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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
This Sunday in the UK is Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day, so my cards this week are the ones I made for my Mum and Mum-in-law. I’ve had the Frosted Florals set together with the matching Frosted Bouquet framelits but hadn’t got around to playing with them so I made them the star turn for this card. I also used the Jar of Love set and matching Everyday Jars framelits. Whilst this is a Mother’s Day card, it could easily be adapted for birthday, anniversary, thank you or get well card – indeed anything for which you’d send a bunch of flowers! I made a birthday card earlier in the year using Lovely Lipstick, Smoky Slate and Mint Macaron and I really like these colours together so I used that colour palette here too.
Firstly, I stamped the card liner and the envelope with same designs. I really like the thistle/teasel image (that was my reason for buying this set actually!) so that was my main focus. I made it dual coloured by using sponge daubers to apply the ink.
Next, I stamped and die cut a bunch of flowers and foliage. I also stamped a jar onto some velum and added some clear embossing powder to give it a ‘glassy’ look. The great thing about velum is that you don’t need to use Versamark ink to heat emboss as regular ink stays wet for about 2½ weeks (more or less!) on velum so there’s plenty of time to get the embossing powder on there.
I die cut another jar in white card and held it in position with some temporary adhesive whilst I stamped the background foliage. This is stamped directly onto the card front to provide some dimension and contrast to the other layers added later.
The next stage was to arrange the die cut foliage, cutting off the stems that went below the top of the jar.
The focal images of roses and thistles were added to complete arrangement. The jar didn’t look quite right ‘floating’ in mid-air so I partially stamped the Buffalo Check to sort of resemble a tablecloth.
I put a couple of silver glitter hearts on the jar back, coloured the back of the velum jar with an alcohol marker to make the water, and then glued the velum jar top onto the white back. A little Mint Macaron twine around the jar neck and bow completed the jar which I attached to the card with Dimensionals, ensuring the top of the jar covered over the cut edges of the stems. The card top was mounted on Lovely Lipstick Foil and then glued to a Mint Macaron card base. A small stitched oval stamped with the sentiment from the Tea Together completed the card.
I guess it’s unusual for a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator to be using retired products and I appreciate that it may be a little frustrating if you fancy making this card but the products are no longer for sale, apologies for that. However, there will be many people, like me, who purchased this set and would like some ideas – hence the ‘retired but not forgotten’ slogan. As soon as I saw this set, I had to have it as my Dad is a retired joiner so it is the perfect set for cards for him – although I’m not sure how many cards with tools I can get away with sending him! My Dad is the most practical and capable person I know and I like to think that my crafting genes have descended from his practical ones! Mind you, my Mum’s no slouch in the crafting department either, particularly if it comes to knitting which I’m certain she can do with her eyes closed! Anyhow, “Nailed It” and the accompanying die set “Build It” are a great set for masculine cards, which I find are rather a tricky genre.
For this card I used:
11½” x 4⅛” scored at 5¾” brown card, I used Crumb Cake but any brown will work
5¾” x 1¼” strip of the same brown card
6” x 3½” piece of silver foil card
5¼” x 2¼” Very Vanilla card for the liner
2” x 4” of coloured cardstock for the tool handles
SU! Nailed It stamp set
SU! Build It Framelit Dies
SU! Hardwood background stamp
SU! Pinewood Planks embossing folder
To make the toolbox handle, take the cardbase and mark the centre of the top edge of the card. Place a shaped die to cut out the handle hole; I used an oval die measuring 2⅛” x 1⅛” from a label set I have but you could use a rectangle or similar, you just need a ‘hole’ shape! Fold the base card along the score line, place the die centrally about ⅜” from the top edge and run through the Big Shot cutting both layers. If it doesn’t quite cut through the bottom layer, it will make an impression so you know where to reposition the die to cut through that layer.
To shape the corners of the toolbox, mark the top edge 1½” along from each edge and 1¼” down each side and join with a pencil line. Cut along these lines through both front and back pieces. Erase any pencil marks still showing.
Your now have your basic toolbox. You can use it like this or add more interest by stamping with the Hardwood stamp or using the Pinewood planks embossing folder. I’m going to emboss this one. Position the front of the card into the embossing folder and run through the Big Shot. Repeat with the small piece of card.
Apply glue to the side and bottom edges of the small piece and attach it to the bottom of the base card. It should make a small ‘pocket’ to put your tools in.
Make the tools by cutting out of silver foil sheet. You can stamp and colour the tools but I decided to do a quicker version by just cutting out the tools using foil sheet and then adding handles onto the screwdriver, saw and hammer.
To make the tool handles, ink up the hardwood stamp and stamp onto the coloured cardstock you’ve chosen for the handles. I’m using real red card and basic grey ink. It’s easiest to lay the stamp face up, ink it up and then place the cardstock on top, cover with a piece of scrap paper and then rub over with your fingers.
Align the hammer, screwdriver and saw framelit handles with the printed grain and cut out. Trim to leave the handles only and glue onto the tools.
Position the tools where you want them in the tool box and then dab a bit of glue behind the tops to secure.
Add a sentiment. I stamped ‘Happy Birthday’ from the Perennial Birthday stamp set onto one of the ovals I cut out earlier for the toolbox handle. This card would also be great for a retirement or ‘significant’ birthday when gold or silver glimmer paper could be used instead of the foil sheet for extra wow!
Using the Nailed It stamp set, stamp some screws, nails and nuts onto the card liner and the envelope. Stick the liner to the card.
You’re all finished!
Thanks to Amanda Fowler of Inspiring Inkin’ for the inspiration for this card.