Top 10 Tips for Better Cards

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Some things to keep in mind when crafting cards:

    1. Use good paper! The quality of your card cannot be any better than the paper it’s on. Look for heavy weight cardstock to use as card bases, textures and patterns are a bonus.
    2. Score your folds first and use a bone folder (or the back of your scissors) to get clean sharp folds.
    3. Negative space can be a positive! You don’t have to fill the entire front of your card; figure out where you want your focal point to be and then leave plenty of background exposed.
    4. Don’t be afraid to stamp or draw off the page when creating your own backgrounds. Take note of most pattern paper, designs tend to extend beyond the page.
    5. Mix your medias. Paint, ink, pencils, texture pastes and powders can all work well together, especially when creating backgrounds.
    6. Add dimension: use premade 3-D embellishments, create 3-D embellishments with foam tape, add ribbon, staples, multiple layer and/or textures. See our Embellishment Idea Sheet for more ideas.
    7. When using ribbon, clip the ends at an angle or into a dovetail. This looks better and helps prevent unraveling.
    8. When you see something that inspires you, ask yourself what about it you really like. Is it the color scheme? Perhaps the shape or design layout? Take notes and refer back when you start your next project.
    9. Sign the back of your cards; it helps finish your project.
    10. Stamp or slightly embellish your envelopes (just hint at what’s inside; don’t give it all away).

Top 10 YouTube Channels for Paper Crafters

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YouTube has an abundance of craft tutorials. We’ve happily sacrificed
days of our lives researching to bring you the best of the best. In addition,
be sure to use their search tool to look up your favorite designers, magazines
and products. You’re sure to find enough inspiration to keep you busy for
weeks!


10.
Roben-Marie Smith teaches us some wonderful mixed media
techniques on her channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2T8-5WXREjgVAmcM0WZT0w


9.
You’ll find great ideas for journals, cards, even a
studio tour at I Scrap Happy
https://www.youtube.com/user/iscraphappy/videos?sort=dd&view=0&shelf_id=0


8.
If you have an electric die cutting machine, you’ll want
to subscribe to Ken’s channel at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxEEmCaXOpnp09yAZ6r9ZMg


7.
At My Craft Channel Online you’ll find tons of
inspiration and lots of your favorite famous designers
https://www.youtube.com/user/mycraftchannelonline


6.
Paper Crafts Magazine has wonderful tutorials on their
channel
https://www.youtube.com/user/PaperCraftsMagazine


5.
Sara Naumann at Studio SN shares amazing tutorials on her channelhttps://www.youtube.com/user/saranaumann


4.
France Papillion does amazing work with altered journals!
Check her out at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3lkm39DsSZUqRGJg5REtFg


3.
Creating Keepsakes’ dream team has tons of great
tutorials on their channel
https://www.youtube.com/user/CreatingKeepsakesMag/videos?shelf_id=0&view=0&sort=dd


2.
Jennifer McGuire shares some great techniques and beautiful cards on her channel https://www.youtube.com/user/jennifermcguireink

1. Pear Blossom Press has our favorite card making tutorials!
(We might be a little biased though.)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2CNTCJEPQqJo4nzQt-cKBg

What are your favorite channels for paper crafts?

Embellishment Ideas

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Looking to spice up your handmade creations? Adding embellishments to cards and scrapbook pages can take them from blah to
WOW! I often personalize store bought cards and invitations by adding a few special touches.

You can use almost anything that’ll stick to paper but, lightweight and basically flat items tend to work best. Think 3-D but, remember your cards need to fit into envelopes and your scrapbooks should close. Here is a list of some of the things I like to embellish with. You can print the list to keep handy here
Embellishment Idea Sheet. Let me know what your favorite embellishments are.

  • Stickers, stamped/colored images, clip art, postage stamps, magazine or newspaper clippings
  • Ribbon, lace, tulle, fabric scraps, embroidery floss, thread, yarn
  • Die cuts/punches (cut shapes from paper, foil, plastic, felt, fabric, foam, chipboard, etc.)
  • Buttons, beads, charms
  • Washi tape, duct tape, sticky mesh tape, Dyno® label tape (or 3/8″ cardstock strips run through label maker)
  • Silk or paper flowers
  • Metal washers, frames, keys, hardware, etc.
  • Paperclips, binder clips, staples (decorative or regular)
  • Wire formed into words or shapes (use a Wig-Jig®)
  • Toothpicks, popsicle sticks and tongue depressors (can be easily cut)
  • Hand
    or machine stitching
  • Pearl
    head pins, hat pins
  • Game
    pieces (dominos, Scrabble®
    letters, playing cards, Monopoly®
    parts, poker chips, Lego® pieces)
  • Frames,
    mats, tags
  • Rhinestones,
    glitter, glitter glue
  • Folded paper (origami, pleated paper strips, tiny envelopes/cards)
  • Brads, eyelets, snaps
  • Paint
    or ink
  • Markers,
    pens, rub-ons, pencils (doodles, dashes and
    lines)
  • Found
    objects (ticket stubs, google eyes, tiny bells, pompoms, watch
    parts, flat marbles, pressed leaves/flowers, postage stamps, clothing tags,
    feathers, glass slides, pipe cleaners, air-dry or polymer clay pieces)

Embellish away,

Amanda

Fun with Fonts!

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I love using fonts to dress up my cards and papercrafts. Choosing
the right one (or more) can help give you the feel you are going for. You can
alter the size, shape and color(s) to achieve the desired effect. With so many
amazing fonts available for free, why not experiment and see how much fun you
can have playing with fonts too?

Step one: Get some good fonts. I really like dafont.com
and fontspace.com. You can even create your own fonts at fontstruct.com! Unlike
some sites that install malware when you download a font, these sites are safe.
To download a font, simply click the download button. Once the font has
downloaded, click on it and a dialog window should open with a preview of the
font in several sizes. Then click Install at the top. You may have to restart
your computer for the font to show up in your programs but, usually, if you
close the program and reopen it, it becomes available to use right away.

Step two: Play with fonts. I find myself using
PowerPoint and Visio the most to create cards and/or embellishments. These
programs let me layer text boxes on top of each other so I can get the exact
spacing I want. You can easily change the size of any text box (or portion
thereof) by highlighting it and clicking on the font size (the number in the
box next to the name of the font). If the size you want is not on the dropdown
menu, click the number box and type in the font size you want. I find myself
upsizing letters and picture fonts to 300, 400, 500 all the time. You can also
change the colors of the words or individual letters. Highlight the selection
you want to change and look for an uppercase A with a bar under it and a little
arrow next to it. Click the arrow and you should have a large selection of font
colors to choose from. (Test print before you print on your good paper;
sometimes the colors on the screen look different.) Whatever program you’re
using should have several text editing tools. Experiment and see what other
alterations you can make. Often there will be a WordArt or Headline option that
allows you to add outlines, shadows and more. You’ll be amazed at what you can
do just by playing around a bit!

Fontingly yours,

Amanda

Altered Store Bought Invitations

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I love planning parties! It’s fun to pick a theme and coordinate everything. You can often find pre-printed invitations to match table wares and decorations but, they are usually flat and a little lifeless. I’m not a big fan of the fill-in-the-blank style that most of them come in either. I mean, who really wants to fill out all the details over and over again?

I have a quick and easy solution. Simply cut the front off and layer it on top of new invitations you print from your computer. Or you can print labels to fit inside. Add a little ribbon, glitter or 3-D element to spruce it up a bit more and you’re done! You get beautiful, customized invitations in the same amount of time it would’ve taken to fill in the details. Check out the
Invitations & Parties section of our Gallery for more ideas!