There are many occasions in life where the perfect card, preferably handmade, means so much to the recipient. Oftentimes an artful (heartful) card suffices for the gift itself. I have treasured the many cards that artists have created and sent me over the years. They are mini works of art and mean so much more than a store-bought card and are keepers for sure! With this in mind, I wanted to create a few beautiful cards for those special occasions and people in my life using my StencilGirl® Mexican folk art inspired heart stencils.
The first card combines my love of napkin collage with an embossed stenciled heart: I love the Spanish colonial art feel that this particular napkin collage evokes.
I like to use the blank note cards that are sold at craft stores with matching envelopes but any card stock that you may have will work for this project.
First cut a napkin of your choosing to roughly fit on the front side of your card.
It is important to remove the two or three backing layers of the napkin. An easy way to do this is to use a small piece of masking tape on the front of the napkin and another piece on the back of the napkin and pull the layers apart. Gently remove tape.
When using gel medium/ModPodge, I often like to tint it with acrylic paint because that color will show through the the napkin layer. I used just a touch of my favorite Golden Quin gold and mixed it with the gel medium.
Next apply a thin layer of gel medium to the front of your card, working quickly lay down the napkin. If the edges are hanging off, that is fine.
Use a brayer to smooth out and flatten the napkin. There will be a few wrinkles but that’s Ok!
Use sandpaper to clean up the edges where the napkin hangs off.
Coat the front surface with another layer of gel medium to seal it.
For this card I used one of my StencilGirl® Four SacredHeart stencils.
First I placed the stencil in the middle of the card and secured it with masking tape.
I then used modeling paste and a palette knife to apply a generous coating of paste over the top of the stencil.
The thicker the paste, the more embossed the heart looks.
After a minute or two I carefully lifted the stencil off the card.
I love the tin Mexican folk art hearts found in Mexico so wanted to simulate that look on my cards by using silver metallic paint and then silver Rub n Buff.
I like to add an edging to my cards so I used a metallic silver ink pad and dragged it along the edge to give it that silver border.
Lastly, I went back with a fine paintbrush and my favorite "Quin gold” paint and painted around the stencil to better define the heart’s detail and make it stand out.
The result is a card that could actually be framed as a small piece of original art, a gift in and of itself!
Another similar technique is tearing tissue paper and adhering it to the front of your card using gel medium.
For this card I used a heart from my StencilGirl® ATC Mixup Mika set:
A few of the cards were made by just embossing a heart stencil onto the blank page and then painting the entire card and adding metallic silver and gold paint to highlight the hearts. On both of these cards I used a rubber stamp with StazOn ink to add the text.
These are just some of the many possibilities and techniques for taking card-making to the next level using stencils, collage and paint. These cards are keepers!