Cardmaking Secrets From the Pros

Whether its simple and stylish or elegant and embellished, a handmade card is always appreciated. Whether youre a cardmaking newbie or a pro, weve got a few designer tips and tricks to share.

Covering the Card Front

Covering the card front with paper is one of the best techniquesheres our designer shortcut.
Cover the card front with glue, then attach the paper, aligning two sides. Smooth the paper down, then turn the card over and trim the excess paper.

Tearing Paper
This technique gives a soft edge and its easy to do, too.

Pull the section of paper towards you to get a colored edge. Use the other section if you want a white edge. For controlled tearing, dip a paintbrush in water and draw a line around the image. While its still wet, gently tear out the image.


To highlight particular words, use the sponge applicator or a cotton swab.
Part not in database (may have been discontinued): #1835 adds soft color to your cards. Heres how to apply it:

use the foam applicator that comes with the chalk set
use a dry paintbrush to chalk a larger area
use the sponge applicator or a cotton swab to highlight particular words
use the tip of a cotton swab to add fine detailhold the swab at a 90 degree angle, then touch to the surface with a soft, pouncing action

Walnut Ink
Walnut ink is a great way to add a faux aged look, or shabby chic effect to your cards. It comes in crystal or liquid forms and can be applied in lots of ways:

Use a stippling brush to tap walnut ink onto paper.
Spattering: Dip the bristle ends of a stiff toothbrush into the ink, then pull your thumb lightly over the bristles.
Edging: Dip the tip of a sponge brush in ink, then dab it along the edge of your quote or paper.
Stippling: Tap the bristles in the ink, then dab the excess on a paper towel. Hold the brush straight up and down, then tap it gently on the surface.
Spritzing: Mix the crystals with water and put it in a small spray bottle, or purchase it premixed. Spray the ink onto your paper.
Brushing: Use a foam brush to apply the ink directly onto the paper.

GRAPHIC: stippling (1 image) With caption: Use a stippling brush to tap walnut ink onto paper.

Direct to Paper Inking
Heres how:

Direct to paper inking is applying ink directly from the inkpad onto your paper.

Peaks & valleys: Crumple your paper, then smooth it out (sanding is optional). Skim the paper with an ink pad, applying color to the peaks.
Light coverage: Put the ink pad face down on the paper and lightly tap it to apply color.
Heavy coverage: Put the ink pad face down on your paper and skim it across the paper, pressing the ink pad down as you go.
Edging: Hold the paper in one hand and the ink pad in the other. Run the ink along the edge of the paper.
Sweeping: Tap the bristles of the stippling brush onto the ink pad. Hold the brush at an angle and sweep it across the paper to color.
Tapping: Tap the bristles of a stippling brush onto the ink pad. Hold the brush perpendicular to the paper and gently tap it onto the paper.

Note: Some ink pads are juicier than others. Test them out on a piece of scrap paper so you know how much pressure to apply.