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Alphabet Fun With Cards!

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Card Projects by Sharon M. Reinhart

This newsletter issue was inspired by the back-to-school season and, in particular, alphabets! With the start of school just around the corner (for some it has already begun), many of our children and even some of us will be surrounded by alphabets! Alphabets are not just for kids though. Card makers can have as much fun with alphabets as kids and teachers. These are not reserved for only back-to-school creations; in fact, the projects being shared in this issue cover a variety of themes such as birthday, friendship, life and love.

Alphabets and tools to create letters are readily available in the card-crafting world. Sometimes these little gems just don't get the time or credit due to them. So, if your alphabet items are tucked away or collecting dust, it is time to pull them out and let them take center stage. I encourage you to look through your supplies and find all the items that relate to alphabets. I am sure you will be surprised at the number of items you find.

After a little brainstorming, I thought I would share some of the alphabet items that I came up with:

  • Stamps
  • Die templates
  • Stickers
  • Chipboard
  • Beads
  • Scrabble tiles
  • Clay molds
  • Embossing folders
  • Stencils

Then there are also label makers, and even the computer can be used to print alphabet letters in almost any font imaginable.

As you can see by the list above there are lots of options and probably many more waiting to be discovered and receive the applause due them. You might be saying, "That's all fine and dandy, but what am I going to do with all of these alphabet letters and tools?" Well, we are going to have some "alphabet fun" with cards!

In Project 1, alphabets and numbers bring this Happy Birthday card to life. Alphabet stickers are among the easiest supplies to use and to customize. The chevron-printed letters began as basic black-and-white stickers, but with the help of a BIC Mark-It® permanent marker, the stickers were quickly transformed into red and black. The balance of the "happy birthday" greeting was quickly finished by printing the remaining letters using a DYMO® label maker. The one used here is probably now considered vintage, but there are still some of this brand and other brands available in craft and office stores. To truly coordinate with the back-to-school theme, numbers shared the stage on this printed bingo-card panel. The finishing banner accents were cut from, yes, alphabet letter stickers!

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Project 1

Die templates and die-cutting systems remain very popular among card makers. Some die templates are individual letters and some have the entire alphabet on one die. The die template used in Project 2, from Lifestyle Crafts, is one of those with the entire alphabet. No worries, individual letters can still be cut out by just placing a small square of cardstock on top of the desired letter. Or cut the entire alphabet and save the extra letters for future projects, possibly mixing up colors and fonts for a ransom-note effect. Letters and words in this project come further into play with the small stamped word on the bread tag and the printed cardstock layer. While you are saving letters, save those bread tags as well. If there is printing on one side, just use the other.

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Project 2

Attaching die-cut letters is sometimes a concern. One of the easiest methods/tools that I have used for applying adhesive to small pieces of cardstock, ribbon and thin embellishments is the Xyron® sticker maker. Sometimes this tool is referred to as the "X" box, due to its shape. Another option for use is a fine-point glue pen.

Our last sample, Project 3, makes use of alphabet rubber stamps. This is a wonderful reusable resource that is available in many sizes and styles. You may want to have a couple of circle or decorative punches on hand, which makes it a lot easier than trying to fussy-cut the letters. There are also many stamps that work beautifully as a decorative layer for alphabet letters. In this project, a wonderful little stamp from Stampin' Up creates a perfect resting place for the stamped and punched letter.

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Project 3

These examples of using alphabets are probably some of the more common methods, but don't be afraid to experiment with others. For those of you who enjoy paper quilling, put your skills to good use by creating alphabet letters; you will be the envy of all. Scrabble tiles, chipboard letters and even alphabet beads are perfect items to use when making cards. Embossing folders may be used as one big alphabet layer, or you can punch out individual letters. The same holds true for alphabet stencils. These are a great way to truly customize your creation. Combine them with paint, ink or even color sprays, and you are on your way to experiencing some alphabet fun! I hope you have been inspired to create and experiment with some of these methods. Please make sure to drop us a line if you discover more fun ways to use alphabets with cards.