Teresa’s CardMaker Tip

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hello friends, it is Teresa and I am sharing a watercolor background tip that is fun and easy. I get lots of questions about my watercolor backgrounds, so I thought it would be fun to share with you how I achieve the look.

I like to trim my watercolor paper to size before I add the color. I do this so that I do not cut away any sweet pools of color.

I am sharing three different types of watercolor ink:

  • Winsor & Newton watercolor markers
  • Daniel Smith watercolor paints
  • Tim Holtz Distress inks.

I use a small piece of acetate cut to 4 x 4 inches, one for each different type of ink. I add ink to the acetate and then spritz it with water. The more water you add the lighter the color.

I then turn the piece of acetate over on the paper and begin swooshing it around, gathering the color in different spots for a more pooled affect. This is the fun part!

Here are all three inks after the first application of color. You can stop here or add more color or even a different color. Dry it completely before adding more color, allowing it to air dry or using a heat tool.

This is all three with a second application of color. You can see that the second application makes the colors more vibrant and a lot more pooled. The piece to the far right shows how you can achieve this in a specific location on the paper if you do not want the entire background covered.

Here is my completed card. I decided on the lighter piece that swooshed with Winsor & Newton marker ink. I added paste embossing, a few flowers, twine and clear droplets.

I hope you give this a try. It is super easy and so much fun. The possibilities of the look you achieve are endless. You can find me on my blog or IG; links are below.



Supplies: Sea glass cardstock from Simon Says Stamp!; watercolor paper and picked raspberry Distress ink from Ranger Industries Inc.; Fab Flowers stamp and die set from Lawn Fawn; Friendship stamp set from Penny Black; puffy heartrazzleberrysea breezeocean waves and parrot inks from Altenew; rhodonite genuine watercolor from Daniel Smith Inc.; permanent rose watercolor from Winsor & Newton; twine from The Twinery; clear droplets from Pretty Pink Posh; Small Checkerboard stencil from My Favorite Things; Wendy Vecchi white embossing paste from Dreamweaver Stencils; adhesive foam squares from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®.

Why stop here? Get more card-making inspiration with a FREE issue of CardMaker magazine. Click here for more information.


Card Challenge Corner: Let’s Get Stenciling!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Stencils probably aren’t the first product you think of using when making a card but they are a great way to add interest to your projects. Available in limitless patterns and designs, stencils can be used with inks, pastes, paints, foils and more! Regular CardMaker contributor Kimber McGray shares her tips on creating stenciled backgrounds in our autumn issue and we’re challenging you this week to make a card using stencils somewhere in the design. As always, we love seeing photos of your projects. Share one or two images on our Facebook page or Instagram and tag us with #cardchallengecorner.

Pick up a copy of our latest issue at your local newsstand or click here to subscribe and never miss an issue!

Leave a comment

Savannah’s Technique of the Week: Stitching on Cards

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hello, friends! Savannah O’Gwynn here today and I’m sharing a card-making technique that I use often on my projects. I love to add stitching to my cards as extra dimension and detail, as well as to secure embellishments, paper layers and die-cut pieces!

Sewing on a card or on paper is simple; it’s exactly like fabric. Here are a few tips that I want to share.

Tip 1: Anyone can sew. All you need to do is practice on scrap paper.

Tip 2: Any sewing machine will work. You don’t have to purchase anything fancy. I have a basic Brother sewing machine that I use. I do have an extra base for my sewing machine, but I’ve removed it to make storing it easier!

Tip 3: To sew successfully through paper, set your stitch length at a higher number. Most machines start at 2.5 and go from 0–5 in increments of 0.5. I like to sew with my length at 3 and above. Anything lower than 3 tends to tear the paper because the stitches are too close, perforating the paper.

Tip 4: Go slow! Taking your time to stitch slowly through your layers will help protect your card and design from the Feed Dogs (this feeds the paper through) and the Pressure Foot (this applies pressure on the paper while sewing) destroying your project.

Tip 5: Use minimal adhesive or avoid using adhesive where stitching will be added. Glue and adhesive tapes can mess up a sewing machine, so less (or none) is more!

Tip 6: Use all of the stitches available on your sewing machine! Each machine comes with a set number of stitches and there are some pretty designs that look great as accents to your card design!

Tip 7: Know where you will stitch before finishing your card! This is important because your machine will not stitch over anything dimensional such as gems and enamel dots. Sew on your card BEFORE adding any extra embellishments.

Ok, let’s get to the card!

1. I began by gathering my supplies.

2. I cut my card base (a postcard) to size and die-cut my pieces from multiple colored cardstock. Note: I never throw my scrap papers away! I wanted to use some of the flower designs for the card, so I saved this piece for fussy cutting later.

3. Then I cut white cardstock to cover up the printed sentiment.

4. Next, I added adhesive tape to the back to attach it to my card base. Remembering Tip #5 for adding adhesive, I added just enough tape to the center of the white cardstock to secure it to the base while stitching.

5. I set my stitch length to 3.5 for a medium stitch.

6. Next, I stitched two straight lines on either side of the cardstock. Note: Open your card fully BEFORE stitching! Trust me again! I have forgotten to open my card and stitched through both the front and back.

7. To begin stitching, I placed the needle as close to the edge of the card where I would be stitching. Note: Use your handwheel manually on your sewing machine to make sure the location of your first stitch is exactly where it needs to be.

8. I stitched two lines on either edge of the white cardstock. I started and ended both stitched lines as close to the edge of the card as possible. For your card, you can stitch around the card, in a line, or just over some papers/layers/embellishments.

9. To finish my stitched design, I pulled out my card and trimmed the thread longer than it needed to be. This ensured that I had enough thread for extra decoration or if I needed to tie the pieces on the back to secure the stitch more. For this card, I trimmed the extra pieces on the back and left the front threads longer.

10. I finished the card by adding embellishments and a die-cut sentiment.

It’s that easy to add stitching to your project! You can see that my stitching isn’t perfect and I’m considered an advanced sewer (but that’s with fabric!). Plus, I love the imperfect design as it shows my card is homemade.

I hope that you are inspired by my creation and that you will try stitching on your next card. If you use a stitch other than straight or zigzag, let me know! I’d love to check out your project.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Be blessed. 🙂


Supplies used: She Blooms Blessings by Mail postcard from Illustrated Faith/Bella BLVD; Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen from Kuretake ZIG; Foliage 1 dies (#J3D-15-244) from Paper Smooches; Glossy Accents from Ranger Industries Inc.

Why stop here? Get more card-making inspiration with a FREE issue of CardMaker magazine. Click here for more information.


Diana’s Storage Tip

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hey guys! Diana here sharing one of my favorite storage tips with you. With so many great storage ideas out there, it’s important to remember that when it comes to storage, one size does not fit all. Before going full steam ahead with your next storage project, evaluate your unique storage personality and needs.

I once saw a beautiful ribbon storage idea on Pinterest. I spent hours taking my ribbons off the spools and wrapping them around little pieces of cardboard. When I was finished it looked amazing—so neat and compact—it was truly beautiful!

However, every time I took a piece of ribbon off the cardboard square it was creased where it folded around the cardboard. Since I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I ended up ironing each piece of ribbon before I used it. It didn’t take long to realize that there is a reason ribbon comes on spools. #storagefail

Now my ribbon is stored neatly (on the spool) in photo boxes which fit perfectly on the shelf in my craft room closet. I have them sorted by color family which allows me to quickly find the right ribbon for my project. Best of all—no ironing required!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found my storage tip helpful!


Why stop here? Get more card-making inspiration with a FREE issue of CardMaker magazine. Click here for more information.


Guest Post: Fastener Greeting Card by KellyJean Gettelfinger

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

How exciting to be designing for CardMaker magazine as a guest designer! I’m so excited to share this super fun and unique card as well as show you what all you can do with a Fastener Greeting Card to go beyond card making. Buckle up! This will be an exciting little trip! HA!


The best part about this card is it can be created to suit your measurement needs. I personally like to make my Fastener Cards to measure 4 1/2 x 6 inches so that I (or my recipient) can add 4 x 6-inch photos straight into the card.

I enjoy creating these unique little gems WITHOUT photos and then mail them to someone who might enjoy adding photos of their own.

The metal fastener is easy to remove after completion of creating the card so that photos can then be added to the card. This allows the recipient to create their very own MINI ALBUM. How fun!

Let’s say your recipient is having a birthday party. You create a Fastener Birthday Card for them and leave the card photo-less. Then your recipient can add their party photos later and enjoy the card AND the memories.

OR… perhaps you went to the party yourself. Take photos differently than the party host/hostess may have taken and then add your photos to the card to send at a later date. The fun factor for a Fastener Greeting Card is off the charts!

I enjoy sending Fastener Cards as “Thank You” notes for times when we’ve experienced something fun with friends or family. The card seen here was a time when my dad and son spent hours in the garden and enjoyed every single minute of it. The precious memories and lessons my dad created for my son are worth showing gratitude. So my dad will soon be getting this particular Fastener Card.

Here is a tutorial video for how to create your own Fastener Greeting Card…

Be sure to visit my site Always Stampin’ to see how to go all out with these fun little Fastener Greeting Cards by turning them into actual PHOTO ALBUMS. If you’re like me, you’ve created quite a few treasured summer memories this summer. At Always Stampin’, I will show you how to create the CA-YOOTSET summer memories Fastener Mini Album.

Thank you, CardMaker, for having me as a guest designer. I appreciate the paper arts tips and tidbits you encourage us with, and I am so humbled you would appreciate my contribution. Thanks again!


Supplies: All supplies from Stampin’ Up! unless otherwise noted. (Jar of Love stamp set, ink pads (pool party, early espresso, Cajon craze), Wood Textures Designer Series Paper Pack, cardstock (Sahara sand, pool party, Cajun craze), gold thread, 3/8-inch Classic Weave Ribbon (white ribbon, crumb cake), Framelits dies (Everyday Jars, Layering Ovals), Cropadile, Dimensionals, metal file fastener); Copic® markers from Imagination International Inc.

Why stop here? Get more card-making inspiration with a FREE issue of CardMaker magazine. Click here for more information.


Welcome to Technique Talk for August 2017—Topic: Cardstock

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Sean Fetterman, CardMaker Magazine Contributor

Welcome to Technique Talk! This is a monthly segment that I will be hosting as a contributor for CardMaker magazine on each Tuesday of the month. We will have one topic that we cover with blog and social media posts, video tips and tricks, a video card project, and Facebook Live sessions with subject matter experts and designers.

I will kick off the topic with a blog post that will lead into more progressive and interactive posts and engagement with you. I will host a Facebook Live session on the CardMaker page that will be interactive with me discussing the topic and asking for your thoughts and opinions on whatever we are discussing. What does that mean you ask? During the Facebook Live session, I will invite people into the video to talk about their experiences and expertise that will add more fun to the session and give us all an opportunity to learn more about friends that share our passion for card making.

The topic for the month of August is cardstock. We will look at a variety of types of cardstock. Whether you are new to card making or you are a seasoned card maker, we all recognize the importance of having the right paper for our projects. Cardstock is a card maker’s staple in their stash. Cardstock is heavier than standard paper and can be used for a variety of crafts. For this blog, we are focusing on cardstock as it relates to card making.

In the past, card makers had limited options for colors and sizes to choose from when card making. Now, there are new colors coming out all the time. Today, cardstock is available in a variety of weights, textures, and colors. There are so many options that it can be overwhelming unless you know exactly what you need.

Stiff, smooth, and thin, the line is blurred between paper and cardstock. Cardstock is a medium-weight paper. It is heavier than printer paper and thinner than cardboard. Cardstock is often used for card making, scrapbooking and other crafts. This paper comes in a variety of textures and colors.

Types of Cardstock

In creating various types of card projects, we are not limited to using only one type of paper. In fact, most of us seek out multiple types of paper to make this possible. There are many types of cardstock available. Below are a few cardstock types:

  • Matte: This cardstock does not appear shiny, but has a normal coat and is a flat color.
  • Glossy: This cardstock has a glossy coating that makes the cardstock to appear shiny.
  • Iridescent: This cardstock has a shimmery coating that displays a variety of colors that shimmer and change as you move the paper.
  • Vellum: This cardstock is a fine paper (think of parchment paper) which can range from almost transparent to opaque.
  • Textured: This cardstock is made up of different fibers that give it a unique texture. A common textured cardstock would be linen cardstock.
  • Glitter: This cardstock is typically a heavy weight and is coated with colored glitter.

Coated & Uncoated Paper Finishes

Whether a paper is coated or uncoated can affect its finish. Coated cardstocks are treated with a sealant that lends them specific characteristics, such as a high level of glossiness and a stiffer feel. This coating gives papers a waxy finish with a varying degree of shine, provides protection from wear and tear, and reduces the level of ink that a sheet can absorb. By inhibiting ink absorption, the coating creates a crisper, higher quality image.

Uncoated cardstocks have an untreated surface and are often less reflective than their coated counterparts. These papers usually lend a softer look to projects because the ink is absorbed into the paper, which diffuses its vibrancy. An example of uncoated cardstock is envelopes.

Most Common Types of Paper Finishes


The embossed finish has a raised design that is pressed into the paper with a unique pattern. It lends an unusual texture to cardstock, making it ideal for use in cards and scrapbooking.


A glossy finish has a high level of shine, allowing it to reproduce colors beautifully. It is ideal for images with lots of detail, clarity and sharpness.


Linen finish has the look and feel of linen cloth. It adds a luxurious touch to your card projects.


A matte finish has a subtle sheen that shows colors well. It adds a soft, professional look to images and eliminates fingerprints.


Metallic finish adds a touch of “pop” to your projects. It ranges from a subtle shine to bold sparkle.


Satin finish is a cardstock in between glossy and matte. It provides a higher level of readability than gloss and a more uniform smoothness than matte while also enhancing the colors.


Vellum finish has a slightly rough texture and is designed to imitate the animal skin paper for which it was named. It lends a traditional, classic feel and a touch of class to your card projects.


Common Cardstock Weights & How to Use Them

Choosing the right weight for your project can impact its durability, convey quality, and influence the first impression your intended audience has of your project.

Here are some of the most common cardstock weights:

  • 65 lb.
  • 80 lb.
  • 100 lb.
  • 110 lb.
  • 120 lb.

The lighter the weight, the thinner the cardstock will be. My personal choice for card bases is 120 lb. and for layering cardstock, I use 80 lb.

Did you know?

The custom of sending greeting cards can be traced back to the ancient Chinese, who exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year, and to the early Egyptians, who conveyed their greetings on papyrus scrolls. By the early 15th century, handmade paper greeting cards were being exchanged in Europe. The Germans are known to have printed New Year’s greetings from woodcuts as early as 1400, and handmade paper Valentines were being exchanged in various parts of Europe in the early to mid-15th century, with the oldest Valentine in existence being in the British Museum.

Tell me about your experience with choosing cardstock and what you like most of what you use and what you don’t like. This is a time to share with your friends in the comments section.

Next Tuesday, August 8, I will be hosting a Facebook Live at 7 p.m. Central Time on the CardMaker Facebook page. Come to Technique Talk next week and let’s chat about cardstock. I want to hear about your likes and dislikes about cardstock and the type of cardstock that you love to use and why.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach me via e-mail at sean.m.fetterman@comcast.net.

Thank you!

Sean Fetterman

Magazine and Social Media Contributor

CardMaker Magazine

Why stop here? Get more card-making inspiration with a FREE issue of CardMaker magazine. Click here for more information.


Card Challenge Corner: Sketch Challenge

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Card sketches are a wonderful source of inspiration when you find yourself struggling to come up with a card design. In the back of each issue of CardMaker, you’ll find a sketch along with cards that will help spark your creativity! For this week’s challenge, create a card based on the sketch featured in our autumn issue. Share a photo of your creation on our Facebook page or Instagram and tag us with #cardchallengecorner.

Pick up a copy of our latest issue at your local newsstand or click here to subscribe and never miss an issue!

Leave a comment

Niki’s Quick & Easy Faux UV Printed Card

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Happy Monday! Niki here and today I want to share with you a super-fast card idea—faux UV printing.

I got this idea from my email the other day when I saw an ad for UV Printing Paper. Essentially, you lay a leaf or two on this kind of paper and lay it out in the sun. Then, you bring it inside and “develop” it with water and what you are left with is a dark blue background with a light blue negative where the leaf was.

I didn’t have any of that paper, but I loved the look, so I came up with this technique that looks pretty close to the real thing!

To start, I die-cut two pieces of watercolor paper using a stitched rectangle die. I then used repositionable tape to secure a rectangle stencil over the smaller die-cut rectangle. I blended in some blue ink from the sides to the center keeping the blend as even as I could.

To stamp the rosemary sprig, I positioned my inked panel inside a MISTI stamp-positioning tool. The MISTI is essential since sometimes the white ink doesn’t transfer well and you can double stamp if necessary.

I wanted the rosemary sprig to be more of a light blue than solid white, so I inked up the stamp with white ink and spritzed it with water before pressing down. The water caused the ink to lift and mix with the white pigment, making the “faux UV” finish.

For the sentiment, I stamped “rosemary’ in white one time, then went over it with a white gel pen to make it stand out.

Finally, I adhered all the layers to a card base using foam tape for dimension.

It seems like a lot of steps, but you can make one (or two!) of these cards in about ten minutes or less. I hope you give it a try!

Thanks for reading!


Supplies: Heavyweight 110lb. solar white cardstock from Neenah Paper Inc.; Make It Market Mini Kit: Herb Garden from Papertrey Ink; Wonky Stitched Rectangle dies from My Favorite Things; Distress blueprint sketch ink pad, ink blending tool and misting tool from Ranger Industries Inc.; unicorn white ink pad from Hero Arts; white gel pen from uni-ball; MISTI stamp-positioning tool from My Sweet Petunia; adhesive foam tape from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®.

Why stop here? Get more card-making inspiration with a FREE issue of CardMaker magazine. Click here for more information.


Teresa’s Quick & Easy Card

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hello friends, it is Teresa today sharing a quick and easy card with you. I must confess that I love creating clean and simple cards but I find the “quick” part a bit of a challenge. I truly enjoy the process of creating and tend to get lost in my little world of mismatched pieces, papers, stamps, dies and embellishments. With that being said, my leftover box is the first place I reach when I need a card quickly.

For today’s card, I settled on a bright fuchsia bloom quickly (grin), some mismatched leaves, and a white plain tag die cut. What I love most about pulling together a card like this is that the leaves and flower are not from the same set or same company. This makes for an interesting look.

I reached for a polka-dotted stencil and added white embossing paste to my card base without worry of it being perfect which I think adds to the personality of my card. I adhered the flower and leaves to the tag, added glitter glue to the flower, a white twine bow, and then popped it up on my card base. The sentiment is a sticker which helps to make the process simple and easy.

I hope my process of creating a quick card helps you the next time you need a card in a hurry.


Supplies: Sketch Ranunculus stamp set, green apple ink pad and Medium Dots stencil from Simon Says Stamp!; Bloom ‘N Buds stamp set from Reverse Confetti; stickers from Illustrated Faith; Wendy Vecchi embossing paste from Dreamweaver Stencils; Stitched Traditional Tag die set from My Favorite Things; diamond Stickles glitter glue and picked raspberry Distress Oxide ink pad from Ranger Industries Inc.; adhesive foam dots from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®.

Why stop here? Get more card-making inspiration with a FREE issue of CardMaker magazine. Click here for more information.


Creative Space: Niki Coursey

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hey! How is your summer going so far? Niki here and today I thought I’d share my craft space with you. I posted a picture a few years back on my blog when I first got my Workbox, but the shelving configuration has changed a dozen times since then according to whatever it is I’m currently obsessed with. Here’s what it looks like at the moment.

I tidied up just for you! It still comes across as cluttered because of all the little bits and bobs, though.

My “craft room” is conveniently located behind the couch in the living room, so I don’t have a lot of real estate to work with. Since space is limited, I need a ton of storage. At first, there was only a bookshelf and table, which I grew out of pretty quickly. That’s when I invested in the Workbox and desk.

Onto the mini tour! This cutting-mat-covered table is where I make stuff. I’m in my 40’s and blind as a bat, so I need a ton of light (hence the two lamps on the desk and the two overhead).

I keep my cardstock in reach right in the center of the shelves. My iPad is to the left so I can watch YouTube or browse Pinterest while I’m crafting, and I store my stamps in the gray boxes under the shelves. Off to the right side is a Tonic Table Tidy with my paintbrushes, AquaFlow brushes and paper scraps from recent projects.

I usually wouldn’t clamp the Table Tidy there, but I never close up the Workbox, so it’s not in the way. I needed a bin there, too. When I start making stuff, I pile supplies all over the table and end up working in a tiny, card-sized space. It’s nice just to bulldoze everything to the side for cleanup later. 😉

I store my dies on the outside of the doors with an adhesive magnetic whiteboard. My most used dies are around the center area with the least used at the top and bottom of the door. See that cute little cart? That’s where I store all my new “just arrived” stamps and dies. I try to use them all at least once before I sort them into their appropriate boxes.

You wouldn’t believe how much stuff you can hide (organize) in those bins in the doors (see the first photo) and on the shelves. The flat bins you see above contain mostly specialty papers and kits, punch boards, and the lower shelves hold embossing powders, custom stamps and planning stuff.

Behind where I sit is my other desk. It has storage bins in it too, and a clear top with drawers so you can find what you’re looking for quickly. This area is where I store my inks, foils, Silhouette products and vinyl.

It’s a high desk where I can stand up and craft. I like to color here, as well as weed vinyl designs and trim papers for future use.

That’s all for the tiny tour of my craft space! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, and I’d be happy to answer them for you. Thanks for coming by today!