Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More Cards from Scraps

I've been spending the last few evenings organizing some of my digital pictures on the computer, and tonight this particular image caught my eye. I took it a couple of months ago. Seeing it again inspired me to stay on the subject of using up scraps for one more post.

While I always seem to have an abundance of scraps, at the moment, I have a plethora of scraps of a certain kind -- strips of lightweight cardstock in a specific set of colors. These are the scraps from my Project 365 layouts. (If you're not familiar with the so-called "Project 365," stay tuned, because I intend to post more about it soon, and hopefully include a sample of one of my weekly layouts, assuming I can get my new scanner up and running.)
Because I
had so many of the same size and colors of scraps, I decided to come up with a card design that would use several colors of cardstock on one card front. Having just gotten my new Quickutz cupcake die in the mail a day or so before, I decided to use that, too (isn't it the cutest?).

So here's the rundown on the cards in the photo. The cards themselves are pink packaged cards from Michael's; the brand name is Simply Paper. I bought them with a 40% off coupon so they were fairly inexpensive. The cards are A6 size, which is 6-1/4 inches x 4-1/2 inches. I wanted to make birthday and congratulations cards, so I needed the cards to be bigger than typical notecards. To start, I cut (from my cardstock scraps) many strips of cardstock, all different colors, each 4-1/4 inches long but three different widths -- 1-1/2 inches, 2 inches, and 2-1/2 inches. I selected these widths because one strip of each width fits nicely together on the front of the card, with just a little room on each side. After cutting a small pile of each width, I went through with my trusty corner rounder and rounded the edges on all of the pieces. I then went back and inked the edges of all the pieces. For the darker colored pieces, I used a brown ink, but for the lighter colored pieces, I decided that it looked better to use an ink that coordinated in color. Thus, the light purple pieces have a purple inked edge, and the pink pieces have a dark pink inked edge.

Using my Revolution die cutter, I then cut the pieces of the cupcake, generally using yellow or green cardstock for the cupcake "wrapper" (I chose these colors because they looked best with the various colors I had used for the strips), cream cardstock for the inner cupcake piece, pink for the "frosting," red for the cherry and brown for the cherry stem. [Here's the best die cutting tip ever: before cutting your shapes, run pieces of cardstock through your 5 inch or larger Xyron. THEN cut your shapes, and they'll essentially be peel-and-stick stickers.] I then cut small pieces of cardstock, about 1-1/4 inches by 2 inches, to use as a mat for whatever greeting I was going to use. I then went through my stacks of cardstock pieces and assembled groups of three pieces in colors that looked good together (remember, one piece of each width fits together on the card front). I then assembled the backgrounds by adhering a set of three pieces to each card front, varying the positions of the different width pieces depending on how the colors looked next to each other. I inked the edges of the cupcake "frosting" pieces, and also the "wrapper" pieces simply because with the light colors I was using, they needed a bit of definition. All of the inking could have been eliminated, though, if I had wanted to save time.

I then assembled a cupcake onto each card front on the right-hand side, with the cherry stem going to the left. I varied the greetings I used on the front, from a computer-printed "Happy Birthday" to a die-cut "Thanks" and "Celebrate." (Later, I got the brillant idea to use a stamp that I found that says "You're so sweet." Goes great with the cupcake theme and works for a birthday card, thank-you card, or thinking-of-you card.) Finally, I stamped an appropriate sentiment inside each card.

I think the cards came out really cute, and making a bunch of them enabled me to get rid of a really big pile of those Project 365 scraps. I also packaged up a set of these cards and included it as part of my end-of-year gift to my younger son's teacher in June. I'm thinking also that that cupcake die was probably one of my better purchases. Cupcakes are very trendy right now, so it has that going for it, but more importantly, a cupcake lends itself to almost any kind of card you need or want to make, except maybe a sympathy card. Like Alton Brown (do you watch him on Food Network? LOVE that man!), I greatly prefer a multi-tasking tool to a uni-tasker. That cupcake die is definitely a multi-tasker.

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