A top tip when designing your cards is to cut and assemble all your layers but don’t stick them all in place until you’re sure you’re happy with the design.
You may already know this but most of Stampin’ Up!’s DSP is double sided (the rare exception is some of the Specialty DSPs). The great thing about this is that if you don’t much like the pattern on one side, you can choose to use none of that and twice as much of other 🙂
Even if you think you like a particular pattern, it’s worth testing the other side out to find out whether it will work better. I used to waste a lot of DSP once upon a time. I’d have lots of card fronts made up with DSP because I cut them, stuck them down and then decided they weren’t what I needed. Nowadays I check my layout before gluing anything in place.
Originally the card above was going to look very different. I liked the white leaf spray pattern on the other side of the DSP.
But when I tried laying out the card above it just seemed too “busy”. None of the pieces were stuck down, so I flipped the DSP over to check the other design.
And the design immediately felt more grounded, I could see the flowers and the hummingbird more clearly.
I hope that this tip helps you find new DSP patterns to enjoy, while saving you a few pennies here and there.
A quick tip today to share how I cheated to create the “mum” lettering on this card 🙂
Step 1 – die cut two “yum”s using the Baker’s Box thinlit.
Step 2 – snip the “y” away from the front of one and the “m” away from the other.
Step 3 – join up the “m” and the “um” to create “mum”.
Now to figure out a way to get “dad”!
On Saturday I shared this Little Letters Christmas card. I’m back today with hints and tips for using this set of thinlits.
Tip 1 – Lay the Little Letters out on your card to “try out” the spacing. Where duplicate letters are needed, use a letter of the approx. size and shape as a “stunt letter” (here we used K to judge the spacing needed for the second R).
Tip 2 – Use a ruler to ensure that the base of all letters are aligned.
Tip 3 – Although we usually recommend the Magnetic Platform for dies, the small magnets tend to make the Little Letters jump around. Instead, washi tape was used to hold the Little Letters in place (remembering to remove the “stunt letter”).
Tip 4 – Remove the duplicate letter and reposition the die, leaving all the other letters in place and using the ruler again to ensure that the repositioned letter is fully aligned with the originals.
Tip 5 – Take care that some symmetrical letters do have a “right way up”, eg. the X is narrower at the top than the bottom.
Hope these tips help you get the most from your Little Letters thinlits.
Yesterday I shared this swing hinge star box. I’m back today with a couple of tips for making it.
Now the Many Merry Stars kit isn’t identified as being food safe. Why would it be? It’s designed for the stars to be fully enclosed as decorations, not opened up as boxes – it’s just that we demos like to find other ways and uses, lol. But as it’s not food safe, I wanted to make sure that my chocs were already wrapped and would therefore be okay.
Rather than have a dinky box with maybe 3-4 chocs inside, I opted for one of the largest (though not quite the largest) stars, which easily fits upwards of 10 chocs in there.
However, the large star will not fit through the Big Shot without squishing the points.
Tip 1 – To cut the aperture from a large star, position the framelit in the centre and then roll through the Big Shot as far as it will go without damaging the overhanging points. Unroll and lift off the top plate. Rotate the star around, holding the framelit in place, until a different two points are leading. Roll again as far as possible without damaging the overhanging points. Repeat all the way around. This will die cut through all points of the star without squishing any.
Tip 2 – Assemble the box lid before you adhere it to the box base and sides (see here for a video on how to build a regular one). Here, a brad base was used to secure the top point to the star window frame and then large Rhinestones were used to top the brad base and add decoration to the other points. The teeny sentiment banner was popped up on a dimensional, creating a stopper for the box lid so that it stays shut when it swings back to base. All this was done before adding to the rest of the box so that it is easier to get at the sections of the star.
Hope these tips help you create your own swing hinge star box 🙂
Yesterday I shared this card.
The photopolymer stamps are great for seeing where you’re stamping and the flexibility can definitely be turned to your advantage, but with a thin design like this one, it’s easy for it to get pulled out of shape (as in the pic below). If that happens then the framelit isn’t going to match.
To help prevent unwanted stretch, lay the stamp with the design face down (so you’ll have the broadest shape of the stamp at the top) and leave for a few minutes for the stamp to find its shape. If the stamp is sticking to the paper, then shake the paper gently to release it.
Press the clear block down onto the stamp. Lift gently (peel away the paper if it has stuck to the stamp) and you’re good to go.
Hope this helps.
A few days ago I shared this card and I’m back again today with a few tips for positioning the stamps to get the repeat effect. You can see that my stamping isn’t quite straight – so hopefully you can learn from my mistakes 🙂
Tip 1 – Use photopolymer stamps on clear blocks. You can see through the block and the stamp to see exactly where you’re stamping.
Tip 2 – Stamp your first sentiment where you want the main focus to be (eg. centred on the card front layer) and then use this “base stamp” to work outwards from. I used a different colour so that it would provide further focus.
Tip 3 – Stamp your next sentiment (using a different colour ink) just above and to the right, lining up the the top and bottom bars of the “Y” with those of the “K” and centring the “T” above the “K”. Repeat on the upper left, lining up the the top and bottom bars of the “U” with those of the “T” and centring the “K” above the “T”. Continue by “filling in the spaces” above and below and working down the right and left edges.
Tip 4 – If using embossing powder on a dark cardstock, then consider stamping in White Craft ink instead of Versamark. My stamping isn’t quite straight because I couldn’t see the clear Versamark on the black card clearly enough.
Tip 5 – Again, if using embossing powder, then heat set the first colour before moving on to adding others but take care not to overheat already embossed areas as you add further stamping, otherwise the embossing powder melts back into the card and you don’t get the raised effect.
When I created a long envelope to go with my 3″ x 6″ card I came across a very small problem and so thought I’d share my tips for getting around it.
The Envelope Punch Board has the measurements for creating a matching 3″ x 6″ envelope – this bit is no problem – but then on the resulting envelope, the long flaps are too long and they overlap the opposite edges of the envelope.
Fold back one of the short triangle flaps and insert into a Paper Trimmer so that this edge is against the top. Line up the envelope score line approx. two thirds of the way across the trimmer (for this envelope that was around the 2″ mark) and cut away the excess.
Turn the envelope around, fold back the other short triangle flap and insert into a Paper Trimmer again. This time, line up the envelope score line approx. two thirds of the way across and then add approx. another 1/4″ – 1/2″ before trimming away the excess.
This results in an envelope that still looks smart but has sufficient overlap to close easily.
Hope this helps with your long envelope making.
The Autumn/Winter catalogue contains a whopping 18 photopolymer stamp sets (many of them available in bundles with matching framelits or punches).
Here then are the pros and cons of using photopolymer stamps, along with a few tips for getting the most from them.
Pros of photopolymer
- Totally clear – so you can see exactly where you’re stamping – ideal for two-step stamping
- Jelly like material – clings easily to clear blocks without falling off
- Cheaper – less expensive than Wood or Clear equivalent stamps
- Flexible material – so you can curve stamps around slightly or keep them straight
- Slimline – packaged in DVD style case so takes up less room on your craft shelves
- Packaged with printed sheet – so you can spot if you have any stamps missing
Cons of photopolymer
- Less durable and long-lasting – than either Wood or Clear stamps
- No cushioning – so needs a very even pressure to get best results
- Stains easily – even when cleaned immediately
1 – Brand new stamp sets may still have a residue left on them from the manufacturing process when they arrive from the warehouse. This can cause the ink to pool a little, leading to uneven stamping. Simply clean the stamps with Stampin’ Mist and Scrub before using them for the first time.
2 – As photopolymer stamps don’t have the foam cushioning of our Wood and Clear mount stamps, it helps improve the quality of stamping, to add a little cushioning beneath your card/paper. Put a Stampin’ Pierce mat underneath your card to serve that purpose.
3 – Clean stamps immediately after use to reduce staining. If using Stazon then clean immediately with Stazon cleaner and then again with Stampin’ Mist (or a little washing up liquid and water mix) to remove all traces of Stazon cleaner. (The harsher Stazon cleaner can denature the photopolymer quicker than through normal use).
4- Handle stamps gently. Peel/roll them off the printed sheets/clear blocks, try not to tug too hard as this could tear more fragile shaped photopolymer stamps.
5 – Replace stamps onto their printed sheets inside the DVD style case and store away from sunlight.
Follow these tips and your photopolymer stamps can still last a long time.
Have you spotted these little squares dotted throughout the catalogue? They’re called QR codes and they let you open up how-to videos from Stampin’ Up! – relevant to where you see them on a page.
The one here, under the Dress Up your Packages title, takes you to a video on using ribbon to pretty up your gifts.
Scan the QR code with a mobile device (doesn’t matter whether it’s iPhone, android etc) that has a QR app installed. You can find free QR apps by searching for “QR” in your device’s app store.
If you don’t have a mobile device, not to worry, you can still access the videos by visiting stampinup.com/showmehow_uk
Have a play this weekend 🙂