Tag Archives: Hero Arts

Easy Thank You Cards

Rubber stamps by Rubber Stampede (Thank You), Hero Arts (flowers) and unknown (passport stamp collage).

My Dad and I are making Thank You cards following the funerals of my uncle Dave and brother Larry. Tom helped a lot too with the gluing. I’m feeling the effects that a lot of people feel after serious grief and trauma: disrupted sleep, fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, muscle pain, etc. These symptoms are normal for some people after trauma and severe stress, apparently, but of course make everyday functioning relatively difficult for a time. A bike ride on Sunday with friends helped a lot. I asked Tom to be my coach and help encourage me to do the ride. He pumped up the bike tires and pumped me up emotionally and took a hot epsom salt bath with me before we got dressed for the ride to help loosen up my stiff and sore body. With that I didn’t need any pain meds like ibuprofen which I had taken from time to time the previous week. He helped me break through a big barrier and function better. I was really discouraged and scared by how sore I was and how bad I felt. I’m very grateful to have a loving husband to help me get over some rough spots and build on little victories to gradually improve over time. This is extremely hard even with help. I hope and pray that people out there who need support can get it from somewhere. As I find grieving and mental health resources online I’ll keep adding them to my self care Pinterest board.

In the meantime, Dad and I are extending the effort to make cards because we have abundant supplies on hand we enjoy using and we find the activity healing and therapeutic. But with not feeling terribly well I had to come up with a card design that was relatively simple so that we would not tax ourselves beyond our current abilities to make them. They are just challenging enough to force us to concentrate a bit but not so hard we want to give up in frustration. I have to take a lot of breaks, but I’m not giving up! Of course if you want to make your own similar cards you could use any suitable sentiment in place of “Thank You” to fit any message you want to send.

Supplies You’ll Need

Blank cards with envelopes – Dad had a whole bunch of envelopes in different sizes already on hand, so we cut plain white paper to the envelope width and folded the pieces in half to fit. If you prefer, you can buy blank cards with matching envelopes at craft stores.

Assorted papers in light, neutral colors for the two largest areas on the card, with subtle patterns on them. The design on the paper should be light enough to stamp on in medium to dark colors.

Assorted papers in more contrasting neutral colors and patterns for the narrow stripe on the front of each card.

Rubber stamping ink in a “harvest gold” color, a taupe color, and black.

Clean scrap paper to help with gluing

Optional – interesting die cuts, design tape (also known a paper tape or washi tape) and stickers for extra interest

Tools You’ll Need

Paper trimmer

Metal ruler for tearing paper

Scissors

Glue sticks

Squeegee, bone folder or burnishing tool

Rubber stamps. My friend Kate recently gave me a large collection of pre-owned stamps. I will gradually be offering some for sale in my online shop as I have time to get them listed. I did set aside some of my favorites to keep for my own collection (of course). To start out my Dad and I selected for these cards two Thank You stamps, two postage related designs, and three wildflower silhouette stamps. Unfortunately I’m not selling the exact stamps I used in this card because I really love them and there were no duplicates in the pre-owned collection Kate gave me, but you can use similar stamps in their place.

Instructions

  1. Glue a narrow strip of paper that is from the higher-contrast selections about 1/3 from either the left or right from the side of the card.

2. Cut and tear out pieces of paper in light neutral colors with subtle background patterns and glue them to the fronts of the cards on either side of the strip you glued down previously. I tore the edges that overlap the central stripes for visual interest. On some of the cards I added some stickers and design tape for a little extra interest if I thought it was needed. As you’ll see in the final graphic featuring variations on the original design, I added some hexagon die cuts I had made some time ago. When I was designing the prototype card, I asked Dad to pick out stamps he liked from my collection, and he also took out these hexagons, so I looked for ways to use a few and I liked them on some of the cards. Trim the paper to the edges of the card front when done gluing.

3. Stamp three flower stamps on the wider background side of the card in harvest gold or similar ink color. My Dad switched to a red-brown ink later in the process which also looked very good.

4. Stamp a Thank You stamp in black, and if you think the card needs a little more interest, stamp postage related designs or some other accent stamps of your choice in a taupe ink color as in my example at the top of this article. You might decide your card needs more or less done to it depending on what background papers you choose. See the graphic below for a bunch of variations that we made.

Here is a collage of some of the cards we made showing how many different ways you can use the same stamps. The additional lower case thank you stamp you see here is by Tim Holtz. Dad did most of the stamping and decided some of the cards didn’t need so much on them which is a fine design choice you can make when the papers are interesting. If you would like to download a high-res version of the above graphic (with more designs on it) to use in projects like stickers or faux postage sheets here is a link:
Printable Thank You Graphics

Additional Resources:

My Pinterest board for Greeting Card Idea and Sketches

My Facebook album for free coloring and paper crafting downloads

With more time and energy, I probably would have created a card that uses stamps that I actually sell, some of which I designed. For now the important thing was to make something nice that is also fast and easy. But if you want to browse my collection of stamps in my Etsy shop here it is: Stamping

Make Greeting Cards for Thanksgiving

I finally made a card with the “Happy Thanksgiving” rubber stamp from my Carolyn’s Stamp Store collection. I also experimented with making backgrounds with a paint roller, wood dowels and string. With flower and leaf rubber stamps, some paper tape and scrapbooking paper I made a card design that can be adapted to different fall themes.

Read about how I did it on the Schnarr’s Hardware blog:
Textured Backgrounds For Fall Leaf Greeting Cards

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