Cupcake cards

I have lots of free backing papers I’ve received in magazines. Sometimes they can be pretty poor quality – pretty, but still just thin shiny magazine paper. But occasionally you get some that are just as good any anything you can buy in the shops. Here are a couple of cards I’ve made with some of those excellent quality papers.

Both of these cards use the same backing paper, but I’ve used different toppers to create to quite different cards. Although I have just noticed that i’ve used the term ‘Just For You’ on both of them, quite by accident!

Birthday cake

I think the birthday cake topper was a die-cut I received in a bag of randomness either in a swap, or an eBay package when I first started out crafting. Either way, when I got it, it was pretty uninspirational as it was cut from plain cream cardstock. However, by choosing marker pens to match the backing paper colours I have managed to make it look much more fun. Some plain white organza ribbon wrapped around the card adds interest, and a vellum sticker sentiment finishes it off.

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Cupcake

I had cupcake backing paper left over after making the above card, but no more birthday cake toppers. So I decided to make my own topper. I used white textured paper for the cake case, pink handmade paper for the cake, and I coloured a white adhesive gem red using a marker pen to make the cherry on top. I stuck my cupcake to some pale blue cardstock, and accented it with a silver peel-off border. I love the font of the ‘Just For You’ peel off, it looks so fun!

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Important occasion cards

Two of my friends recently celebrated some very important days. At the beginning of September my friend Michelle and her husband celebrated 10 years of marriage. And just a few days later, another good friend Stacey got married. I have to admit, I did feel somewhat under pressure to produce two cards in quick succession for such important events!

Michelle

When it comes to important wedding anniversaries, I love to personalise the card as much as I can. And what better way than to incorporate a wedding day picture?! I went through my pile of photos from that day (and it tells you a lot about me that the photos are still in a pile after 10 years, and haven’t made it into an album yet!) and found a nice photo of the two of them, that fitted perfectly inside the paper heart frame that I was wanting to use. The pink heart backing card (called Dufex) was a small scrap that I hadn’t thrown away, but was just the right size to use. Originally plain silver, I found a marker pen that matched (almost) the colours of the bridesmaid dresses on the day, and coloured it in. I did the same with the tiny square I put the number stickers on too. A torn layer of textured white paper on top of a layer of matt-finish silver cardstock  all added to the matting & layering effect I wanted to acheive with this card.

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Stacey

This was such a hard card to make! I was so proud of the acceptance card that I’d given her that I really didn’t know how to top it! I knew that I wanted to stick with her wedding theme colour of green, so that was my starting point. I discovered in the depths of my craft drawer a piece of vellum, with ‘wedding’ written over it in gold writing, so I chose to mount that on some green cardstock using matching green brads in each corner. So with the colours of green and gold chosen, I set out to see what else I had that would match. I’d recently bought some gorgeous gold organza ribbon from my local craft shop, Tutbury Crafts. I’d planned to use it on Christmas cards, but it just seemed to fit perfectly with this wedding card. I made it into a ribbon flower and mounted it on some more green cardstock using a green flocked brad, and put a gold peel-off border around the edge of the card. Finally I personalised it with the happy couple’s name, and the date they tied the knot (which I must’ve checked about 6 times before I finally wrote it!).

I’m probably not as pleased with this card as I was the acceptance one, but that may be because I don’t usually ‘do’ gold and I’m more used to silvery cards. Regardless, I hope it’s one that they’ll keep for many many years.

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Map ATCs

I was sorting out some bits and pieces recently when I came across an old diary, which contained a section of maps at the back. Rather than throw the whole lot away I thought ‘I bet I can do something with those!’ and used them to make the following ATCs.

UK

I discovered that the overview map of the UK from the diary was just the right size to fit perfectly on an ATC, so I cut it out to use as a backing paper. I then cut strips from another, more close-up map and glued them over the top. I outlined the ATC using silver peel-off borders, and outlined each map strip in silver pen. Finally, using Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss Finish I highlighted one area name on each strip. It was a very simple ATC to make, but I think it works really nicely. I can’t wait to send it to someone overseas!

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From here…to here

These two ATCs comprise my first ever ‘series’ as they are basically the same. ‘From here’ shows my place of birth circled with a Hugz circle embellishment (like a big circular brad). I drew and cut out the big arrow by hand, and used some fab vellum letter stickers for the words. ‘To here’ is pretty much the same, but shows where I live now. I really like these. Because they’re so personal though I might not swap them, and keep them for my own collection instead.

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A – Z challenge: K is for…

K is for kids & crafting.

I confess I do get a bit control freaky when my 5 year old son wants to help me do my craft. He loves making things and decorating them. His latest craze is ‘junk modelling’, AKA ‘sticky taping recycling together, and calling it a rocket’. He also likes to make cards and has in the past helped himself to sheets of my scrapbooking paper (50p a sheet!!) to make me a card. Talk about mixed feelings – he’d not long been writing, so the fact that he’d written in it was lovely. However, the more I looked at it the more the realisation dawned that he’d nicked the paper straight out of my craft room! After a few hugs, thank yous, and stern words about asking first, we have both managed to move on from the event, and thankfully it has not been repeated!

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There are lots of options for crafting with little ones, depending on the level of mess you are willing to get involved with. Rubber stamping is excellent, as you can stamp over and over again, and unlike stickers for example, you’ll never run out. However, it is frankly impossible for a small child to rubber stamp with an ink pad and not cover themselves, their clothes, and most of the furniture with ink. This is why we stick mainly to, ahem, stickers, and particularly free ones off the front of a crafting or kiddies magazine. If they’re free I know that I can let him loose with them without constantly thinking ‘that’s 75p of stickers he’s used already!’ He has made some lovely cards with stickers in the past, but the last card he made was a bit more advanced.

You may have noticed in my ‘Happy Birthday’ post that I have some Scooby Doo 3D-decoupage sheets, just waiting to be cut out and built up. I thought he’d enjoy making a Scooby Doo card, so I chose a design that had some nice straightforward shapes to cut, explained what he had to do, and let him get on with it. There was a little incident when he cut off something that should have stayed attached, but we fixed it with a bit of sticky tape on the back, so it was all good, and the tears were over with quickly. He did get a bit carried away with the sticky foam pads, but I managed to ration them in time. He even chose the backing papers to use, and how he wanted the bits laid out on the card. This is the finished product:

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I was very proud. I’d been making a card too, and although we’d been sat crafting together, we were both doing our own thing. That meant that Isaac felt he had a lot of control over what he was doing. I was still able to watch him and make sure he wasn’t going crazy with the scissors, but could also metaphorically step back and let him utilise his own creativity. Obviously children will need supervising when doing any sort of craft, even if it’s just to ensure that stickers are stuck to the paper and not the wall, chair or face of a younger sibling. But it’s also important to remember that they are individuals, with their own ideas, and it’s good to be able to lose the mothering instinct for just a little while and allow them to discover themselves. So maybe the card will have stickers all up one side and nothing on the other (or in Isaac’s case, when he was small he always insisted on leaving the outside of a card blank and covering the inside with as much stuff as he could cram on), but it’ll be their own work, and you’ll treasure it far more in the future than you would if you’d butted in and told them where to put stuff.

I guess the moral is to have things put aside that they can go crazy with (and you won’t be stressing if it’s all used up inside 10 minutes), and to take a deep breath and let them discover the joys of creating something by themselves.