Adding Finishing Touches to Cards


Hello everyone.  I hope your Labor Day weekend was enjoyable.  Now that it's September, we can "officially" start thinking about fall's cooler temperatures and special holidays like Halloween.  Today I'd like to show you how adding finishing touches to your cards can up the "Wow" factor!  My samples today all have a Halloween theme.  To see these cards again and many others, please click here for the Halloween Gallery.

In keeping with our class theme this month of sponging with dye inks, I used sponging to create the backgrounds on my first three cards.  For the card above I started with white cardstock (I always use Neena Solar White 80 lb) and because I wanted a very iridescent glow so I chose to ink the background with Hero Arts Green Neon ink!  Love the color!  The two dies in black are new from Memory Box and are designed to fit on top of each other: Sleepy Hollow and Country Fence Oval Frames.  I also used Memory Box dies Bat Cave and Swirling Ghosts.  Card design inspired by Marnie Bushmole.















Why create your background with sponging when plain orange or purple cardstock would be so much quicker?  Because sponging inks, even if it's only one color (like the purple background) adds depth and color variation as you apply inks and naturally create darker and lighter spots.

You are probably wondering how I apply these inks.  I like to use the Tsukineko Jumbo Dauber.  I find it is easy to use and much less likely to leave an undesirable "round" mark or edge mark when you follow the helpful tips I give you in class -- gotta plug my classesTsukineko also makes a smaller finger dauber which has many uses but is not as effective with larger coloring.  These jumbo daubers will last for years and I suggest you get one for each color family (reds, blues, greens, etc.).

The other option for ink blending is the Distress Ink Blending tool by Ranger.  The advantage to this tool is that it comes two to a package with multiple ink applicator pads.  I use this tool also (click here to see my Faux Textured Metal cards) and find it works best with a little practice and patience.  It's a little easier to catch the edge of the aplicator and leave a distinct mark on the background.

Back to finishing touches.  To "bump these cards up a notch" I added texture by embossing the orange background with the Taylored Expressions embossing folder "Weathered".  I enhanced the purple sky with tiny little raindrops made with Glossy Accents.   For these cards I used Memento inks and Memory Box dies: Stitched Halloween Circle Frame, Skeleton Hand and Forest Crows.  Designs inspired by Marnie Bushmole and Anne for Memory Box, respectively. 
















These two cards show how adding little touches can make your cards really stand out.  For the "Boo to You" card I added interest to the orange background by stamping it with the Memory Box Articles Ledger stamp in gray ink.  I also cut the bottom border with the Zig Zag die in the Memory Box Stitched Country Borders die set.  The little ghosts (MB Swirling Ghosts) and bats (MB Bat Cave) peek out from behind the MB Woodland Oval Frame die.  Add a few sequins and your spooky card is complete!  Design inspired by Jean Okimoto.

The Jack O' Lanterns on the next card would be fine just cut from orange cardstock, but inking their edges with a darker orange ink (Memento Morocco) really sets them apart from the background.  For the eyes I simply punched black circles with my Japanese Screw Punch and glued them behind the eye openings offset just a little.  Design inspired by Deborah Nolan.


The finishing touches on this card are subtle. To add interest and texture, I used ledger paper for the background rather than plain cardstock.  And to keep the shelf visible, I stamped the spider web on vellum.  Fortunately the Taylored Expressions stamp and die set Toil and Trouble includes several little stamps like the "Poison" label and the "eyeballs" that really add that special Halloween touch!


Taylored Expressions die and stamp sets Apothecary Shelf and Toil and Trouble; Memory Box die Spider web corner and Scary Spiders (retired); Memory Box stamp Articles Ledger; design inspired by Taylored Expressions; design inspired by Melody Rupple.







It's ghosts vs. bats in my "Tic Tac Boo" card.  For the game board, I stamped orange cardstock with Memory Box stamp Articles Ledger then cut it and a piece of black cardstock with Memory Box die Perfect Patches.  A few sequins add just the right finishing touch.


Tic Tac Boo – Memory Box dies Perfect Patches, Bat Cave and Swirling Ghosts; Memory Box stamp Articles Ledger; Taylored Expressions sequins Halloween; design inspired by Jean Okimoto






The finishing touch on this card is the format.  It's a gatefold card which means it opens in the middle.  To make the card, cut cardstock to 5½" x 8¼” and score it on either end at 2⅛”.  Fold the ends into the middle.  I cut the background paper with the Memory Box die Woodland Oval Frame trimmed to the same size as the front of the card (5½’ x 4¼”), adhered it to the card front and snipped the top and bottom along the edges of the opening.



Crows in Trees – Memory Box dies Woodland Oval Frame and Forest Crows; design inspired by Anne for Memory Box






Keep the same die (MB Woodland Oval Frame) but swap cardinals for crows and you've got a completely different look!  The red cardinals really pop against the medium blue cardstock. 

Merry – Memory Box dies Woodland Oval Frame and Classic Alphabet U/C; Poppy die Cheery Cardinals; design inspired by Jean Okimoto.



Welcome to all our new members!  We are glad you have joined our community!  Rememberall the supllies I used on these cards are available at The Stamp Act (in person or by mail order).  If you have any questions or comments, please contact me.  Thanks and have a good week.














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