Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wrinkle Ribbon and Tips for Card Sets

Do you lie to yourself? For example, do you keep a can of olives and a bottle of good vodka in your pantry in case you need to throw an impromptu cocktail party even though you've never thrown a cocktail party, impromptu or otherwise in your life?  Or how about, I'll only eat one. LOL. I sure do.

When I decided to make my own wrinkle ribbon I sold myself on the idea of me measuring out the exact size piece I needed, coloring it to the perfect shade to match my card or layout and ... wait for it... never having to buy, or more importantly store, ribbon again. For the remainder of time.

Yeah... that didn't go so well. I made a piece that was properly measured and dyed to match. Good, right? Then, like a thirsty man in front of a bank of Slurpies, I lost all self-control and did this:

(You really should click on this one. It's so pretty BIG)

Each piece is about three yards... so much for make as I go, perfectly matched, nothing to store... But they're so pretty! I love them so much.

To justify this ribbon frenzy I sat down with the latest CPS sketch and made a set of cards:

I'm on a kick where I want my cards to be fairly mailable (no need for padded envelopes), not too time consuming and ones where the effort is appropriate to the recipients appreciation. I know, that sounds kinda nasty, right. But it's not. If I spend three hours coloring, stitching, distressing, adding little beads and ten dollars worth of Primas and then send the card to a non-crafter they probably will be a lot more interested in the words I write inside then the very deluxe outside. Scaling back a bit isn't scaling back your love. It's just an appropriate response and you'll buy yourself a little time. Here's some tips when making card sets for non-crafters:

1. Don't spend too much time stitching and inking. Most people won't notice if you don't. Most folks don't know what inking is. Seriously. On these, I just inked the outside edge once the strips were stuck together. Saved a bundle of time.

2. Try to keep the cards fairly flat. Nobody likes paying an extra dime in "lumpy tax". Yes, I failed at this. The ribbon is not flat. 

3. Make all-occasion or birthday cards. Most folks will use them. 
Talk like a Pirate Day cards or Earth Day are fun but people forget to use them.

4. Use paper lines to your advantage. No one will think less of you if you don't mix lines. I promise. The paper companies make matching stuff for a reason. Double-sided is even better. For these cards, I cut a strip and then cut it in half and turned one over. Easy matchy, matchy, goodness.

5. Keep your elements simple and consistent for a coordinated set. Here I used stamped tags, ribbon and the same sketch.  

6. You get big points for packaging but it doesn't need to be complex or expensive. One of my favorite ways to give card sets is in an altered lunch bag. For this one I cut the bottom off in my paper trimmer and then sewed the bottom closed. Add a piece of ribbon and you're done. Lunch bags cost about two cents each. Frugal gift wrap at it's best and the gusseted sides leave lots of room for cards and envelopes.

7. Before you put your cards away in your gift closet, tuck a little tag under the ribbon (or in the bag). Then when the time comes to give your gift all you need to do is write on the label.

And finally, make sure you're having fun. For me, I like a challenge so I make rules for myself when crafting sets. Last night my rule was I could only use scraps of paper (no new sheets) and I could only use stickers etc. that were already used (like I'd added the other 1/2 to a layout ). I also had to use stamps that had never seen ink. In this case mine were the Stampin' Up ones and the Bo Bunny tree.


Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com said...

Wow - those cards so so pretty! Nicole - you are so talented!!!


Danielle Leal said...

I love this ribbon! And your cards are gorgeous!!! I love it! Thank you so much for sharing them.

Kim's Treasures said...

Very pretty ribbon and cards! I'm the same way when making cards. I think about who the person is who is receiving it...do they appreciate the handmade card or are they a tosser? Simple can still be beautiful but less expensive when it's in the trash later!

Have a great day!

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

This is so true, Nicole.

I'll never forget my disappointment when I became enthralled with scrapbooking and started making layouts as gifts for *all* my friends.

Most of them just didn't get it.

The cards are lovely and the non-crafter and post office need never know the corners cut ;-)

Will you be sharing how to make the lovely wrinkled ribbon?

Polka Dot Door Designs said...

Love these cards... even if they are "scaled down" they are still stunningly beautiful and I can't imagine anyone not being completely thrilled to receive one.

And I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who is a liar ;)

Lisa - papergrace said...

Absolutely gorgeous ribbon and stunning cards. As always. :D

Love that picture BIG!! I'd use it as my desktop wallpaper, if it were mine. Which, sadly it's not. ;)

Unknown said...

hehe. I love coming here Nicole. Your posts always make me smile and your tips for cardmaking sets is BRILLIANT!!!!

Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you are doing welll


Cate Brickell said...

what on earth is wrinkle ribbon? looks pretty funky!

I've only just discovered I had that sass lass paper (I'm using it in a notebook at the moment, but I'm sure the scraps can be put to good use), thanks for the handy tips.

Kathi said...

I totally love that ribbon. It's a rainbow of gorgeousness.

Great tips for creating a set of cards. It's fun to know that someone else sets challenges and rules for themselves.

Cheryl Valadez said...

That card set is super and so beautiful! LOVE the ribbon. I have been meaning to make some myself, but haven't. I need to get cracking, 'cuz you've done gone and inspired me ;D

Carmen said...

Another inspiring post - you've made this struggling cardmaker actually feel like I could do this! I may even have a go as a Christmas gift or two!

You're right - the picture was so purty when clicked big!

itsallrosi said...

love how these came out, Nicole!

Mary C. said...

Have you been looking in my liquor cabinet? Seeing how we only drink wine, rum and occasionally a bloody mary; it's kind of dumb that we have every kind of liquor imaginable. "In case we have people over who might want Canadian Club or Gin or something. All our friends drink wine, beer and rum, like us. So to answer your first question...yeah.
Next, this is a great post. I love the cards. And, like the others, want to know how you made the ribbon.
XO, Nary

Mary C. said...

One day, I'll learn how to type my own name...Nary - LOL!

Ashley Newell said...

Your ribbon is sooooo pretty! Thus far, I've talked myself out of making my own seam binding. It's getting harder every day.

I love the cards! And thanks for the tips on cards sets but WHERE were you last week when I was making sets for a charity auction? ;) It's ok though, I followed most of your rules without even knowing it.

LollyChops said...

I love these awesome cards and I too love using brown paper sacks! I am def gonna have to try this!