There for you Hippo – Tutorial


You can tell the days when I have had a stressful day at work.  I come home and retreat to my own little stamping world where all is good, lol.  Yesterday was such a day.  Like I’ve said before, stamping is my therapy.

Last night I needed to lose myself so decided I would try to create an underwater scene.  I’ve not did this before and here is the result.  What do you think?

These cute Hippos are from the “Just So Hippy!” and “Hip-hop accessories” sets by Melanie Muenchinger and manufactured by Gina K. Designs.  Here is a link:

Come along with me today on this underwater tutorial adventure. 🙂


Stamps: Gina K. Designs Just So Hippy & Hip Hop Accessories
Paper: Stampin’ Up Whisper White, Creamy Caramel, Cool Caribbean & Basic Black
Ink: Stampin’ Up Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Basic Black, Old Olive, Taken with Teal & Cool Caribbean, Adirondack Butterscotch, Terra Cotta, Aqua & Ginger, Palette Noir Black
Accessories: Brayer, Prismacolor markers, Buff & Cool Greys at 10, 30 & 50%, White gel pen, Sponges, Post it notes


Stamped Large hippo on Whisper White card stock and again on a scrap piece of paper.


Cut the hippo out that I stamp on the scrap paper and used it as a mask for the one on the card stock.



Stamped small hippo so he is standing on the large hippo.  Then removed mask from Large hippo.


Used a Prismacolor buff marker on the shadowed areas of the hippos.


Colored the Hippos in with a Prismacolor Cool Grey 10% marker.


Colored over the middle of the hippos with a Prismacolor Cool Grey 30% marker.


Colored the undersides of their bottoms and jowl line with a Prismacolor Cool Grey 50% marker to try to create a roundness to their bottoms.  🙂


Masked the sky area with Post it notes.  Stuck them on with the sticky side at the horizon line.


Brayered Aqua ink in the unmasked area.


Sponged some Aqua ink on in the swiping motion from left to right to create lines in the water.


Sponged Cool Caribbean ink with a circular motion at the post it note edge.  Also used a swiping motion and put some Cool Caribbean ink at the bottom of the card stock.


I wanted to get a little darker yet at the horizon line so I sponge on a little Taken with Teal ink right at the post it note edge.  Then I removed the post it note mask.



Stamped small hippo on a scrap piece of paper and cut it out.  Note:  when you cut out a mask for something, you want to cut inside the lines of the image to make it just a fraction smaller.  If your mask is the same size as the image you will end up with a halo of white around the image when your project is completed.  This does not look good, lol.


Now I covered my small hippo with his mask and put post it notes on to mask the water area.  It is time to put in the sky.


Brayered on Butterscotch ink in the sky area.


Brayered on Terra Cotta ink at the top of the card stock, not covering the Butterscotch ink completely.


Brayered on Ginger ink at the top of the card stock, not covering the Terra Cotta ink completely.


Removed mask.


I could have stopped here, but I needed more therapy.  🙂

Tore a piece of Creamy Caramel card stock to use as the bottom and sides of the pond.


Using a circular motion, sponged Creamy Caramel ink on the torn card stock, leaving the torn edge un-inked.


Using a circular motion, sponged on Chocolate Chip ink, not covering the Creamy Caramel ink completely.


Using a circular motion, sponged on black ink at the very bottom and corners.


I wanted it to take on a blue green tint so I brayered over it with Taken with Teal ink and then sponged the torn edge with the same ink.


Heavily sponged on Old Olive ink at the top sides of the torn card stock to give it a grassy appearance.


Assembled card and highlighted the hippos teeth and whites of their eyes with a white gel pen.


Here it is the complete creation that measures 5″ x 6.5″.


Hope you enjoyed this underwater adventure.

May your day be filled with orange skies and smiling hippos.  🙂

Until my next post. . . . .


50 responses to “There for you Hippo – Tutorial

  1. Beth Van Brunt

    This card is too cute!!!! You definitely think outside the box. Especially like the dirt and land surfaces.

  2. I am not a cutsey stamping person but oh my gosh this is fabulous!! Love it.

  3. This is adorable! Thanks for the smile this morning. This will be my inspiration to keep my head above water today 🙂

  4. Yep, I stamp for therapy too – it’s so soothing. The water and the ground part are so realistic looking! It’s really cute!

  5. Lisa Foster

    Very cute card! LOVE the meaning of it!
    Must have been something in the air yesterday…my day was awful too. So bad in fact, that I took a vacation day today…so I’m going to indulge in stamping therapy until I go to bed tonight!
    Hope today was better for ya! ~Hugs~

  6. These are some of my most used stamp sets and I love what you’ve done with them. Aren’t you just the hippest stamper!! LOVE this!

  7. Melanie Muenchinger

    Michelle, This is so fabulous!! I was thinking the pother day I need to sit down at soem point and tryto do some kind of underwater scene with a hippo, as thos underwater vieewing tanks for the hippos are one of my favorite zoo attractions) but I hadn’t thought of this!!(nor it would have looked anything close to this amazing!) Hippo stacking, love it!!
    I still have to pinch myslef that you’ll be working with all my stamsp the next three motnhs-EEEE! (Do you remember my adoring pm so many months ago?)


  8. Very cute! I would say that your underwater scene is a success, but I would expect nothing less!!

  9. your tutorials are fabulous. thank you so much for providing such great inspiration. sorry you had a stressful day at work.

  10. Laurie Helgason

    Under water hippo, clever, very clever.

    Gina K will be at the MN State Fair Grounds this weekend for the Stamp and Scrap convention. The hippo family is coming home with me.

  11. Awesome, I love it. Adorable. ~Julie

  12. Melanie Muenchinger

    sorry for all my typos, can you tell I am is a hurry????

  13. Roxanne Stevens

    These hippos are so cute! Very cool card!

  14. Oh my gosh, this is the cutest card ever!! You just pushed me off the fence on these sets, darnit. LOL
    Thank you SO much for sharing this!!!!

  15. Peggy Maier

    Wow, Michelle! This is SO adorable – would never have thought of an underwater scene, but with hippos, what else?! Your talent is amazing!

  16. This is fabulous!! I *LOVE* it! Thank you for sharing. =o)

  17. Ohhhhhhhhhhh…you have no idea how much you inspire me!!

  18. Gidget-Trish

    Too cute!

  19. Adorable; amazing; stunning; love it!!!

  20. My goodness, how do you do it? All of your creations are awesome! You mind must never shut down.
    Your marked in my favorites for sure! A must see for inspiration.

  21. As soon as your page loaded on my screen, I started laughing:) This is just so darn cute!!! I would never have come up with an idea like this and it’s perfect!! How do you do it? I know how you create it (your tutorials are fabulous) but how do you come up with ideas like this one? Does the idea just pop into your head? Do you look at an image and imagine a scene? Inquiring minds want to know:)

  22. This is so cute, I love what you do with stamps and ink.

  23. Michelle,
    Love the card! Cute!!!!!!!!!! I too have stressful days at work, and like you I need to release the stress with ink and stamps. Sorry you had a bad one, and hope today was better. Keep the cards coming.

  24. Michelle,
    Your tutorials are amazing!!!! I wish I could have all the material you do, LOL.
    I will try more of your tutorial. Thanks so much for stopping at my blog yesterday, it was an honor for me.
    I am feeling better today, but not 100% fine YET.

    God bless

  25. Cindy asked “How do you do it? I know how you create it (your tutorials are fabulous) but how do you come up with ideas like this one? Does the idea just pop into your head?”

    Cindy, It’s scary but ideas like this one just pop into my head, lol.

  26. OH……. How cute is this. I love it.
    I just got these two sets, and will have to give this a try. I can’t wait for your tutorial on sponging, but till then I am hopeing that sponging is a bit easier for me then trying to get that darn roller to lay even layers of ink. lol

    Did I say I love this?
    Hope you are feeling much better today

    Big cyber hugs

  27. Sharon in NE

    Your therapy is my therapy. 😀

  28. Hi, thankyou for the wonderful tutorials. It is the first thing that I check in the morning. They are so inspiring. I found your web site about a month ago and I am new to stamping but my cards have improved greatly since and I tell anyone that will listen about your web site. Stampin up has only been in NZ for 12 months so I have not seen a lot of these sets but it has got me looking at some of the other web sites and ordering some of the other brands.Have a good day, Judy

  29. This is a great card. Thanks for the tutorial. I am not crazy about animal sets but after seeing this I might have to change my mind.

  30. What a spectacular card! I love to watch your creative process! Stacking the hippos is soooo awesome!

  31. Linda Marie

    Hopefully this beauty eased your stress! You make the most creative eye candy! Thanks again for the tutorial.

  32. You have done it again!!This is just awesome!! I love it.The colors just jump right out at you. Super, super job! Thanks again for sharing your insight and talent with us

  33. OMWORD! This is just sooo CUTE! And you are able to come home from a stressfull day at work and create something like this? At the end of my day it’s all I can do to come here and drool! lol!

  34. Michelle, this card makes me smile, its so cute. Piggyback hippos. love it. I’ll that your therapy any day of the week

  35. How beautiful. These are a few of my favorite stamps. The card is absolutely awesome.

  36. Very cute! How in the world do you come up with your ideas? You amaze me.

  37. Evelynn----Ks.stamper

    As I said before, you are the master. I am amazed at the ideas you come up with. This is WOW. I love it.

  38. Debbie McKelvey

    I love the hippos and I have both sets!! You always amaze me with the beautiful creations you make. They look more like paintings than stamped cards! You are a wonderful artist and I love your tutorials to show us the steps, not that mine will turn out the same, but I’m hopeful. *Ü* Well now I will have to try this because it’s so darn cute! Keep inspiring us and I hope your weekend is much better than your week.

  39. hahaha…Michelle, I love how you think! too cute!

  40. You continue to amaze me, who would have thought – this is just amazing. Just brilliant. Thanks so much for sharing.

  41. Jamie Wilcox

    Michelle, this is the CUTEST!! I think you did great with the underwater part too. Gosh, we all need a bit of lightheartedness and you really bring it! Thanks so much!

  42. Barb (GrandmaUpNorth)

    This is adorable! I love your ideas! You are so inspired! Thanks for sharing your idea with us mere mortals!

  43. Michelle, Its fantastic !!! I would never have thought of anything like this. What a marvellous idea. You are definately an inspiration. Thank You for sharing your tutorials. Have a great day!

  44. This is a terrific card. The hippo’s and the colours just brighten up any day.

  45. Glitter Queen

    OK………………Where do you come up with your ideas. Totally amazing. Love it. I have a young boy birthday card to make so I am going to try this with different animals.

  46. This is just about the most adorable card I’ve every seen! You do a FANTASTIC job masking and coloring! Thanks so much for sharing your step-by-step tutorials. 🙂

  47. I love it – so cute with one hippo standing on the other. I really like the way that you use the torn edge to such good effect for land shapes, and the colours and shading you manage to achieve are really impressive. Thanks for the tip about cutting just inside the line for masking shapes.

  48. This is flippin’ amazing, Michelle!!

  49. This is sooo adorable!!!!

  50. I just wanted to say that you are truly a card stampin Artist. I have never seen such lovely, cute, darling cards. I wish I was closer so that I could take your work shops and bring my daughter too. Just wonderful wonderful work.
    Elaine Smith
    Easton, Md.