December 2001
Volume 2, Issue 12
Easy Greeting Cards
by Jenny Dowde

print version
Editor's Letter | Letters to the Editor | Beginners' Corner | Artist Interview: James Lehman | The Tools We Use | Video Review: Judith Skinner | Holiday Wish List | Using Paper Punches | Easy Greeting Cards | Christmas Candy Canes | Elements of Polymer Clay | Polymer Covered Push-Pins | Issues in the Crafting World | Email Us! | Home Each Christmas I have every intention of making my own Christmas cards, and each year passes without me doing so.

Therefore, what better article for December's Polyzine than one on greeting cards! At least I'll now have a few to send out!

What you will need:
  • Polymer clay in colours of your choice, or scrap clay
  • TLS if you want to try doing something similar to the LMStarry card
  • Cookie and canape cutters in appropriate shapes
  • Pearlex or Powdered Pearls, glitter, foil leaf or any other embellishments you choose
  • Fabric Paints if you have them (I used Jones Tones) or acrylic paint applied with the point of a fine paintbrush
  • Baking parchment
  • Cornstarch
  • Pasta machine
  • Textures
  • Small brayer
  • Kidney shaped potter's tool (see Favourite Tools)
  • Future or Flecto Varathane
  • Coloured card stock and/or blank card shapes, double sided tape, glue stick

Step 1:

Roll out a small quantity of clay on #4 setting on pasta machine (Imperia) and place on sheet of baking parchment.

Step 2:

Texture the sheet with one or more textures of your choice if desired.

Step 3:

Dip the cookie cutter into cornstarch and cut out a shape.

Remove excess clay from around the image. Keep the excess safe so you can use it to cut some smaller elements if needed.

Use the kidney shaped lifter to lift the cut-outs from the work surface when necessary. (These lifters make life so much easier when you are working with clay that needs to be lifted occasionally from the work surface!)

Step 4:

Heart Card: With a soft brush apply some powder to the shape, making sure that it gets into all the valleys as well as on the ridges.

Using the tip (or pad) of your finger, apply a second contrasting colour onto the ridges only.

Bake according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

When cool, seal with Future or Flecto if desired.

Place heart directly onto background or 'collage' it with another design element such as torn handmade paper, using double-sided tape or glue.

Star Card: Lay some silver foil leaf over the background clay and texture it.

Rub on some Pearlex powder and seal with Future. The foil may have broken up in some areas, and the powder will highlight these areas giving the star an aged look.

Cut out three small stars and brush them with powder.

Bake according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

When cool, seal with Future or Flecto if desired.

Attach large star to background with double-sided tape and glue the little stars around it in a pleasing arrangement.

Christmas Tree Card: Cut out your tree, then attach a small star at the top. Now dab some red fabric paint or acrylic paint onto the tree to resemble baubles.

Bake according to manufacturer's recommendations.

When cool, seal with Future or Flecto if desired.

Attach the tree to the background with double-sided tape. If you are using a window type card, apply a generous amount of glue (the one that dries clear) around the edge, then pour on some glitter. Use lots of glitter so that all the glue gets covered. Shake the excess from the card, and allow to dry.

LMStarry Card: This final card was created using tinted Liquid Modelene ( similar to TLS) and was in fact an experimental piece from last year called "Starry Night."

Seeing it again made me realise that although this particular piece is a tad dark, the idea is yet another very simple way of creating design elements for our cards.

Spread some tinted liquid clay onto a ceramic or glass tile. Use a palette knife and make sure the layer is fairly thin.

Texture the uncured clay with cookie cutter shapes. The clay should retain the outline after removing the cutter. If not, and providing your cutters are metal, you could leave them embedded during baking.

Sprinkle on some glitter or embossing powder.

Bake according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Allow to cool. Remove cutters carefully so as not to tear the sheet if you left them embedded during the baking process.

Rub on some Pearlex powders to highlight different areas and seal with Future.

Remove piece from tile using the kidney shaped tool and attach to card.

These are just four very simple ideas for making your own cards. It's possible, of course, to use many of the polymer clay techniques, such as carving, antiquing, molding, translucent canes aka Elissahearts, picture canes, and simulations, etc., to create more complex cards.

General Tips:

Tip 1: Use thin sheets of clay for the shapes so the finished cards aren't too heavy or bulky for posting.

Tip 2: If you make a hole in each large shape and attach it to the card using double-sided tape, the recipient can then re-use it as a Christmas tree decoration. Or you could glue a pin-back to the shape and pin it to the card as a little gift.

Tip 3: Add a message using calligraphy or a ready-made stamp if your own handwriting leaves a little to be desired.

Tip 4: Don't forget to add your initials or signature to the back of the card!