Welcome to this week's Papertrey Ink Design Team Tips! Thanks for joining me today! I think that no matter how many cards we create, we've all had times when occasions sneak up on us and catch us unprepared! I've been needing to make quite a few thank you cards recently and I had thought about sharing my process with you. One of my sweet blog readers asked me in one of my last posts if I ever mass produced cards, so my decision was made! LOL! I hope you'll find today's information informative and helpful!
I made 8 cards in total and I do suggest that you make an even amount of cards since you get 2 card bases from one 8 1/2 by 11 piece of cardstock. If you don't need an even amount, just make it anyway, because it will definitely come in handy later! The first thing you will want to do is decide on the design you'll be making. You don't need to reinvent the wheel if you are struggling to come up with something; maybe tweak an old design or use one of your favorite standbys. If you use someone else's design and are planning on sharing it on your blog or social media, remember to give proper credit. Tip #1- Start with a clean and tidy work space and gather all supplies that you will need. Make sure you have enough of everything before you begin. There's nothing worse than finding out in the middle of a big project that you don't have everything you need. I also like listening to music while I create. Make sure all of your ink pads are juicy so that you can stamp quickly and get good impressions.
Tip #2-Once you are all set, score and cut all of your card bases. Use a bone folder to get a smooth crease. I like to add a "handmade" type image to the back. This only adds a minute to the total time, but it really gives your cards that extra special touch.
I also like to add a greeting or sentiment to the inside of my cards as well. After you have stamped the back, quickly stamp your sentiment on the inside. Once again, this doesn't take up much time and really makes your card seem put together. The "handmade" sentiment and this greeting on the inside are both from the Better Together stamp set. Another thing I'd like to mention is that I put everything away as I go. I knew that I wouldn't need this stamp set any more, so I put it away. This really helps keep your work space tidy and uncluttered.
Set the card bases aside and begin working on the elements for the front of your card. Tip #3- pick images with a wow factor or that give you some bang for your buck. When you are mass producing, you definitely don't want a design with a million steps. By picking a beautiful flower, it really helps make my design stand out without a ton of work. I die cut enough of everything for 8 cards at one time. As you can see, I've left these dies connected. I can't imagine a time when I will need one without the other and it makes placing it inside of my die cutting machine so much quicker. I like to arrange each type of diecut in a stack or pile so that I can grab them easily during the stamping session.
A MISTI or other type of stamp positioner is such a time saver, but not mandatory for these cards. Make sure to take the time to align your stamps properly. It really doesn't take much time at all and in the end, you will have nice results. Also, I had originally planned on making all of the flowers the same color but as I went along, I realized that it would be fun to make some other colored tulips as well. It didn't take any extra time, except to clean the stamp and grab a new ink pad. I'm glad I decided to this as it really gives a fun variety. Tip #4-Don't hesitate to mix up your color combinations if they will work together as a whole on the final result. I used quite a few ink colors for the flowers: Harvest Gold, Lilac Grace, Winter Wisteria, Bright Buttercup, Simply Chartreuse, Ripe Avocado, Pale Peony, Sweet Blush, Berry Sorbet, Americana, Aqua Mist, Ocean Tides, and Weathervane.
And the results are beautiful and so worth it! Like I mentioned earlier, these tulips are just breathtaking and are a show stopper all on their own. The stamping portion took me about 2 hours total, but the rest of the design elements only took and hour or so. I find the stamping to be therapeutic and enjoyable. It is always fun to see the flowers come to life as each layer is added. If you can't commit to that much time in one sitting, break up the stamping on one day and then come back on another day to finish up the rest of the elements.
I chose to use the Tag Sale: Quilted die as the backdrop for the tulips. Tip #5- Pick a second element with some texture or special detailing that will make your design interesting without having to do any additional work. I love the scallops and stitched detail that this tag provides. I also used the MISTI to stamp the sentiments on the tags. They are all from the Never Enough: Thanks stamp set. I love all of the different fonts so I couldn't pick just one! LOL! I stamped them in Weathervane ink for a soft look.If you like this design, you could make an entire set of cards with different greetings; 2 birthday, 2 thank you, 2 thinking of you, and 2 sympathy. All of these types of cards would work well for this particular design and it wouldn't take much effort at all to switch out the greeting. Honestly, part of me wants to make 8 more to create a fun mix like I just mentioned. Heavens knows I could use them in my stash!
Tip #6- Cut your papers in dimensions that will get you the most from one sheet of paper. If I use a 6 by 6 paper pad, I like to cut squares that are 3 by 3, or 2 by 3 so that I can maximize one sheet. Just try to keep in mind ways to getbas many cuts from one piece of paper. For today's cards, I cut the Bitty Big: Simply Chartreuse pattern paper in panels that measured 4 by 5 1/4. This is a standard size panel, but it gives me 4 card fronts from one piece of paper. The Bitty Big:Pink Posey paper is cut 2 by 4 inches which maximizes one sheet as well. Hopefully that makes sense.
Once I had the pattern papers cut, I did some zig zag machine stitching at the bottom for an additional design detail. This really adds in some extra detail and texture and doesn't take up much time. For me, I try and think of little details like this that I am willing to do that don't make me feel overwhelmed.
Tip #7-Add in some shine if you can. I decided to do some heat embossing on the banner piece that is included in the tag die. I added this detail to 4 of the cards and added a bow of Jute Button Twine to the other 4. All of the cards will be spritzed with Shimmer Spray as well. I do this after I photograph them for aesthetics since the tiny specks can show up as a distraction, but in real life the results are wonderful!
You can see the two different card designs that I ended up with. I hadn't intended on them being different, with the exception of the sentiments, but I really like the two varieties. They both have such a different feel just by changing up the colors. Also, since I didn't end up by using all of the butterflies, I took that opportunity to add them on the inside at the end of the sentiment. That particular sentiment isn't centered, so the addition of the butterfly really feels intended. I also added some Nuvo drops to mimic the look of raindrops or dew on the tulips. This is another one of those easy-to-do additions that can really make the design feel more special.
Tip #8-Keep your mailing needs in mind when adding a lot of bulk or weight. These cards will all be mailed and I don't generally skimp on dimension, but these will still be able to be sent through regular mail without needing any extra postage. The lady at the post office always slides my cards through her little "mail slot" sample to see if they will need any extra postage. I decided to make one of my own so I can check it before I go to the post office! Well friends, I think that about covers it! I hope you've found today's tips for mass producing cards helpful. Thanks for fluttering by!