Tanya Fox, editor, and Brooke Smith, managing editor, are the editorial team behind CardMaker magazine. When not reviewing design submissions and planning future issues of the magazine and pattern books, they can often be found exploring websites for inspiration and visiting their favorite local coffee shop.
They hope you’ll visit the blog often as they share card-making tips, designer features, paper-crafting techniques, project inspiration and a peek at life inside the CardMaker office.
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October 17, 2017
Pop-Up Gift Card Box
Design by Deborah Nolan
- Cardstock: white, yellow, teal
- Copy paper
- Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Christmas 12 x 12-inch patterned paper pack
- Lawn Fawn stamp sets: Cheery Christmas, Tiny Tag Sayings, Toboggan Together
- Ink pads: Imagine VersaFine (onyx black); Ranger Distress (festive berries, tumbled glass); teal, orange
- Colored pencils
- Black fine-tip pen (optional)
- White embroidery floss
- Natural cord
- Red polka-dot ribbon
- Red self-adhesive pearls
- Hampton Art mini tag
- Lawn Fawn dies: Fancy Box (#LF1357), Everyday Pop-Ups (#LF1235), Puffy Cloud Borders (#LF915), Stitched Hillside Borders (#LF772), Cheery Christmas (#LF1217), Toboggan Together (#LF977)
- Die-cutting machine
- My Sweet Petunia MISTI stamp-positioning tool
- Scoring board and bone folder
- Foam ink applicator
- Craft sheet
- Embroidery needle
- 1/16-inch hole punch (optional)
- EK Tools Powder Tool
- Scor-Pal double-sided tape
- Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L® adhesive foam squares
1. Referring to project photo above for ink colors, stamp the following onto white cardstock: two squirrels, two mistletoe sprigs, five trees, candy cane, star and package trio. Color and die-cut images.
2. Trim trunk from one tree; adhere star and gift trio to tree. Adhere candy cane to squirrel. Set elements aside. Option: Doodle patterns on gifts with pen before coloring.
3. Die-cut Fancy Box from patterned paper; assemble.
4. Cut a 3 7/8 x 2 5/8-inch piece of white cardstock to construct platform. Score 1/4 inch in on each side; trim corners as shown. Punch one hole in back lip and two holes in front lip. Fold along score lines.
5. Cut the following from teal cardstock: one 3 1/2 x 3/4-inch panel and two 3 1/2 x 2 1/8-inch panels. Adhere smaller panel inside box to rear wall; adhere larger panels to top of platform and reverse side of box lid.
6. Cut a 3 3/8 x 2-inch panel from white cardstock. Use ink applicator to apply blue ink to panel; adhere to reverse side of box lid.
7. Die-cut clouds from white and yellow cardstock. Cut one rounded section from yellow to create a sun. Referring to photo, trim pieces and adhere to reverse side of box lid.
8. Cut a 31/4 x 4-inch base and a 3 3/8 x 2-inch backdrop from white cardstock. Die-cut hills from top edges. Use pencil to mark fold line on base 2 inches from bottom edge.
9. Use 1/4 x 1-inch pop-up die to create three pop-ups on base. To do this, align die’s side arrows with fold line; secure with removable tape and die-cut. Repeat on either side of center pop-up.
10. Score fold line. Score at end of each die-cut line to aid in folding of pop-ups.
11. Close along fold line while coaxing pop-ups to bend away from fold. Burnish fold with bone folder.
12. Cut a piece of matching paper and adhere behind pop-up opening. Adhere base to platform.
13. Trim and adhere trees to base.
14. Attach foam squares to back of trees and backdrop. Do not remove liners.
15. Punch a 1/16-inch hole through base 1/8 inch above center pop-up; repeat to punch a hole through center of backdrop 1/8 inch above bottom edge.
16. Knot end of a 12-inch length of floss. Insert through hole in base, from front to back, and then through hole in backdrop. Align holes and pull base and backdrop flush.
17. Wrap floss around bottom edge of backdrop and guide floss through single hole on platform and then through center holes on front of platform creating a loop. Secure loop on bottom of platform with tape. The loop allows the recipient to lift up the platform to reveal a gift card.
18. Cut a 4 1/2 x 1-inch piece of white cardstock. Stamp sentiment with red ink. Score each end at 1/8 and 1/2 inch. Fold along score lines and slide over platform.
19. Insert platform into box. Remove liners from backdrop’s foam squares. Align bottom edge with lid liner; adhere.
20. Adhere die-cut elements to pop-ups.
21. For box lid, stamp sentiment on tag with red ink and adhere. Embellish with mistletoe sprigs, twine bow, knotted ribbon and pearls.
October 16, 2017
Hello, Gaylynn here, with my tip for the day. A question that I get most often in card making is: What kind of ink do you stamp with when you want to color in watercolor? This post will focus on a few products that I have on hand, which work perfectly for me when stamping and then adding watercolor.
First, a good thick watercolor paper is necessary. I like to use Ranger’s watercolor paper or Canson’s cold-press watercolor paper. The Ranger paper is a crisp white color and the Canson paper is more of a cream color. Each has a texture side and a smooth side.
Here are four completed tags, each made with black outline stamping.
Water reacts with water. So, if I want a permanent stamped image to watercolor, I do not use water-based ink for stamping. Instead, I use a permanent ink, a solvent ink or I heat-emboss it before watercoloring.
There are many inks to choose from. I am focusing on my favorite ways to stamp prior to watercoloring.
Ranger Archival Ink in jet black: This is my go-to ink for stamping when I want to use watercolor. It is an ink that is permanent. Once dry, it does not bleed when water or watercolor is applied. Archival ink comes in different colors and there is a re-inker bottle available for most colors.
StāzOn ink: StāzOn ink is a solvent ink, made for multiple surfaces. I have found that it will hold up to watercolor nicely. It does take longer to dry before watercolor can be applied.
Ink for heat embossing: Another way to get a permanent stamped image before watercoloring is to first apply powder to the watercolor paper. Then stamp with VersaMark (watermark) ink or embossing ink. Apply your favorite embossing powder and then heat-set it with a heat tool. This leaves the image ready to watercolor.
Here are the completed tags with the ink used for the image and the sentiment. The watercolor was added using a Ranger Distress marker in seedless preserves along with a water brush. Watercolor will never be the same twice, so the difference in the color is just the variation that watercolor offers. The stamped ink did not bleed in any of these examples.
From left to right:
- Sample was stamped with Clearsnap black ink and then heat-embossed with clear embossing powder.
- Sample was stamped with StāzOn jet black ink.
- Sample was stamped with VersaMark ink and then heat-embossed with black embossing powder.
- Sample was stamped with Ranger Archival ink in jet black.
These are products in my stash that work well for me. I would love to hear your thoughts and any other tips on inks for use when watercoloring.
Have a great day,
Supplies: Watercolor paper, Archival jet black ink pad, Distress seedless preserves marker and clear and black embossing powder from Ranger Industries Inc.; Boo-lieve stamp from Unity Stamp Co.; ColorBox black ink pad from Clearsnap; StāzOn jet black and VersaMark watermark ink pads from Imagine; Tag Builder Blueprints 2 dies from My Favorite Things.
October 12, 2017
Hello everyone, it’s Catherine Scanlon and I’m super excited to back again for a guest spot here on the CardMaker blog. Today I want to share a fun coloring sheet that I think you’re going to like.
This is a piece of 12 x 12-inch watercolor paper from ADORNit with some of my floral illustrations printed on it. It’s really sturdy so you can use watercolor paints, colored pencils and other media to color the designs.
There are six different sheets; each sheet has a different theme that you can cut apart and color however you want. This is the Choose Happiness sheet, and I just love the larger image on this one.
For this design, I used a combination of watercolor inks, colored pencils and various types of markers to color the design. When I’m tackling a complicated image like this, I try to work from color to color so that I create a nice, balanced design that doesn’t have colors that clash with each other.
I started with the roses and painted them a pretty magenta and then moved over to the yellow flowers. To get the nice two-tone look, I painted the first layer of the flower with a solid yellow and let that dry almost completely. Then I used a watered-down orange, the same color I used on the lily on the right, to add some details to the petals. I also painted the center of these flowers orange. Once I had painted the lily, I let the entire design dry. While the leaves were drying, I picked up a marker and added some details to the flowers and doodled with a gold pen around the borders. To finish, I used a blue colored pencil to color in the background.
This is a fun way to create a variety of projects from one sheet. This particular design has two 4 x 6-inch designs, one 8 x 10-inch design and four pretty flowers that could be a bookmark or cut out and used with a foam dot on another card. All six of these 12 x 12-inch ArtPlay Paintable designs will be available from ADORNit in a few weeks. I hope you’ll check out all the designs and share your work with me on Instagram.
THANKS so much for joining me today, happy fall!
You can also find me here:
October 11, 2017
We are so excited about this year’s giveaway featured in the winter issue of CardMaker
—it’s filled with lots of goodies and has a total value of over $1,300! One of those goodies is two stamp and die sets from our friends at Lil’ Inker Designs
, including this Moody Santa stamp set! The giveaway is open to legal residents of the United States and Canada who are at least 18 years of age or the age of majority in their state or province of residence (excluding the province of Quebec). Deadline to enter for a chance to win is Jan. 15th, 2018. Click here
to enter and for official rules.
October 10, 2017
Get ready for Halloween with this spooktacular card! Designer Lois Bak
created this clever dimensional project for our autumn issue and it’s the theme for this week’s Card Challenge Corner. Create a card showcasing a dimensional Halloween element such as a haunted house, ghosts, bats, etc. Remember you’re always welcome to share photos of your project on our Facebook page
. We love seeing what you create!
Click here to order our autumn issue!
October 9, 2017
Hello everyone! It is Teresa today sharing a super easy and practical step-by-step technique.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I see something and think “How can I create that without spending any extra money?” I think we all can agree buying our supplies is half the fun. When I saw all the awesome grunge stamps and splatter stamps, I did think I could do this without buying anything else. So, I came up with what I call “grunge inking.”
Here is what you will need to get started: ink, cardstock and a paper towel.
To start, insert a finger or two into the end of a paper towel. Rub the end of the paper towel into an ink pad and then swipe the color onto a piece of cardstock for a smeared grunge look.
You can continue to swipe as much as you want for the look you want. I also have used an ink blending tool at the end of the paper towel to create blobs of ink. You can reach for just about anything to put into the paper towel to create all sorts of different looks.
Here is a super-fun clean and simple card I created using the grunge inking technique.
I encourage you to try this technique and see what you can create with things you already have on hand. I also would love for you to visit and follow me on my blog Paperie Blooms or IG at 2klines.
October 6, 2017
Designer Robin Arnold
Hi everyone! Thank you for stopping by! Today we are featuring an interview with a talented designer that was featured in the autumn 2017 issue of CardMaker, Robin Arnold. Let’s get to know a little about Robin and what inspires her in the beautiful works of art she creates as well as a peek into her favorite techniques.
Robin, thank you for taking time to let us get to know more about you today! We appreciate your time. We love your “Nuts About You” project in the autumn edition of the magazine.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I’m married with four grown children (Alia, Joshua, Keia and Micah) and two grandchildren (Eliza, 2 and Jane, 2 months)
What do you do when you are not paper crafting?
Read and go for walks.
How long have you been paper crafting?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t doing some type of crafting. I remember making many things from paper with my great grandmother when I was young.
Tell us how you got started in paper crafting.
My great grandma was an avid crafter and she would always have fun projects when I came to visit.
What is your favorite technique in paper crafting?
Parchment craft is my all-time favorite and I try to do a little every day.
What is the one paper-crafting tool that you cannot do without?
It would be a tie between my cutter, die-cut machine and Scor-Pal board. They make things so much easier and more professional looking.
Despite the advances in technology, what technique do you still perform today without the assistance of a machine or computer and choose to do manually?
I would say that would be embossing, piercing, and cutting parchment paper.
Where does your creative inspiration come from?
Mostly from my family. I design all my cards with them in mind and send each of my kids/grandkids a card every week so they know I’m thinking about them.
In the autumn issue of CardMaker, you created a project that is “A Card & More.” Tell us what inspired you to create this project for the magazine?
I enjoy making creative containers to coordinate with cards. It adds a nice touch to simple gifts.
Where did you learn to do this technique?
A friend gave me a gift in a similar box and I re-created it to match the card. It’s just simple cutting and scoring.
What advice can you give our readers about learning new techniques in paper crafting?
I demo at several papercrafting conventions in the Midwest every year and I learn new techniques while experimenting with new products. Just keep your eyes open! I see items at stores, bakeries, and coffee shops that I can re-create to make a special gift. I also look online and in CardMaker magazine to see what other crafters are doing.
Thank you, Robin, for taking time to spend with us today to get to know more about you and as well as provide all of us with your advice on card-making techniques! We all look forward to seeing more of your beautiful projects in CardMaker!
If you’d like instructions on creating Robin’s project from the autumn issue of CardMaker (page 12), you can purchase a copy by clicking here.
Watch out for some great things coming up for October including Facebook Live interviews with Therm O Web, CardMaker designer Kimber McGray, a special Facebook Live interview with Glue Dots as well as Facebook Live demos and interviews with company design team members and many projects with products featured by our incredible advertisers. It’s going to be a spooktacular month!
Thanks for stopping by!
CardMaker Contributor & Social Media Coordinator
October 5, 2017
Hello! It’s Lisa from Lisa’s Creative Niche and I am so happy to be back as a guest designer today, and I am so thankful to Tanya and Brooke for having me! Today I wanted to share a few tips as well as a card using sparkle pens for watercoloring.
Sparkle pens are perfect for watercoloring because you are able to squeeze some of the color onto a mat and use a paintbrush and water to pick it up. As an added bonus, everything sparkles!
For this card, I started by stamping and heat-embossing images onto watercolor cardstock with white embossing powder.
I then scribbled colors from sparkle pens onto a craft mat and used a paintbrush and water to pick up the colors to add to my embossed images. When adding color to embossed images, I like to lay down plain water with my brush first and then go in with a touch of color. This creates natural shading as the water dries. This is the process I used for this entire design. To finish, I added a few splashes of blue before adding a vellum sentiment.
I chose not to add any other embellishments as I felt the sparkle from the pens was enough on its own.
Here are a couple of tips I learned along the way:
- A little color from these pens goes a long way. I put more color on my craft mat than was needed, so I suggest using a little and adding as you go.
- You can choose to move the colors around with a clear sparkle pen after it has dried. This gives extra shine. Remember to wipe off the brush before changing colors as it will pick up each color.
Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope I’ve inspired you to use sparkle pens as a focal point and not just as an additive.
Supplies: Ultra smooth cardstock, watercolor cardstock, Spectrum Noir Summer Time sparkle pens and Colorista Aqua Toppers and Vellum Set from Crafter’s Companion; embossing powder and VersaMark watermark ink pad from Imagine.
October 4, 2017
Hello, friends! Savannah O’Gwynn here today sharing my brand NEW studio! I’m so excited that everything is out of boxes from our move in July! I had planned on taking a month to get settled, but that didn’t happen due to painting, Hurricane Irma, and delays in the cabinets being installed. But let me tell you—it was WORTH THE WAIT!
I am very blessed to have a studio or room to craft in. My old studio was eclectic and full of color, shelves, containers, collections of dolls and cards from family and friends. You can find a video tour of that studio by clicking HERE. My new studio is a tad different. I went with a light nature blue instead of yellow paint. I have cabinets that close everything off from the public eye; this makes it easier to hide messes! LOL! My new studio is a bit bigger too.
What I’m most excited about are my cabinets. We purchased them from a company that removes old cabinets and installs new ones. We bought about 20 cabinets; it was the full set! The best part about them is that the bottom ones have pull-out drawers!
Inside my closet, I have three wire shelves where I store plastic tubs full of ribbons, eyelets, tape, twine, gems, brads, stickers, journaling cards and more.
Under the wire shelves, I have wooden cabinets and IKEA racks to hold 12 x 12-inch papers, stamps, dies and washi tape.
I have three desk areas in my new studio. The first one is where I will do all of my computer work. I have two upper cabinets that hold notebooks and random items that I really didn’t know where to put! The bottom left cabinet has four drawers with lots of notebooks, calendars, pens, tapes and paper. The bottom right cabinet has my printer and Silhouette Cameo.
My second desk area is on the other wall and this is where I will do my crafting and videos. I have four upper cabinets that hold various items, such as card envelopes, Whisker Graphics bitty bags (I’m obsessed with these), Imagine inks (another obsession of mine), extra cutting boards/trimmers and boxes or containers.
The bottom left cabinet holds my most used inks. I also have pull-out drawers that hold my cardmaking supplies like adhesive tapes, envelopes and card bases, and glossy accents.
The bottom cabinets next to my desk area hold a pull-out trash can (so fun!) and extra Bible journaling supplies. In the drawers are my most used supplies like scissors, acrylic blocks, tapes, etc. The bottom right cabinet holds MORE inks and sprays, as well as paints.
The last desk area is for my sewing machines. I love to create little book covers, keychains, and blankets for babies. I have two sewing machines. One is for fabric and the little one is for sewing on cards. Note: Be sure to check out my post with tips and tricks for sewing on cards HERE.
Next to that desk is a large standing cabinet that holds all of my 6 x 6-inch paper pads and 8 x 11-inch cardstock sheets. I am obsessed with paper! I have organized them in IKEA bins with plastic dividers.
Finally, there is a rolling table in the center of my room for cutting fabric or for friends who want to stop by and craft with me. This table was used in my classroom. I taught my students how to sew and cross-stitch after school. It is cool because it has two sides that fold up or down to make the table larger or smaller. In this photo only one side is up.
I know I’ve shared a lot of photos today! Actually, I am not even done decorating my studio. I have two desks chairs arriving later today, I would like to install a shelf above my computer, and Trav is ordering under-cabinet lighting! It’s a work in progress.
I hope you have enjoyed the tour of my studio! I almost forgot—my studio has always been called SAVANNAHLAND. That’s because I live in my own little world. 🙂 That is where my blog name comes from. I get to share my little world with friends through the internet.
If you are ever in Florida, let me know! I’d love for you to visit and craft with me in my studio! There’s plenty of room.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Be blessed!
October 3, 2017
Designer Kristie Hartfeil used the same stamp and die set to create all three of these fun cards for our autumn issue! Experiment this week and see how versatile your favorite stamp set is by using the same images to create two or three different cards. We love seeing your creativity so share a photo of your project on our Facebook page.