Fish Border Layout by Shimelle

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

  Hello crafty friends! Shimelle here today and I'm trying my best to just keep swimmin' with Paige's Fish Border cut file and a mixed media background made mostly with watercolors. I love that I could cut something so perfectly matched to the background of these photos, but the technique would work perfectly with any of Paige's border files, so if fish aren't what you need today, you can make the same style of page with hearts, stars, or anything else you love. 

I started by looking through a variety of papers to find some candidates for the background: something white or cream, with a small and subtle pattern, so it would hold its own with plenty of paint covering up about a third of the page. There were plenty of choices and I chose this paper from Pick-Me-Up, a cream paper with a small geometric print. I covered it with a layer of clear gesso, and while it dried I started backing the Fish Border cut file, cut from white cardstock and backed with a variety of paper scraps, including some from Go the Scenic Route and a black and white stripe from Oh My Heart.

Once my fish were ready and the gesso was dry, it was time to layer on watercolor washes in orange, blue, and yellow. I like to brush on one layer to prime the paper, then dry it by pressing a cloth over the top. That layer won't keep much color on the page, but repeating the same thing a second time brings a lovely depth and a more saturated color. I also flick the brush to create movement on the page and bring the colors together. While that step dried, I could embellish my photo! I matted the photo block in white cardstock then navy, and started my embellishment at the left with Ephemera Die Cuts and Puffy Stickers from Go the Scenic Route, then added chipboard and cardstock stickers from Pick-Me-Up to the layers as well. Working from a three color set made it easier to find things that would match: orange, blue, and yellow.

Once everything was dry and glued together, I finished the page with the small blue Mini Foam Thickers from Pick-Me-Up, plus circles from the Puffy Phrase Stickers and the prettiest Enamel Dots from Go the Scenic Route.

You can watch everything come together in this video:

Do you like adding watercolor behind cut files? What's your favorite technique for those mixed media layers?

SUPPLIES: Patterned papers, stickers, die-cuts, enamel dots, embellishments: GO THE SCENIC ROUTE; Additional patterned paper, Mini Foam Thickers, chipboard stickers, cardstock stickers: Pick-Me-Upwhite cardstockgesso; Die cut machine: Silhouette Cameo; Cut file: Fish Border by Paige Evans
Location: London / Blog: Shimelle / Instagram: @shimelle / Facebook: Shimelle / YouTube: Shimelle Laine / Pinterest: glittershim


  1. I love the bright saturated colors and all the fishy-fun! So pretty!

  2. I love this layout!! And thank you so much for explaining the mixed-media. I definitely want to give this a try!

  3. What a perfect cut file for these photos!!!! LOVE this layout!

  4. So cute. Love this layout and inspires me to do something similar for my deep sea fishing daughter and son in law. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Fantastic layout Shimelle. I love how the fish are so bold but the main focus remains the photos. So clever.

  6. Fun layout! Makes me want to dust off my cricut and actually back a cutfile!


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