Learn How To – The Retiform Technique

Check out these four fun variations of the Retiform Cardmaking Technique!

This is Part 1 of 2 videos and blog posts featuring the retiform technique. In this first post, you’ll see the card that inspired my creative play plus the three variations created during the live video. In the video, you’ll see me create these pieces live. My goal is to share my design process, show the various methods used, and provide tips for doing this technique in a variety of ways. In Part 2, we’ll make the finished cards.

I’ve used a variety of color schemes with the Magical Meadow Bundle for my creative play. The completed card below was created for the November 2023 Color Challenge and Color Fusers Blog Hop. This card was the inspiration for the three additional variations I’ve created.

Check out these four fun variations of the Retiform Cardmaking Technique! I've used a variety of color schemes and the Magical Meadow Bundle.

For the card above, I simply used some masking paper to mask each of the individual shapes one at a time. I left about a 1/8″ gap between the shapes so I’d have some white space between each shape. Watch the video below for a quick tip on how to easily create uniform white gaps using masking paper.

While masked I added color and did my stamping in the exposed shape. Watch my video below to learn the steps for adding color and images. There will also be a free PDF tutorial available to newsletter subscribers in my 11/15/23 newsletter. Click HERE to subscribe!

Before going on you may be wondering, what is Retiform?

Well, here’s a definition: “Having the form of or resembling a net.”

The “net-like” element of the retiform technique can be created in a variety of ways. Most often, you’ll see the angular type shapes you see in the project above. If you look up “net images” on Google you’ll see mostly triangles, diamonds, squares, or rectangular shapes that make up a typical net. Any of these shapes would work for this technique. I’ve played mostly with triangles and rectangles.

Below is the first of my three Retiform variations.

For the piece below, I used a ⅛” strip of Tear and Tape between each shape as an alternative way to add a uniform space between each of the shapes. I will remove the backings to these strips when I’m ready and either heat emboss or add gilded leafing where the adhesive strips are. In next week’s post, I’ll share my finished project.

Check out these four fun variations of the Retiform Cardmaking Technique! I've used a variety of color schemes and the Magical Meadow Bundle.

To get started designing the first thing I do is pull out cardstock for the colors I’ve used on my piece.

The color scheme here is Garden Green, Starry Sky, and Orchid Oasis.

Check out these four fun variations of the Retiform Cardmaking Technique! I've used a variety of color schemes and the Magical Meadow Bundle.

Here’s my second Retiform Technique variation:

For this one, I’ve used a 2″ x 3-¼” piece of cardstock to draw a pattern of rectangles with a fine-tip Sharpie. Then I masked and added color and images. This one was quite a bit easier and quicker to create than the first two above because there’s no heat embossing.

Check out these four fun variations of the Retiform Cardmaking Technique! I've used a variety of color schemes and the Magical Meadow Bundle.

The color scheme here is Garden Green, Cherry Cobbler, and Real Red.

Check out these four fun variations of the Retiform Cardmaking Technique! I've used a variety of color schemes and the Magical Meadow Bundle.

Here’s my third and last Retiform Technique variation:

For this one, I’ve used a 1-¾” x 3″ piece of cardstock to draw a pattern of rectangles with a regular Sharpie that has a thicker tip. Then I masked and added color and images. Again, this one was pretty quick to make. In the previous designs, I used the four foliage-type images from the Magical Meadow set. For this one, I used only the three bolder images which gave this one a cleaner, less busy look.

I did not expect to love this one so much. It may be my favorite.

Check out these four fun variations of the Retiform Cardmaking Technique! I've used a variety of color schemes and the Magical Meadow Bundle.

The color scheme here is Garden Green, Crushed Curry, and Lemon Lime Twist.

Check out these four fun variations of the Retiform Cardmaking Technique! I've used a variety of color schemes and the Magical Meadow Bundle.

Here are my three variations side by side.

Check out these four fun variations of the Retiform Cardmaking Technique! I've used a variety of color schemes and the Magical Meadow Bundle.

This coming week, I’ll be playing with design ideas.

Food for thought…

Here are some of the things I’ll consider when designing with each of these pieces:

  • Should I cut the piece down or use it full-size?
  • Should the orientation be landscape or portrait?
  • What end should be top vs bottom and on the left vs the right side?
  • Do I want to add a sentiment or other decorative element to the front? How much do I really want to cover up? Is there a section I don’t love that I want to cover up?
  • Should I frame the piece and if so what color looks best as the layer adjacent to it?
  • What matting should I use for an additional layer(s)?
  • Does the card need additional embellishments that might add texture or shine?
  • How do I want to decorate the inside?

What other design questions might you contemplate in designing a card with these pieces? Comment below and let me know!

Come back next week to see what I create with these fun retiform pieces!


Would you like a FREE PDF Tutorial to make this and other projects?

All you have to do is sign up to receive my weekly newsletter and you’ll get this and other FREE Tutorials as they become available! The tutorial for the one completed card above will be shared in my next newsletter on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. It will include, dimensions, a supply list with links to my online store, and instructions.

Scroll down to see today’s video tutorial and learn more about things going on now!

Happy Crafting!

Melissa 🙂


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I am a seeker of that crazy, excited feeling that comes when you've created something that’s unique, beautiful and expresses who you are in some small way. It’s like making a new discovery, when you find a unique combination of color, layout, dimension and texture. I call it a creative spark and it makes me giddy! Through sharing and teaching I hope to help others find this amazing feeling of creative bliss!

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