Friday, December 11, 2015

Owls & Paisley – Notebooks and Cards

Owls & Paisley – Notebooks and Cards
By Judi Kauffman

 A big thank you to StencilGirl Products for inviting me back as a Guest Designer.

I thought it would be fun to see how two of my favorite stencils, Paisley Floral Repeat and Three Owls and a Branch, would work together, as well as each on its own. At first glance, they don’t seem like a logical combination, but there are elements in the two that felt like they were designed for each other – for example, scalloped shapes in the owls’ faces and feathers, scalloped shapes within the paisley patterns. This isn’t surprising, given that they came from the same person, Jessica Sporn. I always find her style and the level of detail she puts into her stencils so appealing!

I chose waterproof, colorfast Shimmer Sheetz for the owls and made notebooks and cards, but you can take this project in any number of directions: Art journals, canvases or shadow boxes, party decorations, and so much more.


1. Glue textured handmade paper to the front and back covers of several inexpensive composition books. Leave some of them plain; stencil on others.

2. Stencil the paisley pattern with Emperor’s Gold acrylic paint, followed by a slightly offset repeat of the paisley design in Black Green. Done! You have in hand a handsome journal to tuck into a tote or keep bed-side.


3. Stencil a pair of owls onto lightly sanded Australian Opal Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz, using Emperor’s Gold and Black Green acrylic paints.

4. Cut around the owls; add flat-backed gems for the eyes.

5. Using double-sided adhesive tape to secure them, add the flat owls to a paper-covered composition book. Done! You have in hand a simple journal for doodling and jotting random thoughts.

6. Better yet: Combine the owls with a stenciled composition book, as shown in the photo above.


7. Or add the owls to stenciled cardstock backed with a piece of poster board for a sturdy flat card to display on an easel or frame behind glass, as shown above.


8. For the owls shown in the cards above, use alcohol-based inks instead of acrylic paints. Add texture, dimension, and detail to the cut out owls as follows: Use a craft knife to scrape and ‘draw’ lines on the feathers, to cut around the bottom of the feathers and the bottom half of the beak. Bend beak and feathers upward, bend claws downward for dimension. Place the owls on a soft fabric-covered mouse pad and use ball stylus tools in various sizes to press dots into the Shimmer Sheetz, and an awl or piercing tool for another level of detail. Below is a close-up of the feathers, before the owl was cut out:

9. Stencil some leaves with Black Green paint. Cut them out.

10. Position the owl so it is sitting on a long twig and holding a shorter twig in its beak. Add the leaves to the branch near the owl’s head. Use double-sided adhesive tape for the flat layers, Tombow Power Adhesive Tabs for the dimensional layers.

11. Add faceted gems topped with flower-shaped gems to the owls for over-the-top sparkly eyes.

12. Tip: Cards with twigs and dimensional gems should be hand-delivered or mailed in a box. They are too thick for standard envelopes and the twigs might not survive in a padded envelope.

13. Below are two close-ups of another owl, this one with flat center-hole button eyes rather than gems, along with a repeat of the project photo shown at the start of this post so you don’t have to scroll back to see it again:



StencilGirl Products –

Elizabeth Craft Designs –
  Shimmer Sheetz in Australian Opal Gemstone
  Clear Double-Sided Adhesive Tape (6mm)
  Fine Point Scissors

DecoArt –
  Americana Acrylics in Black Green
  Dazzling Metallics in Emperor’s Gold

Tombow –
  Power Adhesive Tabs

Other –
  Non-stick scissors (for cutting Power Tabs)
  Stencil brush
  Piercing tool or awl
  Craft knife (for ‘drawing’ on owls’ feathers)
  Ball stylus tools
  Fabric-covered mouse pad
  Sanding block (to sand Shimmer Sheetz)
  Flat-backed gems, flower-shaped gems, flat buttons
  Alcohol-based inks


  1. WOW! What amazing projects and tutorials. Thank you for all of this glorious inspiration. Your creations are just beautiful and I am honored that you chose my stencils for these projects.

    1. Thank you, Jessica. I'm crazy about your stencils. Sorry for the delay in my reply. It was a busy week and I just sat down to look at comments and catch up.

  2. These look great. I love the combination. You are tight they go together perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sometimes it's the thiings that don't seem to go together will go together really well. Thank you for taking the time to comment!
      Judi K

  3. Judi, I love the way you have used these stencils. Simply fabulous!

    1. Thanks Mary Beth. And thanks for making StencilGirl Products such a great group to work with.
      Judi K

  4. Owls are delightful and I love what you did with yours, especially adding those twigs, both real and handmade. Great work!

    1. Thank you, Cecilia. I've only seen real owls in the zoo and in photos or on TV, but I just love them.
      Judi K

  5. These are just beautiful! I've never used Shimmer Sheets before, I think I need some! Thanks for sharing your process - the results are gorgeous!

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Gwen. Shimmer Sheetz is a fun product. I hope you give it a try with stencils!
      Judi K


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