeon to spray paint if BEAUTIFUL!!. I have been to Atlanta, outside of flying in/out of the airport a gillon times, and it is beyond amazing the beauty of ALL the TREES etc. The name of the mountain there that has the etching on it, and you can climb up to the top (oh my the workout you get doing that), but the view you get from the top is amazing with the SEA of TREE tops you get, and then all the towering building from downtown Atlanta. Anyways, your back outdoors, is great. Again, THANK YOU for sharing your all your amazing ideas and tips with us Brian, and your mom and her ideas too.

  26. Wow! What a devoted card creator you are! That was above and beyond! Great results. So nice to visit with you the other day. Thanks!

  27. I truly love your website/youtubes! You are to cute and funny! i came across another technique hopefully I can share here. You fill a bowl with water, dish soap and reinker….get a straw and make bubbles…..grab paper i.e. watercolor, thick cardstock….run your paper over the top -this makes bubbly circles on your cardstock. Let dry or use a heatgun. Stamp over this and voila!!

  28. Brian – wonderful cards and play by play of how you created them. I no longer use dental floss to remove adhesive. I use a very sharp thin, straight edge knife and gently slice. One hand to hold the card and one hand to hold the knife. Needless to say, my Cutco rep was wondering why the knife edge was so sticky when I asked him to resharpen it.

  29. Wow a lot of work and so well worth it. I’m sure everyone who receive one felt very special. Great job!

  30. Funny. Informative. Entertaining. Great POST.

  31. HOW MANY DID YOU DO? THAT is the question!

  32. Loved the cards, a suggestion tho, you can create a spray box with a large cardboard box, helps contain the oversray

  33. Wonderful cards! I can’t wait to try my hand at painting these! 🙂

  34. Chris R. from Iowa

    Oh you needed to have this post inside each card so everyone who received the card knew the pain staking details! But, then again, maybe all zillion of the swappers view your blog and can share your pain.

    Also, congratulations on your accomplishments! You looked pretty darn snazzy in that zoot suit too!

  35. Love the look and the commentary, especially the drop kick over the side of the deck! Well played!?

  36. Kathy Van Helsland

    Brian – So glad to meet you at convention when Bobbi Miller brought you over to our group. Congrats to you on the awards and milestones you received. It was great to see a familiar name and face on the big screen. I have enjoyed and been inspired your blog for a couple of years now. I look forward to many more years of awesome and inspiring cards and stamping ideas.

  37. Pingback: Convention Wrap-up: Day Two - STAMP WITH BRIAN

  38. Love! Love!! Love!!!

  39. Again, love these…thank you for sharing your tips!

  40. Pingback: Celebrate with GDP016 – STAMP WITH BRIAN

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