Shimmering Koi Kimono with Mica & Gold Leaf

Shimmering Koi Kimono with Mica & Gold Leaf2017-12-27T11:23:07-05:00

Project Description

Koi Kimono Shadowbox

Judikins 2545 I Blank Kimono StampSometimes I feel more like a collector than a crafter. I see things, new and old, and say to myself, “Ooo! That’s so nice! I know I can make something with that!” I buy it and then it sits—sometimes for weeks, months or even years. That was this case with the Kimono stamp #2545 I from JudiKins. I’m always drawn to Japanese influenced or themed things and I just had to have this stamp. That was probably two years ago. I had never used it, until this project.

Koi Kimono Background DetailThe first time I played with USArtQuest’s MicaColor Watercolor Metallic & Pearlescent Palette I was fascinated by the resulting effect. I can’t really say they “sparkle” because it’s not that harsh. It’s more of a subtle shimmer or sheen that is embedded into the paint (versus layered on top). It reminds me of the beautiful sheen that silk has and I immediately thought of the Kimono stamp. I applied the MicaColor to white quality cardstock to create a background. It even feels silky as you apply it—almost creamy! I took this photo holding the paper at an angle against the light so you could try and get a feel of the sheen. To me, it looks every sophisticated and elegant.

Next I stamped the background with the Kimono stamp. I did this twice so I could layer the finished project.

Embossing Folder Set - Plum BlossomTake the first stamped imaged and dry emboss it using the Koi folder from the Plum Blossom Set by Cuttlebug. Take the second stamped image and cut it in half vertically. Emboss each half with the same folder, shifting each one slightly, so the embossed image doesn’t line up when you layer these halves beneath the first image. That helps create the illusion that the Kimono has folds on each side. It’s a little detail that most people won’t notice, but it really does help the finish product look more polished.

I found applying Duo Adhesive to the raised portions of the design using a cotton swab. It was the easiest way for me to just hit the embossed areas without getting any adhesive on other parts of the piece. If you have a steady hand, you could apply the Duo Adhesive to Cut-N-Dry Stamp Pad and just kiss the embossed areas.

Gildenglitz from USArtQuestWait just a bit for the Duo Adhesive to dry. Remember what Sue says, “When it’s white, it’s not right. When it’s clear, it adheres!” Apply Gildenglitz Leafing Metal to the embossed areas and burnish with a Texture Sponge. The Draw and Gild Kit is a great way to get started. It has everything you need to get started with gilding!

To create a hanger, take a bamboo skewer and cut off the ends. Save the middle portion for another project! Cover the two ends with Duo Adhesive, wait till it’s clear and then apply Gildenglitz Leafing Metal. Burnish off the excess.

Koi Kimono DetailFussy cut each stamped image. I left extra paper at the top of the Kimono for the top layer so I could fold it over the bamboo pieces. Mount the top Kimono to the bottom layers (remember, there are two pieces here, since you cut it in half) using foam tape.

I found a great shadowbox at a thrift store and was able to repurpose it to hold this little Kimono. It looks fantastic against the deep black background—just like a tiny silk Kimono.

USArtQuest 2012 Design TeamFor more great projects with USArtQuest products, check out their blog. It’s packed with projects from Sue and the USArtQuest Design Team.

Happy Crafting!



  1. Kelly January 26, 2012 at 8:18 am - Reply

    This is absolutely gorgeous Joe! Very kewl techniques giving such an usual and interesting finish! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Karen Remsberg January 28, 2012 at 11:14 am - Reply


    I am so excited to see the image of your botanical collage frame (as linked from Shirl's blog) and can hardly wait to take your class in a few weeks. When I first saw the photo, I immediately called the shop to sign up for the class. Your kimono project is amazing, too! Looking forward to meeting you.


  3. Judi Watanabe February 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    WOW WOW WOW!!! Fabulous job. Got my brain jumping. I have to dig out my stamp and ink it up. Hummm, do you think US Art Quest can ship quickly?? I'm going to need the guilding stuff really soon. Thank You for sharing.

    • Joe Rotella February 8, 2012 at 5:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Judi!! Love your stamp! And yes, USArtQuest ships very, very fast!

  4. David H February 15, 2012 at 4:21 am - Reply

    Very awesome Joe!

  5. Robin H June 23, 2012 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Wow, Joe, this is so lovely! You are a wonderful artist!

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