Well here we are, folks. Welcome to Building a Better Card 101! If you've ever looked at someone else's
card and thought, *I wish I could stamp like that*.....well, I'm gonna help you out today. It's about building your card upon simple design elements. Let's get started.
First, use your tools that you've spent all that hard earned money on. If your supplies just sit on a shelf, you'll never know their full potential. Papertrey
has oodles of supplies to help you out....from new dies to patterned papers to buttons. The possibilities are endless.
For my cards today, I had a basic sketch in mind with a rectangle focal point. Nothing too fancy about the finished card design....but it's the details that make my cards exciting today. I want to show you some progression photos so that you can see how I *build* my cards. You'll be amazed at how the layers of details result in a fun focal point.
As you can see in the photo below, I started out with some simple stamping of the flower stems with the doodad flowers attached with pop dots. The sentiment is stamped below the flowers. Nice. But I don't want just nice, I want to use some of my new dies and punches and patterned paper. I want some pizazz.
So I reach for some patterned paper (Green Boutique and Pretty Pastels) and make some punched circles and scalloped edges. I adhere them to my focal piece. But they seem to be *floating* in space. The pieces aren't grounded and they don't tie together.
So how about adding some black stitching around my rectangle focal piece. The stitching touches each added element and ties them all together. The lines created by the stitching also add a border to my focal piece. No need to go all the way around because the black sentiment creates the bottom border. I've not got a framed little piece of artwork, so to speak.
But my focal piece still looks a little bland. So I added some more tied buttons to the green punched circles. That looks great, don't you think?
Here's where the design elements come in to play. You probably didn't even notice I was using design elements, right? Say what? Well, once you get used to thinking in a *designer* sort of way, it should come natural. It all just happens.
So what did I do that was so special. Let me lay it out for you:
COLOR: I used colors that were pleasing to the eye. Notice how the color of the doodad flowers and the scalloped pieces are the same tone. Notice how the flower stems and the punched circles are the same tone. That creates an overall nice look.
GROUNDING: This isn't really a technical term but it's very important when designing a card. Don't just let your design elements float around in space. Ground them by creating a border, a horizon line, a grouping.....something to tie all the elements together. Balance your elements.
REPETITION: Repetition is repeating some of the same design elements over and over. I already talked about how I repeated the use of the same color scheme in the color section above. Another way that I used repetition is with shape. Notice all the circular elements on my card. The flower is a circle. The inside punched text book paper is a circle. The three accent buttons are circles. The scallops are circular in nature. And look closely, the little stamp under the flower stems are a row of circles. Similar design elements are pleasing to the eye. Square buttons might not have worked as well on my focal piece.
: This is very important. A visual triangle is simply three elements that are grouped together to draw the eye to the other elements in the triangle. The triangle does not have to be perfect. Just a grouping that creates a triangle. Can you point out some triangles on my focal piece? Let's see, the three peach buttons create a visual triangle. The circles that the buttons rest on create a visual triangle.
And notice below that I went in after the fact and added an aqua punched circle behind the green punched circle. That adds a third aqua color element which creates a visual triangle. Now at this point, scroll back up to my first image, then scroll down. It all makes sense and my focal point now has lots of interesting details. Did I just luck out? I think not, friends. I used some great design elements to make it look great. You can do it too!
Now how about the rest of my card? I had lots of color options that I could use behind that focal piece. Usual In Bloom
patterned paper, I had a subtle floral theme to choose from. I laid out a rainbow of colors below so that you can see lots of options. Zoom in on the photo below. I actually like ALL of the choices below. Each background paper gives a different look. The bright yellow looks punchy and fun. The green looks earthy and flowery. The brown looks a little vintage and subtle.
The black even looks great because it ties in with the black stitching on the card and the black stamped sentiment. I almost chose black with an aqua ribbon.......
But I decided to use the red background paper. I thought my green stems and greenish-blue flowers would compliment nicely with the red paper.
: These are colors opposite each other on the color wheel. Even a touch of a complimentary color will make your project pop. Coloring purple flowers with Copics
? Add a few dots of yellow somewhere on the flowers and they will pop right off the paper. Seriously, you'll have to pick the flowers up off the floor.
And here is my finished card. I continued the theme of repetition by stamping polka dots on the bottom of my card. And I used more of the same green patterned paper as I did for the punched circles on my accent piece. I finished off the card with a torn piece of Japanese masking tape (you can google and find it lots of places).
A fun grouping of cards that were well thought out. I used my design skills to tie all the elements together. It works for me. It'll work for you!!
I hope you've learned some good tips today. Do you think you'll try some out on your next card??
Here's a link
to some other design element terms you might find helpful. Enjoy.