Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping!

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

At the heart of many crafting masterpieces is a great background. One way to instantly set your creations apart is to create your own background that is unique to your pieces. From splendid stamps to imaginative sponged or splattered sections, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do to create your own beautiful backgrounds. Today, we’ll be taking a look at a very special selection of stamps that can be used to create one-of-a-kind background and border elements on cards and scrapbook layouts, combining these elements for a truly beautiful effect!  

The artwork on display uses our Winter Borders and Harmonious Patterns stamp sets—both of which can be found in our October–December catalog and are just the thing to add a little festive flair to your holiday crafting! By using repeated stamping and layering techniques, it’s a simple matter to create gorgeous background elements as a foundation for your art! 

One of the simplest ways to elevate your artwork is to add a custom border, like the one that can be seen in this “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” card. On the Scarlet piece, we added a smattering of dots to increase the interest of this piece of cardstock. This addition is a great way to complement the striped pattern of the base piece with something a bit more organic and free-feeling.

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns


This dots stamp can be used on its own to suggest the effect of thick, falling snowflakes, or simply as an array of abstract dots. For another, more involved look, they can also be used with another stamp from the same Winter Borders set—a vine of holly leaves! The dots stamped on top of the leaves become holly berries, an effect you can see on our 12” x 12” Merry & Bright page.

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

We’ll take a closer look at that page in a minute, but before we do, let’s get back to the “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” Card. 
Along with the dressed-up Scarlet strip, we also gussied up the Pine strip just below it. On this particular piece, we stamped the length of it with the leafy border stamp, also part of the Winter Borders stamp set. This leafy detail, stamped in Pine ink, serves to provide yet another unique pattern that you won’t get in a paper collection.

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

Though it is technically a border stamp, this particular usage comes off more as a background element. This is achieved by stamping the border design on a strip of paper that is narrower than the stamp itself, ensuring that the entirety of the paper is covered in the inked design. It’s a small detail that has a  massive impact on the overall appearance of the card, sprucing it up and completing the combination of patterns that form the background and foundation of the card. 

Now let’s look at that scrapbook page to see another fun border stamp!

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

We already talked about the holly leaves and berries below the photo, but look up above it to see our next example: A string of multicolored lights graces the top of this White Daisy cardstock piece, adding a small pop of color.

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

These lights start off with a simple light string, stamped with Black ink. Then, we stamped the colored bulbs onto the cardstock, taking care to line them up with the bulb fittings on the light string. Because the bulb is a single stamp image, we could easily alternate ink colors to create a pattern that matched the overall color scheme of this page.

For added realism, the bulb stamp image is designed with two small grooves, resulting in a break-up of the inked section to replicate the natural shine found on a glass light bulb. (Tip: To preserve this effect, make sure to not press down too hard when stamping your light bulbs. Rather than mashing the stamp and stamp block into the page, carefully set it down and apply light pressure over the surface area of the stamp.) 

One last background stamping example that adds to the look of this page is a more subtle, but no less fun element behind our journaling: a piece of Pewter cardstock festooned with various music notes and symbols. While it is not the most prominent stamped element on this page, it provides a visual treat nonetheless, increasing interest in the journaling section and providing a bit of polish to the overall appearance of the page.

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

The last stamp in our Winter Borders set is a stunning array of stars and snowflakes. While it does make a stellar border, we’ve used it to great effect as a background element on our “Season’s Greetings” card.

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

To create variety in our background, we stamped the snowflakes in different colors and rotated it between columns, covering the entire White Daisy piece in a veritable winter wonderland!

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

This fun winter feel is amplified in other layers of the card, too. The artistically ripped cardstock pieces mimic snowdrifts, and a dots stamp from the Harmonious Patterns stamp set adds a heightened snowfall effect with a beautiful Silver Embossing Powder treatment.

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

And believe it or not, the cluster of trees on this card also come from one of our Harmonious Patterns stamps! Stamped in Scarlet, Mist, and Pine inks, these mini trees were carefully trimmed from a pattern stamp and arranged over the torn cardstock “snowbanks” for a frosty forest appeal—just showing that even backgrounds and patterns can shine in the foreground from time to time! 

The snowfall dot assortment shown in our previous card comes in handy again in two other cards we have to show off today—our “Happy Holidays” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” cards. Both of these cards feature this distinctive dot pattern, though in different ways.

  • Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns
  • Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

Our Happy Holidays card sports this pattern right on the primary base piece, with the rest of the card built on top of it.

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

The “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” card sports this pattern on a piece of Sage cardstock creating a band across the width of the card.

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

Both examples of this stamp usage, while serving different purposes, are vital additions to the overall design of these two cards. Take a look at how the dots effect is echoed by a splattering of ink over the central sentiment of the card. While one is stamped on and one is splattered, the random feel of both elements creates an overarching unity between background and foreground. 

In the “Happy Holidays” card, the dots pattern is contrasted by the bold, straight lines of the tartan plaid stamp. This pattern is placed prominently over the Sage base piece and sandwiched between strips of silver glitter paper to create a vibrant focal point that coordinates nicely with the Candy Apple title.

Building Unique Backgrounds and Borders with Stamping! #stamps #stamping #background #border #diy #scrapbooking #cardmaking #merry&bright #seasonsgreetings #happyholidays #wewishyouamerrychristmas #christmas #holiday #winterborders #harmoniouspatterns

No matter how you create your backgrounds, you can see that they play a vital role in the overall aesthetic of your projects! We hope today’s examples have given you a few ideas of how you can create your own fantastic backgrounds! Which border or background set was your favorite? Be sure to leave a comment below and let us know how you would use it!

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Recipes:

x 5½” We Wish You a Merry Christmas Card (Horizontal)
M1322 My Acrylix® We Wish You a Merry Christmas Stamp Set, C1962 My Acrylix® Winter Borders Stamp Set, X7286B Christmas Story Paper Packet, X7287B Cherish Paper Packet, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X6070 Pine Cardstock, X6049 Scarlet Cardstock, Z6540 Pine Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6526 Scarlet Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z6047 White Acrylic Stars, X254 White Cards & Envelopes Value Pack, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Cricut® Basic Shapes

Cricut® Shape:
Basic Shapes
#M2AAB3EFD

4¼” x 5½” Happy Holidays Card (Horizontal)
D2117 My Acrylix® Seasonal Haul Stamp Set, D2130 My Acrylix® Harmonious Patterns Stamp Set, M1323 My Acrylix® Happy Holidays Stamp Set, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X6058 Rosemary Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6529 Rosemary Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6526 Scarlet Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z6047 White Acrylic Stars, Z3562 Silver Stickles Glitter Glue, Z2533 Dark Red Shades TriBlend Marker, Z2474 Ice Grey TriBlend Marker, Z2522 Jade Green Shades TriBlend Marker, Z2512 Muted Brown TriBlend Marker, Z2525 Vintage Blue TriBlendMarker, Z2499 Blender Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots

3″ x 3″ We Wish You a Merry Christmas Card
M1322 My Acrylix® We Wish You a Merry Christmas Stamp Set, C1962 My Acrylix® Winter Borders Stamp Set, X6070 Pine Cardstock, X6045 Sage Cardstock, X6058 Rosemary Cardstock, Z6540 Pine Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6529 Rosemary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4591 Sage Shimmer Brush, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

4¼” x 5½” Seasons Greetings Card (Vertical)
C1962 My Acrylix® Winter Borders Stamp Set, D2130 My Acrylix® Harmonious Patterns Stamp Set, C1959 My Acrylix® Christmas Reindeer Stamp Set, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X6069 Mist Cardstock, X6070 Pine Cardstock, X6045 Sage Cardstock, Z6539 Mist Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6540 Pine Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6526 Scarlet Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark Ink Pad, Z2067 Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, X254 White Cards & Envelopes Value Pack, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12″ x 12″ Merry & Bright Page
C1962 My Acrylix® Winter Borders Stamp Set, D2130 My Acrylix® Harmonious Patterns Stamp Set, D2115 My Acrylix® Title Style Stamp Set, X9044 Mix-in Paper Packet (Oct-Dec), X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X6069 Mist Cardstock, X6070 Pine Cardstock, X6049 Scarlet Cardstock, Z6539 Mist Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6540 Pine Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6529 Rosemary Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6504 Sage Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6526 Scarlet Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6046 Black Die-cut Stars, Z6058 Black Die-cut Alphabet, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z5010 White Gloss Spray, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots

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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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Sneak Peek Inside Our New Cardmaking Pattern Book

Make If from Your Heart #ctmh #closetomyheart #how-to #howto #book #pattern #cards #cardmaking #diy #sneak #peek

Our new Seasonal Expressions 1 goes live on January 1 and we simply cannot wait to share all of the new and exciting products we’ve got in store for you! We’re so excited, in fact, that we’re going to give you an early peek into one of our favorites—the newest installment of our Make It from Your Heart™ pattern book series, volume 4.

Feels like we were just here in June, when we gave you a sneak peak into volume 3 of the series with all of its game changing qualities. Our fourth volume of Make It from Your Heart differs from its predecessor only because it is filled with patterns to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind, CARDS!

Make If from Your Heart #ctmh #closetomyheart #how-to #howto #book #pattern #cards #cardmaking #diy #sneak #peek

This new book features 24 card patterns, including 18 vertical and 6 horizontal designs, all in the standard 4¼” x 5½” size. And, just like its scrapbooking counterpart, this cardmaking volume comes in a collection of loose, 3-ring, hole-punched pages sized to fit inside any of our Everyday Life™ albums, giving you the flexibility to rearrange and pull out pages at any time!

Additionally, we’re again giving you TWO pieces of artwork inspiration per pattern PLUS an artwork tip for each card! That’s two tips per pattern to help you add your own creative flair as you design your own cards.

Without further ado, here is that promised sneak peek!

Pattern 6

Pattern 18

This new pattern book will be available to order beginning January 1. What better way to start out a new year than with some new and inspiring patterns?! Order this great new book on your Consultant’s website or closetomyheart.com as soon as it is available!

Cardmaking just got a whole lot easier! 😉

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Patterns on Patterns on Patterns

Behind every successful team, there’s a playbook. The same thing goes for artists. Lucky for us, the brains behind the beauty of Close To My Heart, our CEO, Jeanette Lynton, wrote a collection of how-to books overflowing with patterns for cards and layouts that will march you toward crafting victory time and time again.

These books are what you should turn to when you’re not sure where to start; they’re like the supportive coach waiting back on the sidelines. They never fail to kick off our artistic ideas and lay the foundation for a triumphant artistic production!

So what play did we use to pull off the lovely page shown below? The answer is the Reflections: Main Frame—Back Drop™ pattern. But that’s not the end of it.

The true secret behind the sauce is that we added a little twist to this pattern. Let’s head into the locker room and we’ll fill you in on the technique.Unknown-1
Ok, listen up. This technique is simple, yet powerful: We simply chose a piece from the how-to pattern and then filled it with a repeated shape instead of a block of cardstock. We used circles on this page, but you can use any shape you want.

Repetition is one of the fundamental characteristics of excellent design and including it in your artwork is equivalent to doing your sit-ups or eating your vegetables—it’s guaranteed to bring good things.
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With the help of the 1″ circle punch and the Jackson and Blossom paper packets, we were able to add variety without overwhelming the design, making this layout a graceful pileup of B&T patterns, repeated circle patterns, and how-to patterns. That’s a lot of patterns!

When you give this technique a try, you could mix it up by using a different pattern, a different shape (we think using hearts would be game-changing), or different papers. The combination potential of these pattern players is incredible!

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But that’s enough talk, folks. Now let’s get out there and craft like it’s game day.

Looking to add a few key players to your team of crafting supplies? Here’s the all-star lineup of the how-to books available through Close To My Heart:

  • 9035 Make It from Your Heart™ Volume 1
  • 9042 Make It from Your Heart™ Volume 2
  • 9038 Cherish™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9039 Imagine™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9040 Magic™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9037 Reflections™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9041 Wishes Card Confidence Program™
  • 9036 Originals Card Confidence Program™

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