Here’s a few random cards I’ve been making recently. This first one was made using some free stamps I got with my Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine, which are really lovely. I coloured the image in with pencils, mounted it onto spotty paper, put a strip of striped paper down the side of the card, and stamped ‘Happy Birthday’ three times in the corner, using a different colour ink for the middle one.
Again, the backing papers for this card came free with a magazine, although I can’t remember which one. I used my flower punch on two colours of patterned paper to make the little flowers, then found a bigger blue flower from my extensive stash to match. Tiny blue brads hold the flowers together, and I mounted them to the card using double sided tape.
I love this card, the colours are so fab! The gorgeous sparkly flower I received as part of a swap from Swap-Bot. There was a whole packet full of them, and I spent many happy minutes sorting through them and choosing which ones to mount together. Once I’d chosen the red & orange theme, I knew exactly which ribbon to use with the flower – also received from a (different) swap! The ribbon is unlike any I have seen before – it has almost a gauze-like outer layer, surrounding red and orange fibres inside it. So beautiful! And so quick to make! The most time-consuming part of the process was working out how to attach the see-through ribbon to the card without the edges fraying, or the adhesive being either visible or ‘feelable’ through the fabric. I ended up using super-strong double sided tape at the top and bottom of the card, but folded the ribbon over itself before attaching it, so there is about 10mm of double thickness ribbon at the top and bottom to hide both the tape and the stickiness. You can just about see it if you look closely.
Late last year, under the guise of a Christmas present to myself, I subscribed to Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine. Each month I get a magazine full of ideas, plus some freebies. This month the freebies included a set of clear stamps and some rather gorgeous backing papers that I just had to have a play with. My inspiration has been sadly lacking lately, so a couple of these cards are pretty much copies of ideas in the magazine, but I still have heaps of the backing papers left, so hopefully once my inspiration returns I’ll be able to make some more to my own design.
I’ve added my own little twists to each card with the addition of Card Candi, buttons and brads. I really enjoyed making them, despite having to have *every* piece of backing paper spread over every available surface in order to be able to choose which to use!
Ive finally managed to get back into the craft room today, for the first time since before Christmas. And I do mean literally – my craft room floor has been piled high with all sorts since the week before Christmas when my parents visited, and I just shoved it all in to get it out of the way. I’ve not been able to set more than one foot in there for weeks.
So today was the day. My husband went out for a bike ride and my son helped me transfer all the mess from the craft room to the lounge, to allow more space for sorting (he was bribed in this endeavour with sweets). About half way through I left the room, and when I returned it struck me – what a disaster zone!
It was at this point that I started to frantically try and return things to their rightful homes before my husband got home and wanted to actually sit down! How I managed to fit all that stuff into a room the size of a postage stamp I’ll never know.
Anyway, this evening I managed to actually *do* some craft. Three birthday cards in fact (only one of which has a recipient planned, the others are for ‘stock’).
I’ll share just one with you tonight, the one for my father-in-law, whose birthday is at the end of the month. My mother-in-law gave me these awesome stamps for my birthday, and I think they’re going to get lots of use!
I’ve saved my favourites until last. They contain my four favourite card-making materials: ribbon, brads, paper flowers and peel-offs – perfect! The *only* thing I don’t like about them is that they’re too thick to post as a standard card, and need a large letter stamp. But, you can’t have everything, and I think these cards are so pretty that I have actually gone against my natural instincts and posted a few of them!
I had such a lot of fun making these. I’ve made 13 in total, all slightly different. The flowers and epoxy brads in the centres are from the same range, and I bought them at the NEC craft fair back in November. The various ribbons have been either puchased or received in swaps. I started by making the flowers and choosing a suitable brad to go in the centre of each. When I had a pile of those, I had to decide which ribbon would go best with which flower. Then finally I could choose the card blank. It took a while to get to the ‘construction’ stage of cardmaking, but once I did, the cards came together really quickly.
How to make these cards:
Choose two or three different sized paper flowers in complementary colours. Use a matching Christmassy epoxy brad to attach the flowers together.
Choose a suitable colour small square card blank and ribbon of about 1 inch width. Wrap the ribbon vertically around the card about a third of the way from the crease. Secure with double sided tape.
Attach the flower about two thirds of the way up the ribbon. Either use double sided tape, or make a small hole and push the brad through the card to secure it.
Place a greeting peel-off in the bottom right corner of the card.
I like to use double sided tape to attach ribbon, but it does depend on the type of ribbon you have chosen as to how you do this. The silver ribbon in the blue and pink cards above is thin and the stickiness of the tape comes through it. I used a double layer of ribbon by folding it under itself before using the tape, and this seemed to work well. I did also pop a bit of tape under the ribbon where the flower is attached, to give a bit of extra security.
So that concludes my Advent Christmas Card Challenge! Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and I also hope that it’s inspired you to get making some cards yourself. I’d love to see your efforts, so please do post a link to your blog in the comments below so I can see what you’ve been up to!
I’ve made loads of these this year! Great for making bulk lots of cards as they are quick, easy and cheap to make, and can easily be made unique, or even tailored to your recipient!
This year I’ve seen a few people using book pages in their craft – mainly on ATCs – and I’ve had a go at a few myself. Although to start with I did have problems with the mere fact that I had to destroy a book in order to use its pages! I’ve found that I am more mentally capable of such a dreadful crime (!) if the book book is old and tatty anyway. So I bought an old art book from a charity shop, and carefully took it apart so I could use it in my craft. I’ve used the picture pages to make some gorgeous handmade envelopes, and the written pages to use on these Christmas cards.
To make these cards:
Tear a page from an old book into rough Christmas tree shaped triangles.
Use green chalks to colour the trees, particularly highlighting the torn edges.
Glue the tree to the centre of a white square card blank
Draw a short trunk at the bottom of the tree using a brown marker pen
Decorate the tree!
There is so much scope for decorating the trees individually. In the two examples here I’ve used adhesive pearls for baubles in one, and glitter glue for tinsel in the other. I’ve also used adhesive gems, brads, peel-off borders (which can also be coloured with permanent markers), and fibres. You can tailor a card to your recipient’s favourite colour very easily if you want too. At the top of the tree I’ve used star-shaped gems, but again, you could use pretty much anything that’s starry or sparkly!
You’ll notice that I’ve used my book page with the writing running vertically. This is another example of me being frugal! It’s quite easy to tear a series of diagonal lines down a page and get lots of triangles, but if I had done this with the page horizontal, half of my trees would have had upside-down writing on. I’m sure this wouldn’t bother plenty of people, but for some reason I didn’t like the idea, but could happily tolerate sideways writing – go figure! The result was that I ended up using the entire sheet, and only threw away a tiny border from around each edge. So just one book page (approx A4) has made about a dozen cards, and I still have some left over!
Another variation I have made on this theme is using a piece of sheet music (bought for 20p in a charity shop) in the same way. In this one I’ve used purple fibre as tinsel, and put a purple gem brad in each corner of the card.
I’ve been following the craft blog of a friend of mine for a while now, Chasing Art. Like me, she mainly blogs about ATCs and cards, but unlike me, often takes part in challenges hosted by other bloggers. Yesterday she posted a fantastic ATC in response to a challenge on ATC’s with Attitude, a brand new blog that’s only just been set up. The theme of the challenge is ‘flowers’, one of my favourite embellishments! So I’m joining in too, and am excited to be entering my first ever challenge. This is apt, as it’s also the first challenge ATC’s with Attitude has set too!
I was shocked to realise that I’ve not made an ATC for 6 weeks – a result of all these Christmas cards I’ve been making! But it seems that once I start, I can’t settle for just one…
As the theme is ‘flowers’, I did go a bit full on here. I used my flower punch and embosser to create the flowers (actually, they’re ones I had left over from here), and a rub on from my very first ATC kit. The finished article wasn’t quite how I’d imagined it in my head – I think it’s just too busy, so of course, I simply *had* to make another.
Follow Your Dreams
I’m much happier with this ATC. The colours are actually red and black, my favourites. I received the beautiful flower brad in an advent calendar swap I opened today. The ATC is pearlescent red card, and the rest is just my doodling with a black pen (minimal smudging today for a change!).
I hope you like them, and that they are worthy of being an ATC with Attitude!
I blogged about embossing in a post I did for last April’s A-Z Challenge – you can read it here. I recently invested in a proper light box (well, invested is hardly the word – it was an absolute bargain!), and a few more brass stencils, one of which was a poinsettia. I found the plain blind embossed image a bit too subtle for my tastes, so I coloured it in carefully with chalks.
To make this card:
Blind emboss an image of a poinsettia directly onto the centre of a plain white square card blank.
Use coloured chalks to carefully add colour to aspects of the design
Add a peel-off greeting in the top left and bottom right corners.
The second card was just as simple, I just embossed the image onto loose card rather than a card blank.
To make this card:
Blind emboss the image of a poinsettia onto a square of scalloped white card.
Use coloured chalks to carefully add colour to the design, and also around the edges of the scallops.
Put a red brad in each corner of the square.
Mount this topper onto a square scalloped white card blank, using adhesive foam pads.
I haven’t used a greeting on this one for a change. I like its simplicity as a result.