Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Card Making Basics - Choosing Image, Paper, Color and Embellishments

Hello! It's Wednesday and so it's time for a new Technique and Tutorial post. 

Deb with you today to share a Valentine and continue the Basic Card Making tutorial introduced last week by my T&T partner, Joann. Last week in Part 1, Joann outlined how to make a basic card. If you are new to card making, you might wonder what to do next. Here in Part 2 of Basic Card Making, I'll share some ideas on how to proceed with choosing your image, paper, color and embellishments. There are no hard and fast rules about how to proceed with your choices and beauty is, after all, in the eye of beholder. So choose what is pleasing to you and just have fun.

Consider Purpose and Person
The first step is to think about why you are creating a card and, especially, the preferences of the person who will be receiving your card. What colors do they like? Do they seem to favour a victorian kind of style or are they more contemporary? Are they more likely to appreciate hearts and flowers, or would they get a kick out of a humorous card? Today, I want to create a Valentine and, as it's for this blog and not any one person, any style would be appropriate. I fell in love with Eureka's Digi 1001 Heart Flowers in a Frame and Digi1101 Be My Valentine.

Prepare Image
Now you want to stamp or print your image. There are so many different products and methods that take stamping to a true art, but today - since we are thinking about a basic card - let's stamp or print in basic black. As our tutorials roll out, you will see many, many different ways to stamp and color an image.

You want to stamp or print on papers that work well with the coloring medium you prefer. Or you could choose to place your image on colored paper and not do any additional coloring at all. This particular image would look spectacular done with VersaMark and Heat Embossing Powders on a colored paper.

I love, love, love my Copics markers and wanted to use them with these beautiful Valentine images, so I printed my image on X-Press It Blending card. One of the advantages to working with digi images is that you can size them to fit your project, so I have chosen to size my focal image to 5 x 6 inches which will take up most of the space on my card base which is 5 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches.

Choose Designer Paper
Generally, card makers will choose some kind of beautiful paper (I'll refer to this as Designer Paper or DP) to layer between their card base and their focal image. Again, think of your recipient and choose a DP that might be pleasing to them.

Also keep in mind the style of your focal image. Working with such a large and intricate image, I wanted to pick a DP that would compliment and not compete with my image.

Select a designer paper that will work with the colors you had in mind for your focal image. I knew I wanted to color my image with pink, purple and red, so I needed a DP to look good with those colors. I narrowed my choices down to a glitter paper and a pearalized paper, both in solid colors.

Color and Trim the Image
Now that you have your DP chosen, it's safe to go ahead and color your image. You could color your image and then try to pick a paper, but it might be harder to get a good match that way and you may end up having to color a second image. Next, trim away any excess paper around your image and adhere it onto your DP. After placing the colored image on both DP I was considering, I went with the red sparkle.

Consider Embellishments
The final touch to a beautiful project is that one bit of embellishment which takes your card from good to great. The choices for embellishments are absolutely unlimited and include ribbon, flowers, glitter, brads, pearls, crystals, chipboard, stickers and on and on. Sometimes it takes a while to decide what that final touch should be. I'm from the "less is more" school, especially with such a detailed image - but that's just me. Lay out some of the items you have in your stash, and choose what looks good to you. If you're not sure, walk away, have a coffee and come back later. In the following photos, you can see some of the options I considered.


You can see better in some photos that I added dots of liquid pearls and glitter to the image itself, along with ribbon and three brads at the top of the card. You can also see in the photo below that I didn't need fancy Copic techniques here - just a layer of color that you could do with any type of marker or crayon.

Inside the Card
The inside of a card provides another great place to personalize your project. I try to choose an image or sentiment that matches the style of my card front, and I try to use some of the same materials.

I'd love to receive your comments or questions on our tutorials. Let me know what you think or what you'd like to see! Don't forget you are always welcome at my personal blog Paper Crazy Lady.


  1. What a great idea, has given me some inspiration, I don't often stamp, as it never works out right xx

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