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Posted by on Aug 21, 2012 in Cardmaking 101, Stars and Stamps, Tutorial | 9 comments

Tutorial: Ghosting Technique

Let’s have a big round of applause for Sybrina from Scrapping With A Purpose for sharing the technique she used on these cards for sketch #131…

Sybrina’s technique is quick and easy:

Ghosting Technique:

I merely stamped without re-inking. I inked the stamp for the initial image, which was the image I heat embossed. Then I stamped twice more without applying any additional ink.

Here are a few more examples of “Ghosting” and why this technique is so great!

Using stamps and ink pads, “Ghosting” can accomplish several things. This technique is also sometimes called “re-stamping,” or “first, second and third generation” stamping.

Firstly, Ghosting gives the illusion that you have more ink colors than you really do.

Ghosting to add shades of color.

In the photo above, you can see how the zig-zag patterned stamp was stamped twice, to leave a pattern in a dark and light teal color on white paper. Stamping a third time, can create the illusion of another, even lighter shade, just like Sybrina’s sentiments! I love how each one is more bold than the last.

Ghosting can also be fun for adding dimension and shadow.

Ghost stamping for shadows.

Once again, this is done in some very simple steps. First, ink up your stamp with lots of ink. When you think you have enough ink, ink it up some more! Stamp once to leave the darkest image. Without re-inking, move the stamp down and to the left and stamp again. Stamp again, a third or even fourth time until you have as many images as you like. This is a particularly helpful technique when you are stamping flowers with leaves or stems. Ghost-stamp a couple of stems and leaves to give the illusion that you have many more in the bouquet or scene. The ghosting will also have more depth with the variation in colors.

You may have noticed that this technique also gives the illusion of movement. Here is one last example of how ghosting creates movement.

Ghosting creates movement.

Using a fun race car stamp, I stamped three times without re-inking to make the car looks like it is going somewhere and really kicking up a lot of dust! This can be used with any fun “vehicle” style of stamp like an antique car, a rocket ship, or an airplane.

Thanks for checking out today’s tutorial… don’t forget to go leave Sybrina some love for sharing her great idea with us and those great sketch cards! Thank you, all of you who requested to know more about this technique. If you have any more requests or suggestions, please don’t forget to email me.

nancy @ operationwritehome . org


  1. AWESOME job Sybrina! I can’t wait to play with this technique! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is a great tutorial and such a fab technique! Thanks to Sybrina!

  3. Love the way the technique adds “movement!” I’ll have to give that a try.

  4. this is a easy way to add movement and great to use on cards and scrapbook pages.

  5. Nancy,

    Thanks again for the invitation to share. 🙂

    And, major kudos for taking this technique to the next level and showing how it can be used to add dimension and give the impression of movement. Love your butterfly and race car cards!

  6. just goes to show the best ideas are often the simplest! Thanks for sharing this and I can’t wait to try it out with my motorcycle stamp. Hope it turns out as awesome as your race car!

  7. Thanks for this idea. I usually stamp my image and then keep stamping on scratch paper to ‘clean’ my stamps. Now I will try this! ~~~Vickie

  8. Great examples and explanation! I am partial to the race car one. The ghosting technique really adds motion to the focal point! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Love this technique. I can hardly wait to use it.

    Where can we find the Indy car stamp?

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