Stamp Layering for Cardmakers: A Guide to Amazing Results

Last Updated: March 29, 2023

As cardmakers, there are just so many ways to craft beautiful projects with layering stamps! From making repeated backgrounds to stunning focal points, the possibilities are limitless for different stamping techniques. Aside from your regular stamps, layering stamps involve outlines, shadows, highlights, and accents that can make your images look more realistic and dynamic! 

Learn how to use layering stamp sets easily with the Stampwheel!

Nature Blossoms Stamp Set

If you're looking for ways on how to use your layering stamps and what techniques you can do with them, then look no further! In today's blog post, we'll explore the art of layered stamping, how to use layered stamp sets, and how you can use the Stampwheel to streamline your stamping process further. So get your stamping tools out, and let's get started! 

What Is Stamp Layering and How Does It Work?

Whether you're a beginner crafter or a pro, there is much to be said and explored about layered stamping. Layered stamping is like regular stamping, except it has more steps and results in a more detailed design. Instead of just one whole image, a layering stamp set mostly features stamps that will give your image a solid-color base, an outline, a highlight, and a shadow, among others. These stamped images alone would look like broken pieces and parts, but when you assemble them together, they will produce a one-of-a-kind arrangement like no other.  

Find the best stamping tool for stamp layering here at Altenew!


Simply put, stamp layering involves using a series of stamps or images, each with a different design or color, to build up a final image. You repeat stamping as many times as necessary to create the final image, as each layer builds on the previous layers to create depth and complexity.

With layered stamping, you can create various effects, from simple geometric patterns to highly detailed flowers with shading and texture. 

Tools and Materials You Need for Layering Stamps

So, now that you know what layered stamping is, what tools do you need to execute this technique? Of course, first and foremost - you'll need some layering stamps! But apart from that, you'll also need the following:

  • Inks: Whether you use the vibrant colors of dye inks or the fade-proof properties of pigment inks, having inks that belong in one color family will help you create realistic images. For example, just use different dark and light hues of red to ink up each layer of your stamps.
  • Cardstock: You can't start stamping without a surface! Cardstock is best paired with layered stamping techniques, as the ink will sit on it nicely and won't bleed through, unlike regular, thin paper. 
  • Stamp Positioner Tool: Since layering involves repeated stamping and switching between stamps, we recommend using an acrylic block, or better yet, the Stampwheel, to help you align and stamp your layers faster and more efficiently. 
  • Embellishments: This step is optional, but to spruce up your cardmaking projects even more, why not throw in some sequins, enamel dots, and jewels to add sparkle? 

Once you have these basic supplies for layered stamping, you're good to go!

Discover the best floral layering stamp subscriptions for paper crafting here at Altenew!

 Build-A-Garden: Magnificent Branch

Tips and Tricks for Successful Stamp Layering

If you're curious about how to use the Stampwheel for layering stamps or about how to align each layer perfectly on your cardstock, then read through these tips and save them for your next stamping project:

Ink, Stamp, Rotate, and Repeat 

Rich and vibrant dye inks perfect for stunning layered stamping!

Crisp Dye Inks

Using the Stampwheel, creating multiple batches of cards with layering stamps has now become easier! Watch how Therese demonstrates how the Stampwheel makes the process faster in this video: 

Because of the way that the Stampwheel’s Flip Plate locks into place, you don’t have to worry about misalignment or dead spots anymore. Gaining inspiration from Therese’s video, a pro tip is to use an enamel dot to guide you on the angle and rotation of your Flip Plate. 

Find a Distinct Mark and Draw an Arrow 

After stamping your first image, take a moment to inspect the impression for any unique marks or shapes that can be used as a guide for aligning your next stamp. 

These can be holes, corner edges, or any distinct shapes that stand out. Simply draw an arrow underneath the chosen mark with a pencil - this will serve as your guide for aligning subsequent images. By following this simple technique, you can achieve perfectly aligned stamped images every time, making your crafting projects even more beautiful and professional-looking.

Face Your Stamp and Acrylic Block Directly Overhead

Learn different stamping techniques with this gorgeous layering stamp set!

Marbled Bloom Stamp & Die Bundle

When using layering stamps with an acrylic block, it's important to position the stamps accurately to create the desired layered effect. However, sometimes it can be tricky to get the stamps perfectly aligned on the block, especially if the stamps have a lot of small details.

One tip to ensure a more accurate placement is to look at the acrylic block directly overhead from a bird's eye view. This helps you see the stamp's true position on the block and align it more precisely. If you hold the block at an angle or look at it from the side, the stamp may appear slightly off-center or skewed, affecting the final result.

Make Your Base Stamp the Lightest Color 

Always start your layers by using the lightest colored ink on your base stamp. You will recognize your base stamp as the stamp that is most likely solid. 

Remember to always begin with the lightest color and work your way up to the darkest color. This will help prevent the lighter colors from getting muddied or stained by the darker shades. Imagine if you stamped your solid image first with black ink - the top layers won't be seen anymore! 

Practice on Scrap Paper First 

A gorgeous watercolored card, made with layered stamping techniques

Crown Bloom Stamp & Die Bundle

You know how they say - practice makes perfect! In this case, we can also say that practice makes permanent, so just keep on practicing your aligning skills. Eventually, you'll get the hang of layered stamping in no time! Whenever you get a new layering stamp set, always test it out first on a piece of scrap paper, so you’ll be able to memorize which layers go together and which layers come first. 

If you want detailed information, you can check out the FREE All About Layering Classes! Take each class in this free series, and you’ll be a layering master in no time at all!  

Ready to Make Beautiful Cards With Your Layering Stamps?

A beautiful floral card decorated with layered stamp images

Hello Gorgeous Stamp Set

All in all, stamp layering is one of the most popular techniques you can use to get excellent cardmaking projects. Not only does it help in creating intricate and beautiful designs, but it also allows for room to experiment with various methods and techniques. Taking all these factors into consideration, it's clear that stamp layering should be a part of any cardmaker's repertoire. With a little trial and error, you could become a master at it! 

The good news for those just starting with layered stamping is that Stampwheel has you covered! Now all that's left is to give it a go – what have you got to lose? So don't forget to pre-order your Stampwheel for a more convenient and faster stamping experience. We can't wait to see what nifty tricks you come up with this extraordinary tool! 

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