Coloring Technique: How to Use NEW Spectrum AQUA™ Watercolor Markers

Notice anything different? YES! Paper Wishes’ blog has a beautiful, clean new look and I just love it! What a wonderful place for showing you all the beautiful projects and all the behind-the-scenes fun that happens here at Paper Wishes!

As you probably know, Paper Wishes’ 2015 Spring Mini Catalog is out! I was looking through mine today, and one of my favorite projects is Susan Cobb’s Hogs & Kisses Card – take a look!

Hogs & Kisses Card by Susan Cobb

Click here for project instructions

This card just blows me away! I’m a huge fan of the Emma’s Garden papers, I love the new Hogs & Kisses small stamp and I always love Susan’s attention to detail. The most exciting part, however, is the coloring that was done with the new Spectrum AQUA™ markers! These water-based markers are designed to give you a watercolor look (in a convenient marker format) and they come in four different color sets:

PW_15WIN.fillip-4001198.spectrum-aqua.floral.pg8 PW_15WIN.fillip-4002528.spectrum-aqua.primary.pg8 PW_15WIN.fillip-4001126.spectrum-aqua.nature.pg8 PW_15WIN.fillip-4000378.spectrum-aqua.essentials.pg8

I was anxious to find out what our Design Team thought of them, so I went back and pestered Gail into doing a quick demonstration of just how these pens work. The pens have both a brush tip, and a very fine tip that’s perfect for outlining and detail work!

Fine Tip

Fine Tip

Brush Tip

Brush Tip

Gail tested these on watercolor paper since the markers are meant to be combined with water. On the left, Gail first shows how the pens write and blend without using any water. The right side, however, shows the real magic of these watercolor markers!

Direct to (Dry) Watercolor Paper

Direct to (Dry) Watercolor Paper

To get this look, Gail has scribbled her pens onto an acrylic stamping block, and added a small amount of water to create a paint. This paint can then be picked up with a paintbrush or water brush (another cool tool) and used to color your projects.

Creating paint with Spectrum AQUA™ markers

Creating paint with Spectrum AQUA™ markers

This is the same technique Susan used to color her stamped focal. Click here for Susan’s complete instructions, helpful tips, and the supplies she used to create her adorable Hogs & Kisses card!

Featured Products:

all spectrum aqua    Water Brush   hogs   emma

Remember, ALL of the projects you see in Paper Wishes catalogs can be found on our website, along with complete instructions!

We’re here to show you what’s new and keep you inspired! Be sure to stay in the creative loop by signing up for our email updates (on the upper right), so you’ll never have to miss a new project or technique! Feel free to comment on what you think of this week’s project or on what you’d like to see more of in the future! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you all have a lovely weekend!


Michelle Gustafson
Paper Wishes Blog

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Project Ideas Using Happy Days Scrapbooking Papers and Paper Dolls Stamp Set

It’s always exciting to see what others are creating with Hot Off The Press products! Today I came across the February/March 2015 issue of Scrap & Stamp Arts, and was thrilled to see a great article featuring mixed-media collage artist Sara Naumann showing how she uses the Perfect Airbrush spritzer for backgrounds, stenciling and more! For those of you don’t know, Sara was also our previous marketing manager and webisode presenter!


In the article, Sara shares ideas using Hot Off The Press’ Happy Days Scrapbooking Papers and Paper Dolls stamp set, as well as tips for using the Perfect Airbrush (aka the Distress Marker Spritzer Tool) and her techniques for achieving different looks with it. Here are just a couple of the projects that were featured:


Choose to Shine by Sara Naumann



Collect Moments by Sara Naumann

Below, you will find links for the stamps, scrapbooking papers, and the Perfect Airbrush if you’d like to take a closer look!


Paper Dolls Stamp Set from Hot Off The Press


Happy Days Scrapbooking Papers from Hot Off The Press


Perfect Airbrush Color Spritzer


I just love Sara’s cards – so light and cheerful! Nicely done!

If you’d like to see more of Sara’s projects, be sure to check out her Mixed Media Made Easy DVD featuring 100 projects, each with a unique mixed media technique! Click the image below for more info and a sneak peek at some of the amazing projects!


I hope you’re all feeling as inspired as I am! Come back and visit our blog this Friday for a big surprise! I’ll see you then!


Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog




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Project Idea: How to Create the Easiest DIY Chalkboard Ever!

Sorry for not posting last Friday! It was a super busy day here at Paper Wishes, and we’ve been working hard on lots of new project ideas that will be coming soon! But I wanted to make sure you all saw this project from Paper Wishes’ latest Spring 2015 Mini Catalog because it’s very, very cool…


What sets this chalkboard apart from others? You create it yourself! It’s sized to be covered with your favorite scrapbook papers and the chalkboard surface is added with this amazing new Chalkboard Marker, designed to create chalkboard surfaces on paper, wood and even terra cotta!


You can then decorate your chalkboard surface. Obviously you could use “school” chalk, but if you’d like more impact, I would opt for these…

chalk markers neon 1 Chalk Markers Neon 2

LeNae’s Tip: These colorful, water-based chalk markers erase easily with a damp cloth – reuse the chalkboard and markers over and over!



  1. Paint the edges the Chalkboard frame with the black Chalkboard Marker and let dry. Apply a thin coat of Tacky Craft Glue to one side of the chalkboard frame and cover with Hopscotch green border paper (with the border along the top). After covering with paper, turn the frame over and use a craft pen knife to cut away the excess paper from the frame edges. Use the knife to poke through the paper covering the tiny hole near the bottom of the frame. Repeat for remaining sides. Use the sanding block to lightly sand the paper edges to remove any nicks and smooth the edges. Place lengths of Black Jewel Border Dazzles™ along the edges of the window opening. Place a large Red Jewel Dazzles™ on each corner.
  2. Use the Chalkboard Marker to apply black paint to one side of each square wood piece. Let dry and repeat. Let dry again and use the sanding block to lightly sand the surface of each board to remove any streaking. Cover the back of the boards with patterned paper. Apply Tacky Glue around the edges on the backside of each frame. Place the chalkboard side down and let dry.
  3. Hinges: To secure the 2 frames together at the top, turn the frames over and place the top of each end-to-end. Place the 2 tiny silver hinges overlapping each frame and secure with 8 tiny screws (included).
  4. Thread a length of Hopscotch red/white baker’s twine through the back of the frame front. Tie a loop or bow at one end of the twine on the front of the frame and thread the remaining twine through the back of the other frame. Tie a loop on the frame front with about 4” of twine between the frame to keep them in place.
  5. Use yellow dot ribbon to make a loopy bow. Use a length of red dot ribbon to make a bow and glue to the center of the yellow bow. Glue the bows the top left side of the frame front.
  6. Use the water-based chalk markers to decorate the chalkboard surfaces. You can reuse them for many occasions by wiping clean with a damp cloth.

Now, part of my due diligence requires testing these markers thoroughly, and I am happy to report that they work fantastic!! And not only on chalkboard surfaces, but also on your marketing manager’s magnet board. And her window. Sorry, Cristina!


So if you are looking for an easy way to create your own chalkboard or chalkboard surfaces, I’d pick this DIY chalkboard, the Chalkboard Marker and some Neon Chalk Markers. They are a ridiculous amount of fun, and are so perfect for weddings, birthdays, menus or even for keeping your family on the same page (Ha! A girl can dream…).


Michelle Gustafson

Paper Wishes Blog

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Welcome to Paper Wishes’ Papercraft and Scrapbooking Blog! Our card making and scrapbooking blog is the place to visit for inspired project ideas, the latest craft techniques, and the inside scoop on all things Paper Wishes! Visit our card making and scrapbooking blog to see the latest card designs and scrapbook layouts from the Paper Wishes Design Team, discover new paper craft tools and products, and to learn about upcoming events! Make sure to visit our card making and scrapbooking blog often so you don’t miss a moment of crafting fun!