Myth and Magic Notecards

The latest Quirky Crafts challenge is now live! This week it was my turn to set the challenge rules and I picked ‘Myth, Magic and Use Some Paint’, and in celebration of this I’m going to share a tutorial for this set of notecards:

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  • Gather your materials.

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A – A selection of paints. I use a mixture of craft paints and cheap acrylic. If you want something a little bit more matte, add a smidge of gesso to your paint.

B – A few stamps. I chose a couple of handmade ones some from Crackerbox Palace. I’d recommend picking one or two that are patterned and one that has an image you’d like to use as a focal point.

C – An A4 sheet of paper or card (I used a sheet of sturdy watercolour paper because I had some lying around, but go with what you have). Scissors and glue are a must, if you’re using paper that is the weight of normal printer paper or thinner, I’d go with a glue stick, anything thicker than that and you can use a wet glue. A handful of pens and markers – mine included gel pens, felt tips, biros and permanent markers.

D – Blank cards. You could make your own out of cardstock, but I like that these come with matching envelopes.

Squirt a few blobs of paint onto your sheet of paper (make sure you only use harmonious colours i.e. that only incorporate two primary colours, or you’ll end up with swamp). Channel your inner child and fingerpaint until your page is covered:

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Once completely dry, pick up a brush and add a more neutral colour randomly across the page. Onto my red background I added a beige craft paint. Once that layer is dry, use one of your stamps to add a contrasting colour:

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Obviously this looks quite bright… not quite what I was going for with these, I wanted a more ‘antiquey’ look, so I added another layer of neutral paint, in completely random patterns:

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Again, make sure the paint is completely dry. Pick up another stamp and some more pattern. I mixed a little of the turquoise paint with some gesso to get a more muted colour, another reason I like to do this is that it makes it easier to write on with water based pens.

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At this point, if you’ve used thin paper it will have buckled. Cover your page with a clean sheet of paper and iron it to flatten out, then chop into quarters:

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Grab hold of your third stamp, and some dark paint. I used one called Stone Face from Crackerbox Palace and a bit of brown acrylic. Before you do anything to your backgrounds, I’d suggest testing out your stamp on some scrap paper. Depending on the amount of detail of the image, you’ll be able to see how much paint you should add:

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Stamp your images onto the backgrounds, you can play with the placement if you like. They don’t all have to have the image in the same place. I added a border with my fingers using the same colour as I did for the face:

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Let this dry completely. Now you can break out your pen collection and start adding some doodles! Why not try adding some pencil crayon for a bit of variety?

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Once you’ve done all four, you’re ready to mount them onto cards. First, trim your edges down (if necessary) so that they do actually fit onto the front of the cards you have, then coat with a thin layer of PVA, adhere to the blank cards and weigh them down. (This part is important as you paper will naturally want to curl upwards):

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(A nice shot of one of my text books there…)

Leave them for about 15 minutes, and then let yourself admire your handiwork!

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What do you think? I love using these kinds of techniques to make cards because you end up with something completely original. I also like making things in batches, and with these, even though they’re not identical, they all ‘go’ together. I think a set of handmade notecards is always a nice, quirky little stocking filler too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial, and I hope you’ll share a link/photo with me if you decide to give it a go!

D x

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4 thoughts on “Myth and Magic Notecards

  1. Pingback: Best in Book Blogging 2013 | Doing it the Open Way

  2. Pingback: A Belated Year in Review | Doing it the Open Way

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