Paper, paper, paper - most of the crafters that I know have a "thing" about paper. There are many types of paper that you can use and they are available at a variety of price points. At some stage in your crafting, you will probably turn into a bit of a "paper snob." You might find that you are spending a lot of money on paper that you aren't willing to use because it is "too good!"
There are several ways to stretch your paper budget. You can shop the sales at the big box craft stores but they don't carry every brand. Some of my favorites tend to be sold only in independent craft stores or online. I often have luck finding paper and cardstock in some of the discount stores such as Marshall's and Tuesday Morning. They will sometimes have overstock or "last season" lines of paper at greatly reduced prices.
The "B" side is a simple green with white polka dots - this side could be used for all sorts of projects. The extra strip along the bottom has identifying information printed on one side but the back side can be used for a border on a page or card.
If you don't want to do a pocket page book, you can still make good use of these 3 x 4 and 4 x 6 designs. I often use them to make cards. You might think that this is a hopelessly "girly" page but I managed to find a way to use one of the sections to make a "guy" valentine.
I thought this section was the least girly and I liked the sentiment for a valentine. I made a typical 4.25 x 5.5 inch card and added a dark blue layer to represent the sea. I knew that I had an embossing folder that could represent waves.
The Japanese Scales folder is part of a set of four. I fits a card layer cut at 4 x 5.25 inches perfectly. One thing to pay attention to when you are using embossing folders is whether the design is set up to emboss (the lines of the design are raised up) or deboss (the lines of the design are pushed down).
I believe that the side of the folder with the identifying information printed on it is meant to be the "top" side but there is no reason that you can't flip it over if you prefer the opposite effect. The piece on the left of this photo is the back or bottom side but it was the side that I wanted to use for the ocean waves. The right side or debossed version looks more like clouds to me.
The blue shimmery cardstock that I used was a little thin and the embossing actually broke the surface and allowed some white core to show. I used some Broken China distress ink to cover the white spots and I flipped the pattern over since that looked more like a wave design to me.
When you are adding a layer to a white card and working on a white surface it is much easier to get it centered if you place a contrasting piece of cardstock under your card. I decided to round just two opposite corners of the card to coordinate with the wavy look.
Next I added the 3 x 4 section, rounding the same two corners to coordinate with the card base. I wasn't a fan of the little pink fish for this card so I looked for a way to make it blend in.
I still have a lot of items left from my time on the Design Team for Creative Charms and this little iridescent fish was the perfect size and color. I added some narrow Scor-Tape to the back of the fish and stuck in right on top of the pink fish. Poof! Not so girly anymore....!
The card was looking pretty good but it didn't necessarily seem like a valentine. I decided some hearts were needed.
One heart punched from some glitter cardstock was good...
...but three hearts were better! I added another large heart to the inside along with the hand written sentiment.
These packs of paper usually contain 25 of the same design and they are often marked at just a few dollars. That is quite a bargain when you are used to paying about $1 a sheet at a specialty shop. The "B" sides are often great for making mini-albums to serve as the background for your pages.
Today I added a couple of sheets of this cardstock to each box - one full sheet and one that is already cut into pieces. It helps to have a good paper trimmer to get the cuts right along the lines in the design. I use a lighted trimmer called a Cutterpillar Pro. I have also included the same embossed blue layer, punched hearts and the little fish that you would need to replicate this card. I didn't get to take a photo during the daylight hours so you'll see the additions to the boxes in tomorrow's post.
How do you play along in the blog celebration giveaway?
To enter for a chance to win one of the three boxes - see all of the details on the first blog celebration post HERE. Then come back and get your comments in on this post. Remember, if you sign up for the new newsletter (see the box at the top right of the page) I will be choosing one person from the subscribers as a box winner (you don't need to leave a comment here since I can see that list).
Today's question to answer in your comment is:
Tell me about your paper/cardstock shopping habits. Where do you like to buy paper? Are you a paper hoarder? Do you have more paper than anyone could reasonably expect to use up? Do you buy paper that you like whenever you see it or do you buy for particular projects?
Here is one more look at the card. Do you think I successfully converted a "girly" paper into a "guy" card? It is fun to stretch your imagination to find ways to use a bargain find.
I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day. In our part of the country, next week is a school vacation week. If you are taking a trip with your family have a great time. We'll be here...in the snow...but I'll keep filling those boxes.
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