Friday, May 17, 2013

How I make a card

1. Start with the card base. You can cut and fold your own out of thick card stock - so you can choose any colour you like - or you can buy ready to go card bases that often come with envelopes.

2. Choose your main colours and textures for the card in complementing base papers.

Your aim is for not too much plain space. The plainer your base papers are, the more texture and pattern you'll need to add with embellishments. If you have highly patterned or textured base papers, you can sometimes get away with nothing else.

I chose a strong pattern in the chevron black and white with a pink paper with a subtle shiny texture. This is in he middle, so I need a bit of embellishment, but not heaps.

Layer or overlap your papers.

3. Start adding layers of embellishments.

Words, like Thank You, Happy Birthday etc, depending on the theme of your card.

If you don't want words, add simple shapes in complementing paper or colour - eg I could replace the L O V E in my card with circles or rectangles made from plain paper with another smaller shape from patterned paper inside each.

4. Add depth and interest.

Look for places that are bare or too plain - you don't need to crowd every available inch of card, but you want to balance it all so there are different layers, levels and elements of interest.

The top left corner of my card was bare so I added a strip of the pink textured paper with pink diamantes stuck on for a raised element.

5. Keep adding elements to balance your design.

Eg add another colour or pattern.
I thought the pink black and white was a bit too monochrome and stark, so added an aqua element to soften it.

Everything else was corners and straight lines, so adding the flower softens it also, and adds interest.

6. Look for finishing touches.

Sometimes there are just little details you can add to finalise your design.

Eg. I added black lines to the top corner if each of the letters in the word 'love'. This just anchors them a little better into the design.

And then STOP. Eventually you have to! It's about finding the balance between too much detail and too little.

Playing around
Before you stick it all down, with these few elements, you can play around with all sorts of arrangements first to find the best one.

This was an alternative I liked, but there's just a bit too much blank space in the middle.

I moved the flower element up, but then all the parts just looked like they were floating, disconnected from the rest of the design.

I tried anchoring the letters with a coloured strip, but it was too bright and unbalanced the card with too much focus at the bottom.

In the middle with no flower it was too monochromatic and too much bare space at the bottom.

(The chevron pattern is too basic to fill that space on its own in this card - a more detailed pattern might hold its own depending on the rest of your design.)

Still too unbalanced - the hot pink is too strong and draws too much attention. Still too bare.

Same problems with the hot pink. Everything floating in space.

So this was my favourite design in the end - I'm never perfectly happy with any design but I thought this one was the best.

The different elements overlap, and so connect the whole card together (ie the flower flows from the chevron to the pink, the L O V E joins the two rectangles, the pink and diamanté strip fills a blank spot and adds depth).

It is simple, but has enough depth and layers with raised bits and texture & pattern to be interesting, and to let the papers be featured rather than crowded out.

Hope that run through helps you a bit when you're designing your own cards!!

1 comment:

  1. Looks really pretty! I used to make my own cards but lately have been too lazy and using store bought ones.

    PS: I'm hosting an Antipodes giveaway and hope you will enter:


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