Join Us at the Annie’s Craft Festival!

Register Now
Have you heard?!? Annie’s, the parent company of CardMaker, is hosting a 3-day crafting event October 30-November 1, 2015, in Fort Wayne, Indiana and we would love for you to join us! This event will include classes taught by some of your favorite instructors; a gala dinner with Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times best-selling author and creator of Hallmark’s Cedar Cove series; a Crafts & Cocktails Halloween Party; a marketplace with make and takes, giveaways and prizes!

Making Marks
CardMaker regulars Colleen Schaan and Sharon M. Reinhart will be there. Colleen will be teaching classes on coloring and mark making while Sharon will be teaching classes covering a wide range of card-making topics including the wonders of washi tape, thread-wrapping techniques, tea-bag folding and more.

Wonderful Washi Tape
This event will cover many crafting areas including beading, cake decorating, crochet, cross-stitch and embroidery, floral arranging, knitting, painting, paper and card, quilting and sewing. Grab a friend or two and come spend a weekend with us learning new techniques, meeting new friends and making a fun weekend memory!

Click here for more details and to register for classes! Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to keep up with all of the latest details and behind-the-scene happenings!

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Mendi’s Celebrate & Decorate

Hello there! It’s Mendi here today with some fun ideas for creating custom party decorations using a few basic paper-craft supplies along with a digital die-cutting machine.

My 9-year old daughter is completely obsessed with the “Back To The Future” trilogy so for her birthday this year we just knew we had to throw a themed party. Unfortunately, store-bought decorations are impossible to find, but I love that with only a little effort I was able to create my own custom pieces that help tie our party together.


Banners are a great way to make a statement at a party and set the mood. To get my creative juices flowing and help give my project some direction I was inspired by this photo I found online.


For my banner, I cut 8 1/2-inch-tall base pieces using a banner cutting file and then duplicated the shape to weld to a flame border. Initially I had considered inking up my pieces to give them the ombre look of the flames, but thankfully I remembered with the help of the Silhouette software I could use a gradient fill and use the “advanced options” to chose my colors and the look of my gradient. I then printed them out on my printer with registration marks before cutting them out. To avoid seeing any white borders, in case my cuts were slightly offset, I made sure to make my cut lines slightly smaller than my printed images.

To give the cardstock some stability I set large eyelets in the banner holes and then used basic 5/8-inch-wide grosgrain ribbon to tie my banner pieces together.

For my letters, I cut them out using the “Arial Black” font and used the “sheer” command to do a horizontal sheer 15 degrees to the right to mimic the look of the font in the movie title.

While I was at it, I decided to cut out some matching toppers for our cupcakes using a coordinating flame cutting file. I sized a basic circle to fit over the flame to house the number 10 in honor of my daughter’s 10th birthday. At the very end I ran out of room to cut all the 10’s I wanted so rather than waste another sheet of paper, I chose to die-cut stars from some of the flames before layering them with the pale blue circle. I love the variations!

I hope I’ve inspired you to create some custom decorations of your own. Silhouette’s print and cut options are a great time saver for birthday parties and creating items that will be mass produced.


Supplies used: Recollections black, white and blue cardstock from Michaels Stores; grosgrain ribbon from Offray; black eyelets and Nesting Star Cookie Cutter dies from We R Memory Keepers; Flame Border (#2829), Flame (#2830) and Build A Banner Set (#25737) electronic cutting files and electronic cutting machine from Silhouette America Inc.


Card Challenge Corner: Crimp It Up

Happy Birthday
Paper crimpers are an easy way to add texture and dimension to an otherwise flat piece of paper. Designer Kimber McGray is sharing her tips for incorporating this handy tool into your card-making toolbox in the autumn issue of CardMaker. This week we challenge you to create a card featuring crimped paper.

Editor’s Note: Remember to post photos of your designs on the CardMaker Facebook page!

PS. Find instructions for the card shown above by Kimber McGray in our autumn issue on sale now! Find it at your local newsstand or here!

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Stamping Bella & CardMaker Blog Hop

Are you ready for a blog hop?! Today we’re excited to be joining designers from Stamping Bella to showcase their adorable images! You’ll want to make sure you visit each blog along the way because Stamping Bella is hosting a giveaway–full details can be found on their blog. Let’s get started!

How Fast You're Going
Stamping Bella has so many sweet images that it was difficult to choose just one to play with, but I ended up selecting this image of Tiny Townie Sally riding her snail. The sentiment is perfect for anyone needing a little encouragement.

Tiny Townie Sally
Supplies used: Tiny Townie Sally Rides Her Snail stamp set (#eb308) from Stamping Bella; pink pirouette and blushing bride cardstock from Stampin’ Up!; X-Press It Blending Card from Imagination International Inc.; Memento tuxedo black ink pad from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; lemon drop grosgrain ribbon from My Favorite Things; 4mm pink peonies and 6mm sparkling clear sequins from Pretty Pink Posh; paper trimmer from Fiskars; E-Z Runner from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®; mini adhesive dots from Elmer’s.

A big thank you to Stamping Bella for providing product for all of the designers!

Next up is the talented Angela Thomas!

Blog Hop List
CardMaker (*You are here.)

Angela Thomas

Chitra Nair

Elaine Hughes

Gini Williams Cagle

Stephanie Hill

Jennie Harper

Michelle Boyer

Mendi Yoshikawa

Tracy Valure

Stacy Morgan

Tracy Macdonald

Stamping Bella


Stacy’s Outside the Box

Good morning and happy Thursday. Stacy here and I am ready for the weekend! How about you? Maybe some creative time is in your plans? Well today this might inspire you a little with our Outside the Box creativity. Kristie Hartfeil’s Banners for Baby card from the Summer 2013 issue of CardMaker is simply adorable and it inspired me to create a girl version. Her design and paper combination is what drew me to the card. Editor’s Note: For complete instructions for Kristie’s card, click here to order a digital download of the Summer 2013 issue!

Banners for Baby
I wanted to use some of the little wood letters that I bought recently. I simply painted over the letter with pink paint and let it dry. Once dry, I added a layer of sparkle. Next, I die-cut an oval from white cardstock and a decorative oval from yellow cardstock. I stamped the sentiment onto the white oval and adhered the ovals together.

Baby Congrats
These sweet baby papers that are notched on the ends to look the same are from a paper pack. I added a few rhinestones and voila!—a sweet baby girl card.

Hope you are inspired and enjoy your weekend. Have a great day!


Supplies used: Baby Mine patterned papers from Carta Bella Paper Co.; wood letters from Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.; self-adhesive rhinestones from Kaisercraft; Mini Tag Sentiments stamp set from Our Daily Bread DesignsClassic Ovals SM (#S4-112) and Opulent Ovals (#S5-160) die templates from Spellbinders® Paper Arts.

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Gini’s Scrap Treasures

Hi everyone, it’s Gini, and I am delighted to be sharing my first post here as part of the CardMaker Blog Team. I was challenged to use scraps to design a card, and lucky for me I have tons of scraps. My cutting area is off to itself, so I tend to trim pieces and leave papers for later to sort and save. Unfortunately, the pile gets pretty big—so this challenge was a great one for me. Everything I used on this card was left over (and left sitting out), from a previous project.

To make this card, gather bits of green paper, both patterned and plain. Cut a 5 x 7-inch card base from cardstock and adhere a piece of blue cardstock to the center for the sky. Trim all of the green pieces to 4 3/4 inches wide to create hills.

For the hill that appears the furthest away, use the darkest paper. Draw or freehand cut the curves to form the hills.

Work your way down the card front, adding hills, getting lighter and brighter with each addition.

Die-cut a strip of flowers from white cardstock. While paper is still in the die, ink bottom portion with green ink using a sponge dauber and upper portion with pink ink in the same manner.

Die-cut a tree using brown patterned paper. Add a circle behind the tree to represent the leaves. Cut away the portion of the circle that goes beyond the border of the card. Punch flowers and position them on the tree branches; add a pearl to each flower center.

Add a sentiment sticker to finish the card.

I’m thinking that I could probably make cards for six months just from the scraps lying around my studio! I either need to get busy making lots of cards or maybe clean up around here a bit. How about you? Do you ever challenge yourself to use scraps only?


Supplies used: Paper scraps from Graphic 45, Jillibean Soup, BasicGrey and Core’dinations; VersaMagic ink pad and sponge daubers from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; self-adhesive pearls from Want2Scrap; sentiment sticker from Hampton Art; Small Cherry Blossom punch from Punch Bunch Inc.; The Old Tree (#SD-MD-TREE) and Daisy Border (#SD-MD-DBORD) dies and Collal All Purpose Glue from Crafter’s Companion; Standard Circles die templates from Spellbinders® Paper Arts.


Card Challenge Corner: Lettering Fun

Lettering Fun
Embrace your unique handwriting this week by creating a card that incorporates your hand-lettering as part of the design. It’s a wonderful way to add an extra-special touch to your cards! Use this card by Sandee Setliff as your inspiration.

Editor’s Note: Remember to post photos of your designs on the CardMaker Facebook page!

Complete instructions for the card shown above can be found in the autumn issue of CardMaker available here!

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Mendi’s Organizational Tips

Hi there! It’s Mendi here today to share some organizational tips. I don’t know about you, but I love organizing my crafty stash almost as much as I enjoy shopping and playing with it.

Last summer I came to a point where I had accumulated so much that it was becoming hard to remember what I had and where I had put it, so I spent a week coming up with this new system. I have been using it for a year now and I have to gush about how much I love it! It has given me more time to create and to shop my supplies for just the right die or stamp to finish my project. I find that I am using my stash more and parting with the things I no longer need which is a win-win.

To start I painstakingly went through my product and searched the internet for photos of each stamp and die set I own. If I couldn’t find a photo then I tried to scan the item or packaging instead. I chose to organize them on my computer in folders by manufacturer which has also proven to be a handy way to search for items when I’m too lazy to get up and look in my binder.

I then printed my stamp sets out in wallet size (nine to a page) and put them in page protectors with dividers sorted by manufacturer. Sorting them by theme is also a wonderful way to go. For my binder, I tried my best to print out my sheets so that all my holiday stamps were grouped together on a page.

For larger stamp sets, I chose to print them four sets to a page. It has been wonderful flipping through my binder for the perfect sentiment stamp or just the right image to finish my project without having to wade through all my bins to see what will work.

For my dies, I used much of the same process, but I wanted to maximize my pages to cut down on bulk and the need for extra page protectors. I decided to open up an 8 1/2 x 11-inch project in photo-editing software and import the images. I then shrunk the images down and arranged them like a puzzle, fitting in as many as I could. I tried to keep them generally close to the same size that they are in real life or at least proportionate to each other, but I didn’t care if it was exact. I mostly wanted to have the visual reminder.

When everything was printed, it was time for me to add labels (like a library card catalog) to each die set so that I could quickly locate them on my shelf. Before this system, I would spend 15 minutes looking for a die since all my binders looked the same and it was impossible to label the entire contents on a tiny binder’s spine.

Using my Brother Label Maker, I added labels to the spines of my We R Memory Keeper Magnetic Binders. I gave each binder a code at the bottom to correspond with my binder. For example, Lawn Fawn dies were labeled LF-1 and when I had enough for a second binder it was labeled LF-2, etc.

Here’s a peek inside one of my magnetic binders. I have a couple different magnetic products to store my dies in, but this has remained my favorite. I love how well it keeps everything contained and how much I can fit into each 8 x 10-inch binder. My new system has made it super easy to grab the binder I need without wading through piles of dies and I love it!

I hope I’ve inspired you to organize your own stash this summer.


Supplies used: Binders from We R Memory Keepers; Premium Heavyweight Sheet Protectors from Avery; P-Touch Label Maker and TZe 6mm white strong adhesive laminate tape from Brother; stamps and dies from Lawn Fawn and Papertrey Ink


Guest Post: Anita Mulcahey

Happy Friday everyone!  I am thrilled to be back guest-posting for my favorite magazine and blog. I love browsing on Pinterest and I probably spend too much time doing it. I recently fell in love with this color palette and knew that these colors would match plaid paper I had just bought.

Color Palette

Color palette photo from here via Pinterest

I used some wonderful inks that match the papers beautifully and finished off my card with some sparkly glitter glue.

We’d love to see your cards made using your favorite color palettes! Remember you can always share photos of your latest projects on the CardMaker Facebook page.



Supplies used: Cardstock from Stampin’ Up! and Gina K. Designs; Plaid Patterns Paper Pack, Piece of Cake stamp set, ink pads (banana split, sour apple, blu raspberry, grapesicle) and Pierced Circle STAX dies from My Favorite Things; self-adhesive jewel and Doodle-Pops cardstock stickers from Doodlebug Design Inc.Stickles glitter glue from Ranger Industries Inc.


Jennie’s Technique of the Week: Ghosting with Distress Ink

Hi everyone and happy summer! This is Jennie and I am very excited to bring you my first blog post for this new CardMaker Blog Team term! Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite techniques of Ghosting with Distress inks to create a fun background for cards.

First, apply distress ink directly to the paper and allow it to dry a bit.

Once the paper is dry, place a stencil over the inked panel and spritz it with water.

Using a small paper towel roll, roll it over the panel and stencil to help the panel dry.

Let panel fully dry.

Then simply stamp a sentiment and add a decorative flower to the panel.

It is a simple technique to add a “pop of wow” to any paper-crafting project! Thanks so much for stopping by!!


Supplies used: Cardstock and upliftingwords2hear and triplitflower2stamp stamp sets and Sizzix Triplits Flowers #2 and Large Rectangle dies from The Stamps of Life; VersaFine onyx black ink pad from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; Distress inks and clear embossing powder from Ranger Industries Inc.; self-adhesive gems from Want2Scrap; ribbon from May Arts Ribbon; Swiss Dot stencil (#TCW246) The Crafter’s Workshop.