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Celebrating Baby!

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Card Designs by Sharon M. Reinhart

The arrival of a new baby is a particularly joyous occasion and one for which card-making skills can be put to good use. There are many stages of this exciting time that can be announced and celebrated. Some of these stages may include an announcement that the couple is expecting, an invitation for a gender-reveal celebration or a baby shower, shower decor and favors, shower games and prizes, a congratulatory card, a baby announcement, an invitation for a meet-and-greet event, and of course, thank you cards. Creating nursery decor is one more way in which card-making skills come in handy! Keep in mind that any of the card designs being discussed can easily be switched up in order to suit almost any occasion. Let's explore the possibilities!

There are so many styles of cards that can be made to celebrate the wonderful event of a new baby that it can be somewhat overwhelming to choose. Some of my favorites, besides the basic tried-and-true A2-size cards, are gatefold cards, pocket cards, easel cards and stair-step cards. Probably the best way to start is to consider the techniques that you enjoy working with and create a card base that would work equally as well with that particular technique.

Two of the cards shown above are stair or stair-step cards, and one is a basic A2 top-fold card. The top-fold card is probably the easiest base to create, but don't shy away from stair-step cards; they are not as difficult as they might look.

Something to keep in mind is colors and images. You may wish to work with traditional colors and images, or maybe you would like to be on the trendy side. Another option is to customize your card to coordinate with the nursery decor if that information is available to you. If you are looking to make a trendy card, inspiration can be found in baby and children stores, and online. After a recent visit to a baby store I have noticed a trend of baby elephants, owls and giraffes as well as chevron print backgrounds. There are many choices for color combinations such as pairing pink, blue, aqua and even purple with brown. The color gray, which is definitely not a traditional baby color, is more in focus than ever before and is often paired with pink, blue or aqua.

Embellishments can be found in the form of punched shapes, ribbons, brads, stickers and even tiny safety pins, alphabet beads, mini baby bottles or pacifiers. The possibilities are endless!

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Project 1

Now on to the cards! Project 1 is a great example of how to use a basic A2 top-fold card with layering techniques as well as incorporating a tea-bag fold technique. The first layer makes use of a more traditional embossing folder with hearts. The use of this particular folder not only gives the card texture, but it also evokes a warm, loving feel. There are many embossing folders that would work equally as well, such as Swiss dots, polka dots, chevrons, stripes, checkerboard, birds and flowers to name a few.

Pennants and banners continue to be popular, and this pennant, created with a Spellbinders™ die template, sets the stage well for the tea-bag fold medallion. The tea-bag fold medallion begins with the basic circle technique and is taken a step beyond with an additional fold before assembly. For more information on tea-bag folding techniques and the many progressions that can be completed, please check out my Fabulous Paper Folds online class or DVD.

To complete this card, finishing touches of satin ribbon and a silver heat-embossed sentiment have been added. The pink, gray and white color combination is beautiful but would look equally as nice with other color combinations.

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Project 2

Project 2 is a perfect example of combining trendy elements on a center stair-step card. This stair-step card is a great base for including information as shown here for a baby-shower invitation. As mentioned previously, this style of card looks difficult but truly is not.

There are many styles of stair-step cards in a variety of sizes. Some cards have steps in the center, others have steps on each side, or there are ones with the steps all to one side, often referred as a side-step card. These can be made using different measurements each resulting in a slightly different effect. To see how a side stair-step card is made, please take a look at the video by CardMaker editor Tanya Fox. Although the card that Tanya is demonstrating is different from the cards shown here, it will give you a good idea of the process involved.

In Project 2, rubber stamping has been used to create the banner and to generate the word "shower" at the base of the invitation. The banner works well with this style of card, allowing it to hang from the edges of the card. The trendy elements continue with the use of the baker's twine bows, a chevron-embossed banner strip layered under the word at the base, and the punched elephants. The center stair steps are the perfect area to house all of the important information, which was easily generated on coordinating paper with the use of a computer.

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Project 3

Project 3 is actually the reverse of Project 2, with the stair steps at each side and a solid center panel. This solid panel is a great place for a layered sentiment as shown or, possibly, to announce the arrival of a new baby, including not only the information but also a photo of the newborn. This card incorporates both traditional and trendy elements, the trendy elements being the chevron-style print and the punched elephants. The embossed-dot oval frame in the center might be considered more traditional.

As mentioned, Projects 2 and 3 have the same measurements; only the process has just been reversed. As you can see in Project 2, the stairs are in the center area, and on Project 3, they are on each side. A Fiskars brand paper trimmer was used to make the cards, but you can also combine trimmers and score boards to complete the card base. Below is a tutorial on how to make the stair-step cards:

  1. Place 4 1/4 x 11-inch cardstock in paper trimmer with the long edge vertical, at the 1-inch measurement.
  2. Place trimmer blade at the 1-inch mark and cut to the 7-inch mark.
  3. Flip cardstock over and repeat on the other long side.
  4. Now place the long side horizontal in the trimmer at the 1-inch mark.
  5. With the scoring blade or scoring tool, score between the cut lines at 1, 1 1/2, 3, 4 and 7 inches. Score from the card edges to the cut line at the 5 1/2-inch mark.
  6. Fold the card in half and accordion-fold on the scored lines.
Project 3 is created in reverse by scoring from the outside edges of the card to the cut line (rather than between cut lines as previous) at 1, 1 1/2, 3, 4 and 7 inches and then on the inside between the cut lines at 5 1/2 inches.

For more inspiration on stair-step cards be sure to check out the CardMaker summer 2014 issue.

I hope you will use these ideas as a starting point for your own creations. Sometimes all we need is a place to start, and the rest magically comes together!