I finally cleared off enough counter space to take a few pictures of the cereal box stencils I promised a few days ago. It ended up a little longer than I thought so I hope you have a cup of coffee. But first a little history:
I first came up with the idea for these as a rather new demonstrator, way back in the last century. Button Bear, a set that has long since been retired, was a big seller and I demonstrated it a LOT. One of the images in the set was a cute little basket of daffodils similar in size to the square-ish stamps from Nice and Easy Notes, a still current stamp set that was also quite popular at the time. I was looking for a way to make a simple, one layer card without having the basket look lonely on an A2 card. I thought if I could emboss a square around the basket it would look more complete but I didn't have a template for this. So, I cut a piece of a cereal box to match the size of my card: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". Then I traced the stamp block, which I had placed rubber side up on the upper center of the cardboard. I cut it out - I think with an exacto knife, but I don't recall exactly. Not only was it cheap but since the overall stencil size matched my card and the shape was simple NO LIGHT SOURCE WAS NEEDED!
In the years since, I've used many other things to cut my shape: the coluzzle circles and ovals, punches and, most often of all, the Fiskars 12" cutter. And, because I've misplaced my stylus more often than I'd like to admit, I discovered that a crochet hook can fill in quite easily. This makes it the perfect technique for the beginning stamper who doesn't have a lot of equipment and supplies.
As I mentioned earlier all you need is:
- cardboard - the weight used for cereal and other food products is just right. Thicker cardboard doesn't work as well.
- something to cut with - I like to use the Fiskars 12" cutter because I can use it to cut the card sized shape and also a square or rectangle to be embossed. Punches, coluzzles etc could also be used.
- a dry embossing tool - this can be a stylus, the Empressor, or even a crochet hook - a size that works with regular 4 ply yarn.
Cut your cardboard the size of your card:
Cut out your square. This will be a 2 1/4" square with 1 inch borders on the top and sides and a larger 2 1/4" border on the bottom. You also need to be aware that the edge on this cutter is 1 inch from the cutting blade. This makes it really easy to get that 1 inch border on 3 of the sides.
Lift the ruler/cutting bar and put the right edge of your stencil against the right 1 inch ledge of the cutter. Move the orange cutting blade so that the points are at 1 inch and lower the bar down. The point of the blade should just pierce your cardboard. It should look like this:
Pushing firmly since you are cutting cardboard not cardstock, move the blade to the 3 1/4" mark.
Lift the bar and turn the cardstock counter clockwise once - 90 degrees. This is the one cut that you won't be using the 1 inch ledge. Instead you will want to make sure the shorter left side of yor cardboard is at the 3 1/4" mark of the top ruler on your cutter. It should look like this:
Firmly move the cutting blade from 1 inch to 3 1/4". Lift the bar and turn the cardboard counterclockwise again. The next 2 cuts will once again have you lining the right edge up with the right 1 inch ledge of the cutter. The 3rd cut will go from the 2 1/4" mark to the 4 1/2 inch mark. Turn the cardboard one more time, line up the right edge with the 1 inch ledge of the cutter and cut from 1 inch to 3 1/4" . It's OK if your cuts slightly overlap since this is just your stencil, not your finished product. When you are done it should look like this once you place it on the front of your card:
Holding these together, turn them over so that you can emboss from the inside of the card:
Using your finger find and trace the square. The oils from your finger will lubricate the paper to help your tool slide over the paper more easily. An alternative is to trace the shape with a piece of wax paper. Use your stylus or other tool to firmly trace the shape. The following picture shows how I hold the crochet hook .
After you've traced all around the square you should end up with a card that looks like this:
It's ready to stamp:
This is a confetti cream card. The daisy from Petal Prints is stamped in Always Artichoke as is the message from Warm Words. I colored the daisy with the Signo White Gel Pen and the Summer Sun watercolor crayon.
Here are a few other stencils I have on hand right now:
These stencils aren't the full height of the card because you can't get the punch so far from the edge of the cardboard. Instead I just make a 4 1/4" wide stencil so that I can make sure it is centered from side to side but control the "height" of my placement. I've marked the stencil so that I can also center a 3 x 3 card over the shape. This is how I did these cards that I posted last week:
More information about these 3 x 3" cards can be found here:
This stencil is a little rough looking but it works . You can see that I marked the center of the stencil so that I could get the top circle punch centered. I just placed the others off set from this. I used this stencil to make this one layered Christmas card:
I used the stencil to place my snowflakes, from All through the Year, and to sponge around them. I ran a bone folder in the 12 inch cutter groove to make the "strings". Message is from the hostess set, Warmest Regards. Images are heat embossed with white embossing powder. Cardstock and ink for sponging are Mellow Moss.
While we're jumping seasons to Christmas, here is a card I designed for the TLC77: Look Ma, no layers challenge last summer. It uses the basic stencil I created at the beginning of the tutorial. Stamps are from Tag Time and All Year Cheer I. Colors are Real Red, Green Galore, Glorious Green and the white Signo Gel Pen. Cardstock is kraft.
I'd like to link a few more cards.
Glenda S has been using a similar technique and has some lovely cards in her SCS Gallery:
Wiggy aka wiggydl on SCS told me about this pretty card she made after reading this tutorial:
If you try this and post it on SCS please send me a link and I will add it to this list. I think it would be great fun to see what directions other stampers take with this.