Tuesday, August 18, 2015

DIY Picture Frame ScrapbookCard: Maraiah Crystal Designs

Hello, everyone!

Today, I am sharing with you my very first post as a design team member for Maraiah Crystal Designs (https://maraiahcrystaldesigns.wordpress.com/). I am so thrilled to be able to be a part of such a fun design team, and I can't wait to share with you all of the fun projects I will be working on!

The card I am sharing today features a DIY picture frame slot. I like to call this a scrapbook card because it's a fun way to personalize a card for someone special. It didn't take very long to make, either. 

I began this card by picking two sheets of patterned paper that complemented each other nicely. I loved the two little birds in the background of one of the sheets, so I cut that one down to 4x5.25 and attached it to my card base. I wanted to emphasize the little birds, so I die cut a larger bird out of the second piece of patterned paper.

To make my frame, I took the same craft cardstock I used for my base and cut out a rectangle. I wanted the bottom of the frame to be large enough for a sentiment. Keeping that in mind, all I did was draw a rectangle towards the top of the rectangle and use my craft knife and a ruler to cut it out. No die/machine needed!

I used a Hero Arts friends sentiment stamp and embossed it in Ranger's Liquid Platinum embossing powder on the bottom of the frame.

Because I want to be able to add a small picture to this frame when I am ready to give it away, I needed to be careful when I adhered the frame down. I used my ATG adhesive to glue down the bottom part of the frame and halfway up the sides. It creates a perfect pocket for a picture to slide into. I can always add a little glue to the top of the frame once I place my picture inside, too. 

To add some finishing touches, I added pearls and a light faux stitching with a cream colored pencil. 

I hope you enjoyed this card as much as I enjoyed making it! I love being able to give customized cards to friends and family, and I think this is a great way to go the extra mile and show someone that you care about them. 

Please head over to https://maraiahcrystaldesigns.wordpress.com/ to see some more card making tutorials! Maraiah has done an amazing job with posting thorough and well made tutorials, and I am sure you will love her techniques and style!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Should you make your own card bases?


When I began making cards, I bought a lot of precut card bases with matching envelopes. It was easy and great for a beginner! As I spent more and more money replenishing my stash of card bases/envelopes, I started to wonder if it would be better to make my own bases. 

Pre-cut and scored card bases are convenient, but I think you sacrifice quality when you use them. I began making my own card bases out of 110 lb cardstock, and haven't looked back! There is no comparison when it comes to thickness. The pre-cut ones seem more like a 65 lb. cardstock or maybe 80 lb., at best. I also found that many of the pre-cut bases are either scored or cut a little off, so when you fold it and crease it, the ends don't meet up and the back half sticks out. It's too frustrating to have to cut down an already small card base just to even out the sides!

Making my own bases allows me to have some quality control, and if you choose to sell your cards, this is of the upmost importance. A thicker cardstock amps up the card's feel and overall presentation. I also think it is cheaper. A package of 100 sheets of cardstock makes 200 bases and costs about the same as a pack of 50 bases/envelopes. I would rather use a 40% coupon off my cardstock and buy a separate pack of envelopes (I get 50 for $2.50 or cheaper)! 

If you don't know how to make the perfect A2 card base, here's how!
1. Cut an 8.5" by 11" sheet of cardstock in half at the 5.5" mark on the long side. This creates two bases.
2. Score the cardstock down the middle at 4.25". I use the Martha Stewart Mini Scoreboard. If you don't have a scoreboard, have no fear! You can use the ridge in your paper trimmer where the blade slides and instead of cutting, use a stylus or bone folder. Some trimmers even have a scoring "blade" for this purpose. You could just fold the base in half, but scoring prevents the paper from cracking at the fold. It's so much neater when you score!
3. Fold the card at the score line. Use the back of your bone folder to really make sure you have a nice crease by running it over the top of the card at the fold.
4. Done! How easy was that? You now have 2 card bases in no time!

I have been sharing a some craft space organization with you lately, and I have to include some of that in this post! I have a drawer dedicated to my card bases and envelopes. It's so easy just to open this drawer up and grab a base and begin! I primarily make cards with white or kraft bases, so the drawer only contains the two I make the most often.

I hope this helped you if you're new to the crafting world or weren't sure if you should make your own bases or not. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Craft Room Organization: Storing Frequently Used Die Cuts

Hello, and thank you for checking out my blog! Today, I want to talk about organization. Craft spaces are so hard to keep organized, especially if you don't have some sort of system already in place. I've been working on developing some storage solutions that work for me, and I would love to share them with you!

I use a lot of die cuts, and most of the time, I mass produce a bunch of tags or circles or frames in one sitting to save myself the hassle of having to die cut a basic shape every time I want to do a project. I originally stored all of my die cuts in a plastic ziplock bag, but it was getting too hard to find what I needed. 

I developed this system to store my die cut tags. I have an Avery Elle tag die set that I use all the time to cut the tags I use when packaging my gift sets. Each tag has a different description of what's in each set, and I needed a way to keep them separated by color and in their own categories. I only use Kraft/white tags for my packaging, so the solution I came up with was perfect!

I began by sliding a 4x6 piece of colored cardstock (Bazzill's Navajo) into an equally sized cellophane sleeve/treat bag. The cellophane bag I am using is thick, which is perfect, and is the Artist's Loft/Michael's Brand. I found them in the bakery section of the store! I used my label maker to create a label for the top of the cardstock, and I also labeled these Clip Rite Binder Clip Tabs with the contents of the sleeve. I then could slide my kraft  and white cardstock tags in side my side. 

I love the way it turned out! As you can see in the first photo, I am storing them in glass bowl on top of my work space for easy access. 

If you are interested in seeing some more great ideas, my friend Maraiah over at Maraiah Crystal Designs has some wonderful organization ideas. https://maraiahcrystaldesigns.wordpress.com/2015/07/19/crafty-things-101-mini-ink-storage/

As I continue to organize my space, I will share with you my storage solutions. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Picnic Basket Inspired Thank You Cards

Hi, crafty friends!

I was going through my patterned paper when I found two sheets of the cutest red gingham paper from Hobby Lobby. Two sheets of 8.5" by 11" paper can comfortably make 8 cards, so I decided to make a set of thank you cards inspired by a picnic basket! I wanted to share some of them with you because I love the combination of the patterned paper with kraft paper, pearls, and a jute twine. 

If you've been following me for any amount of time, you know how much I love kraft card bases and white faux stitching! 

All of the pearls are by The Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby). These are my favorite pearls to use on my cards because they are such a good color. They aren't too pink!

The stamps I used came from Simon Says Stamp's Many Thanks set and the Paper Smooches Many Thanks set.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you like these cards. If you'd like to see more of my cards, please feel free to visit my Instagram or browse my blog!