The 3R's of card making – Reuse

Card making like many crafts can be a very expensive hobby. One of the best ways to minimise the cost is to invest in equipment that has multiple uses. Stamps and dies are paper craft tools that if looked after properly have a very long useful life. Below I will outline some ways in which reuse of dies and stamps to give very different cards with many different themes can be achieved.

Reusing dies – an Apron Die

This set had the basic apron and rounded top and bottom pockets with kitchen/ gardening tools. I used this die set and a workshop tools die set from the same company to make several Mother's Day and Father's Day cards. These could also have been used for other feminine and masculine occasions such as birthdays with different sentiments.

This card used the basic apron die as is with ribbon ties.

The first card used a  kitchen theme with apples from scrapbooking paper. I cut several apples from the scrapbooking paper and glued them on to the pockets. I then added the sentiments. The sentiment Mum is from a multi-family name set which can be used for many different occasions.

The next card used the larger pocket from the apron as a mixing bowl. Then kitchen tools from the set were added – a spatula, a spoon and a rolling pin. For the spatula and spoon the die was cut twice and the red die cut trimmed and glued to the other diecut. The same method was used to produce the scissors in the next card, the spatula in the red apron card, and the workshop tools in the Father's Day card.

Here the larger pocket die is used as a mixing bowl shaped sentiment block. Associated kitchen tools are added to continue the theme.

The sentiment used two separate stamps the "Mother's Day" is one stamp and I took the happy from the sentiment stamp used in the green apron card. The sentiment was double stamped in red with a subtle silver shadow to reflect the colour of the tools. I used the same two stamps on the red apron below but I angled the"Mother's Day" stamp for a different effect.

The sentiment used here was designed to be used as a sentiment inside the card. This type of sentiment can be reused on the front of a card as here. The sentiment block in this card is a sticker. The sticker frame has several buttons on each side which ties neatly into the sewing theme.

This third Mother's Day card used elements from both the apron set and the workshop tools set. I used these to create a sewing themed card. The tape measure is from a washi tape roll that was mounted onto red cardstock then cut to leave a very fine border as contrast, the scissors and pincushion come from the apron die set. To produce the pincushion the smallest apron pocket is cut out twice from two separate colours the blue diecut was cut apart and glued on top of the red diecut to give a slight 3-D effect that resembled a felt pincushion. The berry pins use the nail die from the workshop set topped with circles from a stationary hole punch topped with glossy accents to give the 3-D Pearl like affect.

Cherry themed apron from the apron die set using scrapbook paper

This apron was constructed in a similar manner to the Green Apple apron above. The scrapbook paper used was scattered with pairs of cherries that had glitter incorporated.

The die for the top pocket was carefully placed over a cherry so that it would be centred on the pocket when cut.

In the sediment on this card the ink used was a specialised opaque chalk ink that is designed to be used on dark cards. The spatula in this card has a red handle to fit the theme. To ensure the visibility against the background of the red apron the section of the handle that is visible above the pocket was run across the ink pad used for the sentiment to give it a contrast white border.

Father's Day card made with an apron shaped diecut set and some of the workshop tools from another set. The sentiment used here is a straight unmounted silicon stamp. To get a more interesting effect I placed this on the mounting block in a wavy manner which is another way to extend the use of your stamps.

In these cards the kitchen or workshop tools were placed in the pockets/mixing bowl to give a more lifelike 3-D affect. 

The the tools from both the apron and workshop tools sets were cutting and embossing dies. I cut and embossed the tools in these cards to achieve realistic looking tools. You can see this best in the Father's Day card with realistic 3-D effects particularly evident in the silver card used to represent the metallic parts of the tools. For the spatula in the red apron the handle part was cut along the line the handle would have been in a spatula and glued to the silver blade to emphasise the 3-D effect.

I also made a feminine card similar to this Father's Day card using a green apron as in the first card and replaced the workshop tools with gardening hand tools from the apron set – spade and fork .

Reuse of Stamps – Birthday Stamp

A very feminine but casual pink/sepia birthday card with Frangipanis (Plumerias).

Birthdays and Christmas are the most common occasions when cards are made so it is a good idea to invest in at least one versatile Christmas and birthday sentiment stamp. When you are extending your stash of equipment, mothers and fathers day stamps are a good investment. I have also invested in Christmas and birthday themed vertical stamps as can be seen in the blue birthday card in the background pictures.

The birthday stamp used in these cards was very versatile because it had a formal happy and a script style birthday. This is useful for formal/informal and masculine/feminine cards as it can be dressed up or down to fit the card's background theme.

Masculine birthday card with air ballooning

In the Frangipani (Plumeria) card alternative corners of the sentiment block were rounded to reflect the shape of pedals. The ink used on the background was used on the edge of the sentiment block to tie the two together.

The air ballooning card was done with a rollastamp. This is a stamp attached around a wheel with handle attached and incorporated ink source. This card was created by rolling the stamp along the longest edge of the piece of white card. Then cutting a section out for the main piece; and several other air balloons for extra decorations. The sentiment is stamped directly on the main card and a set of balloons are attached to it to extend the theme. One balloon is glued directly to the background card the other set is attached using foam tape to extend the 3-D effect in the line of air balloons

This background could be used for many different purposes with multi-stamping of a starburst stamp in different metallic colours. It produces a very elegant feminine birthday card using the same birthday stamp.

The background of this card is stamped using metallic inks and this theme is extended by using double stamping on the sentiment with a slight offset silver shadow to the main metallic purple sediment. To tie the background pattern and sentiment together further metallic inks are used to edge the sediment block and it is layered with silver card.

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