Tag Archives: handmade greeting cards

Handmade greeting cards with geometric designs

Handmade greeting cards made with hexagon paper punches

To design these handmade cards, first from assorted paper scraps I punched out a whole bunch of hexagons in two sizes. I used a lot of geometric patterns and for extra interest some vellum paper printed with black and gold designs. Then I cut out some 1″ wide strips of paper and stamped on the the word “congratulations” from a rubber stamp set made by Tim Holtz.

To the front of my cards, I added other paper accents then glued everything down with glue sticks. I’m pleased with how a touch of translucency here and there from the vellum paper helps add some depth and interest to the simple card designs.

The cards you see here are currently offered for sale in the shipping department at Schnarr’s Hardware in Ladue, MO.

My Handmade Greeting Cards are Available at Schnarr’s in Ladue

Carolyn's cards on the rack at Schnarr's Ladue
Carolyn’s cards on the rack at Schnarr’s Ladue

The Schnarr’s Hardware store at 9800 Clayton Rd., St. Louis, MO 63124 has a very active shipping department that does UPS shipping and sells a selection of shipping supplies. Greeting cards are also offered and I have some of my own cards on the rack there for sale now. They are all handmade and blank inside. The current selections include cards for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, as well as Birthday, Thank You, and multiple occasion cards. I decorated the cards with a variety of paper craft techniques including collage, stenciling and rubber stamping.

Some of my cards are also available with other handcrafts in my online store in the Handmade by Carolyn section.

Flowered Card in Shades of Blue

Flowered Card in Shades of Blue

Here is a card project that mixes an analagous color scheme with neutrals. An analagous color scheme is one that uses colors that are near each other on the color wheel, in this case blue, blue-green and blue-purple. The colors are so close together that it’s nearly a monochromatic color scheme – a design that uses tints and shades of one color. My samples were made as birthday cards, but you can make the card for multiple occasions by changing the sentiment stamp.┬áThis card helps you to use up paper scraps!

Tools and Supplies
Paper cutter
Ruler
Cardstock
Scoring tool
Folding tool
Rubber Stamps
Rubber Stamping Ink
Waterproof ink in light to medium neutral colors
Pigment or chalk ink in white or very light blue
Dye inks in various shades of blue
Dye ink in black
Clean scrap paper
Brayer
Freezer paper or temporary palette
Old lid
Flat sided white eraser like a Magic Rub
Paper scraps in neutral shades and blue shades
Flower punch
Circle punch that is a good size for the center of the flower
Thin navy blue marker
Glue stick

Directions

1. Take an 8.5 x 5.5″ piece of cream colored cardstock, score down the middle and fold in half.

2. Using some of your favorite background stamps, stamp in light to medium neutral waterproof ink colors in the four quadrants of the front of the card. Make the axis about three inches up from the bottom of the card so that the lower quadrants are taller than the upper quadrants.

Front of card with background stamps
Front of card with background stamps. The stamp in the upper left quadrant is by Inkadinkado and the lower right stamp is by Carolyn’s Stamp Store. The stamp in the upper right and lower left quadrants is by Hero Arts.

3. Place your folded card face up on some clean scrap paper. With your brayer roll out some very light blue chalk or pigment ink onto a palette or temporary palette made of freezer paper. I only had white ink so I tinted mine slightly with some blue dye ink. Roll the ink over the front of the card several times until designs on the front of the card are subdued by a light blue semi-transparent tint.

If you don’t have a brayer or suitable pigment ink you can make a wash out of acrylic paint or gesso and brush that over the stamped images.

Front of card with layer of ink brayered over the background stamps
Front of card with layer of ink brayered over the background stamps

4. Let the ink dry. Most pigment and chalk inks dry slowly so if you have to speed up heating use a heat tool or hair dryer. Heat tools are hotter than hair dryers so use caution. To test whether your ink is completely dry, place a piece of clean scrap paper over it and rub with a bone folder. Lift up the scrap paper. If no ink comes off, it’s dry.

5. Cut out an assortment of 1.75″ x 1.75″ squares of medium neutral shades and different light to medium blues. Stamp backgrounds with an assortment of neutral inks and inks in shades of blue. Leave a few blank. Make more than you think you will need so you can mix and match later on to get combinations that please you.

6. Outline the squares in blue ink by squirting a bit of ink onto an old lid and dipping the edge of your eraser in it. Use the eraser to transfer the ink to the edges of the squares. In the image below, the stamp at the lower left is by Inkadinkado and the stamp at the lower right is by Stampington.

Squares with background stamping

7. Assemble a collection of paper scraps in neutral shades and shades of blue. You can use both plain and patterned paper. Punch out a bunch of flower shapes and circles for the insides of the flowers out of these scraps. Make more than you think you will need so you can mix and match to find good combinations as you’re assembling the cards.

8. Take some of the solid color center dots and stamp on them in neutral or blue inks.

Punched out flowers

9. Take some of the solid color flower shapes and stamp on them in shades of blue.

flowers_web

10. Lay four squares down on the front of your card and select four flowers and centers that you like to place within the squares. You can mix and match solid and printed colors if you like. A solid piece here and there gives the design a little breathing room.

11. Draw “stitches” with a navy blue marker around the inside edges of the four squares. Do the same with the insides of the circles.

12. Glue the circles to the flowers, then the flowers to the squares. Glue the squares down in the upper 3.75″ area of the card. Place a piece of clean scrap paper over all and burnish with your bone folder so the glue has a nice tight seal.

13. Cut out a .75 x 4.25″ strip of cream colored card stock. Stamp a sentiment in black ink on it. The Happy Birthday stamp I used in my samples is from Carolyn’s Stamp Store. Apply blue ink to the edges with your eraser. After the ink is dry, glue the strip to the front of the card and burnish well. Trim if needed. You’re done!

Optional embellishments: Sew small buttons in the flower centers or add a decorative flower blue eyelet or brad to each flower center. If you decide to sew on buttons, you may want to sew the stitch marks in step 11 instead of drawing them on.

twocards_together

Using Sketch Challenges for Inspiration

Usually my problem is an overabundance of ideas for new projects, way more than one human being can ever do. Occasionally I need a new idea for a certain specific purpose and I find myself coming up dry. This weekend I was trying to create a new Halloween greeting card design and decided to check out some card sketches to see if anything inspired me. I made a new Pinterest Board, Greeting Card Ideas and Sketches to help me keep track of my finds.

I found a lot of sketches I like on a web site called CAS(E) this Sketch! They specialize in clean and simple designs which appeal to me because a lot of times I think paper crafts that I see out there have WAY too much “stuff” on them. I’m sure a lot of people think my own designs are too spare. That’s ok, we all have different taste.

Here is my entry for sketch challenge CTS #137.

CTS #137

Making this card helped me get over my creative block and I have some more spin-off ideas that really don’t look much like this result at all, one of them isn’t even for a card, but are things I never would have thought of if I hadn’t done this exercise. That’s how creativity often works!

The rubber stamp images used in this card are from my own Carolyn’s Stamp Store, 7gypsies and Clearsnap. The small bug stamp is unknown. Here are links to some of my stamps that I used:

Cicada Unmounted

Crow Silhouettes – Set of Three Unmounted Stamps

Lots of new projects

I’ve been keeping busy with lots of new work – here are some samples of some projects in progress!

06-09-14 – Here is what is on my work table –
Using some of the stencil/embroidery fabric experiments to applique onto
the front of a wine bag to upcycle it. One piece is for the front and
one for the back. I’m sewing fabric pieces and ribbon onto pieces of
fusible webbing then will sew around the edges to attach to the pieces
to the front and back of the bag.

06-18-14 – On my work table today – greeting
cards right before all the parts are glued together. Techniques used –
collage, rubber stamping, stenciling. Some of the stencils are
commercial and some are designed and cut by me. Commercial stencils available here – http://carolynsstampstore.com/catalog/stencils-stenciling-supplies-c-45.html

06-22-14 – On my work table today – I cut
these stencils for a Day of the Dead project. Going to experiment with
some discharge paste on fabric.

06-23-014 – Plant trays in progress – doing a
little work on my deck this morning. On Saturday my Dad cut up some
recycled wood for me to make these trays and yesterday I nailed them
together and put wood filler in the cracks. This morning I
sanded them and lined the insides with roof cement. My intention is to
display plants in these at shows and fill in with black gravel to make a
nice uniform appearance. The roof cement is meant to make a waterproof
seal so I can water the plants and not have to worry about damaging
surfaces or putting little saucers under each one which takes up a lot
of room on the table. I want to put folding legs on these trays to
display the plants below table level in front of the tables and I’m
still working out the best way to do that. I was looking in the outdoor
storage closet for some wood pieces I might be able to use for the legs
and saw some folding chairs that came with the condo. In a pinch I could
set the larger tray on two of the chairs until I figure out the legs –
but that gave me another idea – what if I just made two sets each of
smaller and narrower folding legs without seat covers? That would work I
think. Could I put some kind of channel on the bottom to hold the legs
in place and let gravity do the rest? Then it would all fold down for
transport. These trays gave me another idea – what if I made these
without a wide rim but just enough to be level with a ceramic tile
mosaic and designed them to drain instead of hold water? Would make good
garden/patio accessories I think.