Simplify Cardmaking by Using the Right Tools!

Handmade cards are a surefire way to brighten someone’s day—whether that day is a special occasion like a birthday, anniversary, graduation, holiday or just another ordinary day. Those of us who make our own cards are in on the big secret that making the cards can be every bit as fun and satisfying as receiving them! Today we’re sharing a few cardmaking tricks that can help you create cards for all occasions. The artwork examples we’re using to illustrate these tricks come from our It’s the Little Things Cardmaking workshop, featuring papers embellishments and stamps from this fun and versatile collection!

One thing that these examples will prove is that using products designed specifically for cardmaking can really simplify the creative process! These products are tailor made to provide popular sentiments and are sized perfectly for incorporating into standard card sizes. The It’s the Little Things collection features an incredible 6″ x 6″ paper packet, but the true cardmaking stars are the coordinating stickers, stamp set, and embellishments all designed especially for cardmaking! 

Let’s start with patterned papers. These are a cardmaker’s best friend as they can really cut down on the design work that goes into a given card. Whether working with standard 12″ x 12″ papers or the 6″ x 6″ size, a collection of coordinating patterned papers allows you to choose out two or three favorite designs that you’d like to use and let them do the heavy lifting. A large piece of patterned paper does a great job of creating an appealing and eye-catching background for your card, which you can then accent with smaller pieces of coordinating accent papers.

In other instances, you can give two patterns that work well together more or less equal billing. This technique can be used to set up great visual contrast on your card, as in this breathtaking congratulations card, where the white background of the top paper is perfectly balanced by the black background of the bottom paper:

Building up from there, you have a wide variety of ways to top off your card with accents and sentiments. For accents, the It’s the Little Things collection features stickers and embellishments that will bring a smile to any card lover’s face. The cardmaking embellishments pack includes both black die-cuts and white acrylic shapes with options both for accent pieces and sentiments! Take a look at these examples to see these elements used to full effect!

We also love the die-cuts in this collection that are sized to fill up a card, taking the role of sentiment and card design all in one, minimizing the need for any further embellishment!

We also don’t want to leave out the fun sticker sheets that provide more colorful embellishment and sentiment options! Because the stickers are designed to work together with the paper collection, getting a harmonious card design is practically guaranteed!

Finally, when it comes to adding sentiments to our cards, stamping is of course one method that we are especially partial to. A great stamp image lends itself to repeated use, which is what makes stamping a great fit for card sentiments. Different designs can help lend a unique feel to even the most common sentiments! Tailor your sentiment design to the occasion and the tone of the card to strike just the right feeling!

The best cardmaking stamp sets feature interchangeable sentiments. This makes it possible for you to make a batch of cards ahead of time and leave the sentiment area blank. Then, when you’ve got a card giving occasion, you have a few different sentiments you can choose from to match the occasion! 

The next time you’ve got a card giving occasion, remember just how easy it can be to make a meaningful gesture with a handmade card when you’re working with the right tools! Let us know in the comments which of the cards above you would be happiest to see in your mailbox, and then put your creativity to work making a card of your own to brighten someone’s day!

Scrapbooking with Animated Stamps

Animated Stamps #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcreativityinmotion #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #animatedsafari

We are continuing our National Stamping Month celebrations today by using our innovative, animated stamp sets in scrapbook layouts!

Before we show you those, we hope some of you joined us over the weekend when we went live on our Facebook page in celebration of National Stamping Day! We had a great time spending the day crafting together, making animated cards specially designed for the free event, as well as sharing stamping techniques from our very own stamping experts!

Stamping Techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #nsm #stampingtechniques #youbrightenmyday
My Acrylix® You Brighten My Day Stamp Set (CC92011)

Each of the techniques in the charts below were demonstrated on camera using the exclusive National Stamping Day stamp set, You Brighten My Day, for you to follow along and add them to your personal stamping arsenal!

  • Stamping Techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #nsm #stampingtechniques
  • Stamping Techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalstampingmonth #nsm #stampingtechniques

If you missed the live party, you are in luck! Watch the free replay by clicking on the link, here. Learn more about Close To My Heart, spend some time crafting with us, and pick up a few techniques along the way—all at your own speed!

Now, how about those scrapbook layouts we promised?!

Animated Stamps #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcreativityinmotion #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #animatedsafari #lion #loveyousomethingfierce

For this 6″ x 6″ layout, we paired the Bright Stack, which is made up of some of our favorite 12″ x 12″ paper patterns shrunk down to 6″ x 6″ proportions, with the Animated Safari Animals stamp set. On the left page, we used the Border Tab stamp set and coordinating Thin Cuts to create a journaling tag that pulls out from behind the photo!

Similarly, in this second 6″ x 6″ layout, we paired the Bright Stack papers with the Animated Butterfly Kisses stamp set. We created a sense of cohesiveness throughout the layout by making our animated window a square to match the square photos on the opposite page, used the same patterned paper for the borders along the window and the photos, and printed the photos in black and white to match the black and white animation.

Animated Stamps #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcreativityinmotion #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #animatedbutterflykisses #butterflykisses #butterfly

You’ll notice that both of these layouts were photographed outside of their Memory Protectors™. If you want to access the animation, or other interactive elements, of the pages without pulling them out of their protectors every time, you will need to have a plan before you assemble them.

One approach for access to the interactive parts is to attach these pieces to the outside of the Memory Protectors™. It’s fairly simple. If you’d prefer to keep everything tucked inside the protectors, however, there are a couple of other options.

Another way for access to the moving parts of an animated page, is the use of a craft knife. With your page in the protector, figure out where you would need to pull the tab from. Make two small marks on the protector where the top and the bottom of the slit will be, and remove your page. Then, put a few pieces of scratch cardstock under where these two marks will connect. Using a ruler, connect the marks with the craft knife to cut the slit. Remove the scratch cardstock and put your page back inside the protector, now with a slit. Pull the tab through the slit and have it rest on the outside of the protector, with the rest of the interactive element still inside. When you’re ready to animate the window or pull a journaling tab, then pull the tab through the slit.

This last idea comes from one of our viewers of our National Stamping Day! She used our Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ and combined both of our ideas. She attached the interactive elements to the outside of the page while keeping them safely tucked inside a small attachable pocket-size protector!

We are purposefully showing you these stamp sets used in 6″ x 6″ layouts, not because you can’t create something amazing and fun in a larger format, but because we have some new 6″ x 6″ album options that we didn’t get to mention in our last post, A Look Inside the New Annual Core Catalog!

  • Animated Stamps #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcreativityinmotion #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #everdaylifealbums #minialbums
  • Animated Stamps #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcreativityinmotion #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #storybystacy #minialbums

New to the Everyday Life™ line is this gorgeous Scarlet 6″ x 6″ album, featuring an o-ring closure and a soft, faux-leather cover. Also new this year, available for the first time as individual items, are the bright and beautiful Story by Stacy™ 6″ x 6″ albums!

We hope you are enjoying your September and really taking advantage of all the craftiness we have to offer now and through the end of the month! We’d love to hear what you’re up to in your craft rooms, so please leave us a message below!

Leave a comment