Having never made a card before, I just figured I'd buy some supplies and sort it out. After rejecting a dog pawprint theme because I just couldn't figure out how I wanted it to look, I settled on an outdoor scene for the card. When I was a kid, my limited drawing abilities meant that I always drew pretty much the same thing, until I gave up drawing entirely: a sun in the upper left corner, some clouds and a blue line representing the sky, and some green grass at the bottom of the page. On that backdrop, I'd add a house or a tree, if I was feeling adventurous.
So my vision was to have a sun, cloud and green grass on a blue card. I also had super-cute photo stickers of BabyT that I wanted to use. More on those in a future post! My brilliant husband came up with the idea of just having cupcakes hanging out in the grass. Keep in mind that this was my first cardmaking experiment, so it bears a striking resemblance to an elementary school art project.
- Cards and envelopes - Seashore color scheme, Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts
- Glittery white cardstock
- Shimmery brown cardstock
- Corrugated navy blue cardstock
- Yellow, bright green, pink, cream plain cardstock
- Adhesive jewels - K & Co.
- Photo stickers - moo.com
- Epson High-Gloss Photo Paper, 4 x 6
- Flower and polka dot cardstock stickers
- You're Invited rub-on transfers - Martha Stewart Crafts
- Acid free glue stick
- Uchida Jumbo Craft Punch, 1.5" Circle
- Uchida Extra Jumbo Craft Punch, Flower
- Fiskars 1/4-Inch Corner Squeeze Paper Punch
- Sharp scissors
- Fiskars Hole Punch, 1/8-Inch
- Zig Zag decorative edge scissors - Fiskars
- Paper trimmer - Fiskars
- I rounded the corners of a blue card with the corner rounder.
- I cut out a strip of green cardstock as wide as the card for the grass, and then cut "fringe" into it with the scissors, and tried to make it look random, which was harder than it seems! I also rounded the bottom right corner of these pieces to line up with the card edges.
- I punched a large circle and several tiny circles for the sun from yellow cardstock with the Jumbo circle punch and the small hole punch.
- I cut the cupcake "cups" from the navy corrugated cardstock. This took a while because they had to be balanced trapezoids. I used a ruler, and when I finally got a nice one, I used it as a template to trace the others.
- I punched several large circles from the cream, brown and pink cardstock to make the cupcake tops. I cut them in half with the decorative scissors to get an edge that looked like fancy frosting. (use your imagination and squint a lot!)
- I used the jumbo flower punch on the white glitter cardstock to make the clouds, by lining up the card stock about 2/3 way down the punch to get the top part of the flower. Pretty cool, huh? These clouds remind me of the ones you see in the old 8-bit Super Mario Brothers game. Yeah, I'm that old.
- After fretting about the design some more, I got brave and decided to start gluing. There was no turning back at that point. First to be glued was the "grass". I lined up the bottom and rounded right edge, then cut the overhang off where it met the card fold after gluing it on. I then "ruffled" the grass to give it a bit of texture and make it seem more 3-D. Because I'm awesome like that.
- I glued the circle for the sun in the upper left corner of the card, and then cut the overhang to match the card corner. I glued the tiny circles around the sun, which was a royal pain with a glue stick
- I used the glue stick to glue the cupcake cups in different spots on the grass, and then topped them with a cupcake top with some overlap. This also gave it a 3-D look since the corrugated cardstock was so heavy.
- The fun part! I added some adhesive jewels and stickers to the cupcakes, and put the baby photo sticker in the sun. I also added the 'You're Invited' rub-on in the bottom right corner after cutting it out from the frou-frou border Martha had designed it with.
- I was shooting for 10 steps. Oh well. I printed the invitation info on glossy photo paper using my trusty (cheap) Epson inkjet printer. I rounded the corners and used double-sided tape to attach it to the inside of the card. And of course, another baby photo sticker.
SUMMARY AND LESSONS LEARNED
This was a pretty simple project but since it was my first, it took a LONG time. Here's what I would do differently if I had to do it again:
- Use a different space from where I do my jewelry metalwork. You can't do nice papercrafts on a dirty surface, and it's hard to find little cutouts if you have a lot of clutter.
- Round the corners *after* gluing paper together - this way I wouldn't have to be so careful about lining up the edges.
- Use more double-sided tape than glue stick, and a different type of glue for the tiny dots, to make it easier and cleaner.
- Practice with the rub-on transfer before trying it on a card that's already been glued together. I ended up with a couple of wonky ones but didn't want to remake the entire card. Or maybe add the rub-on before gluing anything so it's not too late to fix it!
- Be more judicious with the stickers and embellishments and err on the side of minimalism. I don't feel like I used the baby photo stickers the best way possible - they look like an afterthought.
- Set up an assembly line for cutting and gluing when making several similar cards at once. I figured this out towards the end of the cutting, but not soon enough to save much time.
Now, let's open it up to the Peanut Gallery (that's you!). What do you think? How would you have designed it? Any tips and tricks for this newbie?