Create Decorative Borders for All Kinds of Artwork

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If you’ve ever found yourself at a loss for how to transform plain, straight lines on your papers into sensational, artistic statements, the Decorative Borders Thin Cuts set is the answer! These dies give you so many options for adding fun effects to your artwork. Take a look at all the unique shapes you can get from this one set:

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This first photo shows the dies in this set made to cut away the edges of your papers, leaving the rest of the piece in tact. Here you’ll see papers we’ve cut with the small scallop, the fringe border, the large scallop, and the notebook paper dies. Notice that you can repeat these cuts to add the effects to a piece of paper larger than the die, as we did with the small scallop border. Accomplish this by repositioning the die after the first cut and sending it through your embossing machine a second time.  Also note the faux stitching detail on both of the scallop borders!

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These next two dies are a bit more traditional in that they cut shapes to be used as embellishments. These borders work especially well when layered with other paper strips and accents.

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This last group we’ll call our “special effects” dies, for obvious reasons! Rather than cut a complete shape, these borders add patterns while leaving your paper intact. As we saw with the small scallop border, many of these can be repeated over large pieces of paper. Hopefully you also picked out the fun “pull tab” created by the far left die. Let’s get a closer look at what that looks like in artwork!

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The pull tab die is a great way to add an interactive element to cards and other artwork. The die is designed to leave tiny connection points down the length of the cut shape, resulting in a perforated paper shape that is easy to tear away, revealing a stamped message beneath. Because this is such a fun effect, we’ve put together a brief tutorial for adding a pull tab to a custom-made envelope.

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Start with a 5¾” x 7¾” piece of cardstock for your envelope base. Fold and score the envelope 3 3/8″ up from the bottom.

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Next, use a separate 3″ x 5¾” piece of cardstock for the envelope flap. Score the envelope flap 1″ from the top, but leave flat after scoring.

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Position the pull-tab die about 3/8″ from the right edge of the envelope flap, centered between the bottom edge and the score line. The die will extend beyond the left edge of the envelope flap, and that is just fine! Once you’ve made sure the die is parallel to the edge of the cardstock, secure it in place using washi tape. Then use your embossing machine to make the cut.

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To create the hidden sentiment that will be revealed by the pull tab, cut a 5¾” x ¾” cardstock strip and stamp the sentiment about 1″ from the right edge. For maximum effect, use a different color of cardstock for this strip of paper.

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Now attach the hidden sentiment piece to the envelope base as shown. Before gluing in place, check to make sure your sentiment will line up with the pull tab on the envelope flap and position accordingly!

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To assemble the envelope, you’ll need two more pieces of cardstock to form the sides of your envelope. Cut these both at 1″ x 3¼” and then score and fold both in half.

Attach the envelope sides and flap to your envelope base, then fold closed, gluing all pieces to the insides of your envelope.

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Next add your card and use adhesive to close the envelope flap. When adding adhesive to the inside of the envelope flap, be sure to avoid getting adhesive on the pull tab itself!

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There you have it! Have fun adding pull tabs, fringes, and lots of other decorative effects to your artwork using the Decorative Borders Thin Cuts!


Recipes:

4¼” x 5½” Merry Christmas Card (Vertical)
Z4240 My Acrylix® Oh What Fun—Cardmaking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7238B Oh What Fun Paper Packet, X7238D Oh What Fun Coordinating Cardstock, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6503 Mint Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z4216 Raspberry Baker’s Twine, Z4241 Thin Cuts—Decorative Borders

‘Tis the Season Envelope
C1746 My Acrylix® Oh What Fun—Cardmaking Stamp Set, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, Z6507 Clover Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4241 Thin Cuts—Decorative Borders

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Treat Yourself to a Deluxe Scrapbooking Experience!

There are as many different approaches to memory keeping as there are memory keepers. We celebrate every approach and believe that whatever approach gets your stories told and your memories preserved is the best! For some that means pictures and pocket cards tucked into an Everyday Life™ album; for others it means putting together a pre-cut Cut Above® layout; for others, memory keeping also doubles as an artistic outlet incorporating different crafting techniques on a 12″ x 12″ paper canvas. Deluxe scrapbooking workshops provide this kind of creative experience for anyone who wants to add a little more “oomph” to the pages of their scrapbook.

Our Holiday Expressions idea book introduced the first two deluxe scrapbooking workshops, which featured the Boutique and ‘Tis the Season collection. Earlier this month we released a third workshop featuring the Hello Pumpkin papers used in decidedly non-Halloween artwork. Here, see for yourself:

A Deluxe Scrapbooking Experience #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHHelloPumpkin #HelloPumpkin #scrapbooking #scrapbookingworkshop #papercraftingtechnique #scrapbook #memorykeeping #ThinCuts #diecuts

As you can see, this workshop guides you in the creation of two 2-page scrapbook layouts and two single-page scrapbook layouts, all in the 12″ x 12″ size. Each layout is made using a few papercrafting techniques, such as folding, angled cuts, and creative use of Thin Cuts dies to achieve unique effects. Take this scrapbook page, for example:

A Deluxe Scrapbooking Experience #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHHelloPumpkin #HelloPumpkin #scrapbooking #scrapbookingworkshop #papercraftingtechnique #scrapbook #memorykeeping #ThinCuts #diecuts

There’s a lot happening on this page, but we’d like to draw your attention primarily to the circle and heart right in the center of the page. Here’s a quick look at the technique that went into creating this accent.

A Deluxe Scrapbooking Experience #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHHelloPumpkin #HelloPumpkin #scrapbooking #scrapbookingworkshop #papercraftingtechnique #scrapbook #memorykeeping #ThinCuts #diecut #cuttlebug

Starting with a 2¾” square of Peach cardstock, we used the 2¼” stitched circle die to cut only half of a circle. The trick to only cutting half of a shape is all about how you feed the die through your machine. As you can see in the photo above, only part of the circle is sandwiched between the plates, resulting in a partial cut like this:

Thanks to our beautiful two-toned cardstock, when you fold back the cut part, you get a lightly contrasting color. We then layered this piece over a piece of Ballerina cardstock to add another shade and topped it off with the adorable heart sticker. Neat, right? And that technique is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our deluxe scrapbooking. Take a closer look at the other layouts you’ll make as part of this workshop:

A Deluxe Scrapbooking Experience #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHHelloPumpkin #HelloPumpkin #scrapbooking #scrapbookingworkshop #papercraftingtechnique #scrapbook #memorykeeping #ThinCuts #diecutshello-layoutmoments-layout

The helpful instructions that accompany the workshop show you how to replicate each technique, guiding you step-by-step through the creative process. If you’d like to try something new for your memory keeping, we invite you to check out the Hello Pumpkin Deluxe Scrapbooking Workshop, and see what deluxe scrapbooking is all about!

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A Journaling Model for When You’re Lost for Words

The important thing about memory keeping is preserving our stories.

The Important Things #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhimportantthings #importantthings #everdaylife #minialbum #journaling #scrapbooking #theimportantbook #MargeretWiseBrown #family

With how easily accessible cameras are to us these days, we have been trained over the years to take photos of absolutely everything we experience. From an outing with friends last weekend to the coffee you picked up this morning, we are certain you have photos that you love but aren’t quite sure what to do with. You may have posted some of these on a social media channel and received a bazillion likes, but now that the moment is over you would like to preserve these memories somewhere more permanent. As one of our blog readers you know we’re going to suggest to you that scrapbooking is the answer. (And it is!) But, how do we scrapbook and journal about a cup of coffee?

Today we’re sharing a journaling style that allows us to talk about pretty much any topic under the sun that is based on The Important Book written by Margaret Wise Brown. In her book, the author dedicates a two-page spread to individual common, everyday things—like the sky, an apple, grass, and rain. On one page is an illustration of the subject and on the opposite page is a short passage describing it, starting and ending with what she considers is the most important attribute:

The important thing
about a spoon is
that you eat with it.
It’s like a little shovel,
You hold it in your hand,
You can put it in your mouth,
It isn’t flat,
It’s hollow,
And it spoons things up.
But the important thing
about a spoon is
that you eat with it.

Brown made talking about a spoon easy and interesting. If we apply the same principles used to describe this otherwise seemingly mundane subject in our journaling, the occasion will be rare, if at all, where we will be truly stuck with nothing to say.

So, how do we do it? We put together a handy worksheet to help us get started.

The Important Things #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhimportantthings #importantthings #everdaylife #minialbum #journaling #scrapbooking #theimportantbook #MargeretWiseBrown

(Download The Important Things worksheet PDF.)

First, what is your topic? Write it down. Then, write down as many words and thoughts as you can think of that describe this topic. Your words, your thoughts—this is your story. Next, from all of these things you just wrote down, what stands out to you as the most important? This attribute is how you will start and finish your journaling passage. Use all the other information and details to fill in the middle.

When you are first starting to use this journaling method, stick to the formula on our worksheet to avoid any problems or confusion. As you get more familiar with this way of journaling, then start changing some of the words up (but not the order!).

Here’s a scrapbook layout about our cup of Joe:The Important Things #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhimportantthings #importantthings #everdaylife #minialbum #journaling #scrapbooking #theimportantbook #MargeretWiseBrown #coffee

The first and last lines in the journaling are the same thought, “The important thing about coffee is how it creates small moments of joy.” All of the in between stuff is insightful into how our friend in the layout feels about coffee, however, there is no question as to why it means all of those things to her. She let’s us know what the important thing about coffee is as she starts to write about it and then circles back to remind us as she closes her remarks.

To help highlight the unique things that are important to you, we paired this journaling model with a 6″ x 8″ album and designed The Important Things Everyday Life™ workshop. (Getting a copy of The Important Book itself, though recommended, is completely optional.)

The Important Things #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhimportantthings #importantthings #everdaylife #minialbum #journaling #scrapbooking #theimportantbook #MargeretWiseBrown

Each of the eight layouts can feature something that is uniquely important to you, with a large open space on one page for your journaling and the facing page created to add photos illustrating whatever topic you choose to document.

Take a look at these other completed examples from The Important Things album and see how the important thing journaling style is applied to each subject.

The important thing about cookies:The Important Things #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhimportantthings #importantthings #everdaylife #minialbum #journaling #scrapbooking #theimportantbook #MargeretWiseBrown #favoritecookie

The important thing about friends:
The Important Things #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhimportantthings #importantthings #everdaylife #minialbum #journaling #scrapbooking #theimportantbook #MargeretWiseBrown #friends

The important thing about my dog, Sophie:
The Important Things #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhimportantthings #importantthings #everdaylife #minialbum #journaling #scrapbooking #theimportantbook #MargeretWiseBrown #mydog #sophie

The important thing about rain:
The Important Things #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhimportantthings #importantthings #everdaylife #minialbum #journaling #scrapbooking #theimportantbook #MargeretWiseBrown #family

The generic theme of this album and the bright colors and patterns of the Perfectly Imperfect Picture My Life™ cards make this a versatile project to make for yourself, present as a gift, or both!

But, the important thing about memory keeping is preserving our stories.


Recipe:

The Important Things Everyday Life™ Album
E1039 My Acrylix® Erin’s Hand Stamp Set, CC9900 The Important Things Bundle, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7236E Picture My Life Cards™—Perfectly Imperfect, Z4214 Hello Pumpkin Washi Tape, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

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Rolled Paper Monogram Project

Rolled Paper Monogram #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgratefulheart #fall #autumn #monogram #papercraft #rolledpaper #diy

From nurseries and dorm rooms to wedding gifts and everyday gifts, or even your own photo gallery, a rolled paper monogram is a fun way to personalize any given space. For today’s tutorial, we paired one of our chipboard monograms with the beautiful Grateful Heart paper collection.

Step One: What are you making and in what colors?

The very first thing to do is to figure out what you want to spell out, if not just a monogram, and in what color motif. For color coordination made easy, stick within one of our paper collections where the papers and accessories are purposefully designed using the same color palette. If you’re looking to mix things up—say you have some older papers from previous collections that you want to combine with some of your newer stash—the new Love of Color book is a great place to look for color combination ideas.

Step Two: Gathering your supplies.

Rolled Paper Monogram #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgratefulheart #fall #autumn #monogram #papercraft #rolledpaper #diy

For this project, other than paper and chipboard letters (and some basics like a ruler, paper trimmer, and hot glue gun), you will need a small dowel pin to wrap your paper around. The larger the dowel, the larger the paper rolls will be. As you are choosing a size, consider that tight rolls are not only harder to achieve but will also create smaller straws, meaning you will need more paper to cover your letter(s). In our example F, we achieved those tight rolls you see using a 3/16″ dowel. It took a total of 40 straws to cover the entire letter.

Step Three: Cutting your paper.

Rolled Paper Monogram #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgratefulheart #fall #autumn #monogram #papercraft #rolledpaper

To know what size to cut your paper, measure the width of the letter(s) you are covering and then add 1/8″. Our F has three different widths at three different points. The long side is 2 3/8″, so those papers were cut 2½” wide. The top rung is 4 7/8″ wide, so those papers were cut 5″ wide. And the pieces for the bottom rung were cut at 4¾” because the letter itself measures 4 5/8″ wide. You don’t need very much paper to roll, lengthwise, so be conservative and stick around 2″. Our final pieces measure 2½” x 2″, 5″ x 2″, and 4¾” x 2″. A little tip for when you are cutting your paper, think about the pattern orientation. Make sure that when it’s time to roll your paper the pattern will face in the direction you want it to.

Step 4: Rolling your Paper.

Rolled Paper Monogram #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgratefulheart #fall #autumn #monogram #papercraft #rolledpaper

We’re up to the fun part! Grab your pieces of paper and roll away, one by one. Start by wrapping your paper around the dowel and then, while holding the ends with your fingers, rolling it into a straw. If you are using a small dowel, you will want to have a misting pen handy. When the roll is too tight you run the risk of cracking the paper and exposing the white core. If you see this happening, and it’s not the look you are going for, lightly (lightly!) mist your paper with a little bit of water to give it some flexibility.

When you get to the end of your roll, secure the paper in place with hot glue. Hold it for a few seconds as it bonds and then carefully remove the dowel.

Repeat until all of your paper is rolled into a bunch of colorful gorgeous straws.

Step 5: Attaching your rolled paper.

Rolled Paper Monogram #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgratefulheart #fall #autumn #monogram #papercraft #rolledpaper

With a hot glue gun, attach each of your rolled paper straws, one at a time, starting at the top and work your way down.

Your straws don’t have to be perfectly rolled or exactly the same size for the end product to still look awesome. Take a look at this side view of our perfectly imperfect F.

Rolled Paper Monogram #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgratefulheart #fall #autumn #monogram #papercraft #rolledpaper

Have we got your creative juices flowing with this one? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!


Recipe

Monogram F
X7237B Grateful Heart Paper Packet, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X6002 Espresso Cardstock, Z3238 Gold Glitter Paper, X7237C Grateful Heart Complements, Z3418 Chipboard Monogram—F, Z3386 Thin Cuts—Block Alphabet, 3/16″ Dowel, Hot Glue Gun

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Halloween Treats with Hello Pumpkin

Halloween Treats with Hello Pumpkin #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHHelloPumpkin #HelloPumpkin #Halloween #treats #treatbags #diy #scrapbooking #pumpkin #spooky #toocutetospook #toocutetobescary #Halloweennight #happyHalloween #witchinghour #October

It’s finally October, and you know what that means—Halloween will be here before we know it! And what better way to capture the fun of this delightful holiday than with the light-hearted Hello Pumpkin collection! Just take a peek at these scrapbook layouts to see the brighter side of this spooky night.

Halloween Treats with Hello Pumpkin #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHHelloPumpkin #HelloPumpkin #Halloween #treats #treatbags #diy #scrapbooking #pumpkin #spooky #toocutetospook #toocutetobescary #Halloweennight #happyHalloween #witchinghour #October

Halloween Treats with Hello Pumpkin #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHHelloPumpkin #HelloPumpkin #Halloween #treats #treatbags #diy #scrapbooking #pumpkin #spooky #toocutetospook #toocutetobescary #Halloweennight #happyHalloween #witchinghour #October

Halloween Treats with Hello Pumpkin #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHHelloPumpkin #HelloPumpkin #Halloween #treats #treatbags #diy #scrapbooking #pumpkin #spooky #toocutetospook #toocutetobescary #Halloweennight #happyHalloween #witchinghour #October

In addition to the overflowing assortment of bright colors, there is so much dimension found on every single page of these layouts! Photos are matted and framed with cardstock, glitter paper, and pocket cards. Some photos are layered with stickers. Complements are stacked, customized, and mixed with acrylic shapes. The magic is in the details!

 

 

And since everyone knows that Halloween is all about the goodies, take a look at these irresistible treat wrappers that you can make with this same collection:

Halloween Treats with Hello Pumpkin #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHHelloPumpkin #HelloPumpkin #Halloween #treats #treatbags #diy #scrapbooking #pumpkin #spooky #toocutetospook #toocutetobescary #Halloweennight #happyHalloween #witchinghour #OctoberHalloween Treats with Hello Pumpkin #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHHelloPumpkin #HelloPumpkin #Halloween #treats #treatbags #diy #scrapbooking #pumpkin #spooky #toocutetospook #toocutetobescary #Halloweennight #happyHalloween #witchinghour #October

The trick to making these treats is to start them out flat; add stickers and stamped icons to your heart’s content and then wrap them around something tasty. Can you think of anyone who wouldn’t want one of these “too-cute-to-be-scary” treat bags?

For a complete list of materials, cutting diagrams, and assembly instructions for all of these projects, contact your Close To My Heart Consultant. If you don’t have one, let us help you find one! Simply click here, go to the What We Do menu and select Find a Consultant.

These Hello Pumpkin Halloween goodies are guaranteed to bring an extra touch of sweetness to your holiday celebrations!

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Visual Storytelling with Short Story

When we scrapbook, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in planning our pages. We spend lots of time deciding where to put the photos, what paper to use, and how to add the perfect embellishments. Never fear! Stacy Julian and Close To My Heart have a new Story by Stacy™ program to help you overcome those hurdles to scrapbook a large amount of photos in a short amount of time. The Short Story workshop kits will teach you a new way to tell your stories. With Short Story, you will re-energize your creativity and learn to trust your intuition as you go.

Storytelling with Short Story #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHxStorybyStacy #StorybyStacy #ShortStory #storytelling #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #scrapbook #miniscrapbook #minialbum #album #photoalbum #photos #stories

The Story by Stacy™ product line is all about building stronger storytellers. Through Story Starter, you learned how to access detailed memories and then write them down as small, quick stories with a photo illustration. Now we’re building on that to teach you a new process for working with your photos and memories. Through Short Story, you’ll create an entire album about a person, place, thing, or experience that you love. Short Story focuses on a visual storytelling process with a written summary at the end. Included in each workshop kit is a workbook to walk you through how to do this.

The video above gives you a small peak into what you’ll do using the Short Story workshop kit. First, you’ll consider the surface information related to your photos like where you are or the people you’re with. You’ll also think about questions that will help you interact with your photos. Then it’s time to move on to the creative part and make pages with your photos. This is where you’ll discover how to really let go and allow your creativity to flow. You’ll learn how to trim your photos BEFORE making pages, then attach photos and add patterned paper to each page, and top it all off with embellishments. By the end of the creative process, you’ll be ready to write a story summary to give your unique, authentic point of view at the end of the album.

Short Story workshop kits come with everything you need to complete a 6″ x 6″ album. Each kit has Memory Protectors™, colorful patterned paper, White Daisy cardstock, black and white embellishments, and a workbook to guide you through the process. Just pick the kit with the album you like best, Lagoon or black and white gingham. All you need is a photo trimmer, journaling pen, adhesive, scissors, and, of course, a stack of photos about your subject.

The colorful patterned paper included in your kit will make your photos stand out in a Short Story album. These double-sided papers are designed to work well with any photos with a variety of solid color prints, multi-color prints, and even a few black and white designs.

Short Story workshop kits also come with lots of options for embellishing your pages, like you see in the photos above. Each kit includes die-cuts, stickers, gingham ribbon, dots, and white twine. You’ll notice that all of the Short Story embellishments are black and white. Black and white embellishments will help you tie your layouts together and create visual flow without distracting from the story your photos are telling.

To make personalizing your pages even more fun, there is also a special stamp set designed to use in a Short Story album. The My Acrylix® Simply Said stamp set includes letters, numbers, symbols, and icons that are just the right size for the Short Story format.

There are so many stories you can tell with Short Story. It could be a specific event or vacation. You could use Short Story to document a relationship over time with a family member or friend, or it could be about something else you just really love. Whatever subject you choose, this process allows you to scrapbook a large amount of photos in a fun, colorful way. Just like Story Starter, this is a project you can start and FINISH. You don’t have to plan ahead or worry about making decisions as you go. Trust your own creative intuition and see where it takes you!

What kinds of stories do you plan to tell with Short Story? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.

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8 Ways to Add Color to Your Stamping

8 Ways to Add Color to Your Stamping #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #ctmhnationalstampingmonth #stamping #color #colour #stampcoloring #stampcolouring #watercolor #watercolour #pigment #exclusiveinks #shimmerbrush #embossing

September is National Stamping Month and, as you know, we live and breathe stamps here at Close To My Heart. They are where we got our start many years ago, and to this day just simply can’t get enough of them! And from what we can gather, we are not alone in this obsession hobby! 😉

With care, you place your stamp on your block, prudently ink it with a color that you carefully selected just minutes (if not days) before, then press it to your paper and upon removing the block your image looks as perfectly crisp as you planned for. The next step in the creation process of this new image is to breathe life into it with some color.

We’ve taken one of our many (many) favorite stamp sets, My Acrylix® Bunches of Love, from the Holiday Expressions catalog to illustrate some stamp coloring options. Each is unique in it’s own way and, depending on what you’re looking to achieve, has a place in your coloring spectrum. For comparison purposes, we’ve kept the mediums separate, but by all means do combine them in your artwork to make your images look exactly how you envision them!

First up, the original.

Some of our stamp sets already come with the parts to fill in the white space of a larger image, and the My Acrylix® Bunches of Love set does just that.

bunches-of-love-d1815

To keep things quick and easy, use the corresponding filler pieces to complete the image.

8 Ways to Add Color to Your Stamping #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #ctmhnationalstampingmonth #stamping #color #colour #stampcoloring #stampcolouring #watercolor #watercolour #pigment #exclusiveinks #shimmerbrush #embossing

In cases where the stamp set is not designed this way or you’re wanting to showcase a stamp differently so it’s not the exact same every time, continue scrolling through our list.

A Watercolor Look:

watercolor paint8 Ways to Add Color to Your Stamping #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #ctmhnationalstampingmonth #stamping #color #colour #stampcoloring #stampcolouring #watercolor #watercolour #pigment #exclusiveinks #shimmerbrush #embossing

watercolor pencils8 Ways to Add Color to Your Stamping #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #ctmhnationalstampingmonth #stamping #color #colour #stampcoloring #stampcolouring #watercolor #watercolour #pigment #exclusiveinks #shimmerbrush #embossing

For a soft look, watercolors are the way to go!

If you’re still working on mastering the art of using watercolor paints, try watercolor pencils. By applying color with pencils, shading and color blending is easier to control than with paint. Once you’ve penciled the color in, gently brush water over it with a damp fine tip paintbrush or waterbrush to spread the pigment. For best results, follow the pencil lines using smooth strokes. Keep in mind as you decide which watercolor medium is right for your project, that the direction of your pencil lines will still show through, unlike with paint.

Exclusive Inks™8 Ways to Add Color to Your Stamping #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #ctmhnationalstampingmonth #stamping #color #colour #stampcoloring #stampcolouring #watercolor #watercolour #pigment #exclusiveinks #shimmerbrush #embossing

For a more vivid “watercolor” look that doesn’t require layers of watercolor paint to achieve, give “painting” with our Exclusive Inks™ a try!

Squeeze your stamp pad in the middle to get some of the ink to rub onto the lid. Remove the inked lid, and from there decide how strong or light you want your color to appear. If you want the saturation to match the ink color exactly, use the ink as is. For a lighter variation of this same color, mix some water in with it (straight on the lid). The more water you add to the ink, the lighter the color will be. Pick the color up with a brush and ink-paint your stamped image.

Our Exclusive Inks™ are available in every one of our 41 exclusive colors (plus White Daisy and several black options). Enjoy effortless color coordination with our patterned papers, cardstock, and embellishments by using this method for coloring in your stamped images.

Pens:

ShinHan™ Touch Twin markers8 Ways to Add Color to Your Stamping #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #ctmhnationalstampingmonth #stamping #color #colour #stampcoloring #stampcolouring #watercolor #watercolour #pigment #exclusiveinks #shimmerbrush #embossing

When going for a saturated, vibrant look, especially in small details, ShinHan™ Touch Twin markers are an excellent choice. They are bright, smudge-proof, and, because they are alcohol-based, they are easy to blend. The fine tip on each marker is ideal for coloring and adding intricate details.

shimmer brushes8 Ways to Add Color to Your Stamping #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #ctmhnationalstampingmonth #stamping #color #colour #stampcoloring #stampcolouring #watercolor #watercolour #pigment #exclusiveinks #shimmerbrush #embossing

Until recently, the shimmer brush was considered mostly an accenting tool because it only came in clear and gold. Well, those days are over friends! Now also available in Sugarplum, red, black, and Mint, these new hues carry enough weight to be used on their own to add a little bit more than shimmer. When you use these, prep your brush before you do. You will want to squeeze your brush over scrap paper until the shimmery liquid comes out. Brush it on your scrap paper until you get the consistency you want on your brush before coloring in those details.

Heat Embossing:

Give your stamps a little lift and texture with the right inks and embossing powders. (For those of you who are new to this technique, embossing powder is a special powder that, when heated, melts to form a raised surface.)

VersaMark™ ink and embossing powder8 Ways to Add Color to Your Stamping #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #ctmhnationalstampingmonth #stamping #color #colour #stampcoloring #stampcolouring #watercolor #watercolour #pigment #exclusiveinks #shimmerbrush #embossing

Sometimes a flat image just isn’t the way to go. That’s when heat embossing comes to the rescue. To start, stamp your image with the VersaMark™ ink pad (embossing ink), which will create a clear, wet-looking print of your stamp. While the ink is still wet, cover it with embossing powder and carefully shake off any excess. Use a heat tool to dry and seal your design. The heat tool blows extremely hot air with a low air current, which keeps the powder from blowing right off—hair dryers are not a good substitute! We have several new embossing powders in our new Holiday Expressions catalog to choose from (for a complete list click here).

Pigment Exclusive Inks™8 Ways to Add Color to Your Stamping #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #ctmhnationalstampingmonth #stamping #color #colour #stampcoloring #stampcolouring #watercolor #watercolour #pigment #exclusiveinks #shimmerbrush #embossing

Okay, so we’ve shared this last idea on here before, but with our new large stamp pad-sized pigment inks added to our coloring repertoire, we just have to share again.

Did you know that you can pair any of our Exclusive Inks™ pigment pads with clear embossing powder to emboss in that exact color? Yes, really! Stamp an image with your choice pigment ink, cover it with clear embossing powder, and then set it with your heat tool! It’s that easy! Match our exclusive colors perfectly using this last technique!

Whether you use these stamp coloring ideas alone or mix and match them, we hope you enjoy a full spectrum of color in all of your stamping projects!

Happy stamping! 🙂

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Easy-to-Make Photo Grids

Photo Grids #ctmh #closetomyheart #photogrids #memorygrids #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ctmhfreshair

We’re cutting photos up today and exploring new ways to display more of your favorites! Photo grids are very popular in the digital photo market, so we put our paper loving spin on things to show you just how easy it is to make them yourself and what some of the advantages are of creating them out of a variety of components rather than one flat (boring! 🙂 ) printed sheet.

Before we get into the meaty artwork details, let’s talk page design. If you’re like us and prefer things in a 12″ x 12″ format, you’re going to want to use 16 2-inch squares arranged in a 4 x 4 grid or nine 3″ squares arranged in a 3 x 3 grid. You could also fit four 4″ or four 5″ squares, it really depends how many photos you’re hoping to display. Keep in mind, the more squares you choose to use in your project the trickier it will be to keep them all perfectly lined up. It isn’t impossible, we’ll show you how to make it work, and the results are worth it!

Both of our examples today are arranged in a 4 x 4 grid using 2″ squares.

To build the grid, you will want to use a T-square or draw some light pencil marks to follow with a ruler. We left 1¾” margins on all sides and separated our squares by ¼”. Once you have your guide marks on your base page, start by attaching the top left corner square first. Placement of this first square is crucial because the other squares will build off it. Make sure it is straight and exactly where you want it to be. (In the provided examples, the first square is 1¾” from the top and right side.) After your first square is on, attach the rest of the top row and first column. After that, keep attaching all of your squares until your grid is complete.

Once you get the gist of how to assemble the grid itself, you can get creative with its pieces.

Photo Grids #ctmh #closetomyheart #photogrids #memorygrids #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ctmhdocumented

For starters, not all of your squares have to be individual photos. Our first example is a collage of photos, patterned papers, and journaling.

Photo Grids #ctmh #closetomyheart #photogrids #memorygrids #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ctmhfreshair

One of our photos was even cropped and cut to fit into two squares instead of one. You have so many options available to you displaying your memories this way.

Photo Grids #ctmh #closetomyheart #photogrids #memorygrids #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ctmhdocumented

The biggest perk to creating your own grid over printing it is the dimension that is at your disposal. You can use embellishments to add colors, height, and even textures.

The second approach we took for a grid display is the large image created by the parts. In other words, we cut up a big picture into small squares and attached them in a tile-like way.

Photo Grids #ctmh #closetomyheart #photogrids #memorygrids #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ctmhfreshair #ctmhdocumented

What’s especially fun about this particular example is that it looks like you’re inside a cabin looking out a window. You can recreate this same look, maybe not a cabin if that’s not your vibe, by following the same steps to assemble the grid. The only difference is that you start out with a large square photo, in our case an 8″ x 8″, and cut it in to 16 2-inch squares.

Display your memories in style, and more of them, using a photo grid as your guide!


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ Collage Page
X7234B Documented Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X7234C Documented Complements, Z4177 Documented Dots, Z2027 Mini Stapler, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, 12″ x 12″ Frame

12″ x 12″ Grid Photo Page
X7232B Fresh Air Paper Packet, X5951 Espresso Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4171 Documented Titles, 12″ x 12″ Frame

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Get the Chalk Look without the Chalk Mess!

Chalk Marker #ctmh #closetomyheart #ChalkMarker #chalk #marker #scrapbooking #scrapbook #papercrafting #cardmaking

Ever want to write or draw on a dark piece of paper without having to add a white paper mat? The trusty Chalk Marker is your answer! It works on paper and most non-porous surfaces, and, much like the name implies, the results are vibrant, opaque, and chalk-like.

Chalk Marker #ctmh #closetomyheart #ChalkMarker #chalk #marker #scrapbooking #scrapbook #papercrafting #cardmaking #ohtheplacesyou'llgo

Chalk Marker #ctmh #closetomyheart #ChalkMarker #chalk #marker #scrapbooking #scrapbook #papercrafting #cardmaking

As most of you know, we’re of the memory keeping variety at Close To My Heart and it is our aim to preserve things forever and always, therefore this Chalk Marker is permanent, archival, and lightfast. It is not filled with liquid chalk and will not wipe off (so do not use it on an actual chalkboard unless you want permanent results! 😉 ).

Chalk Marker #ctmh #closetomyheart #ChalkMarker #chalk #marker #scrapbooking #scrapbook #papercrafting #cardmaking #firstdayofschool

The intention of the Chalk Marker is for it to mimic the appearance of written chalk. It writes in a thin white line and the color of paper that the ink is being used on will show through a little bit, as you can see here:

Chalk Marker #ctmh #closetomyheart #ChalkMarker #chalk #marker #scrapbooking #scrapbook #papercrafting #cardmaking

The ink is also designed to build on itself as you layer it. The more coats you apply the more vivid and rich the ink will appear.

Chalk Marker #ctmh #closetomyheart #ChalkMarker #chalk #marker #scrapbooking #scrapbook #papercrafting #cardmaking

Unlike most other markers, the Chalk Marker needs to be stored horizontally for best results. The ink inside is a special blend that, if the marker is stored upright, will shift to the end pointing down and it will take a good while for it to shift back to where it needs to be. Storing this marker horizontally will help you get the steady flow of ink to the tip that is necessary to achieve a smooth application.

Chalk Marker #ctmh #closetomyheart #ChalkMarker #chalk #marker #scrapbooking #scrapbook #papercrafting #cardmaking

The Chalk Marker is very user friendly when you know what to expect from it and how to take care of it. It is an awesome (and inexpensive!) tool to add to your crafting arsenal. Keep in mind the tips that we’ve shared with you today and give it a try!


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Oh the Places You’ll Go Page
X7231B Central Park Paper Packet, X7234B Documented Paper Packet, X5962 Goldrush Cardstock, X5968 Lagoon Cardstock, X5959 New England Ivy Cardstock, X5966 Pansy Cardstock, X5963 Poppy Cardstock, X5957 Sapphire Cardstock, X5980 Sweet Leaf Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Paper, X7234C Documented Complements, Z4171 Documented Titles, Z4178 Central Park Sequins, Z3361 Whimsy Ribbon Pack, Z1767 Chalk Marker, Z4182 Thin Cuts—Stitched Hearts, Z3318 Thin Cuts—Basic Circles, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Die-cutting Machine, Sewing Machine

Cricut Shape:
Artistry
9″ Icon-2 <h> ( p. 26, #M418F74)

12″ x 12″ First Day of School Page
X7231B Central Park Paper Packet, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5982 Canary Cardstock, X5962 Goldrush Cardstock, X5968 Lagoon Cardstock, X5957 Sapphire Cardstock, X5980 Sweet Leaf Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z1767 Chalk Marker, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Sewing Machine

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