by Judi Kauffman
It wasn’t love at first sight, but the 4 Seasons die set ended up becoming a favorite! (Suzanne and Els, you two were right, it’s so versatile!) I’ve used it on calendars and in planners and journals, and it has appeared on many, many cards. Today’s tutorial adds seven more to the count. They’re all super easy, and as I always say: Easy isn’t cheating!
I’ve chosen the Spring and Summer dies to help usher in the next two seasons, but these projects could easily be customized for Fall and Winter later in the year. Just change the papers and embossing folders to leaves, snowflakes, and other wintry themes.
Beginners: I’ve added some tips especially for you. Keep scrolling – you’ll find them after the instructions!
- Create a simple top- or side-fold card base from solid color cardstock or heavy weight scrapbook paper. Cards shown are 4.25” x 5.5”, 5” x 5.75” and 5” x 6”
- For each card front: Add layers of patterned papers, solid color cardstock, and/or pieces of embossed and lightly sanded Shimmer Sheetz (strips or rectangles) to the card base as shown or as you prefer. Tip: Choose embossing folders with spring and summer themes like waves, clouds, vases, flowers. The design of the embossing folder will help determine whether the card will be a vertical rectangle or a horizontal rectangle.
Optional: For extra pop behind the word ‘Spring’ cut a small Light Blue Iridescent Shimmer Sheetz rectangle with the 1.5” x 2.75” die from the Dashing Rectangles set; create a sun with a 3” Fitted Circles die; fussy cut around some of the flowers.
Optional: Use layers of patterned papers in a starring role.
- Keep going: Add glittered ribbon tape, narrow ribbon, yarn, bows, gold peel-offs, fish, butterflies or other embellishments.
- For each card: Die cut the name of the season twice from two different Velvet Adhesive Sheets in colors that coordinate with the colors in the palette used for the card fronts. Arrange and adhere the word with the two die cuts offset to create a shadow.
Design Strategies, Details to Notice, and Tips for Beginners –
I’m putting on my ‘teacher’ hat
(Everybody else, head straight to the supply list)
*I start my cards with the bottom layers first. Many designers start with the top layers. Either way is fine so experiment and see what works best for you!
*’Audition’ the elements before they are permanently adhered. In other words, move things around until you’re sure you like what you see! Trim, revise, re-think, replace. Repeat. Keeping it loose at first allows for fine-tuning a layout and it is especially important when placing the die cut words into position.
*Look closely at the card with the pink bow and you’ll see that the rectangle and bow are both centered, but the word ‘Spring’ is at an angle rather than straight. This diagonal adds movement to an otherwise very formal card. Now look at the card with the pink bow. The bow is off to the side, the word is centered and straight rather than at an angle, making up for the fact that there is no rectangle. Using white for ‘Spring’ adds a pop of contrast to an otherwise rather formal card and having the bow off to the side pulls the eye away from the symmetry just a bit.
*The smallest butterfly is at the top of the card with clouds. This helps the line of butterflies feel like they’re heading off into the sky.
*To echo the black in the patterned paper used for the card base, the edges of the folded card, the faux postage stamp, and the checkered paper are all inked with black, and the shadow on the word ‘Summer’ is black as well.
*Go for quirky color combinations. Just because it’s a spring- or summer-theme card doesn’t mean everything has to be bright and summery. The butterflies are dark, rich colors. Though the word ‘Spring’ is in light pink on the card with three vases, the shadow is bright red, and the Shimmer Sheetz is dark, rich Turquoise Gemstone.
(*I hope all of the above has been helpful to beginners and though it is a lot to read, will be useful not only for these cards but for future projects as well. Please let me know – I will continue if it’s a popular feature.)
Elizabeth Craft Designs:
Embossing folders with spring and summer themes
Patterned papers (Graphic 45)
Solid color cardstock in bright pink
Eighth inch ribbon in bright pink and pale green
Three-eighths inch glittered ribbon tape in green
Raggedy yarn in pale purple