Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Get Acquainted with Cricut

For starters, I am not affiliated with Cricut or Provo Craft.  I just want to highlight a product that I use often in my paper crafting. 

A Cricut is an electronic die-cutting machine.  You buy little cartridges that come with preloaded images and fonts, stick it in the machine and hit the "Cut" button.  Okay, it is a little more complicated than that, but if you want 100 identical circles or a 12 inch flower, this machine can do it.  

The card below was made using the Stretch Your Imagination cartridge.  To make the card, I selected the image, set the size at 4 3/4", and hit cut.  Next I cut out the black Boo outline, leaves and stem.  For added color and dimension, I embossed a piece of purple paper and added it to the back.  
Finished card size is 4 3/4"x4 3/4"
Cartridges can be pricy, up to $99 a piece.  The newest cutting machines will run anywhere between $200-300.  eBay is a great place to get cartridges.  I rarely pay over $30 for a cartridge.  You don't need many to get started.  I think I only own six cartridges, but between them all, I have a few nice fonts and hundreds of images to choose from.

Overall, a good investment for a paper crafting hobbyist.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mmmm. I love a nice ladybug for dinner.

And so do these black widow spiders.  I have been in a Halloween frame of mind for the past week or so getting a number of cards ready for the upcoming holiday.  This one is my favorite so far.  I think it invokes a sense of Halloween creepiness.  

I cut the spiders from black glitter cardstock using the Wild Card cartridge on my Cricut.  After a brief stint on Google to look at pics of black widow spiders, I adhered two red rhinestones to the abdomen.  The result was some cool, yet very creepy, spiders mounted on  Sleepy Hollow spider web paper.  Oh, and let's not forget about the poor little ladybug about to meet her fateful end.

Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2". 

Closeup of the spiders and their prey. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to Make Blank Notecards

A really great way to make a set of 6 blank note cards is to start with your favorite piece of paper.  For this project I used a piece of graphic circle paper that I had stashed away for that ever elusive "special" project. 

Supplies required: 
1 piece 12"x12" scrapbook paper or card stock
5 pieces 8 1/2"x11" card stock in 2 coordinating colors (3 for the cards, 2 for the mats).
Paper cutter
That's it!

Start by cutting 3 pieces of 8 1/2"x11" card stock in half.  You can cut the "hotdog" or "hamburger" way depending on which way you want your card to open.   Fold card stock in half.  The card size will be 4 1/4"x5 1/2" which will fit a standard A-2 envelope (found at any craft store).

To create the mats, cut the second shade of coordinating 8 1/2"x11" card stock into 4"x5 1/4" pieces.  This will allow for a 1/8" border all around the card.  Adhere. 

Lastly, cut your scrapbook paper down to 6  3 3/4"x 5" sheets.  This allows for another 1/8" border.  Adhere. 

Done!  Pair cards with coordinating envelopes, tie with ribbon or pretty string and you have an inexpensive, handmade gift that is sure to impress!

Tip: Plan your cuts carefully so you don't waste paper. 

Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2".
This set of cards is currently for sale in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dropping You a Line

Although it looks like this card took 5 minutes to make--no card is quite that simple--but this one was close. 

The birds on a wire were made using a Martha Stewart border punch.   The tails were a little blunt so I hand cut grooves in the tails to make them look more feathery.  I chose three coordinating colors and then printed the sentiment on card stock using one of the colors.  This was a little tricky as I had to figure out where to put the sentiment in MS Word.  Tip: Use a text box so you can move the sentiment around exactly where you want it.   Lastly, I adhered the birds and cut a single bird to go above the sentiment.  Done!

Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2".  The idea for the card came from Paper Crafts Magazine.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thanks a Latte!

Time for another post!  I have been working hard lately on getting my Etsy store up and running.  I hope to have it ready to go in another week!  I'll keep you posted!

Today I am showing a set of cards that were created using the same materials.  I found the adorable coffee cup paper, coordinating stickers and embellishments at the craft store and couldn't resist!  The result: Thanks a Latte cards!

The colors I used for matting and accents were pulled directly from the coffee cup paper.  Each coffee cup paper is matted with two coordinating papers and the accents and sentiments are mounted on a single color.  I printed the sentiment on white card stock and adhered with foam stickers.  The ribbon is adhered with glue dots on the back of the card and the inside of the card.  
Finished card size is 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2"

Red scalloped piece was made using die cutting and embossing machines.  Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2"

Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Scrappy Birthday Invite

In my quest to create a variety of birthday invitations, I decided to make one entirely out of paper scraps (minus the cupcake sticker).  My daughter was going to invite both boys and girls to her party so I opted to use more gender neutral colors for this card.  I started with the polka dot paper which had a variety of accent colors to choose from.   I matted the sentiment and cupcake on two different colors for added visual interest.  And, as is common in paper crafting, I mounted both using foam stickers to create depth and dimension on the card. 

Finished card size is 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" (standard A2 size). 

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Love Cupcakes

The next best thing to eating a cupcake is crafting with cupcakes!  Cupcakes are all the rage and if you browse through your local craft store you will find tons of adorable cupcake stickers.  A dimensional cupcake sticker and a piece of paper is all it takes to make a simple and sophisticated birthday card or invitation.  Even as I handed out this invitation to a mom yesterday she commented, "Did you make this?  It is so cute!"  Piece of cake.

Finished card size is...I forget.  About 3x4". 

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's Party Time!

The intended purpose of a card can be changed by simply switching the sentiment.  This card is nearly identical to the 5th birthday card I posted two days ago, but by changing the stamped sentiment, it became a birthday invitation.  

Using borders on cards is a good way to make prints stand out.  I often choose a bold color that comes directly from the printed color palate.  Most of the time I use a 1/8 in. border, but this is easily changed for varying effects.  For the flame, I chose two accent colors from the print and adhered the inner flame using a foam mounting sticker for added dimension.  

I used the Sweet Treats Cricut cartridge to make this card.  Using the image guide, I cut out all of the components with the machine set at 5 inches.  I scored and folded the back piece so the card would open.  I stamped the sentiment on scrap paper and rounded the corners.  Lastly, I attached a bow with Glue Dots.

Finished card size is 5 in. from top to bottom. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

You're Invited!

Continuing with this week's theme of party invites and birthday cards for little girls, here is a sample of one invite I put together for my daughter's birthday party.   I am not sure what the flavors are, but they sure do look yummy!  My favorite component in this card is the pink glitter paper.  The chocolate brown adds a nice contrast to the pink 'flavors'.  I used my Circut Sweet Treats cartridge and set the machine at 5 inches for all cuts.  On the inside I stamped the invite information. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday!

I'm back from vacation with the first of many posts inspired by my daughter who turns 5 next week!  I have been busy making birthday cards and birthday party invitations that are delightfully pink and girly.  My biggest problem is keeping my daughter from swiping the cards for her personal collection. 

This card was inspired by the cover of Cricut Magazine's special birthday issue.  I bought the Sweet Treats cartridge specifically for the candle numbers, but it also has many other cute and fun designs.  

Making the card was simple.  Using the image guide, I cut out all of the components with the machine set at 5 inches.  I scored and folded the back piece so the card would open.  I stamped the sentiment on scrap paper and rounded the corners.  Lastly, I attached a bow with Glue Dots.

Later this week I will show another version of this card that I made for birthday party invitations.  

Finished card measures 5" from top to bottom.