Angie Lucas's picture

The End

If you look around you today, you just might spot a zombie at the grocery store, or a phantom on your neighbor's lawn, or perhaps a body part hanging out of a trunk. This must be what the end of the world looks like!

Luckily, it's not the end of the world; it's just everyone's favorite gore-fest, Halloween. But it IS the end of something at Ella Publishing Co.

Card Making Month ends today!

Come on, click the banner one last time. Browse through our complete list of card-related blog posts and eZine articles (Halloween cards, Christmas cards, birthday cards, and more!). AND while you're there, check out the sale prices that END TODAY on three fabulous Ella eBooks.

Today is also your last chance to save 31% off of any one regularly priced Ella eBook.

It all ends today. Well, at least our sale does.

Happy haunting!

MaryJo Johnston's picture

Birthday cards with Ella friend Mary Jo

Welcome to card making month here on the Ella Blog!

I’m so excited to share a few projects in the category of “Birthday Card Ideas”. 

Cardmaking has long been a favorite part of paper crafting for me.  Creating birthday cards is no exception.  Festive patterned paper, paper cakes, candles, ribbons and sentiments make each and every birthday card a small canvas of creativity!

birthday card ideas

birthday card closeup

Here are a few cardmaking tips for you:

  • Ribbon can add a wonderful dimension and touch of softness to any card.
  • Use pop dots or foam squares for die cuts and paper embellishments to add just a little dimension to your card.
  • Have a sticker that you’d like to turn into a die cut?  No problem! Sprinkle a little baby powder on the back to lose the ‘sticky’, add a foam square and adhere to your birthday card.


cupcake birthday card

  • Try using a ‘tent fold’ for your card to make tying ribbon a little easier.
  • Stitching on your cards is a great way to add that last special detail.

birthday bash handmade card

  • Try incorporating techniques from your scrapbook layouts, onto your cards, on a smaller scale.  For example, I used this banner on a smaller scrapbook layout and then incorporated another into my cards.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Happy Creating!  Mary Jo

Card Making Month at Ella Publishing

jantatomir's picture

{made} simply

Greetings!  Jan Tatomir here and happy to be guesting at Ella for Card Month!  Haven't we received some fantastic tips on card making?   Scrapbook manufacturers sure have made it easy on us card makers, haven't they?  I love the new 6x6 paper pads that a lot of the scrapbook manufacturers are coming out with.  The scaled down prints work so much better on cards, dont' they?  Matching embellishments and easy to use sentiments make making a card quick and easy.  

Here, I've let the fun sticker sentiment from SRM determine what I did for the rest of this simple card. I added a little fake snow for a frosty mustache embellishment.  

For my Halloween card I used 2 pattern papers from a 6x6 paper pad from My Mind's Eye Mischievious line.   I added one large felt tree embellishment with a pop of color from the stars.  The eyes added a bit of fun to the tree.  The sticker sentiment was cut in half in order to work on my card.

One of my favorite techniques for making a simple eye catching design is blocking.   Using pattern paper from a paper pad makes it easy to do.  Add a matching embellishment and you have a simply stunning card made in minutes.

Simple can be elegant.  Simple can be fun.  Easy to use products make card making simple and enjoyable.  Please visit my blog,  Simply Made,  for a chance to win som SRM Sticker Sentiments!  Happy Card Making!

Danielle Flanders's picture

Ten Tips for stamping and cardmaking: Part 2

Hello, this is Danielle Flanders here with my second guest blog post! I’m so excited to be a part of Card Month here at Ella Publishing, as card making is one of my favorite hobbies. Today I am sharing the second part of my “top 10 favorite stamping techniques."  (see the first five here)

6. Stamp a background.

It’s quick and easy to create a simple card by repeating a sentiment or another shape in the background.


7. Stamp a quick border.

I’ve used a leaf stamp here to create a neat border on the bottom of my card.


8. Stamp and then dry emboss over the top.

Such depth is created when stamping and then running it through an embossing machine with an embossing folder, such as the swirls on this card.


9. Mist over punched shapes, then add stamping over the top.

On this card, I punched some hearts out, placed them on my card, then misted over them with Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels. I removed the hearts and let the card dry. Then I added a sentiment over the top.

10. Use stamps in a unique way, other than what they were intended for.

Here I’ve used a border stamp as journaling lines.

Such depth is created when stamping and then running it through an embossing machine with an embossing folder, such as the swirls on this card.

I hope you enjoyed these card ideas! For more card ideas please visit my blog: Homespun With Heart.




My favorite stamp company, Papertrey Ink, has offered to give away one of my favorite stamp sets and coordinating dies, the Tiny Tags. Please leave a message on the first blog post here to be entered to win!

Danielle Flanders's picture

Ten Tips for stamping and cardmaking: Part 1

Hello, this is Danielle Flanders here with a guest blog post! I’m so excited to be a part of Card Month here at Ella Publishing, as card making is one of my favorite hobbies. I have decided to put together a list of my “top 10 favorite stamping techniques” and share some ideas with you. Today I share tips 1-5, come back tomorrow for the remaining. Let’s get started!


1. Layer stamped images.

Lately, I have been loving to layer my stamping like you see on this card below. I began with the different shades of green for the holly stamp, then stamped the red sentiment over the top, and then the tree and borders. Start with the lightest color first when stamping and then progress with the darker colors of ink with this technique.


2. Stamp onto patterned paper.

Who says stamping has to be on white or plain colored cardstock? Utilize your favorite patterned papers with a soft design on them and stamp right over the patterned paper. Here I’ve used an older Making Memories graph paper. Text paper works great also!


3. Stamp on vellum.

I’ve stamped on glassine bags here to create little birthday invitations for my daughter’s party. Be sure to use ink that won’t smear when stamping on a smooth surface like vellum. You can stamp the party details on another piece of paper and slip it inside the pocket. If you don’t have these envelopes, try folding vellum to create your own!


4. Mask off a shape and stamp inside the shape.

On this card, I wanted to create a tree shape to go with the sentiment of “growing old friends”, so I cut an oval out of cardstock, placed it down on my card and repeatedly stamped the sentiment inside the shape. Stitching around it gives it more definition as well.


5. Stamp on tags.

Tags are a fun way to add quick detail to a card! You can even cut a tag in half and tie a piece of floss on to hang the other tags. (Don’t forget to dress up your envelopes too!)

I hope you enjoyed these card ideas!  Come back tomorrow for the remaining five. Please visit my blog: Homespun With Heart.

GIVEAWAY: now closed

**winner is

Before you go… my favorite stamp company, Papertrey Ink, has offered to give away one of my favorite stamp sets and coordinating dies, the Tiny Tags. Please leave a message here to be entered to win!

Leave a message here to be entered to win and share your favorite card stamping technique.

giveaway closes on Wednesday, 10/26 at 10:00 pm MST

For more card ideas click on the banner below

jess_witty's picture

{water}Coloring Outside the Lines

Remember the good ol’ days of back to school shopping… you know… for yourself?   There was all the boring stuff… pencils, check.  Paper, check.  Tissues, check.  Blah, blah, blah.

But then… there was the good stuff.  Namely, the brand spankin’ new art supplies.  The starring players being the giant box of Crayolas and the perfectly pretty and unmarred set of watercolors, paired with the obligatory oversized manila paper.

My school days may be but {ahem} a bit of a glimmer in the distance but now that I’m in charge of the school supply buying expeditions, who’s to say I can’t have my own set of watercolors again?  After all, they are perfect tool for cardmaking since they hit my two major requirements… cheap and easy. 

Adding some watercolor accents to your cards is super easy when you start with a stamped image.  Both  line art images and solid images will work.  Let’s get started with a line art image.

I stamped this folksy Christmas tree (from Papertrey Ink’s Winterberry set) on my card with a permanent ink.

This part really is as easy you remember it… just color it in.  For this tree I started with a lighter green on the inside, some darker blue green accents in the middle, and a pale aqua “halo” around the outside of the image.  I finished the card off with a simple sentiment and a few rhinestone accents.

A few tips…

  • Load up your brush with water and color and then test it on a piece of scrap cardstock before brushing on your card.
  • Keep a paper towel handy and use it to lighten up a watery brush… too much water on your cardstock will cause warping.
  • Try not to go over your watercoloring more than a time or two.  Colors look best when they’re not muddied.

Watercoloring over solid images is even easier.  Experiment with using water based ink in a variety of colors.  Simply brushing a wet brush over the image can create a simple watercolor look by causing the image to bleed slightly.

I took a few solid wildflower images (from Papertrey Ink’s Wildflower Garden set) and stamped them with onto a card with chalk ink.  A very simple watercolor wash with a bit of coordinating color over the top of the flowers produced a quick and easy watercolor look for next to no effort…

My snazzy box of watercolors set me back 5 big ones at Michael’s.  I’d say that’s well worth the investment into taking me back to my childhood J 

Happy crafting!


(For all the supply information for today’s projects, head on over to my blog !)

For more Ella card ideas click on the banner below

Maximizing a Sketch

Hi! Jennifer Rzasa here, and I'm thrilled to be guest-blogging here at Ella! Today I have some tips and tricks for maximizing a sketch when making a card.

Below is a sketch I drew of a card layout I use often. It's simple, well-balanced, and is open for interpretation!

Of course, you could make a card following this sketch precisely as it is drawn, or you can try these variations:

1. Flip the Sketch
This one is a no-brainer! Look at the sketch sideways or upside down. Sometimes inspiration can strike when you look at things in a new way. I flipped my sketch and immediately saw the perfect place for a simple Christmas ornament.

2. Move the Sentiment/Play With Scale
Who says the sentiment has to be right there? I also enlarged the focal circle, to really showcase that pretty stamped flower.

3. Think Outside the Box
That circle can be a tree, a butterfly, a skateboard, a snowflake...whatever you want! I chose to use a negative die cut of a bird, on a square piece of cardstock. And if you have ever been to my blog, you know that I adore embroidery floss! A rainbow of floss was the perfect thing to set behind that die cut. Get creative!

4. Run Wild!
Use the sketch as a jumping-off point. I added a scalloped border, some black pearls, ribbon loops, and a hand-drawn frame. They weren't in the original sketch, but who cares!? Even if you embellish so much that your card looks nothing like it, you still succeeded! As long as you love the result, you can keep pushing the envelope! 

I hope these tips help you look at sketches in a new way.  Thanks so much for visiting during Card Making Month, and please check out my blog, Our Change of Art :)


Wendy Smedley's picture

Giveaway winners +

Quick Update!

See the list of randomly selected winners listed below in order of blog post, and get excited for more card making posts this week and later this month!

Embossed Cards with Sarah Hodgkinson winner is: Hallymichelle

Cards from Kits with Deena Ziegler winner is: JillT

Making Cards from leftovers with Latrice Murphy winner is: JoMama

Plus we have two giveaway winners from two of the Stretch your Sketches posts.

September is: alizadeutsch

June is: Sara Benzkofer

Last two winners, please contact Donna directly so she can full fulfill your prize. Email her at donnajannuzzi(at)gmail(dot)com

Watch it here.

The card making fun continues all month long so keep checking back so you don’t miss anything. You can check the Card-Making Month homepage by clicking the banner below.

uniquelg's picture

Making Cards from Layout Leftovers (+ a Giveaway)

Hello Ella blog readers! My name is Latrice Murphy and I’m super excited to be here guest designing during Card Making Month here on The Daily Trumpet.

Today’s post is for those scrapbookers who are always thinking “I’d love to try making cards”, but then say “I don’t have time.” Well let me tell you, you do have the time and you can do it! This is how I started out making cards and to this day I still do it. I do about 50/50 of scrapbooking and making cards now.

Think about this…have you ever gone to a crop or retreat to work on your scrapbooking and you end up throwing away your scraps because you don’t want to haul them back home? How come no one likes leftovers? (Hee hee) I used to do this until I got a couple stamps to start with and started using those scraps to make super simple cards. I was reusing and it felt great.

I created this layout using the Paper Moon Kit from Studio Calico.


Once completed I had these pieces left over to work with. I pulled a few embellishments in and a favorite Hero Arts stamp. Yes you may pull in some plain cardstock to make your card base. That’s it though! Everything else has to be leftovers.

From those scraps I created two fun cards with minimal stamping and technique. Check them out!

To me cards are about making someone feel good with a special message or sending a hug to someone who is miles away. I could have spent more time and created cards that were packed with the latest techniques and trends, but my cards get the message across and are meaningful to the recipients. And that's good enough!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this short tutorial and my card share today. As a special thank you to you readers and Ella I have a GIVEAWAY!

Leave a comment on this post to win two full spools of ribbon of your choice from May Arts. You will seriously have the hardest time choosing!

Giveaway closed!

Winner is JoMama

Also if you would like to see more of me and my projects please visit me on my blog.  I also have a new class called Handmade Holidays for just $10. I’d love for you to join me.

Come back Monday for more inspiring cards and ideas. The celebration continues all month long so keep checking back so you don’t miss anything. You can check the Card-Making Month homepage by clicking the banner below.

Cards from Kits... Making it Simple

Happy Card Making Month Ella Friends! I'm happy to be guest blogging over here at Ella. I'm hoping to meet many new online friends, so I hope you'll hop over to all my links below and learn more about me and what I do.

There is no denying that I love to craft, so much so that I was ending up with lots and lots of crafty things. Many were piling up with no other purpose than being "cute." My craft room was busting at the seams and I was in need of a solution. That's when I fell in love with card making!

Card making is perfect for me and my style of crafting. They are quick to make and give you that "I finished something" feeling. Handmade cards give your friends and loved ones that "I feel extra special" feeling. And making cards brought a sence of practicality to my crafting. I use them up quickly, they make great gifts and everyone needs a cards, so I can keep on making them and they never pile up!

I've been teaching card classes for 10 years and a few years ago I launched my own onlin card kit business. Today I wanted to share with you just how easy it is to make cards from kits! Kits are a great jumping off point, all the colors and embellishments are already coordinated and with my kits all the parts and pieces are already cut to size. All you have to do is put the parts together and add a little glitter or ink if you desire.

Here's an idea of what you can expect your kit to look like. There are two different kits pictured here.

Here are the cards I made from one kit.

And here are 2 of the 6 cards I made from the other kit.

It was simple and I can put together a kit in less time than it takes me to drive to Hallmark and pick out a card. Not to mention it's less expensive and I didn't have to beg my children to behave in the store. I hope this month you find ideas to get you inspired to make some cards. Hope you'll stop by and check out my shop and let me help you get inspired and make it easier than you ever imagined to make cards. I'd love to give away a kit today!

Just leave a comment here on Ella's blog and for another entry leave a comment on my blog and we'll pick a winner!

Giveaway closes in 48 hours October 13th at 9:00 pm

Giveaway closed!

Winner is Jillt

To sweeten the deal the two kits above are specially priced in my shop this week.

Regularly $20.00 this week $12.95 Come by and say hi,




I hope you have a beautiful day, enjoy the cards!

Valerie Mangan's picture

Make Your Own Halloween Embellished Photo Cards

I have always loved to take photos but when I started scrapbooking, that love moved to the forefront.  How great that my 2 favorite hobbies could be merged together!  Most think the idea of using photos in scrapbooking ends with a finished layout or mini album, but photos are also great for cardmaking.  Here are a few examples of how I used a collection of photographs from last fall to create a group of fun, seasonal cards.

Sometimes, simple is the best way to go. With a little photo editing and the addition of a clear sticker, this photo of some candy apples I made became a cute Halloween card:

You don’t have to fill the card with the photo. White space is a great thing to keep in mind when designing with photos. Small photos can have an impact when used alone or in sets. Here I used 3 wallet sized photos along with seasonal embellishments:

And on this card, I used one large photo as a focal point and left a large amount of white space.  I added a few embellishments and a little hand stitching and bling for the skeleton eyes:

Here I used a 3 ½ x 5 photo like patterned paper and covered a tag base. Then I embellished over it :

Here are a few handy tips when working with photos for cards:

  • I find that scenic and detail photos work best.
  • Print them on matte photo paper. You will avoid glare, fingerprints and scratches this way. Only have glossy? Think about using some vellum or a patterned transparency over the photos.
  • If you are going to embellish, select (or take) photos that have a good amount ‘open’ space so you can add product without taking away from the photo’s focal point.
  • Learn a few simple photo editing actions. You’d be amazed how you can transform a photo with a few simple clicks.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to make fun cards with photos. I hope I’ve inspired you to use some of yours for card projects!

materials: clear stickers (SRM), embellishments, button (American Crafts), pin (Tim Holtz), gems (Stampin' Up) by Valerie Mangan

Sarah Hodgkinson's picture

Card Making Idea: Embossed Die-Cuts

It's card-making season! I'm happy to be guest-blogging for Ella Publishing Co.'s card making month!

Fall is here, and I wanted to share with you fun fall card—and a technique that makes me feel somewhat better about the 100+ embossing folders that I own. Simply take any shape of die (i.e., flower, leaf, heart, star) and add great dimension by embossing the shapes with a variety of folders or texture plates. 

Now take that idea plus the newest cardstock to come from Core'dinations, Kraft Core, and you have a fabulous combination for all your autumn projects! Just be sure to lightly sand any embossed patterns in order to bring out the kraft paper core at the middle of your Kraft Core projects.

Here is a business-letter-sized card (9 x 4), which I made using my Tim Holtz/Sizzix leaf die and a few of my embossing folders (Cuttlebug, Quickutz, Sizzix, Stampin' Up!, etc.)—a different texture for each leaf. 

Supplies: Core'dinations cardstock and Sand-It Gadget tool, Sizzix/Tim Holtz leaf die, Cuttlebug, Quickutz, Sizzix and Stampin' Up! embossing folders, Cuttlebug text die, Xyron sticker maker, Fiskars layering tape and heart punch, Queen & Co. bling, other: sewing machine and thread.

Would you like an opportunity play with the new Kraft Core cardstock from Core'dinations? Leave a comment on this blog post, and we'll draw one random winner who'll receive this awesome prize. 

Giveaway closed!

Winner is Hallymichelle

There's more card-making fun where that came from!
Join us all month long. We'll keep you up-to-date with all the latest articles, giveaways and more on our Card-Making Month homepage:

Wendy Smedley's picture

Watch Us on My Craft Channel Today!

The day has finally arrived: the launch of, where Angie and I will share a professionally produced segment each week from our new Books & Crafts show!

Watch it here. AND also enjoy today's daily deal from My Mind's Eye.


In today's episode, we talk about our List It! products, showing you how they can be used in handmade journals, notebooks, and even an art journal filled with ephemera, scraps, book pages, lists, and more.


To celebrate the launch of our new show, we're putting all of our List It! products on sale for 10 percent off! Use code LISTITNOW on our regular or digi-plus versions through October 9, 2011.


PLUS, each week we each share a book pick of the week! Here are this week's picks:


Angie Lucas's picture

Welcome to Card-Making Month!

Hello and welcome to October, which we have officially declared as Card-Making Month here at Ella Publishing Co. We welcome card makers of all styles, types, and ability levels to join us for 31 days of card-making fun!

Stop by often to enjoy card-related blog posts, eZine articles, giveaways, and a brand new ebook, 31 Thank You Cards, coming at the end of the month! And we've set up a special Card-Making Month home page to help you keep track of everything that's happening site-wide. Just click here:


Let's kick things off with a little question (well SET of questions, really):


What type of card maker are you? What's your style? Why do you make cards?


While you're thinking about your answer, I'll share a little bit about my card-making style. It can be summed up in one word: utilitarian.


When it comes to making cards, I'm an efficient, no-nonsense, very-few-frills crafter. My goal isn't necessarily to express my creativity, explore new artistic techniques, or create a little tiny work of art on a 4.25 x 5.5 canvas.


My goal is to create something relatively attractive, using the supplies I have on hand, so I can avoid a trip to the store to purchase a greeting card. Sometimes my cards are planned out well ahead of a holiday, and sometimes I'm attaching ribbon while running out to the car on our way to someone's birthday party (while my husband drums his fingers on the dashboard :).


Here are a few examples of the no-frills card style that is my standard, go-to approach:

Every now and then, I'll create a spare "just in case" card like this one with leftover layout supplies. Might as well complete a quick, 5-minute card and use up a few leftover embellishments or die-cut words before cleaning up my space.


Sometimes I create a quick card to give my thoughts that extra handmade touch. Even a 10-minute handmade card means more than something purchased at the store. I created this card to bid farewell to a dear friend who moved from two doors down to two entire states away. I simply punched a bunch of circles from patterned paper, drew outlines around them, and wrote a sentiment on the front. I don't think it could possibly get any simpler than this.

And sometimes it's the morning of my teenager's birthday, and I realize his gift wouldn't be quite complete without a card. So I threw this one together the morning of. This card is still displayed on Jeremy's bookshelf 18 months after I gave it to him—whether that's out of sentimentality or laziness, I'll never know. I thought he'd appreciate a quirky mix of patterns plus a random, meaningless fish. And apparently, he does.


So, how would you describe your typical card-making approach? Utilitarian? Clean and simple? Artsy? Shabby? Vintage?


Take note that most of the cards you'll see here at Ella Publishing Co. this month will be of the "mini work of art" variety, rather than the "get it done as quickly as possible" variety, like these. (Sigh of relief, right?) We've gathered up some of the best of the best to share their tips, tricks, and techniques with you. We're talking eye candy galore! You're bound to be educated, energized, and inspired to try new looks and approaches with your own card-making.


Hope to see lots of you around here this month! After all, with the holidays rapidly approaching (say it ain't so!), it's the perfect time of year to start thinking about handmade cards.

Angie Lucas's picture

World Card-Making Day Blog Hop

We decided to celebrate World Card-Making Day by supporting the Operation Write Home blog hop!


We've gathered up a few inspiring holiday cards from our fabulous Ella Friends (Ella Publishing Co.'s fabulous design team) to share with you here. Just a bit of eye candy to inspire your holiday card-making adventures!


This first collage of Christmas cards includes six different (but very similar) designs by Monika Wright! They're made from Momenta papers, The Twinery baker's twine, and these cute holiday tags from Monika's etsy shop.


Donna Jannuzzi sent in this mini creation that measures just 3.5 x 3.5 inches! Perfect for a short little sentiment or to include with a gift.


This gorgeous card by Mary Jo Johnston is full of layered goodness! If you want to borrow this look to create a card for the troops, just make sure there's no glitter anywhere on your card. (Glitter clings to everything and it can have the unfortunate side effect of making soldiers visible at night.) Simply choose a polka-dot background that does not include glitter!


Brenda Johnston created a simple yet stunning paper-pieced and stamped card that's suitable for ANY winter holiday!


Featuring a fun play on the phrase, "Merry Christmas, Dear," this cute card by Mary Jo Johnston will make recipients of all ages smile. (Again, to send one like this overseas, simply replace the sparkly chipboard letter stickers with something that's plain or flocked.)

Hope you enjoyed these cards as much as our gals enjoyed making them!


And to thank you for stopping by, use code BLOGHOP to save $2 on our fabulous holiday eBook, Vintage-Hip Christmas Crafts, which includes complete tutorials for holiday layouts, cards, decor, and more! Coupon expires Monday, October 3. And since these are projects you'll be keeping around home, go ahead and get CRAZY with the glitter. :)


And please join us for our Card-Making Month, happening at Ella Publishing Co. all month long! You'll LOVE the free eZine articles, blog posts, giveaways, and more—all leading up to a fabulous NEW eBook, 31 Thank You Cards, by Kimber McGray, Kristina Werner, and Heather Nichols.

Make sure you don't miss a thing by signing up for our free newsletter!


If you haven't heard of Operation Write Home, read all about them here. We LOVE their mission statement:

Supporting our nation's armed forces by sending blank handmade greeting cards to write home on, as well as cards of gratitude to encourage them.


Now go enjoy the blog hop!