I’ve missed the boat a bit for Valentine’s it would seem. Whoops. Regardless, here’s a couple of cards I made on a ‘love’ theme. Valentine’s or not, they could just as easily be used as an anniversary card – which is exactly what I did with the second card.
I found this sweet little heart charm in amongst some bits and pieces I was sent in a swap. Tying the fibre through the tiny hole was tricky, but I love the colours of it. I’m not totally happy with this card as I think the proportions seem wrong, but I reckon I could add some silver writing or peel-offs around the red border to make it look more balanced.
I bought this heart print for the princely sum of about 20p, and used my ProMarkers to colour it in. A matching red mount and some ribbon tied around the card and Robert’s your father’s brother as they say. I’m going to have to buy some more of those prints, they’re so pretty!
Day 24: Flowers and Ribbons
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!
Day 21: Teacake Baubles
I’m never known to throw anything away if I can see it has potential. So off the back of yesterday’s post I bring you Leftover-Tunnock’s-Teacake-Wrapper-Baubles. Bit of a mouthful really. Teacake baubles will do. I cut my baubles out freehand (as you can probably tell – most of them are somewhat wonky and not very symmetrical), but you may wish to use a template to make them all the same.
To make this card:
- Take the leftover sections of patterned teacake wrapper from making a cracker card, and cut out some bauble shapes.
- Place them on a tall thin dark red pearlescent card blank and arrange them as you wish.
- Use a ruler to draw a straight dashed line from the top of the card down to the top of each bauble. A silver pen works well for this as it shows up well against the card background and also matches the silver of the baubles.
- Stick the baubles on with adhesive foam pads.
- Place a silver peel-off greeting towards the bottom of the card.
The second card uses one less bauble and no peel-off for a less cluttered look. I tend to draw the lines before sticking the baubles on because the baubles are raised off the surface of the card by the foam pads, making it tricky to hold the ruler flush against the card.
It is hard to see in these pictures, but I also coated my baubles with Anita’s 3D Gloss Finish which adds a smooth shiny surface to them. It does take ages to dry though, especially when used quite thickly, so leave the cards overnight if possible, and DON’T touch the surface ‘just to check’ if it’s dry – if you think it might still be wet, it probably is! And yes, I did exactly that, and now have a matt fingerprint in the middle of one of my shiny baubles. One of these days I’ll take my own advice. Until then, I’ll continue to cover all my craft with smudges and fingerprints. *sigh*
Day 18: Santa toppers
I was browsing round a craft shop recently and found a lovely 12″ x 12″ scrapbooking sheet with lots of Santa Claus images – 24 to be exact. Each image is 2″ x 3″, and just crying out to be made into a fab Christmas card! I’ve still not used all the images up yet, but I’ve enjoyed making each card slightly different. I received the brown mesh ribbon in a swap – I wish I knew where to get some more from – it looks so good with the distressed style of the images.
How to make these cards:
- Take a Santa image and mount onto cream cardstock, leaving a 3 mm border around the edge.
- Mount this onto matching coloured paper.
- Take a 4″ length of mesh ribbon and dab the back with a glue stick. Stick onto a 5″ square cream card blank, either to one side (for a horizontal topper) or along the bottom (for a vertical topper). I also used a small strip of very strong double sided tape hidden behind the topper to make sure it stayed put!
- Place the topper so it slightly overlaps the ribbon, and is to one side of the card.
- Finally, put a greeting peel-off in the remaining space.
I’ve also made a few cards with some red mesh ribbon which I’ve had pretty much since I started crafting. I never had any idea what to do with it, but it looks great on these cards. It just goes to show that if you wait long enough, inspiration is bound to strike eventually!
This one looks a bit more fancy. I’ve used several layers of pearlescent card, and I think that the red fibre sets it off nicely. It was a bit more work than the other design though, so I stuck with the mesh ribbon / santa topper / peel-off combo for the bulk of the cards I’ve made so far with these Santas.
Day 17: Music Peel-off
I love and hate this peel-off in equal measure. When I first found it I thought it was fab, but when I got it home and actually *looked* at it, I realised that it is musically inaccurate – the rhythms are all wrong. But hey-ho, I’ll just have to send it to someone who isn’t musically minded, they won’t know the difference! Regardless of rhythm, this peel-off is a great way of making quick and easy cards – you get about 8 or 10 on a sheet, for less than £1. All you really need to add is some subtley patterned backing paper.
To make this card:
- Cut a sheet of fairly plain backing paper into a square approx 2 cm smaller than your square card blank.
- Stick the backing paper to the card blank centrally using double-sided tape.
- Place the music peel-off a little above halfway up the backing paper, and carefully place the words below. A pair of tweezers can be very helpful when trying to pick up the tiny words.
- Outline the backing paper with a zig-zag peel off in a colour that matches the music.
- Add a black adhesive gem at each corner of the backing paper to finish.
Of course, there are so many possibilities for change within this design – using a different colour backing paper for example, or substituting the gems for brads, buttons or even tiny doodled musical notes!
Day 16: Christmas pups
I don’t do a lot of stamping. I’ve never really got into it. As a result, I don’t have very many stamps, and even fewer Christmas stamps. It’s silly really, because stamping is such an easy way to make lots of quick Christmas cards to the same design. So I was excited to see an absolutely gorgeous set of Christmas dog stamps, free with a magazine (again!). I was even more excited because the pups in the stamps look just like my friend Jay’s dog Max (even though he is a Westie, not a Scottie). I bought the mag solely for the stamps, and I’m so glad I did because they have made some beautiful cards. Here are a couple of very straightforward little cards I made with a couple of the stamps in the set.
By the way, the card above has been rubber stamp embossed using a black embossing powder and heat gun which gives it a raised and shiny look, which has a lot of impact. In contrast, the card below was stamped with just brown ink. It gives a much more subtle look to the image.
To make this card:
- Stamp and emboss an image of a pup in a Santa hat. Use black ink and black embossing powder for impact.
- Colour in parts of the image using marker pens.
- Trim to leave a neat and even border around the image, then mount onto dark blue cardstock, leaving a 3 mm border.
- Stick this onto matt silver cardstock, this time leaving a 7 mm border.
- Finally, use adhesive foam pads to mount this topper to the centre of a 9 x 11 cm deckle-edge card blank.
To make this card:
- Stamp an image of a pup wearing reindeer antlers onto some plain white cardstock using brown ink.
- Colour in the image with marker pens
- Trim the cardstock to leave a neat even border around the stamped image, then mount it onto green card leaving a 3 mm border.
- Mount this topper onto an iridescent red 10 cm square card blank using adhesive foam pads.
- Place a black ‘Happy Christmas’ peel-off in the bottom right corner.
The card above is very similar to the one I’ve made for Jay – her parents have a black Scottie, and she has her Max, a West Highland White. On her card I’ve made sure I’ve coloured the pups collars to match the colours that they wear in real life. I’ve also coloured it so that the black dog is pulling the white one too – this year Max tragically became paralysed from the waist down (Jay takes him for walks now in a doggie wheelchair), and I love that in this card Max’s friend is giving him a helping hand 🙂
Day 15: Snowy Branch
This was one of the first cards I created this year. It’s made up of some bits and bobs that had been languishing at the bottom of my Christmas craft drawer. The snowy branch design was once again, free with a magazine, although I got it so long ago that I have no idea which one. I blinged it up a bit by adding glitter glue and mounted it onto some silver holographic starred cardstock. This makes it nice and sparkly, which I think works well against the subtlety of the organza snowflake ribbon, which I received in a swap.
To make this card:
Cut out a snowy branch from the free papers of a magazine, or alternatively make your own by rubber stamping the image of a branch, and then adding snowflakes around it.
Mount the branch onto holographic silver cardstock, and cut around it again, leaving a narrow border.
Highlight the snowflakes on the branch with some iridescent glitter glue.
Fix a long strip of snowflake ribbon a quarter of the way up a narrow card blank.
Mount the snowy branch topper to the right of the card, overlapping the ribbon. Use adhesive foam pads to make the branch stand out from the card.
Place a small greeting peel-off just above the ribbon on the left of the card.
Organza ribbon can be really hard to fix to a card successfully because if you use glue or tape it will show through. I tend to cut the ribbon long, fold it around the edge of the card, and then use double sided tape to secure it on the reverse. This looks neat from the front, but untidy from inside the card unless you also use a card insert, which is simply a piece of paper cut to the same size as the card, and glued to the inside of the card front. Inserts help to hide all manner of things – the legs from a brad for example. The other advantage of using inserts in lots of you cards is that you can print out your greeting onto them, saving many precious Christmas card writing minutes!