Gift Card Holder

Gift cards are a marvellous invention!  They’re easy to post/transport and recipient gets to buy exactly what they want.  Win, win!  What they are not is very inspirational to look at.  A lovely handmade gift card holder solves this problem.  The beauty about these is that the theme can be changed to suit any occasion so are great for birthdays, Christmas, thank you, congratulations etc., the list goes on.   Here’s how it’s done.

You will need:

4⅛” x 10½” card base, scored at 2¼” and 5”

3⅞” x 5¼” card liner

3⅞” x 2½” patterned paper/DSP/card

4¼” x 2¾” mat layer (same colour as card base)

4” x 2½” card front

 At the end of the card base with the extra score line, mark the centre of the short edge of the card base and use a punch to cut out a semi-circle.

Apply Tear ‘n’ Tape along the top and bottom edges of the section with the punch out, just to the first score line.  Remove the backing from the tape pieces, fold down and press the edges well.  This makes the pocket for the gift card.  Glue the patterned paper onto the front of the pocket.

Decorate the card inner and the card front piece.  I used the grungy dots and sentiment from Beauty Abounds.  I then embossed the card front using the Pinewood Planks embossing folder.

Glue the card front onto the mat layer.  Apply glue to the left half only of the reverse side eand stick centrally onto the card base, over the patterned paper.

I was using up my freebie goodies from the Sale-A-Bration so used the butterfly punch to cut out butterflies from the DSP.  To add some dimension, I folded the wings gently upwards either side of the body and glued just the body onto the card front. I added a single rhinestone onto the large butterfly for a little bling!

Beauty Abounds in Sahara Sand and Very Vanilla and retired DSP

Now that’s way more exciting than the generic card you get with your gift card purchase!

Here’s a Christmas version I made using the Dashing Deer set, Birch background stamp and Woodland Embossing folder.

Dashing Deer in Night of Navy, Smoky Slate, Whisper White and Silver Foil.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Rainbow Butterfly Beauty

The Stampin’ Up! Butterfly Beauty die set has everything you need to cut out lots of butterflies.  I particularly like the two large dies that can be used individually or layered on top of each other.

I started by cutting out the two layers in Whisper White and Lovely Lipstick and stuck them together. 

To add further dimension and interest, I added Dimensionals on the back…

…and then mounted the whole thing on a Smoky Slate layer embossed with the Layered Leaves (retired) embossing folder and then onto a Basic Grey cardbase.

After making this card, I wondered how it would work making an inlaid butterfly, like I did previously with the retired (sniff!) dragonfly from the Detailed Dragonfly die set.  As you’ve probably realised about me by now, I like a bit of ink blending so I inked up a panel in a rainbow palette. 

Top tip for these dies: stick some double sided craft adhesive sheet on the back of your card before die cutting – it saves faffing about trying to apply glue to tiny pieces or thin strips of card.

Using Basic Black card, I cut out each of the two butterfly dies.  The first one, I used black for the back layer and cut the top butterfly layer from the rainbow panel.  I mounted this on a thick Whisper White cardbase that I had embossed with the planks embossing folder (also now retired!).

Then came to my butterfly rainbow jigsaw!  So, this turned out to be much more of a faff that I had anticipated….locating all those tiny pieces.

I stuck the black butterfly top layer onto a white mat and then inserted all the pieces into their matching holes.  This was then mounted on a Basic Black card base.  It was a very fiddly operation and, to be honest, I’m not sure I’d do another one.  However, the finished card looks super! 

 

 

 

Images ©2019 Stampin’ Up!

2-for-1 Thank You Cards

Having had fun doing the ink ‘smooshing’ technique for last week’s blog post, I thought I’d try my hand at some watercolour backgrounds this week, although I used calligraphy ink rather than watercolour paint.  I’ve watched many, many YouTube tutorials on making water colour washes but it’s not quite as easy as it looks – well, not for me anyway!  Using the Stampin’ Up! Thank You die, I wanted to use the positive and negative spaces of the background to make 2 cards, hence the 2-for-1 title.  For an even speedier set of cards, use patterned paper instead of making a background.

I began by taking my piece of watercolour paper and wetting it thoroughly with clean water.  I then painted stripes of pink and yellow ink and let them blend together.  I then spritzed the piece with some Frost White Shimmer paint (mixed with isopropyl alcohol) for some shine, although the nozzle of the sprayer was a bit iffy so its more splotches than mist 😊

For my second sheet, I wet the paper and then just dropped in pools of blue, pink and yellow ink and sprayed with a little more water to get them to mix.  Again, I spritzed (splotched!) Frost White Shimmer Paint on and then left to dry.

As the water colour paper got very wet, it was a bit crinkly when it dried but I was planning to run it through the Big Shot so that flattened it out a bit.  I used the largest and third largest stitched rectangle dies to cut the background and a border and cut the Thank You from the central piece.

In the interests of using up as much of my inked background as possible and to give a co-ordinated look to the inside of the card, I cut the left over background ⅜” around the rectangular cut-out, cut this rectangle into 4 (2 tops and 2 sides) and then used these pieces to edge my card inner.

I adhered the negative piece onto my card base and then, whilst all the bits were still in the die, applied spray adhesive to the back and placed the die into the ‘hole’ on the card and pressed out the tiny pieces to make the words complete. This made card no.1.

Card no.2 was made by sticking the frame onto the card base and then adding the Thank You cut out to the centre.

These are the cards made with the second background using the same technique.

The sweet peas in the shot are called ‘Terry Wogan’ and are prolific flowerers.  They’re providing me with many gloriously scented vases of flowers around the house at the moment!

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Simple Silhouettes

I do love a silhouette! Trees, plants, buildings, birds, people to name but a few – they all make great silhouettes that are super to use for card making.  Create a background by using your preferred method – sponging, brayering, watercolour, stamping, embossing – and put your silhouette over the top.  When I spotted the Friendly Silhouette Dies in the new Stampin’ Up! annual catalogue, they were immediately put on my wish list.   I mistakenly thought that there were 3 silhouette border dies in the set, and there are – sort of! More on that later though.

For two of my cards, I sponged a sunrise and a sunset.  What I like about inking sky backgrounds is that you can’t actually go wrong! For example, if you look at a sunset there are so many colours, shapes and patterns, many of which you’d think were unrealistic if you saw them in a painting but there they are in real life.  That’s one of the beauties of nature, it’s sheer randomness!

I began by sticking post-it notes along the card to make the horizon (1).  Then I decided whether or not to have a sun.  I had a sun in these so punched a circular mask from a post-it note and used both the negative (1) and positive pieces (3) at different stages.  After I’d sponged the sun, I removed the negative mask (2) and then placed the sun mask over the sun (3) whilst I sponged the sky.  I used Crushed Curry, Rococo Rose and Seaside Spray for my sunrise sky. I removed the masks and then coloured below the horizon using a Basic Black marker (4).

I cut out the floral border from Basic Black card and simply glued the border over the sunrise.  At this stage, I didn’t like the black horizon I’d drawn in so I just covered it up with the border die.

Floral border at sunrise

For the second card, I used an ink ‘smooshing’ technique.  I got my largest block and pressed my Blackberry Bliss ink pad directly onto the bottom third of the block, transferring plenty of ink.  I repeated this with Bermuda Bay on the top third of the block.  For the bit in between, I applied Night of Navy using sponge daubers.

Once the block was covered, I spritzed it with plenty of water and then placed the card onto the block, pressed well, then removed and left to dry.  The great thing about these types of background is that they are fun to make and are completely unique!

The bull rush border (my favourite!) was used for this card and I cut out an additional border from vellum and stuck it behind the black card, offset slightly to give some extra visual interest.

Bull rushes border in black card and vellum

So that bring us to the last die.  Now I thought that this was a palm tree border so image my horror when this is what was left when I’d cut out my border!  I even contacted demo support to check that the thing wasn’t faulty!!

Definitely not a palm tree!

Anyway, another demonstrator in Amanda’s team guessed (correctly) that it is designed so that you use the negative space instead of the cut out.  So, you ink up your background scene, then cut out the trees and put your background on top of a black card base to give you the silhouetted look.  Now call me picky but I think a background should be, well…you know, in the background and the thing that’s making the silhouette should be in the foreground.  Maybe I’m thinking about this too scientifically! Anyhow, this is how it looks behind my inked sunset.

Palm tree ‘border’ at sunset

I’ve left all my cards without sentiments so I can use them for whatever occasion demands in the future.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Splendid Sunflowers

Summer is a great time to be out in the garden: there’s a wealth of colour, flowers, birds and insects to feast your eyes on.  I particularly enjoy growing plants that are beneficial for both me and the wildlife and one of those essentials is sunflowers.  I don’t grow the 10ft monsters for a few reasons; they require too much faffing around with, you only get a solitary flower on them, albeit huge, and our garden is very windy so it would likely get broken.  My favourite sunflower to grow is ‘Vanilla Ice’.  It’s a multi-branched variety, so lots of flowers for the vase and the wildlife, it’s really easy to grow and it flowers for months.

A little bee on my ‘Vanilla Ice’ sunflower

The Painted Harvest stamp set features a great water-coloured sunflower image and is also easy to create stunning cards with.  It’s a multi layered stamp and I usually use a second-generation image for the back layer by stamping off onto scrap paper first but with the yellow ink, it’s not necessary so I just inked up and stamped straight onto the card.

Layer 1 with Crushed Curry

The second layer has more detailed petals.  I don’t think there’s a match to the first layer – not that I’ve found anyway! – so that makes it dead easy to just stamp right over the top of the first.

Crushed Curry layer 2

The sunflower centre is created with a graduated tone from a single stamp.

I wanted the leaves to look like they were peeking out from beneath the flower but the stamp has a section of stalk on it.  There are several ways to overcome this: ink up only the section you want to stamp; make a mask to protect the flower; or cut the stamp (gulp!).  I used a mask made from a post-it note.  (I keep the masks I make with the stamp set for future use.) The leaves are also made up with 2 stamps for a textured look.

A well used post-it note mask!

A Crushed Curry mat and sentiment from the Butterfly Gala complete the single sunflower card.

For this multi sunflower card, I put the sentiment stamp where I was going to stamp it and then stamped my sunflowers around and off the page. Again, I use the mask to protect the flower whilst I stamped the leaves.

I heat embossed the sentiment using gold embossing powder and then mounted on a Sahara Sand card base.

Although not technically sunflowers, the stamp works equally well when used with colours other than yellow.  Here’s a presentation folder I created for my watch’s retirement gift for a work colleague.

If you really want to go off-piste, stamp the image in different greens and use it as a wreath for a Christmas card. I heat embossed some gold dots and added some red rhinestones for some festive bling!

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!