Pamela’s CardMaker Tip
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Hello everyone! Pamela here today to share a design tip that I learned in my college art class. First thing, get out of your chair. Give yourself plenty of room. Now, stand on your head. No? Then, please turn your work upside down.

My professor often made us draw objects upside down. It makes your brain think in a whole new way. Here are some examples of embellishments and trims I created using this method.

I started by die-cutting a birdcage. I turned it upside down and trimmed a little bit from both sides. As you see, I have a fun, frilly tag that pops on my card. I cut a little more away and turned it back right-side-up. I added a little shading to the nipple, and I have a baby bottle. Wouldn’t it be perfect for baby-shower tags and welcome-baby cards?

I think this one has to be my favorite! I started with a die-cut angel. I trimmed a little here and there, turned it upside down and now, I have a flower.

This embellishment originated when I tore a tree as I was removing it from the die. Instead of tossing it, I cut it in pieces and added some frames.

For this next upside-down-thinking trim, I heat-embossed trees as you see here. Tip: You would not have to emboss them—that’s just my personal preference.

Using a different tree stamp, I heat-embossed several images as shown. Tip: Using “tree” colors that are not normally associated with tree stamps adds to the illusion you are creating.

In this case, I cut a strip through the tree branches to make some original trim. Tip: You can punch hearts, clouds, flowers, circles, etc., using this same method.

Standing on my head has given a whole new life to many of my stamps and dies. There is no end to the creativity this process brings. I would love to see what you create upside down!


Supplies used: Cardstock from Hobby Lobby/The Paper Studio; silver and gold foil from DCWV; Damask Greetings stamp set from Sizzix; trees stamps from Plaid; orchid, boysenberry and pink pigment ink pads from Clearsnap; super fine clear embossing powder from Ranger Industries Inc.; Bird Sanctuary (#S5-033), Shining Star (#S2-181), Whimsical Tree (#S2-008), Angel of Peace (#S2-185) and Squares 2 (#MD1-008) die templates from Spellbinders® Paper Arts.

20 Responses to Pamela’s CardMaker Tip

  1. BJ Searcy says:

    These are awesome tips. Yes, my favorite also is the angel. I’m going to start playing with my stamps. Thank you very much for sharing, such an inspiration.

  2. barb macaskill says:

    Great ideas!! I am going to give the Angel die a try and see what else I can come up with using bits and pieces! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Marianne B in AZ says:

    Pam, I love the ideas you share. This one is especially good for me. Thinking beyond the intended use is so helpful and something I do not usually do well. This is a trick I will remember when I am stuck for ideas. Thank you so much!

  4. Donna Woods says:


  5. Jean Bullock says:

    Great post. Looking at things upside and sometimes sideways too, allows the brain to see the lines and shapes without the interference of the known object identification. Your beautiful samples and suggestions are wonderful and will help so many of your readers to think outside the box and discover the creativity within. Although I knew and often practice upsidedownism (hee hee-not a word) I had never though about cutting images into strips like that. That tip is definitely going into my grab bag of tricks. Thanks so much.

    • Jean, you are truly the creative one! This means a lot coming from you, the art teacher.
      If we stand on our heads while reading the dictionary, I’m sure we will find ‘upsidedownism’ in there!

  6. DawnL says:

    What a cool tip, Pam!! I’ll have to give it a try, tfs!

  7. TracyM #6773 says:

    Your spin me right round Pamela 🙂
    THANK YOU for sharing!!!

  8. Suzi says:

    Oh, our Pamela is amazing! I wish she could come play at my house!

  9. Sandyh50 says:

    Great tips, Pamela!

  10. Kelly Sas says:

    Thanks for sharing such an amazing awesome tip! I love the way you look at the world.

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