More Ideas for Using Small Card Toppers

July 21st, 2014

This post follows on from the previous post Ways with Small Card Toppers – those small “extra” toppers that is found on many sheets of card toppers now.

Use with Die Cuts

Many dies come in sets with up to 7 dies in a set and range from simple shapes to more intricate dies such as the Spellbinders Card Creator Tranquil Moments used in the card below.

These die sets of dies can be used individually or combined.  If I was to use the full set alone, without further embellishment it would look a bit odd but often the smallest die in the set is just that – really small.  I know it needs an extra something. Perhaps a small stamp? Or a die cut or punched flower? Or how about one of the small card toppers left over on the sheet?

This 5 x 7 inch card uses the full set of Tranquil Moments including the tag.  The small round card topper placed in the centre of the mat and layered dies just finishes it off nicely.  Instructions to make this card can be found in the Craftsite Gallery.

A Delightful Surprise

Here’s another idea.  This card was made by Mary.

Mary used a 6 x 6 inch card blank in ivory and the matching insert paper.  First she embossed the front of the card using the Embossalicious Swirl corner.  Using the inset paper and a spare piece of Stardream Quartz paper Mary die cut 2 ivory and 1 quartz book pages using the Marianne Creatables Open Book plus, again using the ivory insert paper, some ivy using the Marianne Creatables Ivy and a small butterfly using the Memory Box Pippi Butterfly.  The butterfly is decorated with 3mm pearls and Mary added a tassel from her stash.

But what’s this got to do with using small card toppers? Well, when the recipient opens the pages of the book………..

The card topper is nestled in the pages.  This card topper is one of the smaller ones found on the Marianne Tiny’s Country Garden 1 sheet.

So now when you’ve used all the larger card toppers on a sheet don’t throw the sheet away or put it in your stash – use them to make more cards. It’s surprising how many more cards you can make.

 

Ways with Small Card Toppers

July 20th, 2014

When you buy card toppers as often as not the sheet comes with some small toppers that are little “extras” among the larger toppers.   These extra toppers may seem too small to make a card with but with a little imagination, and a dip into your card making stash, these little toppers will make some pretty cards.

Inserts

Using one of the small toppers on your insert will not only continue your design theme through to the inside of the card it will be a nice surprise for the recipient when they open the card.  Here’s an example:

On the Back of Your Card

At first it might sound a bit odd to put a topper on the back of your card but Mary, who makes many of the cards in our Gallery, regularly attaches very small toppers to the back of her cards with her “Hand Made by Mary” label just below it.

Using Small Toppers in Your Card Design

Just because the card toppers are small doesn’t necessarily mean that your card has to be small too.

This card is A5 size and uses half of one of the backing cards that comes with the card toppers to cover the front of the card.  The toppers feature birds and butterflies so an A5 piece of card was run through the die cutting machine with a border embossing folder that has a bird in one corner (Darice Bird Scroll Frame) as a backdrop for the 2 small round toppers.  The sentiments topper overlaps the bottom edge and 2 pink padded butterflies completes the card.

Not only is this card simple to make (you’ll find full instructions in the Craftsite Gallery) but it’s economical too.  Cards are already made with the larger toppers and the embossed background is simply a bit of Stardream Crystal left over from a previous project.

In our next post we’ll show you two more card making ideas using small card toppers – both are easy to make as this one.

 

 

Ideas for Spring Cards 2014

January 9th, 2014

In the depths of winter with the cold, the wind, and the incessant rain cardmakers are sensibly staying indoors at the moment so why not cheer yourself by making some cards ready for Spring?

Colours

When the world is wet and grey choose some cardstock in lovely colours such as leafbird green, sunlight yellow, and marine blue to make some pretty floral cards using dies.  If you prefer to use pearlescent cardstock then Stardream Coral, Kunzite, and Lagoon are all good ones to choose for Spring cards.  For a more subtle textured look there’s Tim Holtz Core-dinations Mustard Seed, Shabby Shutters, and Tattered Rose.

Dies

With the new releases there has never been such a good selection of dies suitable for Spring flowers as there is at this moment. This one is Daisy Vine  from the Die-namites range.  You’ll also find flowers in the Spellbinders Shapeabilities and Marianne Design ranges.  Why not add the little Pippa butterfly from Memory Box to nestle on your floral arrangement?

Card Toppers

If you don’t have a die cutting machine these die cut toppers, this one’s called Spring Borders and is from Docrafts, are an ideal embellishment to use.  It’s just one of the new ones for this Spring – you’ll find a selection of floral die cut toppers in the Card Toppers section of the website.

If you do have a die cutting machine try mixing toppers with die cuts such as the Marianne Collectables Birds using colours that blend with those in the chosen topper sheet.

Decoupage

What speaks more of Spring than this Wren in Mayblossom decoupage sheet?  The colours have just the right amount of softness for Spring cards.  You’ll find it in the Die Cut Decoupage section of the website along with many floral decoupage sheets.

Stamps

Tulips make a lovely Spring card and with this being a stamp you can colour the tulips to your own fancy.  This stamp is from Penny Black and, as it is a cling stamp, needs a suitably sized acrylic block.

Backgrounds

Why not try making your own background paper or card to coordinate perfectly with your chosen die cut, embellishment, decoupage, or stamp? You can either stipple ink onto basic white card using VersaColour or Tim Holtz distress inks using a big dome stencil brush or swirl and blend the inks using an ink blending tool depending on the effect you want to achieve.

Card Making – Fancy Bows

December 29th, 2013

In the article Card Making – Simple Bows we looked at how just adding a simply bow can make a difference to your design when card making.  This article looks at more fancy bows where, at times, the ribbons and bow make up a good deal of the card design.

Five lengths of organdie ribbon was used to make this card and then a further, slightly longer, length used for the bow. Two lengths of ribbon were adhered to the at either side of the Stardream Amethyst card, two lengths side by side down the length of the Stardream Amethyst card to the left of centre, and the final length down the front edge of the cream card.  The bow was made separately and fixed into place with mini glue dots to look at if the ribbon and bow was all made from the same piece of ribbon.

This card uses an acetate front to the card topper in which a rose and a length of ribbon has been placed inside the acetate front. The paper rose is hung near to the end of the ribbon secured in place with a mini glue dot and then the back of the ribbon is fastened against the card topper inside the frame with another glue dot.  The top of the ribbon is glued to the inside of the frame using a 3D foam pad.  Once the acetate front has been fixed to the card a bow is created using the same ribbon and glued to the top of the frame using mini glue dots.  A 5mm self adhesive pearl is centred just below the bow.

The card above features two different widths of pink and ivory organdie ribbon that match the small paper roses incorporated into the design.

The two lengths of ribbon, one 15mm ivory and one 7mm rose, are placed around the centre of the mount using double sided tape before securing the mount to the card.  Then two  lengths of the same widths of ribbon are made into the bow which is secured to the card using mini glue dots.  A bowmaker was used to make this double bow.

Current Card Making Trends: Birds

December 12th, 2013

Cards with birds as an embellishment, be it a die cut bird, decoupage or a card topper, has been with us for a couple of years now and the card maker’s love of our feathered friends as motifs to decorate their cards shows no sign of slowing down.

Here are just a few ideas of what to use for your “birdie” card.

Decoupage

In the decoupage section you will find a choice of 2 die cut sheets: Wren in Mayblossom and Goldfinch in Cherry.  Both decoupage sheets make 2 cards – one traditional decoupage and one pyramid decoupage.

Card Toppers

There are quite a few card toppers to choose from including this one that comes with a gold foil backing card of bird cages.  The toppers are die cut and comprise not only of birds but cages, butterflies and flowers so you can make your own collage on your card.

From Hunkydory comes this set, with coordinating backing card, of a gold foil card topper and a decoupage topper.  This makes two cards but the decoupage could easily be split in the number of layers usd to get a third card out of this delightful sheet.

Dies

If you have a die cutting machine then you are spoilt for choice with birds in the Spellbinders Shapeabilities, Marianne Creatables and Marianne Collectables ranges.

This 4 die set of 2 birds and 2 bird cages are from Spellbinders.  The dies can be used separately or together – whatever takes your fancy.

In the Marianne Collectables range there is a large bird which can be made from the various dies that make up the set in different ways.

There is also this set of 3 birds that are the perfect size to go with one of the Marianne Collectables Bird House and Stamp sets.

The Marianne Creatables Fence Set not only has a fence but this little bird and birdhouse too.

Embossing Folders

It’s not just dies where you’ll find birds but in embossing folders too.

This 6 by 6 inch embossing folder features birds and birdhouses whereas the standard size embossing folder below is aptly named “Tweet Tweet”.

Making Cards: Focus on Die Cutting Machines

December 9th, 2013

A die cutting machine is a big investment for any cardmaker and you may be quivering in deciding whether to get one or not. All of the Craftsite design team have die cutting machines and not one of us would be without one.

In the early days die cutting may have been about just cutting out basic shapes but not any more – the selection of dies available are becoming more intricate all the time and even those who are most adept with scissors would struggle to even begin cutting the shapes that a die can cut.

This card uses the full set of the Nellie’s Multiframe Hearts.  Nellie’s dies are simple cutting dies but there’s nothing simple about the detail edge on the 2 gold cards. Not even punches can get this level of intricate design and,  what’s more, the full set of hearts including the little swans is only £7.99 – less than one would pay for a 3 inch punch.

Die cut shapes can create an interesting background to a card.

This card is made from matt gold card cut and creased to 144mm x 144mm and uses Spellbinders Labels Ten to cut the black card for the backgrounds. The largest of this 6 die set is used  for the background to the decoupage and the smallest for the greeting.

Many dies these days don’t just cut but emboss as well.

This card was made using the Marianne Creatables dies Anja’s Edge and Petra’s Oval.  Not only is the cut pattern incredibly intricate but there is loads of embossed detail as well on both dies.

If you want to die cut your own greetings, there are dies available now for sentiments such as Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Best Wishes, and With Sympathy.

These can be cut out of left over scraps of card which means, once you’ve bought the die, you can run your own sentiments through the die cutting at virtually no cost time and time again in colours that will perfectly match your project.

Die cutting machines don’t just cut – they emboss as well and will take a wide range of embossing folders.  The maximum size of embossing folder that you can use will depend on the die cutting machine you choose.  All die cutting machines take the standard and 5 x 7 inch embossing folders and A4 machines will take not only the A4 embossing folders but the 8 x 8 inch embossing folders as well.

Embossing folders create an textured background.

The textured background on this card is created using the M-Bossabilities Holiday Magic folder.  The mounts for both the stamped image and the mount for the greeting are created using various Spellbinder cut and emboss dies.

Sometimes the embossing folder becomes the centrepiece of the card as with this Snow Bird embossing folder.

Now you know why none of the design team would part with their die cutting machines – once you start using one your card making goes to a whole new level.

Embossing Folders: Adding Texture to Your Card

December 4th, 2013

Using different textures when making a card can add both depth and interest.  If you have a die cutting machine the easiest way to add texture is by using embossing folders.

As well as die cutting machines such as the Big Shot, Cuttlebug, Vagabond, and Grand Calibur, the little Texture Boutique machine will produce nicely embossed backgrounds using the standard A6 embossing folders.

Once you have your embossed background you can then add your embellishments – some decoupage, a die cut or a stamped and coloured image.

With some embossing folders, such as this Noel embossed image, the embossing is the main feature of the card rather than the background, and very little is needed by way of  embellishments to finish off the card.

At other times you may want a textured background to completely cover the card – as it this wedding invitation created with a 5 x 7 M-Bossabilities folder.

If you have a die cutting machine, rather than the Texture Boutique, one you’ve embossed your card it can then be die cut to a shape that will enhance your embellishment.

Most embossed backgrounds are a single colour as this gives more effect to the embossed texture than multicoloured or printed card where the embossed effect is lost amongst the myriad of colours or the printed design.

If you want to add some colour to your card when using embossing folders then the best way is to add colour to the already embossed design – as in this card made using the D’Vine Swirls embossing folder.  Simply ink a brayer and, using a very light touch, run the brayer over your embossed card.

Another technique you can use with embossing folders is to use Core-dinations Kraft Core card and then gently sand down the embossed image to reveal the different colour core underneath.

You don’t have to limit it yourself to just the one embossing folder when making your card.  This gatefold card uses the Swiss Dots embossing folder for the bottom half of each side of the card and the Roses embossing folder for the top – the ribbon in the middle hides the join.  A third embossing folder has been used on the die cut heart.

Making it a White Christmas

November 28th, 2013

When making Christmas cards it’s nice to add a touch of snow.  There’s quite a few products that will give a snowy effect – it just depends on whether you want a little or a lot.

Glitter Card and Paper

Marianne dies Winter Village 1, Winter Village 2, and Icicles are all cut from iridescent white glitter card to give the snowy feel to this easy make card.  When using glitter card the embossed effect will be subtle.

Use glitter paper with die cuts where a softer effect is required.  The Layering Poinsettia die set is ideal for use with glitter paper as the paper allows you to shape the petals.

Glitter Powder

Ultrafine glitter is available in Crystal Snow and Crystal glitter.  It is applied to a card with glue.

To add glitter highlights to a plain card topper the top of the porch and the shadows in the snow have first been outlined using a Quickie glue pen and then crystal glitter added.

The same method was used to add crystal glitter to the edge of this card topper and add some snow effects to the top of the watering can.

If you want all you glitter to match then rather than use a combination of glitter card and glitter powder you need to use just glitter.

The criss cross lines on this card are created by using high tack 3mm spaced evenly apart and adding the crystal snow glitter.  For adding glitter to the fiddly Marianne scroll die cuts it would be better to use something such as the Cosmic Shimmer Flake and Glitter Glue Highlighter which comes with its own brush for easy application.  For larger dies, such as the reindeer the best product is the double sided adhesive sheets as these can be applied to your piece of card prior to die cutting and come out, not only the perfect shape, but ready attached to the die cut.

Glitter Glue

Glitter glue is best used as a highlighter as one would use the glue pen with powder glitter.  Galitter glue will give a slightly more raised effect than using glue with glitter powder.  There is also a wonderful choice of shades of white in the Stickles range depending on whether you want purer white, a hint of golden shimmer or something in between.  Choose from Frosted Lace, Icicle, Diamond, Crystal, or Stardust.

In the economy range of glitter glues there is Rainbow White which also gives lovely snowy effects.

Glitter glue can also be used in small and larger spots across the card to give the effect of falling snow – but you do need a steady hand.

Self Adhesive Beads

These self adhesive beads are glitter white and come in 3 sizes: 10mm, 5mm, and 3mm diameter making them ideal to use as falling snow on your card or simply to add a few drops of snow as an extra embellishments.  You can either use all of one size or vary the sizes for a more realistic snowfall effect.

Here 5mm and 3mm glitter beads are used to add a few drops of snow to the Merry Christmas greeting.

These pearl snowflakes are from Marianne Design and add a flourish of snow to your Christmas card making.  Use sparingly to create your snowfall.

Two or three of these added to your card can really give it a lift.  The snowflakes, trees, and stars are all self adhesive so are really ease to use – just peel off and stick down.

These are also ideal for creating a snowflake border to your card.

In your card making at least, if not in reality, you can truly make it a white Christmas.

Beginning Card Making: Christmas Card Idea

November 27th, 2013

Although this Christmas card is easy to make it still has lots of “show” and a professional look to it.

It uses a square card topper, a square backing mount, and a square 198 x 198mm card.

Colour match to your topper

When selecting your embellishments colour match them to an accent colour in your card topper. For example, this card topper has a red door with slightly darker red bows on both the door and in the decoration at the sides of the porch windows.  This slightly darker red is the colour that’s been chosen for the backing card and the ribbon with red gems for the holly corners.

When choosing your peel offs decide which colour best suits your topper – silver or gold?  Once you’ve decided stick to that colour so that the borders, corners, and greeting are all the same colour.

Gather your materials together

Before you start making the card, first gather together everything you’ll need: card blank, card topper, card for mounting the topper, ribbon, peel off borders, corners, and greeting, gems, scissors, ruler and glues.

Making the card

First place your peel off borders to form a frame all around the card – about 10mm in from the edges of your card blank.  If you have difficulty judging 10mm by eye you can mark where the border peel offs are to go using a pencil and ruler but use a very light hand hand with the pencil.

Once the peel off borders are in place put a single holly border just inside each corner and add two 3mm red gems to each one as berries.

Measure a length of ribbon to about the size of your card and make a knot in the middle.  Attach it to your card using mini glue dots so that it’s near, but not covering the left side peel off.  Trim the ends if necessary.  The “v” shape at the ends looks neat and stops the ribbon from fraying but if you find this too fiddly then straight edges are fine.

The point of putting the ribbon on the card first is that, when you come to fix your card topper in place you will place it centrally in the remaining white space of the card blank.

Add your peel off to the bottom centre of the card.  Here we have used a double embossed Merry Christmas  peel off.  These are great for beginners as they come off the backing sheet in one solid piece and don’t get wrapped around your fingers when your are trying to place them on your card.

Measure your card topper and cut a piece of your backing card 12mm larger.  The card topper we used is 87mm x 91mm (not quite square)  so we cut the backing card to 99mm x 103mm.  Using photo glue adhere your card topper to the backing card so there is a 6mm border all around.  Photo glue is ideal as it lets you reposition if you don’t get it spot on the first time. Once the topper is in position leave the photo glue to dry – it only takes a minute or so.

Attach pieces of 2mm foam tape to the back of your backing card and, using the peel off borders as a guide fix down onto the card blank.

To complete the card we used four 3mm white glitter pearls – one placed at each corner of the peel off border as this hides the joins of the peels offs.

A Gem of a Card

November 17th, 2013

Gems and pearls are great embellishments on any card whether they are the main focus of the card design or whether they are that little addition that lifts a card from the ordinary to to the delightful.

Gems are one of those embellishments that are used all the year round and for all occasions whether it be a wedding invitation, a birthday card or Christmas card.

Gems come in different colours and sizes from the very large round dazzlers to the tiny 4mm acrylic gems to pearls in a variety of sizes and designs.  When making Christmas cards the card maker can use different gems either from one range or by combining different gems from different ranges.

This is a simple card made with the backing card from a card topper set.  The backing card is left over  from a previous project that used the othe pieces in the set and  is enhanced with Dazzler gems and Marianne pearls.  The backing card has been scored down the middle to make an A5 creased card.

First the printed scroll pattern on the backing card was run over with a Sakura quickie glue pen and crystal glitter added.  A piece of 7mm double sided royal blue satin ribbon was adhered to the left hand side of the card using 6mm double sided tape. To either side of the ribbon are silver glitter wide straight line peel offs.  The great thing about these peel offs is that they are transparent so that they will take on the colour of any card you are using them on.

Three dazzler gems were placed at the top of the card along the ribbon.  With their larger than average size and the number of facets on these gems they are immediately eye-catching.

Three of the pearl snowflakes from the Marianne Winter Gems set were placed on the three printed snowflakes on the backing card to add dimension.

To finish the card, a Merry Christmas silver double embossed peel off that matches the foiling on the card was added.

This is a simple, easy make card – it’s the gems that make it an extra special card.