Melanie’s Technique of the Week: Pullin’ Pastels
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Good morning! I am excited to share a technique with you today that is fast and produces beautiful results. As much as I love bright and vibrant inks for stamping and the dazzling array of Copic® marker shades for coloring, there are often times when a quieter, more subtle card is needed. I love to get out my chalk pastels and VersaMark ink pad for that, two of the first products I ever purchased when I started stamping 10 years ago! This is a “back to the basics” technique called Pullin’ Pastels, and it works with both bold and line art images. Today I am using both types of stamp images on my card.


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For this technique, you will need:

  • Dark cardstock (Black or navy blue is often used for this technique. Here I am using brown but this technique will work with any color; the darker the shade you choose, the more contrast there will be once you pull the chalks away.)
  • VersaMark, or watermark ink pad
  • Stamps (clear or rubber)
  • Chalk pastels (You can use chalks from a palette made specifically for crafting or even colored sidewalk chalk.)
  • Dauber or even a cotton ball will do!


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Begin by rubbing pastel color of choice over cardstock until you have the entire panel covered. It’s okay for some areas to be darker than others as this this will add interest and a nice, shabby patina to your finished stamped panel.

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Ink up the image with VersaMark ink and stamp.

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Lift up the image carefully and be amazed at the gorgeous detail left behind!

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When a pattern is desired, continue stamping the image, re-inking each time and turning the stamp to fill in the gaps.

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Finish with a sentiment and embellish! I used a sentiment and scalloped border from Carolyn King’s Stamp it Big set. See how well bold stamps work also with this technique?

Isn’t that so soft and pretty?

You can emboss the stamp design with clear embossing powder to add some shine and dimension if desired. This also fixes the design, as it can smear if you handle or rub it too much. I never bother with using any kind of fixative to set it, but sprays are available which will keep the chalk from coming off over time if it’s a concern. I hope you try out this technique!

Send me a note if you do. I’d love to see your finished project!

Thank you for visiting!


Supplies used: Dark Chocolate and Innocent Pink Pure Luxury cardstock, Stately Flowers 6 and Stamp it Big stamp sets, Gina K. Tickled Pink buttons and Innocent Pink organza ribbon from Gina K. Designs; VersaMark ink pad from Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko; chalk pastels from Stampin’ Up!

28 Responses to Melanie’s Technique of the Week: Pullin’ Pastels

  1. KellyC. says:

    Wow. Simple yet so elegant. I’ve loved watermarks for years but have never used the chalks with them. I will be tonight!
    Thanks for the awesome inspiration piece!

  2. Susan White says:

    Thanks on the technique reminder, I too learned this years ago, but have not used it for years. Beautiful card!!

  3. True :D says:

    Beautiful card! I have never used this technique, but will now!
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    True 😀

  4. auntie em says:

    This is such a great technique! I have brushed chalks ONTO the versa mark but never removed the chalk off.
    Thank-you for sharing your very easy to follow tutorial. Your card is beautiful!

    • Yes, poppin’ pastels was the first technique I ever learned, but I prefer the pullin’ actually because you don’t smudge the image or get that kind of dusty halo effect from rubbing too hard or going too heavy with the chalk than can happen sometimes when applying it during the poppin’ technique if you arent careful! (and you get more contrast this way) Try it with lots of fifferent colored, chalks, papers, and images 🙂

  5. Sharon Roselli says:

    Love this card so soft and pretty. thanks for sharing I haven’t done this in a while I will have to get out my chalks!

  6. Carolyn King says:

    Wow— such a gorgeous card. The delicate line drawn rose looks amazing!! Great tutorial, my friend!

  7. Richard says:

    I love this so much, I had to run to the craft room (to the craft room, Batman!) and make THREE cards immediately! LURVE THIS!!! Watch for these on my blog soon!!

  8. Betty Neville says:

    This is so gorgeous! Had forgotten about this technique – thank you for the beautiful reminder!

  9. Absolutely stunning card! I remember doing chalks, too, but not like this. Oh, I remember what sets the chalks so they won’t smear…cheap hairspray! It worked, too! ;D

  10. Oh my WORD! This is gorgeous!! I HAVE to try this technique…my chalks are sitting on a shelf collecting dust!

  11. Sharyn Polesel says:

    Great technique and one I have not seen before. I’m so anxious to try this. I ordered your new Stately Flowers 6 & Carolyn’s Stamp-It Big, so I’m set. Thanks so much for being such an inspiration! Your cards are always beautiful!

  12. Terri says:

    So pretty and very effective.

    Ter 😉

  13. Beautiful design Mel and love this technique. It looks so pretty on the brown cardstock.

  14. Judi says:

    I just love this card and technique! I especially like the larger print words. I am always looking for bigger print as it seems that the older people I send or make cards for have trouble reading many of my stamps. Would love to know where I can find stamps with large print. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  15. Jill norwood says:

    Saw a link on richard’s blog and came to see! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  16. jogry says:

    As you mentioned before, I knew this technique, but had forgotten it! Thanks for the tutorial!

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