I picked up some of these powders a few months ago but hadn’t really played with them much. Sometimes, it takes seeing a product being used or something similar in action to get me to play! What inspired me to break them out again and use them was Mary Polanco’s YT video making cards using Catherine Pooler’s Color Bursts.
I really liked how the Color Bursts reacted to water and so I left a comment for Mary asking if they were similar to the Nuvo Shimmer Powders I had. She responded that she didn’t have any and asked me to play with mine and share my results! I was too happy to oblige! So, I spent all day yesterday playing, mixing the colors, adding Silk and Distress Paint splatters and I learned a lot which I’ll share with you in this post.
Before getting started, here’s some of my personal tips about using these shimmer powders:
- Watercolor paper works best. Since these powders react to water, you need a paper that stand up to it so I wouldn’t recommend using heavy cardstock. I used Bristol Smooth.
- Think of them as with watercoloring. After coloring, I let the paper dry even when I didn’t think I’d like the design. Sometimes, the colors looked like a hot mess! But, if you go with it, after it dries you’d be surprised how great it looks.
- Know when to stop. I didn’t want a muddy mess so when I liked a design, I left it alone after it dried.
- Handling paper curling. The paper will curl when spraying with water so to make the paper flat again, I put them inside a folded sheet of regular copy paper (one at a time) and ran each one through my laminator. That flattened them out and they were ready to adhere to card bases.
I had a ball playing and ended up with 12 backgrounds that later I turned into Birthday cards! First, I’ll start by sharing the backgrounds and then I’ll show you the actual cards. This way you can see the full effect of these powders and I’ll list all the colors I used.
Colors used: left background (Solar Flare and Atlantis Burst); Right background (Blue Blitz, Violet Brocade and Atlantis Burst)
I definitely have favorites from this bunch and these two above are among them. The left one I just used two powders and sprayed with water, the right I used three colors and I sprayed water, dried it with my heat gun, added more powder, sprayed water again and dried. Blowing also helps get the colors moving. The Tim Holtz air blower for alcohol ink would be good to use too.
NOTE: You don’t need to add much powder to the paper, a little goes a long way. Just tap the bottle a little and spray with water and watch what happens next!!
Colors used: left background (Atlantis Burst, Cherry Bomb and a little Blue Blitz); Right background (Blue blitz, Green Parade and Atlantis Burst)
You can tap the powder onto dry paper or wet the paper first and then add the powder. I had the most success starting with dry paper. Also, I cut the paper down to A2 sizes first cause I didn’t want to trim them after doing all the coloring.
The more powder you add, the more intense color you get. I sprayed a lot of water on the green background to the right, less on the left one to do a more pastel look. I also added paint splatters with the black licorice silk.
Colors used: left background (Atlantis Burst, a little Cherry Bomb and a little Blue Blitz); Right background (Blue blitz, Catherine Wheel and Solar Flare)
For these two card backgrounds, I used three powders together and sprayed the water (more powders used on the right than on the left). I also used my spritzer to make water spots. On the left background, I used Distress Paint (Picket Fence) for some paint splatters.
Colors used: left background (Violet Brocade, Solar Flare and Blue Blitz);
Right background (Storm Cloud, Green Parade and Atlantis Burst)
Now these two backgrounds I didn’t initially like. I was experimenting to get a more intense look like a galaxy background, but I decided to keep them cause once I put the sentiments and embellishments on, I thought I’d like them more. And, I was right! Wait till you see the finished cards!
And, that’s what I mean by letting the colors dry and not doing anymore to them. Sometimes you might not like the final effect but don’t throw it away. You’d be surprised how they will look after adding your sentiments or die cuts. I also added paint splatters too with the distress paint and black licorice silk.
Colors used: left background (Catherine Wheel, Solar Flare and Blue Blitz); Right background (Blue Blitz, Violet Brocade and Catherine Wheel)
For the one on the left, I picked up the paper turning it around to let the colors run and I loved the design I was left with. Added water and ink splatters. For the right background, I got more intense with by adding more powder and spraying with water to moving the colors around more. Again, did water splatters with the Spritzer, just amazing results!
Colors used: left background (Catherine Wheel and Blue Blitz); Right background (Solar Flare, Green Parade and Cherry Bomb)
The left one was the first one I made and it is by far my favorite! In fact, I used this background to make my hubby’s birthday card! He’s turning 62 next Tuesday and retiring this year YAY!!! After I saw the design, I did very little to it…adding some small water splatters and that was it. On the right background, I let that green parade color spread by picking up the paper and turning it around.
I used my heat gun for all these backgrounds cause I was just impatient! I have the new Wagner heat tool that has 2 settings and I used the low setting. You can let them air dry too, I was just in a hurry! LOL
Because this post is so long, I created second page where I’ll show you what these backgrounds look on my birthday cards as well as give you a full list of supplies! Thanks for hanging with me so far! Click here to see the cards!
And now for the show stopper! Drum beat!!!! LOL!
The Finished cards!
See! Aren’t they stinkin’ cute? I decided to make birthday cards out of them since I was thinking about hubby’s upcoming big day.
First thing was to cut out the Happy Birthday letters and the shadows. The letters were cut in different color cardstocks while the shadows on white. After adding the large die, I didn’t want to add much more so as not to take away from the backgrounds nor make the cards look too busy. That’s just a good rule of design that sometimes less is more. So I added just a few enamel dots (combo from the local Dollar General and clear ones from Honey Bee Stamps).
On some of the cards, I added a second sentiment from Colorado Craft Company and the others I left that off. I actually ran out of my Neenah 110 solar white cardstock for card bases so I adhered some of my backgrounds to WPlus 9 Kraft cardstock. Either works fine and I just love how all these came out!
So thankful to Mary for this challenge, she is an inspiration to me and an excellence cardmaker! I highly recommend you check out her YT channel here!
If you want to know more about the Nuvo Shimmer Powders, Jennifer McGuire has a good in-depth YT video tutorial using them. Find it here.
Below are links to the products I used and some of them are affiliate links meaning if you purchase through them, I’ll earn a small commission and it is no extra cost to you. Your purchasing helps support our small business and we appreciate that so much! – Kim
- Nuvo Shimmer Powders (Cherry Bomb, Catherine Wheel, Green Parade, Atlantis Burst, Violet Brocade, Storm Cloud, Solar Flare and Blue Blitz) – I bought mine on Amazon (comes 4 to a pack), there are more colors than these but this got me started >> https://amzn.to/2RPRQw0 and https://amzn.to/2VBLJfO
- Wagner Heat Tool – https://amzn.to/2Y0i3Mn
- Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer (for water splatters) – https://amzn.to/2VLdHpD
- Fun Stampers Journey Water-based Silks (Black Licorice, Silver and Sparkle Silk)
- Bristol Smooth Watercolor Paper – https://amzn.to/390bVGt
- Square clear blocks for stamping (I use my large square block specifically for ink smooshing) – https://amzn.to/2xzTM4d
- Royal Sovereign 9″ Laminator – https://amzn.to/2Jlxrdv
- Distress Paint (“Picket Fence”) – https://amzn.to/36zV3UR
- Honeybee Stamps Clear Enamel Dots – https://bit.ly/3916y9J
- Ngwall Paint Brush Set Round (set of 12 watercolor brushes) – I used the smallest round brush – https://amzn.to/2S6IKue
- Foam Squares – https://amzn.to/3aqZXqb
- The Stamps of Life Happy Birthday Pocket Slider Die Set (I only used the sentiment and shadow) – https://amzn.to/34M9Yfw
- Colorado Craft Company “Big & Bold Birthday Cake” stamp set (sentiment) – https://bit.ly/2VjGORQ
- 80 lb. White Cardstock (similar to Neenah 80 lb. cardstock) – https://amzn.to/2VyY5W1
- Neenah 110 lb. Solar White Cardstock – https://amzn.to/2yxWEfs
- WPlus 9 Kraft cardstock – https://www.wplus9.com/kraft-cardstock/
- Gina K. Designs Black Osidian Amalgam Ink – https://shrsl.com/28hmq
- Gemini Jr. Die cutting machine – https://amzn.to/2VjbWAS
- Hero Arts Black Misti – https://shrsl.com/286gs
- Teflon bone folder – https://amzn.to/2VcfC8
- Martha Stewart Scoring Board (not available on Amazon) – EK Tools has a similar one – https://amzn.to/2jJeEj8
- Simon Says Stamp Crafty Tacky Glue – https://bit.ly/2RGokZq
- Tim Holtz Paper Trimmer – Simon Says Stamp – https://bit.ly/2Jb0L7V
- Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat – https://amzn.to/2lawwDO
- SSS Craft Tacky Glue – https://bit.ly/2KcvekZ
- Assorted Color Envelopes – https://amzn.to/2OLImiR
My Final Thoughts
- Great for quick backgrounds. They don’t take long to dry on their own and it’s easy to make a bunch of backgrounds to have on hand for future cards.
- Leaves a beautiful shimmery effect. You may not see it in the pics below but under the light, the shimmer and shine is gorgeous!
- They’re Addictive!! Just like playing with alcohol inks and pearls!
If you made it this far with this post, thank you so much for reading! And, if you have played with Nuvo shimmer powders, tell if you like them or if you plan to buy them! I’d love to know your thoughts! Happy Crafting!