Designer’s Corner: Stepping It Up!


Hello! Mary Kay asked me (Emily) to host the blog this Tuesday and I thought I’d give a few hints on stepping up your paper crafting. Simple Scrapbooks used to have a column on this same topic and I loved reviewing the differences in the two layouts. It doesn’t take much time and it’s not always necessary, but if you’re looking at your layout or card and thinking it needs SOMETHING then this entry is for you. My original example using the new Scenic Route Providence papers is really cute and simple. It took me less than 10 minutes to create. I cut an inch and a half strip of Franklin Street. I used half for the striped piece and with the other half, I punched half inch circles around the little sunburst shapes on the back side (or B side) of the paper. I also punched a 1 1/2 inch circle of the white and added the Happy Valley orange letter stickers on it. I adhered everything and called it good.

Then I decided to try to step it up. Here are the tools I used to do this:

Here’s what I did to step it up:

1. Inking all the edges of the punched out and cut strips of paper.

I love the look of inked edges. Usually I use black Staz On because it drys VERY fast and I don’t have to worry about smudges on my photos. But for this project I wanted a lighter look so I used the cat’s eye inkpad by Colorbox. The chalk gives a nice soft look and dries fairly fast. I just brushed the edges of the pieces of paper over the ink pad to get a little bit of green.

2. Adding brads

You can rarely go wrong adding these little gems to anything. I used my needle and poked a hole in the middle of each of my sunburst circles. Add the brad and voila, you’ve added a nice little bit of dimension. I have the American Crafts brads in almost every color and I do not regret it.

3. Stitching

I like to hand and machine stitch on my layouts. It adds nice texture to the papercraft. I will always poke holes before I start stitching; it makes it much easier to get the embroidery floss through and have it look nice and neat. Trust me on this– I’ve tried it the other way because I wanted to save time. It doesn’t. I always poke from the outside in. I used the entire 6 strands of floss for this project, but I also frequently use 3 to get a finer look. Look for large eye needles. Very important.

Here’s a close up of the details I’ve added. Oh, and I pop-dotted the word “hi” to add a little bit more dimension as well.

And here is the final card. It took me about 20 minutes to make this card, so it was definitely more work, but I think it’s worth it. You can do this to any layout or card that you think needs just a little bit more. Good luck!


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