How to Create a Storybook Garden

Art by Jenny journal page made using Dylusions stamps and coloured pencils
Stamping and colouring to create a whimsical storybook garden is a relaxing, simple process but does require a little planning to work out placement, plus flexibility for when it doesn't quite go to plan. Collage elements are perfect for covering up these glitches!

The first step is to gather your favourite stamps together. For this scene I used a variety of Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions rubber stamps that feature leaves, roses, toadstools and bees with the ladybeetle from "Entomology" stamp set by Tim Holtz.

First step, How to illustrate a whimsical garden using stamps
Next (presuming you've placed the stamp on the acrylic block), apply the Archival Black Soot Ink Pad to the group of leaves stamp in the Dylusions "Oodles of Foliage" set and press to print along the base of the page. Repeat 2-3 times (less or more, depending on your page size and how far you overlap the image).

Also stamp this same image twice on a piece of plain scrap paper. Cut out both with fine scissors. No need to cut out every detail, these are your masks for when printing the background elements.

I've used Dylusions "Crown of Roses" girl with the rosy hat and deer... place the masks over the matching leaves on the page where you want the flowers to go. They will stay in place as long as the fan is not on! Apply ink to your stamp and print the roses onto the page. Lift off the masks. It should leave the impression that the roses are behind the leaves.

Move the masks around as you print other designs onto your page that you wish to be in the background. 

Adult Colouring with art craft rubber stamps and Posca Pencils
Draw on wings, any flower stems, thorns and trace lines you may have missed using a black fine tipped marker. Now colour in your picture! When I am working on a brown kraft carstock, I start colouring with white, enhancing wings and eyes, then I move onto yellows and greens, then all the other colours. Add colour your way, using colours that make you smile.

Showing the Action Wobble ready-made spring on the back of the head
Stamp out extra images, add colour and cut out with fine sharp scissors. Glue onto your page using matte gel medium or Dylsuions glue stick. Use an Action Wobble ready-made self-adhesive spring to attach a head to your page for a fun bobble head. It presses flat when the book is closed, not much thicker than a bookmark.

Close up view of the finished art journal page by Jenny James
This photo is a closeup showing the finished art journal page, colourful and full of life! I hope this artwork makes you smile and inspires you to have a go. Stamp, colour, cut out, create and repeat... and enjoy every arty crafty moment!

Have a creative Happy day!

Arty treasures used ...
- Dina Wakley MEdia (6"x6") Art Kraft Journal
... or Dylusions Creative Art Journals (small, large, black, white or kraft).
- sheet of Strathmore Mixed Media Paper (white, black, tan, grey or blue)
... or Tim Holtz Distress Heavystock Mixed Media Paper
... or Dylusions Mixed Media Paper (maybe from a cut up page in your journal).
- Tim Holtz Distress Archival Black Soot Ink Pad
... or Ranger Archival Jet Black Ink Pad.
- Dylusions Journaling Block
... or any clear acrylic stamping blocks in sizes to suit your stamps.
- scrap plain paper
- Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions Creative Dy Cuts (ready to use die cut images).
- Posca Colouring Pencils
- Black marker for doodling and drawing details.
- Tim Holtz (Tonic Studio) 5" Mini Snips (fine sharp micro serrated scissors)
... if you like large handles, try the Tim Holtz 7" Scissors.
- Tim Holtz Distress Collage Matte Medium (bottle as it has a fine tip for easy application).
- Dyan Reaveley's Dylsuions Glue Stick.

Dylusions stamps sets used : A Head Start, Toadstool Town, Crown of Roses, Cat Among the Pigeons, Star Struck, Oodles of Foliage, Doodle Parts, Everythings Rosy, Stripy Curlicues.

Archival Ink by Ranger is a waterproof, fade resistant permanent ink on porous surfaces, giving you flexibility to colour with dry mediums like pencils or wet mediums like Dylusions Ink Sprays (as a spray, with a brush or in waterbrushes), watercolour paints and Distress inks. 
Colouring over Archival Ink with solvent markers may make the ink blur, therefore if you wish to colour in with Copics or Chameleon Pens, stamp your illustration with a watersoluble ink like a Distress Ink Pad.

All arty treasures used in this blog post are available at the 'Art by Jenny Online Shop' at