I fancy myself a pretty good writer… until it comes to writing greeting card phrases, that is.
The Boy and I made Halloween cards together last year, and I thought it might be nice to do one again this year. Mind, I’m late in deciding this (I had them done at the beginning of October last year), but this will be good practice for me as I gear up to make our annual Christmas cards.
But the late start also means that I’ll be doing these cards solo. (And that means I get to bring out the really crazy stuff in my craft closet!)
A long time ago, before The Boy was born, I used to scrapbook. And while I have every intention of starting it up again, well, let’s be honest: I’m not likely to. Over the past few years, I’ve given away pounds and pounds of scrapbooking paper, and I haven’t bought any new scrapbooking paper in more than two years now. But there are still papers that I deem too cute to just discard altogether, and those are the materials I use for greeting cards.
When I make greeting cards, anyway.
For a while, I was really good about making birthday cards to send to friends and family. And then I got lazy (let’s just call it what it is) and stopped. So my card-making has been largely relegated to Christmas cards and (more recently) Halloween cards.
Maybe I should do something for Thanksgiving, too.
Anyway, because I’m terrible at coming up with my own creative greeting card phrase, I had to search for one online. And I found one I like:
When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween!
Since I’ve decided this year to change-up the Christmas card a bit (it’s been a 6” square card for the past two years) and I still have a few hundred 6” square envelopes to use, I’ll use those envelopes for this year’s Halloween card. And I don’t think The Boy would mind donning his Captain America costume for a photo session, either.
See? He gets to wear his costume again, I get to play with craft supplies, and Cute Husband gets to see (a few) envelopes leave the house. Everyone wins!
- 12”x12” black cardstock
- 2 or 4 sheets patterned paper
- Coordinating cardstock
- Additional black cardstock
- Halloween-themed stamp (I chose a pumpkin stamp)
- Pigment or chalk stamping ink (ideal for heat embossing)
- Embossing powder
- Embossing heat gun
- Foam dots
- Greeting phrase (see above) printed onto full- (or half-) sheet “stickers”
Directions (and follow along in the slideshow below):
- Score and fold the black cardstock in half, being sure to fold along the grain. (To find the grain, gently bend the paper in half in one direction and then in the other. The paper will bend more easily along the grain.)
- Trim the black cardstock to 5-3/4” square (which is the perfect size to fit into a 6” square envelope).
- Cut two 2-1/4” squares from each of the patterned papers. (You can also do this using 4 sheets of patterned paper; you’ll need one 2-1/4” square from each.)
- Adhere the patterned squares onto the cover of the card, being sure to leave even spaces between the squares. (I like Tombow adhesive; it’s easy to use and requires zero drying time.)
- Cut a 2-1/4″ square from black cardstock and stamp an image of the pumpkin stamp in the center using a visible pigment ink (I used white). You can also use chalk ink, especially if you’re concerned about easy clean up, but I happen to have a lot of pigment ink on hand. Whatever you do, though, do not use a water-based ink. It will dry too quickly and you won’t get the embossing powder to stick to the paper.
- Before the ink has a chance to dry, sprinkle embossing powder onto the stamped image and shake off the excess powder. (I used gold for this card; it ties into the “pumpkins gleam” part of the greeting. I’m a nerd like that.)
- Heat the stamped image with an embossing gun until the powder begins to melt together.
- Cut a 2-3/4″ square from coordinating cardstock (I used purple) and affix the embossed pumpkin square to the center of it.
- Adhere the now-matted pumpkin square to the patterned paper grid using foam dots (or squares; no need to be picky).
- Trim the greeting phrase to fit the interior of the card.
- Affix the greeting phrase “sticker” to the interior, being sure to carefully center it.
Et voila! You now have a beautiful handmade Halloween card! (And the best thing about using 12″x12″ paper to make square cards is that you’ve got everything set up to make two!)
If you don’t have Halloween stamps and/or embossing powder, or if you’re like me and want to find as many shortcuts as possible, you can also use Halloween-themed stickers instead of the stamping and embossing steps. (I just happen to have an overabundance of embossing powder and not a whole lot of stickers.)
And, yes, this technique translates well into other themes (but the Caines’ Christmas Card 2011 will follow a different template).
Questions? Comments? (Ridicule?)