Debbie Olsen's picture

Making Cards from Scraps and Sketches

Hello! My name is Debbie Olson, and I am happy to be a guest blogger today on the Ella Publishing Blog. I have to admit that I was hesitant to tackle a scrapbooking topic since my genre of paper crafting is primarily card making. I love layouts; I just don't have much free time to create them. I feel much more comfortable with an occasional mini album than with a 12" x 12" page.

Having spent several hours perusing various Ella Publications, however, I knew that I had a topic that my scrapbooking  friends could relate to: using your paper scraps and layout sketches. Today I would like to share some cards that take those layout sketches and paper scraps, and translate them to cards. I am using three sketches from the Ella Stretch Your Sketches e-book by Donna Jannuzzi. If you don't have this e-book, I highly recommend it to help you rethink and rework successful sketches.

I began with the three-photo sketch found on page 10, downsizing it to create a 5-1/4" square card. Square cards are a great break from the traditional 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" card, though postage costs a bit extra for them.

My stamp image was three flower stems and leaves together; the blooms were intended to be buttons. I inked the stems separately so that I could stamp three small panels rather than one large one, and I stitched a couple of lines for ground.

I stuck to the sketch faithfully, other than moving my sentiment down to the journaling block area, and adding the felt clouds and sun where the title had originally been. If you don't have image stamps, try some freehand sketching, or hand-stitch a stem and leaf trio. Use those scraps and sketches!

Next I have a birthday card that uses one of the alternate page 13 sketches shown on page 26. I simply reduced it to 4-1/4" x 5-1/2"-- one quarter of a letter-sized sheet of cardstock.

Since I had a sweet scrap of kite strings paper, I searched through my stamps for a kite image. (If you don't have a kite image, you can always cut the kites from scraps too.)

I wasn't as sure that this sketch would work for a card front with the title/sentiment turned sideways, but when I stamped it on twill and tied it around my card front, it worked well. I bumped the rectangles up slightly rather than leaving then in the center vertically since I wanted the knot and button detail to help frame that lower right corner. Still, it's recognizable as the alternate sketch and uses only scraps.

Are you ready to make some cards yet?

For my last card I chose the six-photo sketch from page 19 of Stretch Your Sketches.

With paper scraps this warm and cozy, I wanted to create a quilt card. While I have plenty of quilt- square stamps, I made a simple quilt from 1-1/4" paper scraps, sewn onto a pale aqua cardstock base.

One helpful hint when sewing cardstock: you probably will not want to knot your thread in the traditional way of going forward, reversing your stitching, and then stitching forward again. Instead simply leave the ends loose. You will have a thread on top and one on the bottom at each place that you started and stopped a line of stitches. Turn your cardstock over and pull gently on the thread in the back. A loop should appear that when pulled upon will bring the front thread through to the back as well. To affix the threads to the cardstock, simply dot some adhesive (I've used a tape runner here) near the threads and press them into the adhesive. That way you won't need to tie knots, and you will still have a clean front with no loose threads showing.

I added the sentiment where the title was in the sketch and tied twine around the card for lower element strip on this 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" card. A couple of threaded buttons finished my quilt with a minimum of fuss.

See how simple it is to adapt those sketches and use your paper scraps? You may discover a new hobby! Thank you for visiting today.

All of my patterned paper scraps today are from Cosmo Cricket's new Togetherness line.

Stamps are from Papertrey Ink (Blooming Button Bits; Up, Up, and Away; Scattered Showers Additions; and Vintage Picnic

Cardstock and most accessories are also from Papertrey Ink.

Tools include a Martha Stewart Circle Cutter, a set of Papertrey Ink cloud dies, and a Spellbinders Paper Arts Classic Rectangle Nestability die and Double-Ended Tag die.

Inks were mostly Versamagic chalk ink.

a little about Debbie Olson

As a home-schooling mom by day and avid paper crafter by night, I am blessed to work with several paper crafting and stamping manufacturers, including Copic (Imagination International), Cosmo Cricket, JustRite Stampers, Lockhart Stamp Company, Papertrey Ink, Spellbinders Paper Arts, and Zva Creative. They feed my paper addiction! I also blog regularly on paper crafting at Thinking Inking.

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