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Watercoloring with Salt

Salt Watercolor

Hi All,

The Stacked Hearts die I used here was an impulse buy last week. I ran out of Neenah cardstock (I actually have a ream of it in storage – who knew 4 weeks in a rental house would turn into almost 4 months!), so I placed a quick order and threw this into the cart at the last minute. I love it!

This salt technique on watercolor is not new. I tried it about a year ago and wasn’t happy with the results. I think the problem was the type of salt I used. My husband had some gourmet salt in a tin that I thought would be perfect. Wrong. I should have tried this Alessi shaker salt, which is what I use on my food. It worked great!

I also added some gold-embossed hearts on the inside:

Watercoloring with Salt

Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!



To purchase at Ellen Hutson, click the EH link. To purchase at Simon Says Stamp, click the SSS link.
Gansai Tambi colors used: #34 and #36

Stacked Hearts Die
Stacked Hearts Die
Litte B Heart Dies
Little B Heart Dies
Gansai Tambi Watercolors
Gansai Tambi Watercolors
Mama Elephant Shooting Star
Mama Elephant Shooting Star
Shape 'n Tape, Black
Shape ‘n Tape, Black
Versamark Ink Pad
Versamark Ink
Ranger Super Fine Gold Embossing Powder
Gold Embossing Powder
Hero Arts White Embossing Powder
Hero Arts
Canson Mix Media Paper
Canson Mix Media Paper
Neenah Solar White Cardstock
Neenah Cardstock
Stampin' Up! Basic Black Cardstock
Black Cardstock
Size 12 Round Brush
Size 12 Round Brush
Stampin' Up! Heat Tool
Heat Tool
Paper Piercer
Paper Piercer
Sizzix Big Shot Machine
Sizzix Big Shot
Magnetic Platform
Magnetic Platform
Sizzix Mylar ShimsSizzix Mylar Shims Tweezers
T-Square Rules
T-Square Ruler
Thin Paper Tape
Thin Paper Tape
Stampin' Up! Two-Way Glue Pen
Glue Pen
ATG Tape Runner
ATG Tape Runner


  1. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 5:20 am


    I’m definitely going to try this watercoloring with salt technique tomorrow. It really looks so effective. And even though I don’t have the heart dies you used, I have another one that should work just as well. That’s what I like about your tutorials. You inspire us to take your card design and then to use our imagination and available supplies to come up with a card design all our own.

  2. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 10:39 am


    Another wonderful video thank you

  3. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 12:52 pm


    Pretty! I need to play with both my gansai tambi and salt. I’m a big chicken.

  4. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 1:38 pm


    Awww ! This is an awesome card Darlene I just love the background you made with sea salt ! Will try to make it tonight Thanks !

  5. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 2:31 pm


    I’ve seen this water coloring technique but never tried it, looks amazing Darlene!!
    I have another heart die with a bunch of little hearts that cut perfectly, I’m going to use it to try to CASE your beautiful card.
    Thank you for sharing.

  6. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 2:45 pm


    I love pink and black together too! I’m gonna try that salt technique. Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Carol Mac

    Darlene, do you think regular table salt will work? Yours looks like bigger pieces (sea salt). Love that new multi hearts die too…been putting it off as the Canadian dollar is so low!!!

    • wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Mine definitely has some bigger pieces. I bet it would work but you’d get smaller dots. Try it and report back!

  8. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 4:45 pm


    How fun! Love how you did the texture and that the inside of the card got some attention, too. thanks for sharing.

  9. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Paula Fuller

    I really love this card and the unique way you used the SSS hearts die. Fabulous. I will definitely CAS this card. Such a lovely card, as well as the watercolor and salt technique. An oldie but a goodie. Mostly though, I love the card design.

  10. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 6:13 pm


    Gorgeous card! I am in the midst of making my Valentine cards so I plan to try the salt technique.

  11. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 6:35 pm


    LOVE this card…. so pretty! I made a card last night with the Gansai Tambi watercolors and I just couldn’t get the blending right (I have to go back and watch your Flower 8 ways tutorial). And the little bit of glue I used on my vellum reactivated the watercolor underneath it, even after drying overnight! Anyway…. I know I can do the background and I have been meaning to try the sea salt. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. wrote on February 10th, 2016 at 11:12 pm


    Love the tutorial! You always inspire me to try new techniques!

  13. wrote on February 11th, 2016 at 7:03 am


    I loved this video. I think we are all inspired to try the salt technique and I loved the gold hearts on the inside of the card. Thanks Darlene.

  14. wrote on February 11th, 2016 at 7:43 am


    Such a pretty card. I’ve seen the salt technique but have never tried it myself. Thanks for the inspiration – as always!

  15. wrote on February 11th, 2016 at 11:10 am


    That card is awesome!! I can’t wait to try it with some of the stuff I already have in my cottage. I liked the hearts I will have to go order some. Thanks for sharing such a fun card!!!! HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

  16. wrote on February 11th, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Carol B

    Love your card, you always motivate me. I tried the salt technique last October and used two different sizes of salt,background came out great, however it was very messy as I followed the advice to use the side of a plastic card to remove the salt. I think using your fingers to rub off excess sounds like a plan, will try again soon.

  17. wrote on February 11th, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Lesley S

    Great card Darlene. Have you tried the metal shim for dies? Is there a reason you seem to prefer the Mylar shims?

    • wrote on February 12th, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Darlene DeVries

      Hi Lesley. Do you mean the precision plate? I do have one of those, but I don’t seem to use it very often. I think because the mylar shims are lighter and easier to grab. The precision plate is pretty heavy.

      • wrote on February 12th, 2016 at 6:43 pm

        Lesley S

        Hi Darlene,
        Actually, I meant the Memory Box Metal Adapter Plate……see link below….it works, but I just wondered if the Mylar Shims gave a better result or were easier to use.


        • wrote on February 15th, 2016 at 12:01 pm

          Darlene DeVries

          Oh, I don’t have that plate. I don’t see a weight on the web site. If it’s not too heavy, I’m sure it’s just as convenient as the mylar shims. If it works, no need to have both!

  18. wrote on February 11th, 2016 at 6:02 pm


    Very pretty card, Darlene! You motivate me to try new things more!! Thanks for sharing!

  19. wrote on February 13th, 2016 at 1:39 am


    Hi again Darlene, I tried the watercolour salt method and it worked very well. I really loved the effect. I used a more intricate heart die as well as other embellishments etc to get a totally different looking Valentine’s Day card. But the watercolour salt method triggered my creativity and I took it from there. Thank you so much! And I hope your Valentine’s Day is a great one.

  20. wrote on February 13th, 2016 at 2:43 pm


    I absolutely love this card and will give the salt technique a try. The added touch of the tiny gold heart is perfect. I went back to your Basis 101 videos to get some tips on photographing cards. Great ideas. I tried the white paper under plastic to get a reflection but mine isn’t nearly as apparent as yours. Your photos show a deeper reflection of the card. Do you have any further tips? What about a piece of glass instead of plastic? Thanks!

    • wrote on February 15th, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Hi Vicki. Maybe your plastic is too dull? It needs to be polished. I think glass might be a good solution.

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