Last Tuesday we chatted about how to figure out the measurements for various levels of layers on a greeting card. The next step beyond just basic layers on a card base is designing a card layout with different layered elements. I’m using the word, “element,” here to describe one grouping of layers or shapes lying on that little bit of 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ acreage that makes up a typical North American handmade greeting card. Sometimes they lie there all by themselves and other times they overlap. But it always seems to be a puzzle to figure out what’s going to look right in the end.
The solution: find a layout that someone else has already designed and build yours based on that. It’s called “CASE-ing.” Copy And Share with Everyone.
Sources for Layout Ideas
If the first thing that came to your mind is Pinterest, you’re not alone. My go-to way to get ideas from Pinterest is to type this search phrase in my browser, not in Pinterest: “pictures of Stampin Up greeting cards.” Skip over any of the “collections” that may be the first choices shown. Go to the section with pictures. There may be some filters along the top. But I’d just click on “View All.” With this search you’re going to get fresh new ideas – guaranteed! As I was writing this, I went and did this search to see if I’d get something different from the last time I searched. Sure enough, I’ve already clipped three layouts that I can hardly wait to try!
But my favorite source for card layouts is Stampin’ Up!’s Annual Catalog – even an old one! Open the annual catalog to any page and there are cards all over the place. What this does for me is gets me away from my computer. I can sit in my living room and browse. I keep sticky notes with me and mark pages. Then, when I’m back at my work table, I’m ready to see what’s going to work for today.
How to Look For Layouts
A mistake I used to make was to look for layouts using the stamp set or theme with which I wanted to work at the time. Layouts have nothing to do with that. When searching for a layout idea, it’s not the color palette that I look for. Nor is it the stamp set nor the printed papers nor the embellishments. When I’m looking for layouts, I try hard to get all of that out of my mind.
This week I’m making Halloween cards. When I went searching for layouts, this is the one that caught my eye. It’s got summer colors and a floral theme. It has NOTHING to do with Halloween. But it was a fun layout that I’d never tried before.
Figuring Out the Measurements
The best way I’ve found to figure out the measurements is to digitally clip a picture of the card. Then I paste it into a computer program and change the size to be 5-1/2″ on the long side – for this one, the top edge. I print that out and start measuring the other elements. They usually come out to be something like 2-3/16. OK, I make that one 2-1/4 or 2-1/2. It’s not an exact science, but it gives me a general idea. Whenever I cut my good cardstock, I err on the larger side, as I can trim a bit off, but I can’t add back on.
And My Halloween Card
It wasn’t until I got all my Halloween-themed stamp sets out on the table that I realized that the size of the Rectangular Postage Stamp Punch was really close to the size of the trio of rectangles on the CASEd card. Once I was there, the broom stamp from the Festive Post Stamp Set was definitely going to be the stamp to use. I thought about stamping three of the images. But then the trio of little bats that was in the same stamp set caught my eye. So I made the middle rectangle full of those cute little critters.
The sentiment shows another adjustment I made. First, it’s centered vertically. That’s because I didn’t want to cover the broom too much. I also added a bit of interest by using the Lovely Labels Pick a Punch for the ends of the layer. The actual sentiment is one that I created for myself by cutting apart one of the corner-shaped stamps in the Festive Corners Stamp Set. It’s far enough into the Halloween card-making season that I’m sure I’ll never use that particular corner stamp, especially when there’s a drop dead gorgeous spider web to use!
Speaking of webs, of course I used the Cobwebs 3D Embossing Folder for the center of the base layer of the cards. It is the Halloween 2020 embossing folder, after all!
The Bottom Line
It takes a lot of time, as well as trial and error, to figure out a layout. Why not have some fun at the same time that you’re searching for a layout? I’ve just covered two ways that I use to get ideas. There are tons more! Next week, I’ll give you some ideas for changing up layouts that you’ve found.
Meanwhile, have a great time with your crafting this week!