DIY washi tape bunting card

I love cute card ideas, so when I saw this and this very sweet washi tape bunting card on Pinterest I knew I wanted to have a go myself! It was really quick and easy to do and it came out so nicely that I ended up making three of them…

easy washi tape bunting card

I don’t really need to give a tutorial for this, you can just copy the look yourself. I cut a length of baker’s twine and cut short lengths of the washi tape, folded it in half with the twine at the fold and then cut each one into a triangle shape (this makes it neater than trying to cut the triangles first!). Then tie a bow at each end of the twine and glue to your card blank – I just used a blob of white glue for this.

glue bunting to card

For the text, I first wrote it in Word with this font and printed it out on a piece of paper. The long tails at each end of the text are the ( and ) symbols for this font.

happy birthday shorelines font

I then placed the printout behind my card blank and traced over it with gold pen using a light box, but you could also just hold both pieces up against a window and trace it that way if you don’t have a light box.

simple hand lettered card

I was so pleased with how this card came out that I made two more in different colours! Those two have already gone to some lucky birthday ladies, now I’m just waiting to send this one off soon!

easy garland birthday card

Do you like using washi tape on cards? I’d love to see your designs if you do, it’s so great to see how creative people can be with it! Also, please let me know if you try this washi tape bunting design!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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DIY glitter glue card with masked letters

I’ve already shared with you two ways of making cards with silhouetted letters – stamping paint with a pencil eraser and using an ink pad and a patterned stamp. This week I will share the final way that I have used this technique, and it’s a bit brighter and bolder! This time I used glitter glue!

Happy birthday silhouetted letters card

If you want to make a card like this, then you will need:

  • Card blank (mine is DL size)
  • Post-it notes
  • Pen/pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Glitter glue (in a selection of colours)

I covered the method for making the letters (from post-it notes) and aligning them on the card in this post, so I won’t repeat that here, just head on over to the post and start from the beginning until you have something that looks like this:

using post-it notes for temporary masking letters

All I did next was to carefully cover my letters with glitter glue. I found that squeezing some out of the tube onto the card and then spreading it out with the tip of the tube worked really well. As you can see, I used a range of colours to make my design really bright! Then all you have to do is peel off the post-it letters and leave the whole thing to dry.

Glitter glue birthday card

I found that the glitter glue made my card a little bit wrinkled, but I guess that’s unavoidable unless you use a really thick card blank.

Bright and sparkly card tutorial

Glitter glue masked letters DIY card

What do you think? Will you have a go yourself? Maybe you could do a pattern in the glitter glue, such as circles or waves?! That might look pretty cool. Let me know what you come up with!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

DIY ink stamped card with silhouetted letters

At the beginning of January, I showed you how to make a paint stamped card with silhouetted letters. I really liked the way the letters were blanked out in the design and I wanted to make another card using the same method for the letters but a different method for the background. I decided to use an ink stamp this time, and see how that came out. My Mum’s birthday was coming up – the perfect opportunity!

Now, I know some people have serious collections of stamps and ink pads, but I am not one of them. I do have just a few stamps with pretty patterns, so I selected one of them and used a purple ink pad. And this is what I came up with:

using stamps to make a unique card

If you want to make a card like this, then you will need:

  • Card blank (mine is DL size)
  • Post-it notes
  • Pen/pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Stamp
  • Ink pad
  • Coloured pen (optional) – mine is gold

I covered the method for making the letters (from post-it notes) and aligning them on the card in this post, so I won’t repeat that here, just head on over to the post and start from the beginning until you have something that looks like this:

using post-it notes for temporary masking letters

Now comes the fun part! Take your stamp and stamp away over the letters. How you stamp is totally up to you. As you can see, I chose to make my pattern of stamps roughly regular with similar spacing between all the stamps, but you could overlap them if you like the look. I was trying to make my stamp pattern very neat and even but it was very difficult! (maybe a more experienced stamper would be better at this than me)

Tip: When making each stamp impression you need to press down hard so that the ink goes right up to the letter edge. Otherwise, because the post-it letter is slightly raised from the surface of the card, there will be a gap between the edge of your letter and the start of the stamp impression, which will make your letters less clear.

DIY stamped silhouette card

I have to admit that I wasn’t very happy with my stamping. Some of the stamps didn’t come out that well (especially the ones in the middle) and this meant that the edges of some of the letters weren’t very obvious. It also looked a bit boring in monochrome! (you could avoid this by stamping in more than one colour)

So I decided to draw in some more detail in my pattern with a gold pen. This really elevated the card and made it look more interesting and more special, in addition to making the letters more clear.

adding detail to a stamped card

Finally, peel the post-it letters off, and admire your card!

lacy stamping and blanked out letters

Now, I have to admit that I wasn’t 100% happy with this card. I think the stamp is very pretty but it is too delicate. The letters would have looked a lot better if I had used a stamp which had more inked area so the edges of the letters would have been much clearer.

But I’m sure you could do better! Do let me know if you have a go yourself, I’d love to see what you come up with!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

 

Easy DIY pencil eraser stamped birthday card

I find Pinterest very inspiring, do you? A while ago I came across this pin which shows you how to stamp a silhouetted heart shape onto a tote bag using a pencil eraser, and I thought to myself “that would make a lovely card”. But the card was going to be for my husband’s birthday, so a heart wouldn’t necessarily have been the most appropriate (we’re not that soppy!), so I wanted to choose something else for the silhouette shape. I could have done a large monogram-style letter (like I did with this card) or number (like I did with this card), but instead I decided that I wanted to write ‘Happy Birthday!” And this is how it came out:

easy stamped birthday card

The hardest part was actually figuring out how to make the removable letters that I was going to stamp over. I needed something that would stick to the card without being too thick (my first thought was to stick paper letters down with blu tak but that would have lifted the letters away from the card too much). From my wanderings through blogland, I remembered that one blogger (Minted Strawberry, who I have featured in the past here) used vinyl to create a silhouette that she spray painted over to decorate the front of a notebook (see here for details) and then peeled the vinyl off to reveal the design. Another blogger (The Postman’s Knock – fantastic resource for calligraphy and art!) hand-lettered a silhouette using art masking fluid in the place of ink, painted watercolour over the top and then peeled off the (now dry) fluid to reveal the letters (see here for details).

But I didn’t have vinyl or art masking fluid. So instead I came up with my own solution – post-it notes! It’s the most well-known temporary glue there is. So if you have some post-it notes lying around, and you’d like to try this card for yourself, then read on to find out how to make it!

For this tutorial, you will need:

  • Card blank (mine is DL size)
  • Post-it notes
  • Pen/pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Paint – you will need one strong colour, plus white (I used poster paints but I’m sure most opaque paints would work)
  • Felt
  • Paint-proof surface, such as a lid

1. Decide what shape or letters you want to have silhouetted on your card. I wanted to write HAPPY BIRTHDAY!, which worked quite well since the letters were quite small (mine were 2cm high) and therefore not much wider than the strip of adhesive on the post-it note. Larger shapes or letters might not work as well since a larger part of them won’t be stuck down with the adhesive.

2. Draw your shapes or letters on the post-it note(s). For some reason, I forgot to take a photo of this stage, so here is a mock-up of what it looked like. As you can tell, I needed two post-it notes!

cutting letters out of post-its3. Carefully cut out your shapes or letters. You could use scissors or a craft knife for this, whichever you find easiest. I didn’t bother to cut out the holes in my letters, partly through laziness and partly because I liked the effect!

4. Arrange your shapes or letters on the card. I found the easiest way to do this without marking the card too much was to make a mark at opposite edges of the card where I wanted the bottoms of my letters to be, and then place a ruler between the two marks. Then I could position the letters so that the bottom of each letter touched the ruler and voila! the letters were all nice and level. Also, I started with the middle letter and worked outwards either way so that my sentiment was aligned centrally (but obviously you can align yours however you like).

using post-it notes for temporary masking letters

5. Squeeze a fairly small blob of the coloured paint onto an appropriate surface (I used a margarine-tub lid) and then press your felt onto the blob. In order to make sure the felt is well soaked in the paint you can either use the end of your pencil eraser to repeatedly press the felt into the paint until it is soaked through, or turn the felt over so that both sides are covered in paint.  If you do the second option, then you will need to do some test stamps on a spare piece of paper with your pencil eraser to make sure there’s not too much paint on the eraser, or else you will not stamp cleanly. I discussed using felt to make a paint stamp pad in this post, if you’re looking for more information on this.

6. The next step is the fun part – stamping! Start stamping in the centre of your card. You want your spots to be closer together in the middle and spread out more away from the middle. Don’t go too far out though! You can see how far I went with my spots in this picture:

pencil eraser stamped card

7. Now on a different part of your lid, squeeze the same-size blob of your first colour as you did before, but now add some white and mix them together to make a slightly paler shade of your first colour. Stamp a little of this colour in the centre of your card, but more outwards, and again get further apart the further you get out. The aim is to avoid having rings of each shade, but mingle them so that there is a gradual colour change from dark in the middle to pale near the edge of the card. It also looks quite nice if the spots get more spaced out the further they are from the centre. Repeat this with increasingly paler shades of your first colour by adding more white paint each time and continue stamping until you have almost covered the card, or until you are happy with the effect. I had 4 shades of blue in my card.

Tip 1: Make sure that almost all the edges of the letters are covered in spots so that they will be clearly defined when the letters are removed

Tip 2: I found it easier to pretend that the letters weren’t there when stamping my pattern so that the pattern was more natural and even. This sort-of contradicts Tip 1 above, but you can always add in a few extra spots at the end if you think there are any edges that have been missed!

post-it note stamped card

8. Now you are ready to remove the letters (another fun part!). I peeled off the letters while the paint was still wet to avoid the risk of pulling dried paint away from the card. I don’t know if that would have happened, but it worked fine doing it this way (as long as you don’t accidentally stick your finger in the paint!). This was the result:

silhouette letters stamped card

DIY pencil eraser stamped card

 

Yay! I was so pleased with it. And my husband liked it too, which is a bonus ;)

I liked it so much that I used the same technique (in green) to make a card for my new baby niece. Doesn’t she have a beautiful name?!

green shades pencil eraser stamped card tutorial

Do you like the ombre stamped spots effect as much as I do? Do let me know if you have a go yourself, I’d love to see it!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Ten minute handmade birthday number card tutorial

These cards are so quick and easy to make, and I think they’re really fun! The inspiration came out of a moment of desperation since I’d forgotten to buy a card for a child’s birthday party (and it’s so hard to find nice cards in Hong Kong!) and we needed to leave soon for the party itself! It took me about 10 minutes to make the card (but I did draw my number freehand), so hopefully it should take you about the same amount of time.

hand drawn DIY number card

You could totally adapt the design with the recipient’s initial, or even a name or words like ‘Happy Birthday’. It’s so easy to do – I think it’ll take me longer to write this tutorial than it will take you to make the card!

For this tutorial you will need:

  • Card blank
  • Paper and printer (0ptional)
  • Pencil
  • Brightly coloured felt tip or marker pens (I used highlighters)
  • Pencil eraser

1. Find an image of the number that you want to use and copy it into Word, or you can use wordart to create the number that you want in Word (I did the latter). I’ve decided to do a ‘2’ as my twins have lots of friends who will be 2 in the next few months so this card may well come in useful!

2. Adjust the size of your number until it is almost as big as your card blank. For example, the card blank that I am using folds into an A6 size, so I made my number a little smaller than one-quarter the size of the A4 Word document (the lines you can see on the picture below are the ones I drew so I could see how big one quarter would be). Now print it out.

p1080409

3. Turn your paper over and use a pencil to scribble over the outline of the number. If you can’t see the number through the paper, you could try putting a white piece of paper underneath so it shows through better, or you could put it on a window (which will make it really easy to see the number, but you might get arm-ache!). Scribble quite hard so that there is a thick layer of graphite over the number outline.

(Note: my printed number did transfer a little onto what was underneath when I did this so make sure you’re not leaning on anything too important!)

p1080412

4. Now turn your paper back over so that the printed number is facing up and place it over your card blank. Line up the number so it is sitting in the middle of your card (unless you don’t want it to be in the middle, of course!). Now trace over the number with your pencil. Don’t press too hard because you don’t want to indent the card, but you do want to transfer the graphite on the back of the paper to your card so you can see a faint outline of the number on the card (I didn’t take a photo of this because the pencil line was too faint to be seen in a photo!). If it’s not working, you could try pressing slightly harder, or turn the paper back over and scribble harder on the back before trying to trace again.

N.B. An alternative method to steps 1-4 is to draw the number freehand on the card blank using pencil. This is a lot easier and quicker but does require you to be able to draw freehand block numbers, which I am not very good at!

5. Choose a few coloured pens – 3 or 4 is a good number. (I used highlighter pens so that my designs would be really bright – after all the card is for a 2 year old!) Starting in the middle of your number, draw a diagonal stripe, stopping at the edges of the number. Change pen colour and draw another parallel stripe next to it. Repeat, cycling through the colours. It doesn’t matter if your lines aren’t exactly parallel, or the same distance apart – it’s supposed to look hand-drawn!

p1080416

6. Continue until you’ve filled the whole number. Now erase the pencil outline and you are done!

p1080420

I liked the way this card came out so much that I did some more using different patterns. You could do swirls or shapes or patterns – the sky really is the limit with this! As long as your design is relatively dense, it should look great.

ten minute handmade monogram card

I like the one on the left the best – it looks like cake sprinkles!

So simple, eh?! Why don’t you have a go yourself? Do let me know if you do, I’d love to see how yours turn out!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Handmade calligraphy Christmas cards

I really wanted to make my own Christmas cards this year. Last year the twins were so young that we had barely any time to prepare for Christmas at all, let alone make cards. In fact, we didn’t even post any cards! This year I was resolved to do better.

I had an idea that it would be pretty quick if I created a calligraphy design that I could repeat easily for each card. I chose to write ‘Merry Christmas’ with a couple of swirls and it took me about an hour to fine tune my design. I’m really not very good at swirls! I see so much beautiful swirly calligraphy, but I just don’t seem to be able to design something similar myself at all. I guess it just takes practice.

Anyway, once I had my design sorted, I created the layout and used my light box to see the layout behind the card blank so I could write on the card. I originally was going to use red and green card blanks but when I placed them on the light box I realised that I couldn’t see the guidelines because the card was too thick! So I had to use white card instead. But I do like the combination of white and gold at the moment so it wasn’t a complete disaster.

Gold and white calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

Gold and white calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

I used gold and silver Manuscript italic marker pens and the script is my own – it’s a bit of a hybrid between italic and foundational hand!

Once I was up and running, it didn’t take too long to do the 30 or so cards that I wanted. I was really pleased when I laid them all out together, I think they look great!

 

Metallic calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

Gold and white calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

Gold and white calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

Gold and white calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

I managed to get them them in the post last week so they’re currently winging their way to the UK. I missed the last guaranteed post by quite some way so I hope they turn up sometime in December!

Did you handmake your cards this year? Please share a photo or a link if so, I’d love to see what you came up with!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Featured Etsy shop: LilyandVal

Today’s post is part of a series of features on blogs and Etsy shops that I love. This time it’s the turn of Valerie from the Etsy shop LilyandVal!

I’m not sure how I first came across Valerie’s work, I think it was in a treasury or an Etsy email or something. Anyway, I favourited one of her pieces, and then when I was googling chalkboard art (for an idea that never came to fruition), all the best designs I clicked on were hers! She’s very talented, as you’ll see for yourself.

Here’s Valerie to tell you all about it…

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Describe your shop in one or two sentences.

Lily & Val offers hand-drawn and illustrated chalk art by Valerie McKeehan. The whimsical designs are produced on an array of products including note cards, prints, wrapping paper and real chalkboard signs.

Hot air balloon chalkboard card - Lily and Val

What has been your most popular product to date? What is your favourite?

The “Love You To The Moon & Back” design has been my most popular item. I think the moon really lends itself beautifully to chalk. My favorite item is the “Hot Cocoa Recipe” design. It really brings a sense of comfort and nostalgia when displayed or sent as a card.

Love you to the moon and back print - Lily and Val

Where do you get your inspiration?

I gather a lot of inspiration from everyday objects as well as vintage/antique styles. I recently drew a design that was inspired by an antique mirror and decorative wallpaper. I love depicting simple subjects like coffee and cooking.

Coffee lover chalkboard print - Lily and Val

What is your favourite part of the creative process?

I love that moment when everything seems to “click”. The inspiration is flowing and in an instant I know exactly what I want to create. It’s exciting! You don’t know how the piece will turn out at that point, but it is an exhilarating feeling. It is a need to create and express what’s in my mind.

Welcome sweet pea baby card - Lily and Val

What has been the highlight of your business so far?

It was truly an honor to be the Etsy Featured Shop in July.

Hot cocoa recipe print - Lily and Val

What do you like to do when not working on your business?

When I’m not working on my business I love visiting new places with my husband. We recently moved to the city of Pittsburgh and we are having a great time exploring.

Hand lettered nautical print - Lily and Val

What are you currently working on? Anything new coming up?

I am working on new and exciting products featuring my artwork. I hope to have mugs released in time for the holiday season.

Kitchen chalkboard art - Lily and Val

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I’m a sucker for beautiful lettering and I think Valerie’s artwork is amazing! I hope you think so too. Head on over to LilyandVal to check out the full range of products.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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