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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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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Cutaway Stamped Card


(Thank You: Posh Impressions)

In last Friday’s post about turning a line stamp into a silhouette stamp, I mentioned that the method I used created a flipped image (because the final silhouette uses the back of the stamped image rather than the front.) This of course means that words would wind up reversed.

This morning I got to thinking about working with word stamps and thought I’d try cutting away the stamped text to create a cut-out background instead. In this case, I’m not really turning a line stamp into a silhouette because my text stamp had simple thick solid lines, but I liked the way it turned out. As Robyn pointed out in the comments on my Friday post, if you have a digital cutter, you could use that to cut out a stamp to create this result much more quickly. But if, like me, you don’t have one of these electronic cutters, then a sharp craft knife and a cutting mat will do the trick.

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