Last week we focused on the basics of how different paper trimmers work, choosing the best trimmer for our needs, and in the end we even had a little measuring practice. So, if measuring does not come to you naturally you may want to do a quick review of that post as today we’re going to measure our socks off. If we’re wearing socks. This is Florida, after all.
In any case, we’re going to put into practice some of the things we learned last week to make this Gorjuss Girls card:
Lovely, yes? I designed this card specifically for lots of measuring practice. Bwah ha ha ha haaa…. No, you’re going to love this. Really! As you look at the card, one thing you may or may not notice, depending on what kind of things draw your attention, is all the lovely layers. There are six layers on this card. Each layer is distinguished by a brown mat, and one thing you’ll notice is that the brown mats are all about the same size – one this card, it happens to be 1/8th of an inch. This is my go to matting size but it’s not so much important the exact size of the layer as it is the evenness of the matting – each mat is the same size. As a general rule, this makes our eyes happy. Whether we realize it or not, our eyes are usually trying to categorize things and make sense out of them, so when layers are even, our eyes thank us. Now, some people are the uneven, type B messy type of designer. At least, they claim to be. Personally, I think they just don’t know how to use their paper trimmers. Ha – type A humor there… no, some people really do seem to prefer a messy, unplanned kind of look. In that case, this may not be the card for you – however, it will still give you plenty of good practice using your trimmer, so pay attention.
The first thing we do is decide on the size of card we want. I wanted a square card. By now most people know, but if not, I’m about to tell you – most scrapbooking paper is sold in 12″x12″ size. There are still some 8.5″ x 11″ sheets, but the bulk of your choices start with 12″x12″. Therefore, if we want to make a square card you cut the 12″x12″ paper in half
That’s not so bad, right? Now, you’re going to use one of those 6×12 pieces and the other you can set aside for later. Take the 6×12 piece that is your base and fold it in half, into a 6×6 square.
So now you should have a 6″ square base
I’m realizing as I type that when I caption my photos I’m not allowed to use any grammatical symbols, like apostrophes or quotation marks, so I’m typing things out – hope that’s not as annoying to you as it is to me! In any case, for the top of this layer we need to cut a sheet of pattern paper. Here’s where the math comes in.
If our base is 6×6, and our mat edges are 1/8″, how big should our patterned paper square be? Well, to create a 1/8″ mat in every direction, we have to first recognize that both horizontally and vertically, we need two 1/8″ mats… horizontally we want to see mat on the left and a mat on the right. Vertically, we want to see mat on the top and mat on the bottom. So, 1/8 + 1/8 = 2/8, which we would simplify down to 1/4. So, our square must be 1/4″ smaller both vertically and horizontally in order for use to see the mat evenly on all sides. Capisce? So, if our base is 6×6, then we cut our patterned paper to 5 3/4″ x 5 3/4″ – exactly 1/4″ smaller in each direction. Here’s what that would look like as we cut it:
Make the cut, turn the paper a quarter turn, and then cut it again. When you place it on your card base, this is what you should see
OK, next layer. We want to make the green striped accent strip. Start by cutting a piece of the green striped paper
Now, you should have a strip 1″ wide (I just realize – I’m assuming everyone knows that the little quotation mark after the number means “inch”… you use an apostrophe for feet and quote marks for inches… if you didn’t know that, now you do). You just need to make sure it’s the right length… our patterned paper is 5 3/4″ tall, and we want it to be even, so turn the green accent strip a quarter turn and then cut it 5 3/4” long.
To mat the accent strip, if you refer back to our card picture, you’ll see that we have matting on the sides but not the top and bottom. On the top and bottom edge, the card base acts as a mat. So, we need to cut a brown strip 1/4″ wider than our pattern paper, but the same length. That means our brown strip must be 1 1/4″ wide by 5 3/4″ long.
Next, turn the strip one quarter turn and cut it to the proper length, 5 3/4″
So this is what our accent strip should look like:
Before I attach it to the card, however, I wanted to add a little extra embellishing. I want to add a doily, and I can use my paper trimmer to cut it. Yay! Start by placing the doily on your trimmer so that it will be cut in half… you don’t have to be precise with measuring here since we’re just using a part and no one will really know if it’s exactly in half or not.
The edges of our doily are very delicate – if we just try to run the trimmer blade through they will scrunch and tear. The solution? Start with your blade in the center of the doily, where it’s solid. Cut up, bring your trimmer back to center, and then cut down.
When you’re done you should have two doily halves…
I used a small ink pad to lightly ink the edges of my doily to give it a distressed look and to help it stand out against the light patterned paper background. To do this, hold the ink pad at an angle against the edge of the doily and swipe in a downward stroke until you get the desired amount of ink on the edge, moving along the edge as you go:
Next, I put a little glued in the center, solid part of the doily and glue it to my card base. Then I covered the cut edge of the doily with the green strip:
The next layer is the pink offset square. Now, here’s where knowing what you want to use helps you out a little… I knew I wanted to use a fancy square die cut to mat my image, so I decided I wanted the pink layer to be the same size, but just offset. So, I went ahead and die cut the fancy square for the top layer first. Then I used my handy dandy trimmer to measure the cut size of the square and what do you know – it was four inches.
So, I knew I needed to cut a four inch brown mat for my pink layer. That part’s pretty self explanatory at this point… so let’s get straight to the math part. I have a 4″ mat, and I needed to cut the pink pattern paper….
Yes! 1/4″ smaller on two sides so I would be left with a 1/8″ brown mat all the way around. That’s exactly what your guess was, right? I thought so! So, my pink patterned paper needed to be cut at 3 3/4″.
Now you can attach the pink patterned paper to the brown mat. I knew I wanted my image to be straight, so I put the fancy die cut down as a place holder and skewed the pink patterned layer so it would show properly beneath my stamped image.
We’re almost there now… I have one more layer before I get to the stamped image. This paper collection came with a pattern that had these really pretty, feminine edges on it, so I decided to cut one out:
So here’s my piece:
Just remember, there are usually multiple ways to figure something out. If one way doesn’t work for you, there’s probably another way to do it.
After all that work, guess what happened? I placed the pretty strip I so painstakingly cut out (yes, I’m aware I’m mildly dramatic) and the strip just disappeared. Well, it didn’t actually disappear – it was just really hard to see against the other papers I’d chosen. This happens sometimes; you start out with the best design intent and before you know it you start putting things together and something doesn’t work out quite the way you planned. That’s the beauty of patterned paper – I flipped my strip and discovered a dark pink dot that made a beautiful accent to the patterns I’d already chosen, so now we have a perfectly measured polka dot strip!
That’s very picky of me, I know, but I’m sort of a picky girl. So, once we adhere our new pretty pink polka dot strip to it’s mat and then horizontally across the card front, this is what we’ve got:
I wanted to make sure my stamped image would fit inside my die cut piece. Now, when I measured for the mat size, I was measuring the outer most edges on the curved parts. However, to make sure my stamped image will fit nicely inside, I have to measure from inside the pierced dots (part of this particular die cut design) and then allow a little less to make sure I got those nice 1/8″ margins.
I put that on the fancy cut brown mat and didn’t like it, so I ended up shaving a little more off one horizontal and one vertical edge. The beauty of this step is that it’s unlikely you’re going to have the same exact die cut as me (mine’s an old Spellbinders set called Marvelous Squares. So, if you want to use a square die cut and don’t have this set, you’ll have to practice making your own measurements here! Of course, you could completely chicken out and cut a 4″ brown square mat and a 3 3/4″ white square for the stamped image…
So, once you cut your square the beautiful thing about this Gorjuss girl set is that it’s cling and works on clear acrylic stamp blocks, so it’s very easy to see where you’re stamping.
Also, note that the stamps come with colored cling – this is SO helpful when you go to color your image, as the shading is already demonstrated for you! I knew I was going to use my Copic markers to color this image, so I used Copic paper to make my white square and Momento Black Ink to stamp… you will need to pick your ink and paper based on how you will be coloring your image.
We’re coming to a close… once you color your image and adhere it to your card front, you have this:
Then, I finished my card by adhering one of the stickers from the Elements sticker sheet to a piece of the pink polka dot paper and used a 1 3/8″ circle punch to create the pink polka dot circle, then a 1 1/2″ punch to create a brown mat, and then layered all three for the round sentiment element on the left side of the card. I added a few decorative bling pieces in the corner and the card was done!
That’s it for trimmer use for now… hopefully you’ve been inspired to break your trimmer out and try some cutting! There are all kinds of cute card designs that are SO much easier when you understand your trimmer a little better. Remember, practice, practice, practice! Just like any other skill, you’ll get better with measuring and cutting if you do it frequently.
The products I used for this card are here:
Lastly, for those who like to know what Copics were used, here’s my list:
Face: E000, E00, E11, E21, R12. Hair: Y00, Y21, Y15, Y17, Y38. Dress: RV00, RV11, RV32, RV34. Cup Outside: BG000, BG11, BG13, E40, E41, E42. Cup Inside: E000, E41, E53. Bunny and Tag: E50, E42, E43, E44, Y21. I used a pink Copic Spica glitter pen to trace the lettering on the tag.
Thanks for checking out the post today – happy scrapping!
How Do I... Trimmer Tricks Part Two