Today’s card is all about that marbled background; the dragonfly is really just an accent piece. However, I almost titled this one “Easier than it looks”. The message I really want to share today is that anyone can make cards. Every time someone says “but I’m not creative”, I just cringe. I can understand that some people just aren’t that interested in crafting – but please, don’t assume that you have to have some rare creative gene to pull it off.
The Right Tools
This card is a perfect example of “having the right tools”(but stay tuned ’til the end of this post, because I have a wonderful suggestion for those who don’t have all the fancy tools!). I started with a plain white piece of cardstock cut to 5-1/4″ x 4″, and I used just two colors of ink: Marina Mist and Night of Navy. (Note: links for most of the products used here are listed below.) All the hard work was done by the Marbled background stamp. I saw this stamp in action at a friend’s house, and had to immediately order it. It’s so incredibly versatile! Here’s how I got the look you see above:
Ink to Stamp, Not Stamp to Ink
I started by placing the stamp face-up on my work surface. With background stamps, I find it so much easier to leave the stamp like this, and bring the ink to the stamp (instead of the usual stamp to ink method). An added bonus is that you don’t have to have a large acrylic block for this method. I started with my lighter color, Marina Mist, and just took the ink pad directly to the stamp, and covered the whole stamp with ink. (It helps to take your time, and try not to leave any “lines” from the edge of the stamp pad.) Then, I took my darker color, Night of Navy, and using a sponge, I just dabbed a little bit of ink, here and there, right over the Marina Mist ink.
Once I was happy with the ink, I took my piece of white cardstock, placed it directly onto the stamp, and pressed it down. (In this case, because the stamp is slightly larger than my piece of paper, I recommend taking a piece of scratch paper and placing it over the whole thing – it will help cut down on “inky fingers”.) 😉 You want to apply firm, even pressure over the whole thing. It may help to take a clean acrylic block and rub it over the paper and stamp. Just be sure not to let your cardstock move around.
And then, it was time for the big reveal! I love this part. 🙂 When you lift your paper off the stamp, it’s never the same twice – but with this stamp, it’s always beautiful. You can use this method with any color you’d like, and you can use more than two inks. And it’s even pretty with just one… but I love the variation you get with a darker accent color.
The rest was easy: glue marbled paper to Night of Navy cardbase, die-cut dragonfly from same navy paper, add sentiment, and add some rhinestones for a touch of bling. I did add some vellum to the back of my dragonfly – not necessary, but it helps the dragonfly to jump out a bit more from the busy background. And to adhere the dragonfly to the card, I just used a couple of glue dots in the middle of his body – that way, I was able to curl up his wings a bit and give him some flight.
If You Don’t Have the Tools…
I promised to share a suggestion if you don’t have a gimongous collection of stamps and inks and paper. Sure, having all those toys is really cool, but it may not be practical for everyone. (And some people do have the toys, but feel like they lack the ideas or initiative.) That’s where I come in. If you’re local and/or know me personally, please come craft with me! I promise you’ll have fun, and make amazing cards! But if that’s not an option, how about a kit?
Stampin’ Up has something called Paper Pumpkin. Each month, a nice, bright, pumpkin-colored box comes right to your doorstep. In it, you will find all of the tools and materials you need to make a bunch of cards and/or paper projects. Other than maybe some adhesive, you’ll have everything you need to go to town. Every kit includes at least one ink cube (Stampin’ Spot), and an exclusive stamp set! And, your first order will even include an acrylic block. You’ll find complete instructions in the box, to use everything that’s included… but one of things I love about these kits is the versatility. You are certainly welcome to follow all of the directions to the letter, but you also have the option of mixing things up a bit, and making the projects your own.
I’m still a bit of a newbie with these kits, but I’m loving them so far. In the coming months, I plan to work a lot with them and share ideas on how to do more with them than just what the directions show. If you’re on the fence about whether or not card-making is for you, I encourage you to give these kits a try. It’s a great way to get your feet wet, and see if this is something that brings you joy.
And right now, if you sign up by September 10th, you will get your first kit for half off! Just use the promo code HALFOFF0917. The usual price of $19.95 a month is already a great deal, but this gives you a reason to give it a try. You can cancel at any time – there is no long-term commitment.
If you don’t already have a Stampin’ Up demonstrator, I’d love to have you as a customer. I’m always available if you have questions, and I’ll be doing some cool things for my customers as I grow into this role. And if you’d like to join my team, let me know. You can help me become a rockin’ team leader. 😀
There are all types and styles and levels of crafters. I really think that, as crafts go, card-making is very forgiving. I’ve tried a LOT of crafts, but I tend to suffer from “perfectionism”. That was, until I tried card-making. It is so freeing! In one sitting, I can complete a little work of art, suitable for sharing. But even if I mess up, all I’ve lost is a piece of paper. So if you’ve ever wanted to try, just go for it. It could be just the creative outlet you’ve been looking for.
Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy crafting!
Supplies mentioned (affiliate links used wherever possible. See here for full disclosure.):