Sunday, December 7, 2014

Silent Night Revisited...And Tips to Adapt a Design to Stamps You Have on Hand

One thing I love about Papertrey is that their design team periodically makes new stuff with old sets, which makes you feel like it's okay to use old stamps for new things...something few companies choose to do, at least that I've noticed.

One of the earliest Christmas sets I bought from Papertrey was Silent Night, a beautiful religious set with lots of Christmas-related Bible verses. I make cards with it every Christmas because it's just so perfectly designed.

Sadly, the set is now in Papertrey's vault and ridiculously overpriced. As a former marketing person who understands a bit how business runs and the necessity of inventory/cash flow regulation, I get the whole vault thing, and it is better than simply discontinuing stuff. But still. I love this set, just not $48 worth of love.

Perhaps you have a bigger stamp budget than I have, though.

The good news is that you don't need to buy this set to do something similar to the card I made this weekend. Explore your stash for a cool swirl, a nice holiday sentiment, and a star stamp. Then play around with them using my card as a jumping-off point. You might come up with something way better than I did!

As you play with your different stamps, focus on UNITY. My card uses all stamps from one set carefully designed to complement each other, so achieving unity was easy. Notice how my swirl is dainty and delicate, and so are the stars. The sentiment is curvy and italic, with a flourished capital letter S. They were made to go together.

You might have a set from another company that has swirls, stars, and holiday sentiments...companies do imitate one another or develop similar sets independently. But if you're pulling a swirl from one company and a star from another, and a sentiment from yet a third company, you need to be strategic in your choices. Not any ol' combo will do.

If your swirl is bolder and has heavier lines, look for a star stamp that is bolder and heavier to match. Ditto the sentiment. If you use a dainty sentiment with a bold stamp, it will likely be lost in the design.

If your swirl is smaller or larger, look for stars and sentiments that will match its scale. Downsize or upsize the raised panel to fit your smaller or larger stamps. You can use the chart I posted about proportional matting to make sure your stamped panel is a size that results in even matting, but really, the scale of my raised panel was determined entirely by the size of my stamps.

Don't be afraid to experiment and make mistakes. As you do so, you'll be learning what NOT to do. That's a good thing, not a bad thing at all!

After all, it's only paper.

Happy stamping!

stamps: Papertrey Silent Night
ink: Kaleidacolor, Brilliance starlight silver
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: metal ruler, silver Prismacolor metallic pen, dimensionals


  1. Wow I love this card. The blue tones and a bit of silver, just perfect. Thanks so much for mentioning your measurement chart, I must have missed that post. I now have it. I can now try and get my cards to look a bit more balanced. So much to learn so much to do. Love coming here.

  2. Beautiful, Susan! Love the swirls! I don't usually think about the reason things work together or not. Boggles my mind! But this card sure works!

  3. Your card is ultra beautiful - what an eye catching color combo.

  4. Your card looks gorgeous. Love the swirls. Silver matting adds so much interest. Thanks for sharing the matting proportions chart.

  5. This is stunning, Susan! I have this set too and it has sadly been neglected. I need to pull it out and use it. Thank you for the inspiration!!!

  6. I love when you throw in your tips for a balanced card~ Today's card is just beautiful and I now "see" the complement tip you said. TFS

  7. Stunning card, and so really great advice. I have many. many OLD Christmas stamps and this would be a way to make them "new" again.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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  9. This card makes my heart sing and is one of my all-time favs of yours! You will surely make someone SO VERY happy when they receive this card =)

  10. Stunning. The Kaleidacolor really adds a subtle artistry here.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!