Save Time With This Simple Coloring Hack

Coloring with any medium takes time, especially when you layer up colors. Save time with this simple coloring hack.

Time Saving Simple Coloring Hack

Do you remember that cooking show Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee? Sandra combines fresh ingredients with premade store-bought items. This time-saving simple coloring hack is a bit like semi-homemade cooking. So how can you save time? Don’t start from scratch.

Instead of stamping on white cardstock, stamp on a gel print or some other type of paper that has a bit of color. What backgrounds do you have laying around? Think gel prints, ink smooshing, watercolor, etc. You know you have them!

images stamped on gel print
Images stamped on gel print

The type of colored paper you use may determine what coloring medium you can apply. For example, while you can’t watercolor on non-absorbant Yupo paper, you could use acrylic pens.

As you can see above, I stamped on gel prints created with acrylic paint and 80 lb cardstock. The acrylic paint allows the cardstock to hold up to more water. And, matte acrylic paint, will actually absorb a bit of water.

Introducing Kris Lauren

Kris Lauren, of Pretty Little Lines, is Colorado Craft Company’s newest illustrator. Kris describes herself as “an illustrator, who loves to make graphics that help others make cool creative projects”.

Teacups & Mice Card

Coloring is all about layers. So, you might have guessed that stamping on backgrounds saves time by providing a base layer of color. Of course, you’ll want to choose your base color or background wisely. For this card, I chose light pink and peach colors for the mouse and flower teacup.

Speed Coloring

Use textured paper to your advantage. Here the texture of the gel print added to the texture of the mouse fur. Especially on her left ear and forehead. I opted to color the mouse and teacup with Distress Crayons. They blend beautifully and don’t require much water.

Colorado Craft Company Kris Lauren Teacups & Mice Stamp & Dies
Colorado Craft Company Kris Lauren Teacups & Mice Stamp & Dies

To finish off the card, I created two new gel prints with Prussian Blue acrylic paint. One on cardstock and one on an old book page. In addition, to gel printing, I did a bit of finger painting for more texture. A scrap of book paper grounds the teacup and mouse images.


Save more time by coloring the centerpiece but, not the supporting elements. The LOVE letters are cut from a piece of paper I used to clean off my brayer. And, the envelope is cut from the same gel print I used for the teacup card.

images stamped on gel print
Stamp & die-cut from brayer-off paper
Images stamped on gel print
Dry embossed with dirty stencil

I inadvertently added color to the background by dry embossing with a dirty stencil. The stencil transferred dried-up alcohol ink to the background. Fortunately, the colors coordinated so I went with the happy accident.

White Posca Pen Highlights

To incorporate the white background, I highlighted the letters and envelope with a white Posca acrylic pen. I stamped the gnome on a gel print, then watercolored it with Distress Crayons. Including Weathered Wood, Scattered Straw, Milled Lavender, Tattered Rose, and Tea Dye.

Use a craft knife to carefully cut along the envelope opening. Make the cut slightly wider than the O and slide the O into the envelope. For added interest, pop up the O with foam squares.

Colorado Craft Company Kris Lauren Love Day Gnomes & Sitting Gnomes

Colorado Craft Company Giveaway

WINNER | Angie Cimbalo @macibalo

Colorado Craft Company is giving away a $25.00 Gift Card per designer on the blog hop. There are lots of chances to win.

To enter, let us know what you think, leave a comment here or on my Instagram post.

Entries will be accepted until midnight mountain time on all social media on the 14th of February, 2022. The winners will be randomly selected by each designer and announced on February 16th, 2022.

Simple Coloring Hack | Colorado Craft Company Kris Lauren Release

Next Stop

The next stop on the hop is the talented Amy Tsuruta. To start at the beginning of the hop and for a full list of blog hop participants, visit the Colorado Craft Company post.

Many thanks to Amy and Adrienne from Colorado Craft Company for inviting me to the hop. It was a pleasure working with their lovely stamps and dies.

Art Supplies

Art supplies used in today’s post are linked below. Affiliate links are used when able. As an affiliate of Amazon.com and companies like Colorado Craft Company, I earn a small commission at no cost to you on qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support!

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  1. Wow, what a clever coloring hack! This article has some really helpful tips and tricks that I can’t wait to try out. It’s great to find ways to save time and still enjoy the calming and fun activity of coloring. Thank you for sharing this, it’s going to make my coloring sessions much more efficient. Keep up the great work! Becky Gomez

  2. Debra Mills says:

    Oh my gosh! I adore your cards! They are so cute, especially the “O” coming out of the envelope. And the little mouse (which is cuter than cute) really stands out from that blue background, which creates alot of interest. Well done!

  3. Sandra Baggarly says:

    Such cute cards! How clever to use backgrounds.

  4. Love your cards! Loving this new release!

  5. Sharon Hoffmann says:

    Love, Love, Love the love card.

  6. SabineVDK says:

    Great cards and fabulous tips!

  7. Vickie S Davis says:

    Such cute cards and wonderful information. Glad to see you back to blogging!

  8. Andrea A. says:

    What great techniques for texture and quick coloring! Love, love Lauren’s images and I’ll look forward to seeing her new additions. Thanks for sharing your creations!

  9. Annie Walker says:

    Now I want to pull out my distress crayons. Love the coloring!

  10. Your cards are so cute! I like your happy little accident! That’s a good idea for cleaning off brayer. -Pam Foy

  11. Amy Mattingly says:

    Wonderful cards and your instructions are very informative and helpful!

  12. The release has been so much fun with beautiful cards like yours. Can’t wait to see more.

  13. Such cute cards! I adore that little mouse

  14. Scraporcraft says:

    Great project shares. I like the ideas for the backgrounds. I have been thinking about trying out the crayons. I will be back to watch the videos.

  15. Great tips! I will be using them for sure. Inspired.

  16. Good tip to use background created papers as a starting point with stamps- especially for letters!

  17. Carol McCready says:

    Your cards are adorable. I love this new release from CCC.

  18. The CCC new release is so sweet, and your creation with the adorable lily teacup is fantastic!

  19. Great hack and cute cards! Love this line – so adorable!

  20. Yvonne Wood says:

    The mouse and flower are so adorable! I love your soft colors! It looks super nice!

  21. Dawn Fields says:

    Your cards are gorgeous! I especially love the color and texture of the background on your mouse card. I’m in love with this new release by Kris Lauren…a breath of fresh air!

  22. Jeannie H says:

    I enjoy your work. It is wonderful that you explain how you obtained such beautiful results.

  23. Jeanne Rice says:

    The mice are so so cute. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Such adorable cards. I like that you used all of the pieces made during creating to make cards and envelope.

  25. Teresa Litchfield says:

    Love the rich colors of your card and your techniques!! Kris’ designs are so precious! Great addition to 3C!!

  26. Kasi Redfearn says:

    Love your work! Thanks for the coloring tips. I just bought some distress crayons, but I’m not sure how to use them.

  27. Retta Rae Lutte says:

    Amber, I always learn so much from you. Your cards are darling! Thank you for sharing!

  28. Jann Gray says:

    Great tips and tricks… and your cards are gorgeous!

  29. Flo Swinford says:

    I’ve never used those crayons, think I may try them. Super cards

  30. Barbara Deichl says:

    These mice are so dang cute–and I am excited to see what the new designer has in the future. Love the sweet creations!

  31. Stunning mouse card, Thanks for sharing so many tips and techniques.

  32. Wonderful cards. I like the colors and textures.

  33. roxanne tellini says:

    I think Kris’s little mice are so adorable!

  34. Lauryne Cunningham says:

    Great designs, especially the Love card! I love how you colored with the distress crayons!

  35. Kate O'Brien says:

    I love 3C and their new release — and I love your cards too!

  36. Mary Holshouser says:

    thanks for the coloring tips. I can use
    all the help possible. Love the little
    mouse. Both cards are darling.
    thanks for sharing.

  37. Brenda McKinley says:

    Love it!! The new artist has such cute images! Perfect for CCC! ♥️

  38. So wonderful to see you back Amber!! I love these sweet cards with these fun little images!!! Thanks so much for the great inspiration. Take Care! 🙂

  39. Love this card. What a cute idea

  40. Denise Bryant says:

    Great ideas and inspiration! I love the cards you created! The teacup and mouse are just adorable!

  41. Marisela Delgado says:

    So pretty! Great job!

  42. Carol Wortman says:

    That, my dear, was a wealth of information and a ton of wonderful inspiration. Thank you! Ms. Kris’ illistrations are adorable (those eyes right?) and your colors added darling texture and life. The O tucked into the envelope is so cute… note to self. ✔ I never make “extra” or left over backgrounds, need to do that pronto.

  43. That mouse is just adorable. And your coloring is beautiful! I’ll have to dig out my distress crayons! Thanks for sharing.

  44. Linda Gorman says:

    Awesome cards and great tips!!! Thanks for sharing! Love the new collection!

  45. Linda Gorman says:

    Your cards are absolutely amazing! I love them. Thanks for all the great tips too! Kris will be a great addition to CCC!!!

  46. Kristina Gentle says:

    I adore your blog, so informative, packed with great tips! What a great collaboration CCC has done! Can’t wait to see the rest of the inspiration.

  47. Sharon Gullikson says:

    Nice job with the background on the mousie card. Really cute for the cute mouse and cup!

      1. Your cards are fabulous. Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration. I am really loving that little mouse!

  48. Thanks for the great tips. I need an envelope stamp and I need to try your tip of cutting to slip something in.

  49. BECCA YAHRLING says:

    That mouse is just too cute for words!
    Both cards are so fun, love them.

  50. Glenice Bust says:

    Love the cute little mice. Trying to use more backgrounds.gl

    1. Thanks, Glenice! Yeah, backgrounds are so fun to make and they pile up, so we’ve gotta use them.

  51. Mary Smith says:

    Very cute cards! Now I have an idea what to do with my crayons!!!

    1. Thanks, Mary! I know Distress Crayons are an old product, but they are new to my stash and I enjoyed breaking them in. Happy crafting!

  52. Pat Bethke says:

    These cards are so cute! Thanks for the cooring tips.

    1. Anne Sturgeon says:

      Great tips! Love the sweet gnomes and their home. Kris is the perfect fit for CCC. TFS your amazing talent!

  53. Beautiful cards! Thank you for the tips. You
    inspired me to finally give my distress crayons a try!

  54. Jeanne Beam says:

    Adorable cards! Your coloring is amazing…
    Love CCC new release. Thanks for sharing.

  55. Yes, loved that show! Did you know Sandra is the Ex of Andrew Cuomo? Who’d of thunk it but I digress….your cards are inspirational as usual and thanks for the coloring tip!

  56. Dee Earnshaw says:

    aww these cards are just darling -thanks for sharing how you made them

  57. Joy Meadows says:

    Your cards are so adorable! Love the mouse/tea cup one especially.

  58. Those mice and tea cups are so adorable-love what you did with this one!!

  59. Pennie Stone says:

    Love the use of the brayer paper!

  60. I love your cards and especially your useful hints. I love this new designer and look forward to seeing more.

  61. Becky Lade says:

    Your cards are so cute!!!

  62. Alexandra Y says:

    Such beautiful cards! I love the tip about not starting from scratch with colouring! So helpful!

  63. Your card is super cute!!

  64. Your Love card is very cute!!

  65. Cheryl Palmer says:

    Loved your tips and all that you shared! Look forward to more! So happy you have joined up with CCC!

  66. Your cards are so cute! Thanks for all the tips!

  67. Carolyn O'Connor says:

    Love your cards and your coloring tips.

  68. Laura Casselman says:

    So happy you shared this! I always love your tips! And artwork!

  69. These are very cute cards made with cute stamps. Looking forward to the rest of the release!

  70. Terri Y, CZT16 says:

    WoW! Amber, your cards and ideas are fabulous! I love the fact that you used your stash of previously colored or gel papers. I have a huge stash and will be pulling them out to use from now on. Thanks again. I also hope you will use more Zentangle in your designs. I love those, too.

  71. Teri Smith says:

    I’m so happy to see your posts again Amber as I see you as one of the reigning queens of colouring. I’m also delighted to know that you created your background with a gel plate. I’ve just started experimenting with one & am having fun. It’s a learning process but I like the fact that no two prints turn out the same. The mouse & teacup are absolutely darling! I also like the way you made use a happy mistake with the dry embossed
    background on the envelope.

  72. Jennifer Jane Mills says:

    So cute. Getting another order together

  73. stephanie serrano says:

    Adorable stamps and cards and great tips!!!

  74. Maria Pane says:

    Absolutely incredible! Nice! Inspiring

    1. Thanks for sharing so many tips. This new stamp collection is beautiful.

  75. Thanks for the tip of using something other than white cardstock. Your coloring skills are awesome. Love the teacups & mice.

  76. Susan Young says:

    Fun card designs! Thanks for sharing these tips and techniques
    and the quick coloring tutorial! Loved the no wasted papers stamping! 🥰

  77. Great tips on the coloring! Such wonderful new images at CCC with Kris!

  78. Kate Byrne says:

    Super ideas for layering color! And a very sweet card!

  79. Meghan Kennihan says:

    I love the way you colored the images! Especially the darling gnome and the texture of the background!

  80. Amber Trubiak says:

    This is so adorable – what a fab new artist and your project is so cute! Can’t wait to see more!

  81. Beautiful cards and great tips. Your mouse & teacup card look awesome on that vibrant background.

  82. Love your work-arounds by printing on colored cardstock. I just got some Distress crayons and your post makes me want to pull them out and give them a try!

  83. Denise Valdinocci says:

    Love the girl gnomes love card