You know the feeling. The kids have tons of demands, vacation is just around
the corner, that big project at work is eating all of your free time. How will
you ever make those handmade cards for the big party, or mail the invitations
for the guests at the big wedding? What started out as a great idea for some
very special cards has turned into a stressful project. These ten simple steps
will maximize your time and free up your creativity when making multiple cards
for any size project.
1. Determine and plan your cardmaking schedule. Do you want to set aside a
few hours or just 30 minutes at a time? Pick a design suitable for the available
time. Make a simple "assembly line" schedule to maximize the time you have to
spend on the project.
2. Work on individual elements, individually. It may sound silly, but working
on one element of the cards will retain the "look" of the cards while creating a
"unity" among them. Start by stamping all of the impressions, then work on
cutting out all of the backgrounds, folding all of the paper, tearing all of the
sheets simultaneously. You don't want to spend too much time on any one card.
3. Have a party! Kids and relatives love to involved. Make the work fun and
don't be overly concerned about the smaller details of the project. You will
ultimately put all of the individual components together, giving you plenty of
time to add any special touches. Working together with other people will also
add a new level of uniqueness to your cards.
4. Stop writing. One of the most frustrating tasks of mass producing cards is
hand writing messages. Find "handwriting fonts" available online, at your
nearest craft supply store, or your local computer store. Sign the finished card
or pen in any details or RSVP information as you would with a store purchased
5. Use a paper trimmer. If you need a fast way to make background frames or
trim down embellishments, scissors just won't cut it! Stacking paper in 5-10
sheet groups and trimming all at once will provide perfect multiple shapes.
Often, your scraps can be stacked in such a way to trim them into useable pieces
with a trimmer. Rotary trimmers will also allow you to add perfect "scalloped"
edges to the base of the card(s).
6. Punch It. Remember your time is valuable. Whether it's a heart, circle,
flower, even a fork and spoon, your local craft store will have a perfect punch
for the card. Cutting out shapes by hand is tedious and rarely looks well.
Circles can be particularly difficult.
7. Stamp, Stamp, Stamp. When placing stamped images on a card, use one stamp
at a time and make as many impressions as needed. Don't clean stamps or switch
colors until all of the cards have been stamped. This keeps your ink pads from
becoming "mixed" and makes the impressions uniform.
8. Avoid difficult embellishments. I am sure that rows of bows, lines of
brads, or glued dots would look wonderful on each card. Finding a simpler
alternative will save you hours. Paper tears, taped bows, even stylish stickers
can be just as attractive without the hours of difficult handy work.
9. Customize backgrounds. If you absolutely must have a "look" provided by a
stamped background, make a "master" copy on white paper EXACTLY how it should
look. Scan the paper design into a computer at 300 dpi. (If you're already
confused, spend a minute with the scanner manual.) Print onto colored cardstock
or paper. When done properly, no one will even notice!
10. Have fun?with a budget. These are the two biggest factors when mass
producing cards. You don't want to get partway through the project only to
realize you have far overspent your intended budget. That special patterned
paper and those cute hologram stickers can max out the cost of the cards. Alternatively, when the project simply becomes a duty, it is unlikely you will
ever finish. Remember to always plan lots of time. After all, this is by far the
greatest hobby in the world!
Kathy Williams is a rubber stamp addict! She writes informative rubber stamp articles that focus on techniques, trends, and styles. From chalking, antiquing,
crimping, trimming, inking, and even shadowing, her ideas are sure to inspire
hours of stamping creativity. Find more of her great ideas, stamping articles,
and favorite rubber stamps at http://www.rubberstampingfun.com