How to Find and Use Subway Art on Your Cards

How to Find and Use Subway Art on Your Cards - HappilyHandwritten.com

Subway art gives you a way to say more on your cards.

Subway art is like a collage of words or sayings arranged in an artistic way. It’s fun because it can stand alone in a frame or be front and center on a card.

It’s a great idea especially if you want to try something different on your cards or even just say more. This way, you don’t have to pick one or two stickers or stamps for the front of your card –– you can go crazy and find or make themed subway art that’s perfect for the occasion.

Where to find it…

You don’t even have to make it –– unless you want to. Eighteen25 has a bunch of free subway art printables that you can download. Or you can visit Wordle.net to create your own subway art in its online generator.

But, there’s even something for the serious DIYers out there. Craft-O-Maniac features a tutorial on how to make your own stenciled subway art. Step-by-step, you can create your own words and then use those to make your subway art.

And Fill Your Paper with the Breathings on Your Heart has a tutorial using a stamp to create the words.

How to use it…

Whether you download it or make it yourself, you can place your subway art on the front of your card and layer papers under it to make it stand out more. Paper Crafter’s Library has a bunch of examples of cards that use subway art.

If it’s black and white like the one featured above, use colored or patterned paper to make it stick out even more. And don’t be afraid to layer several different pieces or sizes of paper under it.

Try moving the subway art piece over to the right or the left and adding a long strip of lace, burlap, or other fabric along the side of the card with the extra space.

Sometimes placing things off-center is fun and looks really cute. Here’s a few examples of cards with different paper placements.

You could also use subway art as a creative background for a photo or use it to create a collage-like front of a card.

 

 

Why You Should Still Write Thank You Notes

Why You Should Still Write Thank You Notes - HappilyHandwritten.com

Make your own unique thank you notes.

Okay, I’m not here to give you a lecture on why it’s polite to send thank you notes. For some cultures, it’s not even heard of. But, living in a world of forgotten customs and technology overload, some old sentiments are still appreciated –– and are still given.

A New York Times article actually talks about how important it is to write thank you notes. Not just for good manners’ sake or for the lucky few who receive them, but also for the people who send them.

“Few who sit down to write a bread-and-butter note are likely to be aware that by doing so they are not only on trend but also on their way to becoming happier and more sociable people,” Guy Trebay writes in the article.

Yes, thank you notes are now considered a trend. But, what’s more fascinating is that the New York Times mentions scientific studies that have connected “gratitude to increased optimism, stress reduction and a better night’s sleep.”

Wait.. what? Saying ‘thank you’ can actually relieve stress and help you sleep better.

So, to kick off a more well-rested and less-stressed you, pull out your craft supplies and start making and writing meaningful thank you notes.

Less is more…

Why You Should Still Write Thank You Notes - HappilyHandwritten.com

Keep it simple and invest in a pretty “Thank You” stamp.


Add layers/textures…

Why You Should Still Write Thank You Notes - HappilyHandwritten.com

Make “Thank You” the focus by layering papers under it.

More ways to layer and spice up a simple card layout…

 

 

Add Layers and Detail to Your Cards: Featuring Morgan Park

Add Layers and Detail to Your Cards: Featuring Morgan Park - HappilyHandwritten.com

Adding small touches to your cards makes them even more unique and special for the person who receives them.

Today, I’m featuring cards with layers and detail by my best friend, Morgan Park. She’s a painter, crafter, and artist in every sense of the word.

She loves including the little things to make her cards special –– she’ll add paper corners, ribbons, unique stamps, and pretty embellishments. She also likes to layer paper in fun ways.

I found these two cards particularly inspiring. They have a cute, scrapbook feel, but are also clean cut with an almost rustic style. They show you how to use layers and detail to take your cards from basic to unique.

In her “Happy Birthday” card, Morgan places the polka dotted paper on the left side of the card, then centers the rest of the papers in the middle of the card.

Add Layers and Detail to Your Cards: Featuring Morgan Park - HappilyHandwritten.com

Try out new ways to layer your cards.

This card reminds me of the way I would scrapbook –– with fun patterns and layers.

Add Layers and Detail to Your Cards: Featuring Morgan Park - HappilyHandwritten.com

Make a simple design and add small detailed elements –– like cutouts or patterned tape.

The inside of the card keeps the same style, but the camera tape and heart cutout make it pop.

Add Layers and Detail to Your Cards: Featuring Morgan Park - HappilyHandwritten.com

The back of the card matters. Make a signature design or message.

The back of the card is my favorite. The two-seater bike adds an adorable touch as it looks like it’s rolling off the bottom of the card.

Morgan’s “I Love You” card shows off a ribbon at the top.

Add Layers and Detail to Your Cards: Featuring Morgan Park - HappilyHandwritten.com

Consider using fabric and ribbons on your cards.

The front of the card is simple in design, but the paper corners and small heart cutouts tie it all together –– small details being key.

Add Layers and Detail to Your Cards: Featuring Morgan Park - HappilyHandwritten.com

Sometimes, one embellishment in the right place is all you need.

The inside of the card has the same simple design, but the flower at the top left corner coordinates with the ribbon and polka dot paper.

Add Layers and Detail to Your Cards: Featuring Morgan Park - HappilyHandwritten.com

Delicate handwritten text adds a personal touch.

Morgan uses the bike stamp for the back of this card too. It goes so well with the brown cardstock paper and the handwritten text, “for Sue.”

More inspiration…

 

 

DIY Wedding Card: A Card for the Bride

DIY Wedding Card - HappilyHandwritten.com

Add a little sparkle and texture to this card that’s fit for a bride.

Make a beautiful card for a bride that she’ll remember. It’s now wedding season, so you can get creative and forget about buying cards from the drugstore.

Instead, make a fancy card for the bride-to-be that’s unique and special –– without breaking the bank or breaking a sweat.

This DIY wedding card is simple and classy. It’s mostly white with touches of sparkle, and the textured papers give it a formal look too.

DIY Wedding Card -- HappilyHandwritten.com

Lay out a bunch of supplies to choose from.

What you need…

All of these supplies are available at Michaels, Jo-Anne Fabric and Craft Stores, and most other craft stores.

  • Bling (“Bride,” a heart, or a swirl embellishment)
  • White cardstock
  • White textured paper
  • Silver, sparkly paper
  • White, sheer ribbon, lace or tulle
  • White sparkly, sheer, swirly or floral paper
  • “Happily Ever After,” wedding-themed sticker, or wedding printable

 

DIY Wedding Card -- HappilyHandwritten.com

Measure and cut the sparkly paper and textured paper. Then attach the sparkly paper first.

1. The Front of the Card

  • Cut and fold the white card stock to your desired size
  • Measure and cut the sparkly, silver paper to cover the entire front of the card
  • Cut the textured paper  1/4 inch shorter on all sides
  • Attach the sparkly paper to the front of the card and center the textured paper on top
  • Place the rhinestone “Bride” embellishment or other decoration near the bottom of the textured paper
DIY Wedding Card -- HappilyHandwritten.com

Pull out supplies for the inside of the card that keep the style consistent.

2. The Inside of the Card

  • Cut the sheer floral paper 3/4 inch shorter than card’s inside width and height
  • Add the “Happily Ever After” sticker or anything other embellishment
  • Attach the paper with the sticker to the inside of the card
  • Add the rhinestone heart and then cut corners from the textured paper
  • Attach the corners so they overlap the diagonal corners of the sheer paper
  • Tie  your ribbon, lace, or tulle in a bow or loose knot and attach at the top of the sheer paper

 

More ideas…

1. Make a matching envelope

2. Use a wedding printable

3. Make a wedding card box

 

 

Printables: How to Use Them

 

There are so many free printables available online. Have fun adding them to your craft projects.

There are so many free printables available online. Have fun adding them to your craft projects.

Printables. If you’re just getting into paper crafts, you’re probably starting to see this term all over your internet searches and other craft blogs.

Or maybe you’re a pro and you’ve heard enough about printables, but you just can’t get away from them because you love them so much.

To break it down for those who don’t know, printables are patterns, designs, and shapes you can download from different websites and –– you guessed it –– print out for yourself.

What I love about printables is most of them are free and immediately available in my home. I don’t have to go to the craft store to buy more supplies when another holiday/season approaches. It’s definitely a money-saver.

And they’re easy to use.

Get Started…

These websites and blogs have a great selection of printables to start searching through:

Pinterest is a great place to find free printables too.


Get Crafting…

Once you’ve downloaded your designs and printed them, all you have to do is cut them out and add them to your craft.

Go ahead and add a stamp or layer different colored papers under them –– whatever you want.


Get Personal…

The fun part about printables is you can personalize your crafts. You get to choose what color, pattern, or type of paper to print them on. And you can search for ones that will make your cards perfect for the recipient or fit exactly with your scrapbook page’s theme.

FreePrintable.net is a great resource to search through when holidays approach. Besides having categories, the website also has 91 sites in its network. So, you’ll be able to find most anything you’re searching for.

 

 

The Shoe-Lover’s Card

Shoe-Lover's Card -- HappilyHandwritten.com

The card’s front keeps a simple background to show off the frame, rhinestones, and shoe embellishment.

This shoe-lover’s card basically focuses on looking classy and feminine. The big, fluffy shoe embellishment is the center of attention, overshadowing the rhinestones that say “girly.”

When I came across the shoe embellishment in my craft supplies, I knew I wanted to make a pretty, feminine card for one of my shoe-loving friends. The rhinestones keep it bright and fancy, and the lace-like paper looks elegant.

The ideas involved in making this card can be used for making any girly card. Rhinestones, lace, a splash of color –– small, elegant touches –– go a long way.

Supplies (all available at Michaels craft stores):

  • Sheer, floral paper
  • Card stock paper
  • Rhinestone embellishments
  • Frame
  • Burlap
  • Lace
  • Craft Scoring Board for measuring and cutting

 

The Front

Sheer, floral paper makes up the base of the card’s front and matches the frame. The shoe is glued on top of the frame, claiming attention with it’s purple hue and giant fluff.

The card itself is a piece of light pink card stock. And the only other paper used on the front is the sheer piece. Since the other elements –– rhinestones, frame, and shoe –– are bigger and brighter, the background stays simple to make them stand out.

Shoe-Lover's Card -- HappilyHandwritten.com

Once the front is done, pull together a few similar and few different pieces to make the inside coordinate and but also pop.

The Inside

The inside of the card follows the simplicity of the front of card since it shows off one big, lace bow. The burlap that the bow holds together wraps around the back of the card too.

The burlap adds a rustic touch and coordinates with the color of the frame on the front of the card. It keeps the inside looking elegant and not too overwhelming.

The sheer, floral paper is layered with a piece of plain, sheer paper to write on. It’s hardly noticeable in order to keep it simple.

Shoe-Lover's Card -- HappilyHandwritten.com

The big, lace bow and burlap piece are the focus of the inside of the card. Keep everything else simple. Notice there are no other embellishments.

The Back

The back of the card features something unexpected. Something small that ties the whole card together –– a small martini glass with a pink rhinestone.

Stuck in the middle of the burlap piece, it adds contrast and a final touch.

Shoe-Lover's Card -- HappilyHandwritten.com

The small, martini glass adds a little surprise on the back of the card. It matches the card’s colors and style.

 

DIY Get Well Card

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This DIY Get Well card focuses on being bright and happy. Nobody likes being cooped up in a room, waiting to recover. And no one really wants a sad, sympathy card either.

Your healing friend just wants to know you care. And that’s the idea behind this big, colorful card.

So, where should you start?

As always, it can take awhile to put together the right patterns or colors.

The Measure Once, Cut Twice blog demonstrates how to print patterns and make your own flowers. The card shown on the blog has a bright silhouette ‘Get Well Soon’ embellishment on the front, keeping it cheerful.

And the Bugs and Fishes crafting blog adds a rain cloud to the front of their card and a big, bright sunshine to the inside of the card. I love this idea.

What helps me the most is the person I’m making the card for. Whether it’s my mom or best friend, knowing who they are lets the card basically design itself.

Make it…

1. Plan the card size and colors for the front of the card

  • Spread out all the materials you may want to use
  • Cut your card stock paper to your desired size (I chose to make a 6 x 6 in. card)
  • Play with patterned papers to design the front of the card

DIY Get Well card

2. Measure and cut papers

  • Glue bottom layer of paper first.
  • Choose embellishments

DIY Get Well card

3. Keep the design simple

  • Focus on one idea, sticker, or embellishment
  • Add anything that supports the design (I added the quote below the flower)

DIY Get Well card

4. Coordinate the inside of the card

  • Pick a different pattern that has similar colors
  • Decide on a design or goal for the inside (I chose to make a frame instead of layering paper)
  • Look through quotes, stickers, or photos to add

DIY Get Well card - HappilyHandwritten.com

5. Add final touches

  • I layered the quote sticker with green paper and frosted, sheer paper to make the words pop
  • And the heart ties in the colors on the front and inside of the card

DIY Get Well card - HappilyHandwritten.com

You can even make a matching envelope. Check out my tutorial here.

The ‘Just Saying Hi’ Card: a card for any day

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Making a ‘Just Saying Hi’ card –– or a card that can be sent any day or time –– frees you from holding to any particular holiday or occasion.

The card can be rustic, vintage, collage-like, simple, elaborate, bright, dark, muted, mellow, funny, elegant… and on and on. You don’t have to purchase any specific embellishments. No need for a small range of colors.

When I made my ‘Just Saying Hi’ card, I loved being able to use the wooden ‘Hello’ embellishment that I’ve had for awhile.

The Lostinpaper blog even suggests making your own embellishments with stamps. And Pixie’s Crafty Workshop blog shows you how to store stamped shapes and designs, which can be useful for sizing later.

First things first…

Go crazy. Pick out pages of card stock that you’ve been dying to use but that haven’t fit any particular occasion. Lay out your favorite ones and don’t be afraid to mix wild designs.

I’d been waiting to use the stitched-looking piece of card stock that I used for this card. And I decided to pair it with a piece of bright chevron paper.

IMG_0763

Let your creativity flow…

So, you’ve picked the card stock and maybe an embellishment or two. Now play with different sizes, shapes, and layouts for the front of the card.

You might want to pick one thing to make the design pop. It’s fun to add a piece of fabric or even a ribbon. I chose a couple scraps of burlap for mine.

Let the design take shape and start gluing. When you’ve finished the front, start picking out the patterns for the inside or other side of the card/postcard.

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Don’t be constricted by the front of the card…

Just because you used a certain pattern or color for the front of the card doesn’t mean you have to use it for the inside or back of the card. I like to coordinate my colors somewhat, but that’s completely up to you.

I chose to make a postcard and attached a faded piece of watercolor paper to the back of the stitched paper. Then I layered two completely different pieces of card stock on top.

The only thing that’s the same as the front of the card is the small piece of burlap.

IMG_0771

 

 

 

3 Reasons to Use Rubber Stamps on Your Cards

3 Reasons to Use Rubber Stamps on Your Cards - HappilyHandwritten.com

Pick rubber stamps that are unique and that you’ll use more than once.

Rubber stamps add a clean and cute look to your cards. And the best part of making your own cards is that you can make them look however you want –– and make them say whatever you want.

Instead of depending on my own handwriting to write “Get Well” or “Thank You” messages on my cards, I use rubber stamps.

Of course, it is possible to make a handwritten “Thank You” on the front of a card look beautiful. I just can’t depend on it.

So, I let my rubber stamps do the work for me.

3 reasons to use them…

1. Practical

When you buy a stamp, you get to use that stamp as much as you want. You make up the money you spend after making a few cards.

Simon Says Stamp shows a beautiful example of how to make three unique cards using the same stamp.

And stamps are ideal for making themed stationery, too. If you use the same “Thank You” stamp on a set of matching stationery cards, they will look consistent and uniform. Great gift idea!

3 Reasons to Use Rubber Stamps on Your Cards - HappilyHandwritten.com

Create stationery using the same stamp for each card and mixing up the cards’ designs. The stamp will keep the cards consistent.

2. Professional

Stamps keep your cards looking professional. And they’re easier to use than trying to learn calligraphy.

The fun part is picking out the stamps you like. There’s a huge variety of both rubber and clear stamps at craft stores like Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Choose anything from chalkboard style print to elegant script.

Jukebox, a stamping blog and website, also sells unique stamps and stamp kits.

“Rubber stamps are a great way to combine modern printing with old fashioned elegance,” says Jukebox.

3 Reasons to Use Rubber Stamps on Your Cards - HappilyHandwritten.com

Choosing a signature stamp can take a long time. Don’t be afraid to switch it up until you decide –– or even have one designed just for you.

3. Personal

I like to create personal cards. When I’m about to make a card, I think of the person I’m making it for, and the card designs itself.

Adding a certain stamp to the card is part of the process. Whether it’s a stamp on the front of the card or one on the back, it makes a one-of-a-kind card for the recipient.

Another fun idea is to pick a stamp to put on the back of the cards you make –– sort of like your personal trademark. I picked a thumbprint stamp that says “Handmade” to identify my cards.

 

Adhesives: the Best Ones for Your Paper Crafts

Adhesives: the Best Ones for Your Paper Crafts - HappilyHandwritten.com

There are so many adhesives to choose from. And they all work differently on different surfaces.

When making a card, invitation, scrapbook page or frame, you want your crafts to hold together without warping, wrinkling or drying out.

Every material is different. Photos, embellishments, and thick paper can be hard to secure to heavy card stock. And a glue stick won’t hold material to a scrapbook page very well.

So, it’s important to learn which tape, glue, or paste works best for each material you use.

There’s a glue for almost everything out there. But, I’m going to talk about the basic adhesives that work well for my paper crafts.

4 Basic Adhesives…

1. Glue stick:

Flexible, allowing you time to re-adjust a photo, paper, embellishment. I use glue sticks for small embellishments or paper scraps. It does not secure pieces of card stock to other pieces of card stock very well, though.

Mementoes In Time, another paper crafting blog, also uses glue sticks to add small embellishments to cards.

“However if you use too much glue, the card and papers can warp, so it is often better to use this type of glue when you need to apply small pieces of card or paper to a base card,” the blog suggests.

2. Mod Podge:

I love using Mod Podge on my postcards. It seals the whole surface and acts as a glue, too. It’s flexible until it dries. But it creates a glaze over surfaces, so I don’t use it very often in scrapbooks or on photos. It looks great on frames and acts as a secure glue for decorative elements.

Although it does make thin papers warp when it dries, it’s definitely useful for most other materials, including fabrics.

“After you get Mod Podge, you’ll wonder how you lived without it. I suggest having matte and gloss around, you will use both, depending on the project,” says Lemon Jitters craft blog.

3. Tape Runner:

Tape runners are my personal favorite. They’re clean, provide strong adhesion, and are super easy to roll onto surfaces. You don’t have to use too much, either. The only downside is the cartridges never last too long. So, I buy mine at Michaels Craft Stores and collect their coupons.

“Tape runners are so amazing,” says Lemon Jitters craft blog.”The are so easy and clean to use. Good for paper projects.”

4. Foam Mounting Tape:

This double-sided foam tape is great for raising an embellishment or creating levels of paper on a card. And you can cut the tape to whatever size you need.

“I love using it to attach paper embellishments to my page to give them a little dimension,” says Paper Wishes craft blog. “It gives just enough lift to make a flat paper embellishment really stand out.”

 

4 More Adhesive Options…