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Summer Cards: Special Touches

When it comes to the middle of the summer, there aren't a lot of special card-making holidays. We never stop celebrating birthdays and babies, and we still have plenty of reasons to say thank you. Why not add a special summery touch to your "everyday" cards?

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Summertime brings bright sunshine and warm breezes, and if you're lucky, trips to sandy beaches with rolling waves. Bring those visuals and the feelings they invoke into your card making. Bright, warm colors like yellow and orange, and sun-related embellishments can complement virtually any occasion. Cool colors like blue and sea green add some depth and call to mind the ocean. Sand? Yes, you can add real sand to your cards in a couple different ways. A hint of warm breezes can be added, too, with a little imagination.

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Start by choosing colors that make you feel like summer -- bright, warm colors for the sunshine and/or nice cool blues and sea greens to mimic the water -- then add a sunlike embellishment. Sun shapes are available in many different materials including cardstock, felt, fabric, chipboard and even wooden premade embellishments. You can make your own sun shape by using a circle punch and some triangles along with yellow cardstock or patterned paper.

There are also many different stamps and sentiments that have a "sunny" disposition. Create a background with yellow and orange suns or stamp on a scrap piece of paper and cut out a sun shape to add to your card as custom embellishment.

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Sand -- this is a fun one. Adding sand to a card is easier than you think. Do it the easiest way by cutting or tearing a piece of sandpaper to form a beach for your card and adhere it as you would any paper. Another way to add sand is the same way you would add microbeads or glitter. Spread a thin layer of glue on the paper where you would like your shoreline and then press the paper into loose playground sand, or sprinkle it on and press it into the glue with your fingers. Finally, consider adding sand in a shaker box instead of using sequins or glitter. Sprinkle it in the place of the standard shaker materials for a fun addition to your card for a summery touch.

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We're feeling the heat from the sun and sand on our cards; now it's time for a warm breeze. Create your own pinwheels! You can easily create pinwheels from a square of paper and attach them directly to your card fronts with a brad. All you need to do is cut a small slit from each of the four corners of the square toward the center of the square. Do not cut all the way to the center! Leave a small space at the center in order to be able to attach the pinwheel to the center. Now bend each of the corners toward the center. Hold in place with your finger until all four corners are pulled into the center, slightly overlapping the corners. Pierce the four corners, while holding them together, and the center with a pin or paper piercer. Secure the corners to the center of the square with a mini brad. Attach the finished pinwheel to the front of the card.

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Have some fun this summer creating cards for those you love using inspiration from the season -- the sun, warm breezes and sandy beaches.

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