Brian’s Best – Texture

Card makers are tactile people -we COULD just send an email, but we really love to touch paper and build something beautiful with our hands. Textured elements can add something very special to a card. When you want to run your finger over a card to feel the rough, smooth or bumpy elements, the card is appealing to your love of tactile things. The card becomes interactive when it appeals to that side of you that loves to touch things. To help you with ideas for fun cards that showcase beautiful texture (or the appearance of texture), I’m sharing some of my favorite projects from the past year (and years past), along with some of Stampin’ Up!’s best products to make sure you have everything you need to make cards with beautiful texture.

Embossing Folders (Dry Embossing)

Textured embossing (or dry embossing) is one of my favorite ways to add texture to a card. Place cardstock or Designer Series Paper in an embossing folder and run that combination through a die cutting and embossing machine to achieve a textured look.

I almost always reach for my Subtle 3D Embossing Folder – it adds a gorgeous texture without distracting from the finished project. Here are two samples that use that embossing folder (you can click on any of these photos to see the original post for each project):

Here's a Card, Feels Like Frost Specialty, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, Sympathy card

Timeless Tulips Bundle, Stampin Up!, Brian King, Easter cardThis card showcases the gorgeous Stone 3D Embossing Folder, one of the items you can choose with a $100 purchase during Sale-a-Bration (you can click on the photo below to read more):

Power of Hope Bundle, Stampin Up!, Brian KingAnd look at the rich texture created with the Country Floral 3D Embossing Folder, one of last year’s Sale-a-Bration rewards that is available in this year’s Annual Catalog (you can click on the photo to see more about this project):

Country Floral Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Detailed with Love, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Ribbons and Twines

The addition of a silky, smooth ribbon or a rough, textured twine can add something special to a project.  I don’t often use ribbon on my projects (I’m just not good at tying a bow), but when I do add ribbon, it usually adds a lovely texture. Again, my test is this – if you want to rub your finger over it, then you’ve added texture to your project. Here are some examples of how ribbon and twine add texture to my projects (you can click on any of these pictures to see the original post for each):

Peaceful Moments, Best Dressed Designer Series Paper, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingSeaside Notions, Stampin' Up!, Brian King So Sentimental Bundle, Best Dressed Designer Series Paper, Stampin Up!, Brian King, thank you card Heart Tin Cups, From My Heart Suite, Valentine's Day treats, Stampin Up!, Brian KingDon’t you just want to flip your finger under these ribbons or run your finger over them? Whether they add roughness or smoothness, they add wonderful texture to any project.

Other Elements that Add Texture

Washi tape. The ribbon on this card was made with strips of washi tape that were then cropped with the Support Ribbon Die. Washi tape is silky smooth with a glossy surface that forces you to run your finger over it (you can click on this picture to see the original post for this card):

Support Ribbon Framelits Dies, Tabs for Everything, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingPerennial Essence Floral Centers. The fuzzy yellow balls in the Perennial Essence Floral Centers are heaven for a tactile person – there’s no way you won’t run your finger of that adorable ball of fuzz.  Here’s a care I made with these flower centers (you can click on this picture to see the original post for this card):Poppy Moments Dies, Around the Corner, Stampin Up!, Brian KingGlossy Pearls, Rhinestones and Enamel Shapes. Self-adhesive pearls, rhinestones and enamel shapes are a great way to add a teeny tiny bit of texture. Here are some of my favorite projects that feature these accents (you can click on this picture to see the original post for any of these cards):

Friendly Expressions, Broadway Lights Framelits Dies, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, GDP145Royal Peacock Bundle, Woven Heirlooms, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingRoyal Peacock Bundle, Woven Heirlooms, Stampin' Up!, Brian King Holly Jolly Christmas Bundle, Stampin Up!, Brian KingFaux Textured Designer Series Paper. I love a beautiful Designer Series Paper that looks like it has texture – several have the look of a painted canvas. You don’t have to add texture with the appearance of texture is there. Check! Here are two papers I love for that reason (you can click on this picture to see the original post for either of these cards):

Sweetly Swirled, Stampin Up!, Brian KingHere's a Card, Perennial Essence Designer Series Paper, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, sympathy cardFaux Embossing. These butterflies were cropped with Poppy Parade cardstock and glued onto a Poppy Parade background such that they appear to be dry embossed. I also added Wink of Stella to the cropped butterflies for additional shine (you can click on this picture to see the original post for this card):

Butterfly Beauty Thinlits Dies, Humming Along, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, thank you card


There are so many ways to add a touch of texture to a project, and each one is special in its own way. What is your favorite way to add that element of touch?

Thanks for stopping by today!


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Stampin’ Up!’s January – June 2020 Mini Catalog and Sale-a-Bration catalogs are live to customers. What fun! The pages of the Mini Catalog are FILLED with amazing products you will need for your Valentine’s Day and Spring projects – so much to love! AND there are so many great products to earn through Sale-a-Bration. To download these books and read more about how you can earn during Sale-a-Bration, CLICK HERE.

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  1. Beautiful cards and trip down memory lane. I especially love the “sweeter” card with the mountain and saguaro background!

  2. Thank you for reminding me of a couple of techniques I had forgotten. Loved your Texture Tactics ! I just received the Mosaic Mood Specialty Paper and it is a great example of texture on paper .
    Enjoyed seeing all of your cards as examples !

  3. Brian, Love seeing your parade of textured cards! When I think of dry embossing I think of cardstock. Thanks for the reminder of embossing DSP. Especially with the Subtles Folder! I hope the stone folder carries over!

  4. Great blog subject today, Brian! I DO love texture on cards. My favorite card is with your use of the butterflies, but all showcased great ways to texturize our cards?

  5. I didn’t realize you use so many embellishments Brian! They add such a beautiful touch. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Your work is always SPOT-ON. Fantastic walk down memory lane my friend.

  7. Your cards are beautiful! Such helpful information for those of us who are not so experienced with all of this! Thank you for sharing this!! LOVE the butterfly card!!!!

  8. What a great reminder of all the ways we can add texture. Last week on a cardmaking Facebook page the question came up about how to add texture for visually-impaired people. Many of these ways were mentioned. Have a wonderful day!

  9. After color combos and layering, you are awesome at textures!

  10. Psst Brian ! Tried your trick on a unruly corner . I put a teensie spot of Tombow on a little piece of cardstock and slid it under that rascal corner and it WORKED !!! Thank you !!

  11. Brian: The instant i saw the card with Country Floral 3D Embossing Folder in knew you took it Tucson. LOL I also live there

  12. Oh , my friend , love love them all, thanks for sharing,
    Hugs Frenchie

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