Monday, September 21, 2009

More One-Panel Notecards and a Tutorial--Edited

Here are three more notecards from my Saturday blitz. As you can see, I started grabbing random images from my stamp drawers to see what would happen. Mostly, they worked.

Here's a hummingbird stamp my aunt gave me. It's from Rubber Stampede. I can't remember ever using it before, yet it worked perfectly here. I colored it with Bic Mark-Its, except for the grey, which is a Marvey marker.

These cherries come from Hero Arts. I had the red and green Mark-Its sitting out from coloring the hummingbird, so I used them for this.

This feather is one of the first stamps I ever bought at Hobby Lobby in 2002 (also Rubber Stampede). I used a stamp positioner to get it just right on the edge of the notecard.

Oddly, I made the boxes on all the above cards the hard way, using the clear L-shaped ruler shown below. This works, but the corners sometimes don't align perfectly, and the AR/OCD part of me is quite bothered when this happens. When doing anything this CAS, every little mistake is so painfully obvious. Soooooo, I put on my thinking cap for an easier way. I found it.

About a year ago, I cut a template from PTI's heavy kraft cardstock. It makes a half-inch border around a standard 5.5x4.25 card front. (To cut this, I used a quilting ruler and craft knife, very carefully, LOL!) I used the template once to emboss, didn't like the results, hung it on my tack board thinking I'd use it as a mask for stippling backgrounds, and forgot about it. After seeing someone using a Nestie for a template to draw a box, I thought my cheapo cardstock template might come in handy after all. So here's a tutorial for drawing perfect boxes.

Drawing a Box Tutorial

Note: Steps 1-5 are only needed if you're adding a sentiment. If you are not using a sentiment, you can just stamp your image wherever you want and skip all the way to step 6.

1. Start by putting temporary adhesive on the back of your template. Then place the template on your notecard. If you use a more rigid template (like a nestie or really heavy stencil), you might not need the adhesive, but even heavy PTI cardstock will shift in the middle with the pressure of a pen, giving you a crooked line.

2. Draw a pencil line extending beyond where you want to stamp. No need to go all the way around. You just need a guide for where you're stamping the sentiment. Remove the template and set it aside for later.

3. Check to make sure your lines are long enough, and then stamp your image.

4. To add a sentiment, use either clear stamps or a stamp positioner to get exact placement on the line. Any crookedness will be instantly noticeable. My positioner is an old PSX one that has served me very well.

5. Once the ink is TOTALLY DRY, erase your pencil line. I prefer white erasers as they don't leave marks. These clickable ones are inexpensive and easy to use.

6. Replace the template over the stamped images and press it firmly so the temporary adhesive grabs well. Draw your lines. To get the cleanest lines, pull the pen toward you from one corner to the next in a smooth action using even pressure. I lift the pen off the paper at each corner and rotate the whole panel to keep the pen moving toward me. Pushing the pen can make it spit ink. Watch carefully as you approach the stamped images so you don't get too close and make the image look crowded.

7. Remove the template. A white eraser works great for removing any residue of the adhesive left on your paper.

You're DONE!

Obviously, putting a little time into cutting a few standard templates would be well worth the effort, especially if you don't have nesties or appropriate stencils. You can even use large punches, the Fiskars or Creative Memories shape cutters, coluzzles, whatever. This could work with so many products it's making me dizzy just thinking about it!

I wish I could remember who used an oval nestie and curved a clear sentiment to do was gorgeous. If you know, please share the link with the rest of us.

Edited to add: It was Shelley's Stamping Ground where I saw the oval card with the curved sentiment. It's gorgeous and so inspirational!


  1. Great tutorial and info. Beautiful card. I have that stamp set sitting on my craft table right now- but I'm using one of the other images. I will be trying this.

  2. Hey Susan!
    You did a wonderful job on your tutorial! LOVE your card! You rock!

  3. Hello
    this is a lovely simple card and I can see tons of my images getting used now!!! Thinking also how to get the lines perfect...I have plastic templates that I got years ago at ?? possibly Rag Shop that were for scrapbooking. They have a variety of shapes on each 8 1/2 x 11 sheet. Have to dig them up. Also there are square templates from 2" on up to cut out fabric for quilts that may be useful

  4. Love it! The single-panel cards are also great for when you don't really have tons to say but still want to say something. And that feather stamp is just GORGEOUS.

  5. I knew I should have waited for your instructions. I tried using a ruler yesterday and had the same problem - uneven corners. This is a MUCH better idea! Thanks for sharing your brilliance.

  6. Thank you! This is very helpful! My problem in the past has been that I end up with little dots in the corners, where I start my pen--it gets more ink there. And you are so right: any little flaw in a super-CAS card is totally obvious. But I'll give your method a try--thanks for the detailed instructions!

  7. I think you have just revolutionised my Christmas gift giving this year. (and I just made all that jam yesterday!)

  8. I love your cards and I must try this, too. Thanks so much for your tutorial. Very informative!

  9. AWESOME tip! I am off to create one myself as I too, am touched with the AR/OCD!! Great cards too!! Hugs,

  10. Got here from Doris's blog... love your tutorial and will have to try it! Gorgeous and easy way to do it! TFS, HUgs always! G

  11. This is AMAZING. I mean those cards, all of them have been so beautiful. I'm going to make myself a template today. Thank you so much!

  12. wonderful, wonderful!! love the template idea and the tutorial. i don't usually comment, but just so you know...i find a wealth of information from your blog and love your cas style!! Thank you for sharing your "genius"!! I bought a shirt once that said "creative genius" on it...but after this wonderful idea...i may have to pass it on to YOU!

  13. Great tutorial and tips! I'm going to try it out and see if I can get straight lines!

  14. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I tried and tried to draw a box on some cards for swaps and gave up...couldn't get a smooth line, had dots in the corners, etc. Now I shall try again with your excellent tips.

  15. Great tutorial Susan....thanks for sharing all your special little tricks to get it just right.

  16. Thanks for a really useful and easy to follow tutorial Susan! Also thanks for your email, so sweet off you to get in touch. I will reply as soon as I can - there really aren't enough hours in a day are there! Jo x

  17. I already told you I love this brilliant tutorial, but I'm back to say I finally posted my cards using it. If you want to see them:

    Thanks again! I love this card style.

  18. Wonderful tutorial Susan! Beautiful cards! I have to try this. Thanks for sharing:)

  19. Thankyou!! easy to follow tutorial Susan. Gorgeous cards.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!