Background Stencils For Quick Card Borders

Mix-ables Stencils

Using Stencils to Get Out of a Card Layering Rut

I must admit that I can be a bit lazy when putting cards together. Often, I’ll stamp and embellish a central panel and then layer it onto a colorful base card using additional layers of paper (either solid or patterned) in between as a mat to tie things together neatly. It’s an approach that is easy and often works well, but you can get in a rut doing things the same way all the time. Using multiple layers of paper can also make your card heavy – something to consider when you want to keep the weight (and postage cost) down.

Recently, the folks at My Favorite Things asked me to try some stencils from their “MIX-ables Stencils” line. I picked five that at first glance look like backgrounds . . . but that’s not what I had in mind for them. Instead, I used them to create borders. This easy border technique isn’t too time consuming and keeps card weight down. Stenciled borders also let you create a border that matches inks in other parts of the card. My Favorite Things’ stencils are 6” x 6”, a good basic size for a card background, but also perfectly sized to create stenciled borders. (You could also use their repeating patterns to create backgrounds and borders of larger sizes.)

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Storing Stamps and Storing Paper

My craft area 2014

Stamp and craft areas evolve over time. You get more stamps, more paper, more gadgets. You abandon one craft and discover another. You need to move or you need to change where you craft. All these things mean that no craft area can remain stagnant. I’ve recently re-vamped my stamping area and I’m really pleased with the results, so I thought I’d share it with you.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I did a series of posts on stamp room organization and stories back in 2013. (You can get to them via the “Studio & Organization” Category link in the blog’s sidebar or I’ve put links at the end of this blog post.) Many of the storage ideas I showed you then are still in use now. The main changes are the way I’m now storing my stamps, a tweak in my paper storage and some changes in how a few other things are stored as well as changing the floor plan a little. Maybe how I’ve set up my stamp area will inspire changes in your own!

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Messing With The Stamp Proportions

Too Many Books Card

(Books: Serendipity Stamps, Woman: Remarkable, Text: computer generated)

Due to my scene stamper background, I usually aim for realistic proportions when I choose images for a stamped card. If I want to use stamps of a person and a coffee cup, the stamped cup will be the right size to be realistically held in the hand of the stamped person. If the cup image I have is too large to look right in her hand, I’ll either reduce the cup image size or I’ll use perspective tricks to use the cup in a different way in the card or I’ll simply look for a different cup image. But sometimes it is fun to mix things up, play with image proportions and deliberately use images that don’t, at first glance, seem like they would work together.

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