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Welcome to another Let’s Make It Over – a special feature here on the Sunny Stampin’ Blog designed to help you think out of the box to adapt card ideas you see on the web and transform them into something that is uniquely your own using your stash of Stampin’ Up! products.

Today I show you how I transformed a card from Amy Sheffer – a Papertrey Ink Design Team member.

Hello You Made My Day Stampin' Up! Make Over Card

Now you may remember – in my last Let’s Make It Over post I transformed a card with floral images into a birthday-themed card.  Today I am essentially doing the opposite – transforming a birthday/celebration themed card into a thank you card with a floral design.

Let me walk you through the process I follow when I look at a card, break down it’s design elements and then re-create it by adapting what I have on hand.

Remember, the goal here is to learn to work from your stash.  I am a strong proponent of trying to make the most of what you have – and help you navigate through the inevitable “gotta have it” feeling we all get when we see something we love, but realize we don’t have the supplies on hand to make it.

Not that I have anything against buying new stuff – because that is the furthest thing from the truth LOL – I love new craft supplies as much as the next crafty girl. However…..when I am deciding where to spend my hard earned dollars – I want to make sure that what I buy is not “more of the same” of what I have.

Instead, I want to make sure that what I choose to invest in, complements and extends what I already own.

So here’s a break down of what I did.

Choosing a color scheme

In my last blog post I shared with you the #1 struggle that the card makers I surveyed faced. The second and third struggles were pretty much tied – and they were choosing color schemes and card design/working with sketches.

So let’s start by talking about color.

If you don’t have an understanding of color and basic color theory – choosing colors for your projects can feel daunting. Here’s the thing though – it doesn’t have to be.

Instead of looking at your colors and stressing over trying to figure out what colors are supposed to work well together – look to your surroundings for inspiration.  There are lots of ways to do this, but as a card maker – the easiest way to do this is to simply look at the cards that other people are making.  When a card catches your eye – make note of the colors and create a little swatch card for yourself. Over time you’ll build a fabulous sampler that you can refer to over and over again.

Now Amy chose a color scheme of blue, coral, yellow and green. For my card – I kept with the same four colors (albeit different shades). I used Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry/So Saffron, Wild Wasabi and Pool Party.

In Amy’s card, the blue, coral and green are fairly bold and intense colors, whereas the yellow is a little more muted.  In my card – I chose to mute the blue (i.e. Pool Party) and kept the other colors of the same intensity.

Amy chose to emphasize the teal color by creating the base of her card out of a teal cardstock whereas I decided that I did not want to emphasize any particular color – so I matted mine onto a white card.

Okay, we we’ve touched on color, next, let’s move onto design.

Using Design Principles to Create Balanced and Interesting Card Designs

Have you heard the term “visual triangle?” This is a design principle in which you are arranging your elements in a triangular pattern in order to bring your viewer’s eyes all around your piece or directly to the focal point area.

In both Amy’s card as well as in my card – the images are arranged in three clusters. By placing the focal point (die cut word) so that it intersects with one of these clusters you are ultimately directing the viewers eye to your focal point.

The second design principle that I incoporate into most of my designs in either the images or embellishments (sometimes both) – is the “Rule of Three and Odd Numbers”. The basic idea of this rule is that elements arranged or grouped in odd numbers are more visually appealing – they create more harmony, movement and visual interest.

So if you look at my card you’ll notice that I have three yellow flowers, three coral flowers, and then an odd number (7) of the small blue flowers. By having 3 and 3, the strong colors of the coral and yellow flowers balance each other out.  For the blue flowers I didn’t keep to 3, as that would have looked strange, instead I added more, but kept it at an odd number.

Creating Depth in Your Cards

Another way to create visual interest in your cards while still maintaining a clean design is by adding layers.  These don’t necessarily have to be full layers. Anything that is of a differing height from it’s surrounding elements is considered a layer. So for my card – my card base is a layer, I then add a second flat layer where I have the striped border.  The third layer comes from the stamped panel. The fourth layer is from the die cut (I layered three die cuts one on top of the other to create depth). The fifth layer is from the rectangular sentiment strip.  So in all – there are 5 layers on my card.

Now you’ll notice that in Amy’s card, most of her layers are flat – other than the sentiment strip which is popped up.  I personally like a lot of depth in my cards so I popped up my stamped panel with Stampin’ Dimensionals, I layered three die cuts to create more depth, and I also used Stampin’ Dimensionals for the sentiment strip.

Building Patterns

The only other element of real note that I wanted to point out on make over, is the striped border at the bottom of the card. There are a lot of ways a border can be created – with patterned paper, colored cardstock or even washi tape. Now I really liked the effect of the stripes on the bottom of Amy’s card, but I wanted something a little bit more subtle and dense.

I ended up using a striped banner from the Amazing Birthday stamp set, and built up a patterned border by repeatedly stamping it across the bottom of my cardstock, using a Stamp-a-ma-jig to help me achieve precise placement.

A Few Distinguishing Details

The last thing I wanted to touch on was a few of the details.  In Amy’s card you can see she die cut the word celebrate out of a silver foil.  I wanted to warm up my card a bit so I chose a gold foil.  I kept the white thread as – if you know me – you know I love the look of thread.  Finally, I also used a sentiment strip, except I positioned mine below the die cut sentiment, instead of above like Amy’s.

So that’s how I transformed today’s card!

Supply List

A note about supplies – all of the supplies you will see my use in my projects will always be current to the month in which the post in published. In other words current catalog or mini catalog merchandise.  Although I have nothing against using retired products, because I know that many of you use these ideas in your Stampin’ Up! businesses, I try to ensure that I use current Stampin’ Up! products to make it easy for you.

  • Stamps: Amazing Birthday (for the striped border), Garden in Bloom (yellow flowers and leaves), Flower Patch (coral and blue flowers)
  • Ink: Calypso Coral, Wild Wasabi, So Saffron, Crushed Cury, Pool Party Classic inks, Memento Tuxedo Black ink
  • Paper: Whisper White CS, White Thick CS, Gold Foil Sheets
  • Accessories: Hello You Thinlits, Big Shot, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Stampin’ Dimensionals, Tombow Mono-Multi-Liquid Glue, Stampin’ Trimmer, Paper Snips, Acrylic Block; white sewing thread (other)

* all supplies are Stampin’ Up! unless otherwise noted

Well I hope you enjoyed today’s card.

Did you learn anything new today? If yes, please share below in the comments section.  Otherwise I’d love you to simply leave a comment below with any thoughts, questions, insights, feedback you may have.