Holiday Card 2: Stencils

 

Not only did I do some card embossing, but I also wanted to try working with stencils. I don’t love the end result, but I think Im onto something good. Next year when I work with stencils, Ill find a stencil that works better. Well any way, on to the card.

I started by finding a simple, yet Christmasy design online. Using Illustrator I turned it into a vector, resized it and then printed it. I happen to own copier transparencies (which you can find at Staples), so I photo copied the design onto the clear transparency.

Then I cut out all the black parts, to create the stencil. Be sure to use a design that doesn’t get too intricate. This was my mistake. The black lines were so close together, there wasn’t much surface area to keep the strength of the stencil.

I chose black paper and gold paint to be classy. I probably should have chose a more Christmas-esque pallet, but this felt regal.

I reused the stencil many times and even tried using white paint (snowy?). Be sure to use blue painters tape so that it doesn’t rip the paper.

Here’s the final product. I would then write in, using a gold gel pen, Happy Holidays and a personalized greeting.

Next year I plan to work more with spray paint. I’m really bummed I didn’t get to work with it this year, but time didn’t allow it.

So I leave you with my full arrangement of holiday cards! Hopefully this gives you some ideas (and you can learn from my mistakes).

Holiday Cards: Embossing

My holiday cards have officially been sent (finally!) so I feel it’s safe to talk about them. One style of card that I love is embossing. My family would make these when I was growing up, so I associate Christmas with embossing. After Thanksgiving (black-friday, cough-cough) Michael’s was having a 50% off sale on stamps, so I found a classy yet simple holiday-fall looking stamp and a new Chrsitmas card was born. I already owned the following needed to make this card: cutting mat, brown 8.5X11″ paper, embossing stamp pad, printer access, copper embossing powder, embossing heat gun, metal ruler, accent paper (in this case red card stock).

Once you find the perfect stamp, design a template on the computer that says “Happy Holiday’s in a fun font (check out dafont for ideas). I decided to make a postcard, which meant I could fit 4 cards on a standard 8.5X11 piece of paper. Print your design onto the brown paper. Use the stamp on the embossing pad and stamp it on all four spots on the paper. An embossing pad is like a giant glue stick, so when you stamp and then use the embossing powder, it sticks to the pattern of the stamp.

I own several embossing powders, but I found the copper had a hint of red that gave it a Christmasy vibe. It also stood out on the brown paper. So pour the power over the stamped areas, and then collect the excess powder because it can all be reused.

The paper should look like this (below). Heat up the embossing gun (mine is Martha Stewart brand and it works well). I like to use the heat gun under the paper which then melts the copper powder into a solid. Sometimes the heat causes the paper to warp, but since we are mounting it after, it’s not a big deal. Be safe with the heat gun. You can smell the paper burning while embossing, so be sure to keep the heat moving around the page so you don’t burn the paper or start a fire.

The melted copper powder creates a solid raised pattern matching the stamp. Next cut out the postcards.

Cut out the accent color for the postcard. Once completed, you get a special homemade card that looks classy and unique. Write your greeting on the back of the postcard and then toss in the mail! Warning: Embossing is addicting and you’ll want to make cards to celebrate every occasion.

I have several other designs I’ll unveil this week. Even if you don’t like my patterns, hopefully it’ll inspire you to try something new.