Great looking cards needn't take a long time to do. A few simple techniques are all that is required to produce handmade cards with a professional finish. This layout is very simple and highly adaptable. The card in the photograph was made to celebrate a birthday, however with the right words and sentiments it could be adapted to virtually any other occasion. The key to the success of this card layout is picking great looking colors that grab the eye and ensuring that the placement of the text stamp is spot on. Practice first on scratch paper to ensure perfect results.
Time Required: Quick
- The core design feature of this simple yet effective layout is the way that the stamped paper has been torn and positioned with a small gap that exposes the greeting, in this case 'Happy Birthday'.
Before assembling the card, create the stamped paper. The paper in the picture was created using the heat embossing resist technique, whereby embossed images are painted over with water based paints. This is a effective technique for producing large all-over designs.
- Roughly cut the paper to size and then carefully tear out the middle portion as required. As the torn edge of the paper looks different depending on which way it is torn, remember to turn the paper when tearing the second edge (if the paper faced you when you were tearing the first edge, turn the paper away from you when you are tearing the second edge). If in doubt, practice on scratch paper first! Brush the torn edges with complementary colored ink to give added definition to the ragged edges.
- Attach the stamped paper pieces to the card blank and stamp the greeting in the center.
Tip: Adding the greeting last can be nerve wracking as a smudged or imperfect greeting will spoil the card. An alternative is to stamp the greeting first and place the paper after the greeting has been stamped. A fall-back for a spoiled greeting image is to place another sheet of paper over it, this will cover the spoiled greeting and this piece of paper will be disguised when the stamped paper is attached.
The variations are almost endless!
- Reverse the colors so a dark center is revealed through lighter colored stamped paper.
- Try positioning the paper so that the tear is near the top, at the bottom, running diagonally etc.
- Use different stamping and coloring techniques to create different effects
- Instead of tearing out a piece from the paper, try attaching the paper whole and adding a strip of torn paper with the stamped greeting.
- Techniques Used:
- Create large pieces of stamped and embossed paper and keep any left over to one side for use in other projects.
- Use the same techniques to make gift wrap, tags and bags to match the card.
- Adapt the card layout for different occasions by varying the color scheme. Some popular colors are pastels for babies, gold or silver for weddings and funky pinks for birthday divas. Make Great Use of Color explores the use of color in rubber stamping projects in more detail.
- Lightweight paper works best for decorating cards. Heavy paper or cardstock may cause the finished card to be imbalanced and for it not to stand correctly.
What You Need
- Card blanks
- Paper for decorating
- Rubber stamps, inks, embossing powders as required
- Text stamp
- Glue or adhesive as required