A Little Birdie Told Me

I am a procrastinator when it comes to cards. I’ve been known wait until Jake is helping Eliza put on her shoes and buckling Jonas into his car seat before I’ll run upstairs to the craft room to whip up a hand-made card for the birthday party we’re about to attend.

As such, it’s rare for me to get fancy. However, sometimes fancy is key.

This isn’t a five-minutes-and-out-the-door card, but it is a card you can reproduce easily for an invitation-type event. Baby shower? Wedding shower? You need several pretty cards you can bust out on a budget and can create through a Fordian assembly-line process.

Enter embossing powder.

How to make the banner:

-I used my Silhoutte Digital Cutter to cut out the banner shape out of plain white cardstock. (With the Silhoutte you can print several shapes at once, so this is a snap for multiples!) If you don’t have a Silhouette or other digital cutter, you can use a manual die-cut banner shape. You can also just use a banner-shaped stamp (which won’t be raised on the surface unless you are willing to cut out each shape by hand).

-I then rubbed the entire banner surface with clear embossing ink (I use Tsukineo Clear Embossing Ink. You can use any clear solvent ink; pigment ink dries too quickly.)

-Working over a large sheet of blank paper, I sprinkled embossing powder over the banner surface (I used American Crafts Zing! Metallic Silver Embossing Powder).

-Tap off the excess embossing powder onto the blank paper. You can then fold the paper in half and carefully pour the excess embossing powder back into its container. You don’t want to melt the excess powder.

-Use a heat gun to melt the powder (mine is similar to this one), using a sweeping motion. Be careful: you can burn the paper if you stay in one spot. The powder will bubble and melt when you are done; make sure to get all areas.

-Attach the embossed shape to the card with temporary adhesive for now. This will allow you to get perfect spacing for your title without having to heat the banner again.

*After creating title, attach the embossed shape to your card using dimensional adhesive (I used EK Sucess 3-D Foam Dots).

A Little Birdie Told Me

How to create the title:

-Choose clear acrylic letter stamps in a font that works with your design and fits into the space left by the banner (I used American Crafts Margarita Maria Stamps).

-Assemble letter stamps for your first title line on a stamping block. (I use a Fiskars Stamp Press to line up my acrylic stamps. It’s one of my favorite products because it prevents smudging on the page, keeps stamps straight, and lets you see exactly where you’re stamping. Plus, the little foam feet keep you from pushing down too far. You can use a clear Jewel CD case or clear plastic disposable plate in a pinch, but these methods don’t work as well.)

-Hover the ink-free stamps over your stamping area, adjusting the placement of the stamps until they fit into the space left by the banner.

-Cover the stamps in embossing ink by “stamping” them into the ink or by rubbing the ink directly onto the stamps (Again, I used Tsukineo Clear Embossing Ink.)

-Stamp with the clear ink covered letter stamps onto the card inside the first banner window.

-Cover stamped image with embossing powder (I used American Crafts Zing! Aqua Opaque Embossing Powder).

-Tap off excess embossing powder onto blank sheet of paper (see banner instructions). If undesired embossing powder remains, brush it carefully with a small paint brush.

-Repeat all steps for each line of the title.

-Remove the banner and heat-set the title as instructed for the banner (you don’t want to heat-set the banner twice).

-Adhere the banner.

*You can use letter stickers or print out the title of your card rather than stamping it to save time.

Other Tips and Tricks:

-The base of this card was made from two pieces of scrap cardstock bound together by a small folded piece of adhesived-backed scrap paper.

-I love Inkssentials Wonder Tape adhesive for ribbon. It’s super strong, so it’s also great for heavier embellishments.

-If you are making several copies of the card and want to include an embellishment like the bird/cloud embellishment at the top, try to find a sticker sheet with multiples of the same design.

-If you are making several copies, do each step multiple times before moving on to the next step. For instance, stamp the first line of the title on all cards before moving on to the second line. You’ll want to sprinkle on embossing powder after each stamping, however, so that the ink doesn’t dry while you are stamping the rest of your cards.

-The background cardstock has a slight shimmer; this gives the card a classier feel.

A Little Birdie Told Me

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments section!