Category: Tutorials

How to Resize Clip Art to fit an ATC (Artist Trading Card)

I love making little Artist Trading Cards, but often I want to use clip art or collage images that are too big to fit on them.  Here is a simple guide to how to resize your digital clip art to fit your ATCs – or indeed any project you are making.

I am using Photoshop but you could do this in any graphics program that allows layers, such as GIMP (free!) , Adobe Photoshop Elements, CorelDraw, Serif PhotoPlus (free version available), Adobe Illustrator etc.  Your software may look a little different to my screen shots, but the principles are just the same.

First I create a new document that is the size of my finished project.  So in this case I create a blank document that is 3.5 inches tall and 2.5 inches wide.  This is the standard size for an ATC (if you don’t know what ATCs are, see my article Introduction to Trading Cards).   I set my new document to 200dpi as this will print nicely.TTArtistTrading-Card

I have saved my ATC sized document so I can easily use it again in the future.

Now for the clip art.  I want to use the cute little Frankie character from the Tin Teddy Frankie & Ezzie Clip Art set.  I am going to make ATCs using the four standing images of him.  There will be a tutorial for the ATC construction next week.

I opened the four images into Photoshop.  I have all four open at once.TTFrankieClipArt

Then I dragged three of the images on to the fourth one.  Frankie 2 is the widest, so I dragged the others on top of him.   In Photoshop, and many other graphics programs, if you hold the shift key whilst you drag an image into another, it will end up perfectly centered in the new document.

Here is my pile of Frankies.pileofFrankies

 

To make the next step as easy as possible, I resize the pile of images in two stages.

I opened the resize option.  The resolution of these images is 200dpi, the same as my ATC document, so no change needed there.  If it were different, then I would change this to match before doing anything else.TTFirstFrankieSize

Now I change the dimensions to use inches, and set one of them so it will fit on the ATC.  So my original Frankie images are 9.624 inches high and 5.554 inches across – far too big to fit on an ATC.

I will change the height to 3.5 inches.  The width automatically adjusts to match.  If your images are wider than they are long, change the width to fit. This is not the final re-sizing, it is just a short cut for later.  Make sure that “Constrain proportions” is ticked before you resize, or else you will end up with a very strange shaped Frankie!TTFrankieResize

Next I clicked on the bottom Frankie layer, then held the shift key and clicked on the top Frankie layer – so all the Frankies were selected.

And I dragged them all into the blank ATC document that I made at the start.

Whilst they fit on the card (just) they are a bit too big for what I want.  I will be adding other things to the ATC so do not want Frankie to cover so much area.TTFrankiesInATC

Make sure that you still have all four Frankies selected, then hold the shift key and carefully resize the Frankies until they are the size you will actually want them to be on the ATC.TTResizedFrankies

Finally.. open a new document the same size as the paper you will be printing your Frankies on.  I sometimes use 6″ x 4″ photo paper for when I only have a few things to print. But here I am going to use a sheet of A4 sized paper (A4 is very close to Letter size).  Make sure the resolution is set to the same dpi as you have used for the ATC document and the clip art – in this case, 200dpi.TTFrankiesOriginal

Drag the pile of freshly resized Frankies into the new A4 document.TTFrankiesinPage

Now just move the individual Frankies around so they all fit on your page.  The picture below show just the upper part of the page (because the rest is just boring white).TTPrintableFrankies

Add anything else you wish to print at the same time…. and hit print!

Handy hint  I ALWAYS save my reduced pile of Frankies, and the finished document before I print it. Just in case.  Or you may want them again another day and this saves having to reduce them all over again.

This technique takes a lot longer to explain here than it does to actually do it!  And once you have done it once, the next time will be much faster.

There are other ways to reduce clip art to fit a specific project, but I usually use this technique as it is very easy to see exactly what I will get.

If you have been following along with this tutorial, cut out your Frankies with sharp scissors and put them to one side until Friday 16th October – when I will posting the tutorial to turn them into cute little Artist Trading Cards.

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Halloween Tags Video Tutorial – Quick and Simple

I have been playing with the new Tin Teddy Halloween 1″ Squares digital collage sheet and thought it would be fun to video something to share with you guys.

Here is a quick and simple tutorial on how to make cute little Halloween tags for your Trick or Treat bags and other spooky projects.

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Orange card
Black card or paper
Small rectangular dies (optional)
Corner rounder punch (optional)
Tin Teddy 1″ Hallloween Squares Digital Collage Sheet
Tape roller, PVA or Tacky glue
Ranger Distress Ink – Brushed Corduroy
Hole punch
Green paper ribbon (or fabric ribbon, twine etc)
Sticky foam pads or tape
Black Sharpie pen
Happy Halloween printable

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Here is a link to download the Happy Halloween printable mentioned in the video.

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5 Amazing Copic Colouring Video Tutorials

Here are five of the best colouring tutorials I have found.

Although they are all by artists who use the popular Copic brand of alcohol markers, you could use the techniques with other brands such as Spectrum Noir, Promarkers etc.

 

White Outline Copic Colouring – Jenifer McGuire

Jennifer has lots of amazing videos on her YouTube channel and this is one of my favourites.  Give a whole new look to your colouring.

How to Color Moonlight – Sandy Allnock

Sandy is one of the best colorists around.  In this fantastic tutorial she shows how to color a lovely moonlight scene.

 

 

Copic Hair Tutorial – Baylee Jae

I love watching Baylee color – and draw, she is an amazing artist.  Here she shows you how she gets her wonderfully realistic hair effects.

How to Color White with Copic Markers – Sandy Allnock

Yes, Sandy again.  This time she shows us how to color white things.. which can be quite tricky to pull off.  Luckily she explains clearly and gives alternative ways to get great effects.

 

 

Copic Coloring | Furry Animals – Nichol Magouirk

Nichol is another fantastic colorist who has many useful, and fun videos on her YouTube tutorial.  I particularly like this one where she explains her technique for giving your animal images a really fluffy, furry look.

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Eyes Artist Trading Cards Tutorial – Easy to make ATCs

I do enjoy making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs).  They don’t take very long to make and use very little supplies.  They are also very cute, easy to store and of course fun to trade.  What’s not to like?

Today I made some simple mixed media cards featuring the new Tin Teddy “The Eyes Have It” 1.5″ squares digital collage sheet.  This set also comes with the same images in 1″ squares, which will also be ideal for future ATC projects.

I cut out three 3.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles of high denity, white card.  This is the standard size for an Artist Trading Card.

For each card I took three similar colours of Distress Ink.  I started with the lightest colour and applied it around the card with a finger dauber.  This left a lot of circular marks and was not at all even, but that was the effect I wanted.TTEyesInking

Then I added the middle colour, again blobbing it about randomly.  Finally I used the darkest shade, taking a bit more time to blend it in and concentrating on the edges of the cards.  I did these for each card, one with pinks and red, one with yellow and greens and the final one with three shades of blue.  Here you see the green card after I had finished, with the inks that I used.

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Then I gave each card a quick spritz of water from a small misting bottle.  The water pushes the Distress Ink around and once it is dry you get this very cool speckly effect, love it.

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Next I used an embossing folder (Lines by Darice) and my Sizzix Big Shot to emboss each card.  I chose an abstract sort of pattern for this as I didn’t want something too detailed for the background.

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I used my trusty Inscribe Pastels  and rubbed them sideways against the embossed cards to add a bit of grungy colour.

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For each card I used pastels in the colours of the other two cards. So for the red card, I used gold and blue pastels, for example.  I smudged them about with my finger tip.  Being messy is fun 🙂

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Next I used the 35mm Slide die from PaperArtsy to cut out three faux slide frames from white card.  I could have used real slides,  but had just got this set and wanted to try it.  I stamped the frames with  the matching PaperArtsy rubber stamps (they come with the die).   I applied Tea Dye Distress Ink all over the frames then added blobs of Brushed Corduroy and Pumice Stone.  I ran the side of a Black Soot Distress Marker around the edges (inside and out).

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I used my little Hampton Art alphabet stamps to stamp the word “eyes” onto three scraps of white card with black StayzOn ink, then wrote the words “right”, “left” and “forward” beneath them with a waterproof black marker.  I really should have thought of something a bit more profound to say on these cards.

I coloured each with two shades of Distress Markers, he lighter shade at the top.

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Then I used coloured the rest of the tag with the Old Paper Distress Marker.  I took Bundled Sage and coloured some patches on the tag, a bit like camouflage.  Then I went around the edge of the tag with the Tea Dye marker.  I ran the Black Soot marker around the edges as I had for the frames.

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I cut out three images from the Tin Teddy “The Eyes Have It” 1.5″ squares digital collage sheet and glued them behind each of the frames.  I added the frames to the cards with a tape roller. I added white dots around the inside of the frame with a Uniball Signo white gel pen.  I added the “eyes” tag with a sticky foam pad.  I scribbled around the edges of the card with the Black Soot Distress Marker to make a frame.  Finally I glued three black seed beads on to each card with a little Collall tacky glue.

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For more information about Artist Trading Cards, see my article:
Introduction to ATCs – What are Artist Trading Cards?

Click here for more Artist Trading Card tutorials.TTEyesHaveIt

TTEyesHaveItAdvert

Steampunk Shaker Card Tutorial

I was very keen to use my new Presscut stacking rectangle dies and have seen a lot of shaker cards being made lately, so decided this was just the project to test out the dies… and add a bit of a twist to the format at the same time.

I choose the largest and largest-but-one of the rectangle dies to make a frame for the card.  I wanted to cut three pieces out with these dies, and it was essential that they were all identical.  I don’t have a magnetic platform for my Big Shot, but made my own using a thin magnetic shim and a couple of pieces of cardboard to make it thick enough. TTDiesOnMagnet

I cut out a piece of blue card for the front of the frame, and two pieces of grey funky foam as spacers.  I chose to use funky foam rather than the usual foam tape as it would not need to be coloured (I did not want white), and would also give a sturdy base for such a large frame.   TTCutOutFramesI glued the two frames together with tacky glue, being careful to ensure they were properly aligned before leaving them to dry.  I also tried to make sure the glue was spread right up to the inside edge of the frames so that the seal between them was very good.  This was to try to stop any of the shaker card filler things getting stuck in there.  Then I glued a piece of acetate on to the top of the frame.  Again I tried to make sure the glue seal was particularly thorough.  My acetate is slightly yellowed (I am recycling an old overhead projector sheet), I rather like the way this adds to the vintage feel.TTCutFoamSpacers

Then I added a little Old Paper Distress Ink around the edge of the blue frame before sticking it to the top of the acetate to make the main part of my shaker.  I gave the inside of the acetate a quick dust with a tumble-dryer sheet to remove any static before moving on.TTFrameFinished

Next I cut out a pile of cogs from bronze, gun metal and shiny silver papers.  I used the Xcut Chronology Cogs Dies for this.  When cutting the first lot I made a big mistake.  I laid out the dies on the piece of paper and didn’t bother to stick them down with washi tape (or use my new magnetic shim!).  I thought they would be fine.. but when I finished the cut I found that one die had jumped on top of another and had gotten bent!  Luckily it straightened out when I used it again, and is just fine now, but it reminded me that I should be a bit more careful when cutting multiple dies!TTCogs

I placed all the cogs into the frame and added some black, silver and clear sequins for a bit more bling.  I am never quite sure how much to put in a shaker card, hehe.TTSteampunkFilling

I used the biggest frame die to cut a piece of patterned paper for the background.  This paper, and the blue frame paper, are from the Madam Payraud paper pack by Docrafts.  I added a bit of Distress Ink to the corners and then glued this behind the frame to encase the contents.

I printed out one of the Tin Teddy Steampunk Ladies and Toppers onto photographic paper, cut her out and added her to the front of the window.  Nearly finished.TTStreampunkCardFilled

I stamped the words “Best Wishes” with Tuxedo Black Memento ink on to a scrap of white card and then “dirtied it” with Distress Ink.  I then added a simple banner with the same blue paper as the frame surround, again adding a little Distress Ink around the edges.  I affixed my banner to the bottom of the frame with a couple of sticky foam pads.TTBottomCloseUp

Then I used more of the die cut cogs to decorate the top two corners of the frame.TTTopCloseUp

Finally I glued the whole frame to an A5 sized card blank made of sturdy 300gsm Centura Pearl card.  I used my tape roller for this and put plenty of tape over the back of the shaker as I wanted to be sure it laid very flat on the card base, so that the cogs and sequins could move freely inside.TTSteamPunkShakerTTSteampunkLadiesAdvert

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1950s Style Paper Doll Folding Card – Tutorial

I am really loving playing with the new Tin Teddy Betsy McCall Paper Dolls set 2.  I have cut out all the dolls and clothes (and stored them safely in an envelope!) and now I am ready to have fun creating things with them…. and of course, I can always print some more when I use them up!

I wanted to make a greetings card that was a bit different from the usual and I rather wanted it to have an overall 1950s theme to match the dolls.

First I chose five different dolls and an outfit for each to wear – this stage was a lot of fun and I changed my mind a lot before deciding on who was wearing what.

I glued the dresses onto the dolls with Ranger Multi Medium Matte gel.TTBetsyFoldCard2

Next I cut an A4 sheet of Kraft card in half lengthways.

I took one piece and used my little score board to score lines at 2 inch increments along it. I made sure to crease the lines very firmly.

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I then folded the card concertina-style and trimmed off the short piece that was left on one end.  This is the basis for my card.  I used my bone-folder to ensure that all the creases were very sharp.

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Next I chose five different colours of card.  I am using 135gsm card but a wide range of thickness would work fine for this.  I picked out these lovely 50s style colours that remind me of ice cream.  As well as perfectly matching my theme, these colours are very in vogue right now too!

I die cut a rounded corner rectangle from each colour of card with my favourite Nellie Snellen 7 Rectangular dies set (MFD048) dies.  You could of course just cut a rectangle with a paper cutter or scissors and round the corners with a corner punch.  The rectangles measure 2 3/4 inch tall by 1 3/4 inches wide.

Then I ran each rectangle through my Sizzix Big Shot with a different embossing folder.  This gave an interesting background for the dolls that would not distract from them.

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I added a little Distress Ink around each rectangle, matching the ink colour to as close to the card colour as I could.  If you do not have the right colours of Distress Ink then you could do this stage with crafting chalks or use a watercolour pencil then wet it to soften the edge.

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I also added some Tea Dye Distress Ink around the edge and folds of the kraft card.  This is quite a subtle effect but I think it does make a nice difference.

I glued the rectangles on to the kraft card with a tape roller.

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Now to add the little girls!  I tried hard to ensure that each one went on a background that complimented her clothes so she stood out nicely.  I fixed them in place with Ranger Multi Medium Matte gel.

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I die cut the word “Congratulations” using one of the new Die’sire Essentials word dies from Crafter’s Companion.  I cut the word from a scrap of Centura Pearl 300gsm card, which has a slight sheen to it that you can not see in the pictures.  I used the Matte Medium to glue the word over the first two panels (I scored the bend in it first).

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Next I used the offcuts from diecutting the panels and stamped some tiny little shapes out of them.  The little stamps are from the Teeny Tiny Cassette Punch Set by Friskars.  I particularly like the little froggies.

I glued the punchies in place with the Matte Medium.

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Finally I added a simple grass border at the bottom.  I drew quick, short strokes with Distress Markers in Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint and Crushed Olive. I then added another row of grass on top using a bright green Stabilo Point 88 pen.

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Mixed Media ATCs with Tin Teddy Inchie Photo Faces – Tutorial

I thought I would make a set of little ATCs (artist trading cards) using the Tin Teddy Photo Faces 1″ Circles collage sheet.

I created these collage sheets so I had a supply of little faces for mixed media and collage projects.

I have got a new non-stick, heat proof craft mat, which is what I am working on here.

I picked three papers from the Kaisercraft “In the Attic”  6.5″ x 6.5″ paper pad.  I then cut a 3.5 x 2.5 inch rectangle from each page for the background.

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I cut three pretty faces from the Tin Teddy Photo Faces collage sheet (I used the one without the black borders).  I added a little extra blusher to the girls’ cheeks with coloured pencil.

Then I cut out three basic body shapes from the same paper pages.  I went for a very simple “long dome” for these cards.  I love trying different body shapes on my little mixed media people.

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Then I laid the faces on the paper and drew simple hair shapes with a pencil.  I cut them out and erased any pencil lines.  I enjoyed giving the girls some rather dramatic hair cuts.

I used a thin strip of pale pink paper and cut it into three for the necks.  Here I have laid the girls out so I can see how things are coming along – they are not glued at all yet.

TTInchieFaces3To add a bit more interest to the hair I stamped some small designs on the blonde and red hairdos.  I added small bits of the script stamp to areas of the backgrounds too.

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Next I took some Crawford & Black copper acrylic paint and brushed it around the edges of the backgrounds.  By the time I had done the third one, the first one was dry enough for a second coat!  Obviously you can’t see the lovely metallic shimmer on a screen, but in real life it looks very pretty. (please excuse this picture, I take bad pictures with my left hand!)

TTInchieFaces5I put a small blob of black watercolour paint on to my craft mat then mixed it with some Pigment Modelling Paste to make it a soft grey.  I used a punchinello (small circles) stencil and added the paste in random blocks to the backgrounds with a small palette knife.  I was then not so sure I liked this as much as I had thought I would… I will see if I can’t fix that later on.

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Then I glued the girls together and on to their backgrounds using Ranger Multi Medium Matte gel.  I then coated all over the card with the matte medium, this will give a sturdy, non-porous surface.  I left the cards to dry thoroughly.  I managed to get paint on one girl’s face, so swapped for another of the inchies.

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I stamped the word “dream” on to white paper with a set of small acrylic letter stamps.  I daubed some Word Paper Distress Ink over the words, then cut them out into a “wonky rectangle”.  I added some Peeled Paint Distress Ink around the edge of the word.  Then I glued the words to the cards.

I spotted the green ruler on the edge of one of the pieces of Kaisercraft paper, so cut it out and added a bit to each of the cards – covering the grey a bit and improving the over all look (I hope!).

TTInchieFaces9 Finally, when the card was dry, I added outlines and shadows using Faber Castell Big Brush Pitt Markers.  I added the ink marker to the edges of the bodies then quickly smudged them.  I used a similar technique to make the shadowing around the figures and words.  Then I used a Uniball Signo white gel pen to add a few highlights and some more outlines.TTInchieFaces10InchieFacesAdvert

 

Horse gift tags – easy to make craft project tutorial

It is handy to have a few gift tags stored away in case you need one at short notice.  They are also a lot of fun to make, require very small amounts of materials (ie great to use up scraps!), take little time and can be used on bigger projects such as cards too!

I am going to make a set of three matching tags using the new Tin Teddy Horse Ovals Collage Sheet.  Horses are a great subject for tags like these as they are suitable for such a wide range of recipients.

I printed out the page of  the Tin Teddy Horse Ovals with the black borders.  I printed them on to glossy photo paper which gives a very sharp image.  After cutting three of the horizontal ovals out, I ran a black Sharpie pen around the edge of each oval.  This makes the edge look neater and gives the impression that I cut it out perfectly!

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I cut out three tags from the Love Letters 6″x6″ premium paper pad by First Edition Paper.  They are sturdy 200gsm papers, so heavyweight card stock. I am using one of the double sided pages from this stack so that the back of the tag looks nice too.  I used my trusty Tiny Tabs and Tags die by Tim  Holtz.

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I rubbed Worn Lipstick Distress Ink around the edges of the tags.  I am very pleased with these little finger daubers, they are perfect for this job.

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I did this on both sides, again to give the back a nice appearance too.  This is where I will write the recipient’s name etc. when using the tags.

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I next cut out three ovals using the smallest size die from the Xcut Large Scalloped Ovals set of stacking dies.  This card is from the same Love Letters stack as above.  I particularly needed sturdy card for this part.

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And then I daubed the edges of the ovals with Mowed Lawn Distress Ink. This makes such a difference!  I do love using Distress Ink on my projects.

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Next I took some red sewing thread and wrapped it around each oval, in and out of the scallops around the edge.  I held the ends in place on the reverse with sticky tape.  Don’t pull too tightly on the thread so the oval still lays nice and flat.

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I stuck sticky  pads on to the reverse of the horse pictures and fixed them to the middle of the ovals.  Then I put more sticky  pads on the reverse of the ovals.  I added the ovals to the tags, keeping them to the left of the tag, partly to give me room around the hole, and partly because I felt that a bit of overhang looked more interesting.  The sticky pads give the tag a nice bit of dimension.

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I made some very simple bows using red paper ribbon.  I am using my peg weaving loom as a bow maker here.  If you do not have a bow maker (or similar!) then you could use a fork.  Wrap the ribbon around two prongs then wrap one tail under and over the middle of the bow.  Tie a knot and trim the tails to suit.

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I added more paper ribbon as the cord on the tag.  Then I poked the tails of the bow through the hole in the tag, and tucked them into the “knot” of the tag ribbon.  A couple of dots of glue ensure it will not fall off.

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And now my tags can go in a box, ready for when I have a gift that needs a nice tag.

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Tin Teddy Vintage Horse Ovals Collage Sheet

Tutorial – a simple thank you card, ideal to make and sell

These thank you cards are quick and simple to make, but look attractive.  They are ideal to make up a few to keep on standby, or as a set for a gift.  You could of course change the sentiment to make them into birthday or any other type of greetings cards.

You will need some digital or traditional stamps, stamping card, markers or pencils, stacking dies, coordinating scrapbook papers, heavy weight card, Distress Ink, sticky foam and a tape roller.  You could substitute many of those items for similar things in your stash.

First I printed out one of the collage pages from the Tin Teddy Victorian Fashion Stamp set onto Neenah white card.  The images on this page are about 2.5 inches high, which was perfect for cards.

I coloured three of the images with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers.   Because the images are vintage illustrations rather than stamped outlines they have some shading on them already.  This meant that colouring them was very quick and simple indeed.

I picked three of the dies from the Nellie Snellen 7 Rectangular dies set (MFD048).  I used the smaller of my chosen dies to cut out my coloured stamps.

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Then I chose 3 coordinating papers from the Dovecrafts Back to Basics IV 6″x6″ paper stack.

I used these papers to cut two more rectangles with the other two stacking dies.  I also chose stripy sheets for the backgrounds.  I stuck to a lilac and green theme to match the colours of the ladies’ dresses.

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Next I took Seedless Preserve and Peeled Paint Distress Ink as these were the closest matches I had to the purple and green in the papers etc.

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I used finger daubers to apply Distress Ink around the cut rectangles.  This gives a nice vintage look.  I do love Distress Ink!

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I cut A4 pieces of Centura Pearl 300gsm card in to two A5 pieces, then creased each piece in half on my Ultimate Crafters Companion to make the card bases.

Handy tip – to get a neater crease on thicker cardstock it helps to first crease the right side of the card, then the wrong side.   This extra initial crease stretches the cardstock’s coating so it makes a neater fold.

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I cut the stripy scrapbook paper into panels that were just a bit smaller than my card front.  I added the Distress Ink to the edges of these too.

Now to layer up the pieces and add them to the card front. I used sticky foam pads to glue on the image layer, so it had a bit of dimension, and a tape roller to glue the other layers together.

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Finally I cut out the word “thanks” from off cuts of Centura Pearl using my Silhouette Portrait.  I coloured these with the same Distress Inks.  The shimmer on the Centura Pearl shows through the ink and looks very nice.  I added the sentiments to the bottom of the cards.

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These cards were quick and economical to make.  They would work very well as a small set in a box or packet to give as a gift.  I find that making multiples of a card often takes little more time than making a single example, so it can definitely be worth making a few whilst you have your supplies out.  And it is always worth having extra Thank You cards on hand!ThanksCardFinishedThanksCardSides   ThanksCardCloseUp

Artist Trading Cards – Two Little Birds using mixed media

These two little Artist Trading Cards were quick to make, and a lot of fun.

The cards are 300gsm NOT watercolour paper.  I cut it to the right size for ATCs – always 3.5 x 2.5 inches.

The birds are from the “Love Birds” stamp set from Woodware.  I stamped them with StazOn Jet Black ink.

I strengthened some of the stamped line with a fine Zig Millennium pen.

Next I coloured the birds and the backgrounds using a mixture of Derwent Academy watercolour pencils and Derwent Inktense pencils.  The Acadamy pencils are lovely for light washes and flow very  nicely when water is added from a waterbrush.  The Inktense pencils are (as the name suggest) much more intense and great for building up a bit more colour where needed.

Then I added assorted Zentangle-style doodles on some of the open spaces of the birds using various colours of Stabilo 88 point fineliners.  I also added some details with various Sakura Gelly Roll, Souffle and Glaze pens.  You can not see in the scans but in real life the images glimmer and have metallic accents.TTATCBirds