I get it. You’ve never sent a St. Patrick’s Day card. Sure, you send Christmas cards, birthday cards, maybe even an occasional Valentine or Easter card. But St. Patrick’s? Really? Yes, really. And I’m going to show you how to put together paper, ink and a wee bit of shimmer to make a simple handmade St. Patrick’s Day card for your favorite lass. The best part? It won’t cost you an arm and a leg and you won’t have to buy stacks of new materials. You probably already have most of them on hand anyway.
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I’m Irish, but I don’t do “the things”
I may be Irish, but I don’t follow ANY traditional Irish customs on St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t like “carned” beef, I don’t encourage strangers kissing me just because I’m Irish, and my city doesn’t dye river water for the parade that I don’t go to. And drinking a pint of Guinness? My gag reflex kicks in just typing it.
But I do like the color green. I love sugar cookies, and I adore making handmade greeting cards. Therefore, this is how I celebrate the wearin’ o’ the green. Not right up in your face with a slobbery drunken party. (My family appreciates the gesture.)
The sugar cookies are a comin’ soon, but I’ve got a handmade St. Patrick’s Day card ready for you right now. (Are Irish people impatient? I guess I follow that custom at least.)
Don’t be a slave to the image
I’m pulling from the archives for this one. Unfortunately the digital stamp is no longer available, but feel free to substitute it with something else. Perhaps a super-trendy gnome like this one.
So why would I share a card with you when the main image is not available? Let me explain…
Stamp companies come and go faster than your paycheck at Christmas, and unless you plan on buying the latest and greatest images for the rest of your life, at some point you’ll probably want to stop and re-use what you already have on hand. Having the exact same stamp(s) as mine is never my focus for you and would limit your creativity; however, the tips and techniques I show you are timeless and can be applied to the stamps and materials you already have on hand.
In other words, my projects are meant to be guidelines and not something you should follow to the letter. You’ve got your own individual stamp to put on your creations (sorry about the pun); I’m here to show you how to doll your ideas up. So let’s get busy:
- Designer paper
- Stamp (mine is discontinued, but here’s a cute digital stamp set of Irish gnomes if you have no Irish-themed stamps)
- Paper trimmer
- Embossing folder
- Spellbinders Nestabilities Decorative Labels One Die
- Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels One Die
- Small heart punch
- Big Shot manual die cutter/embosser
- Copics alcohol markers
- Lightweight glitter (Art Glitter is my fave)
- Liquid adhesive
- Chalk colors
- Shimmer paints (I use my homemade shimmer paints)
- Adhesive pearls
- Metal fence die
- Linen thread
I cut the card base 5 1/2″ x 11″ to create a 5 1/2″ square. From there, I cut two smaller, contrasting layers, each 1/8″ smaller than the previous, for a total of three base layers. So the first contrasting layer is cut 5 3/8″ x 5 3/8″, and the second layer is cut 5 1/4″ x 5 1/4″.
I cut two sets of contrasting designer papers as follows:
- Paper A: 4 3/4″ plus two contrasting solid layers 4 7/8″ and 5″
- Paper B: 4 3/4″ plus two contrasting solid layers 4 7/8″ and 5
As is so often the case, I wanted some additional texture on the patterned papers, so I ran them through the Big Shot using a floral embossing folder before adhering them to their respective base layers.
G&B Budget Boost: I used the same embossing folder for both papers, but the effect is different for each because the paper patterns are different. That’s the budget-friendly way to use embossing folders: one pattern can look different depending on the paper it’s embossing.
Once all of the paper layers were cut, embossed and adhered together, I stamped the image on white cardstock and cut the shape using Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels One. Notice the slightly inked edges…
G&B Detail: Inking the edges of white cardstock defines and separates it from low-contrast colors behind.
I colored the image with Copics and added the tiniest speck of glitter to the buckle on her hat. There might be six whole glitter flakes because that buckle is so tiny, but nothing is too small to be glittered in my opinion. Besides, Art Glitter is whisper fine and even that tiny space sparkles nicely.
I created this card before learning how to create backgrounds with Copics; therefore, I colored the background with yellow chalks for that soft, sunny look. It’s a great, quick alternative to time-consuming coloring, too. Oh, one more thing: a camera macro lens will pick up the smallest coloring “mishaps.” In reality, the naked eye can’t see these, so don’t worry about them. Some details are too small for colors to stay within the lines. <ahem>
I layered the image onto the lacy die cut square with Pop Dots and layered the whole thing onto the card base with more Pop Dots. Layering adds such wonderful depth and interest to all those stacks of paper.
More details for a shimmery St. Patrick’s Day card
I didn’t have a die for that cute little four-leaf clover so I punched four small hearts instead and adhered them to a glue dot. I striped them with a green Copic marker for veins, and then painted them with two colors of green (sage and evergreen) homemade shimmer paints. Then I adhered a green pearl to the center.
G&B Budget Boost: I used a dark green Copic marker to color the pearls. Copics color more than just paper. I use them to color most of my pearls and rhinestones, which saves me buying a zillion colors (and spending a zillion dollars). They can save money for you too.
I used two colors of green ribbon for the double-layered bow and tied the tiny tag on with some linen thread. (Yes, I colored the tag with shimmer paints.) I adhered this little embellishment to a picket fence die cut which *surprise!* I colored with ivory shimmer paint.
And there you have a lovely, sweet, shimmery handmade St. Patrick’s Day card, perfect for sending to your favorite lass. My favorite lass loved it when I sent it to her. I think she still has it and brings it out for St. Paddy’s decor.
Now it’s your turn.
Grab your favorite Irish stamp and make a St. Patrick’s Day card. Then go strut your stuff over on the G&B Facebook page. And while you’re at it, tell me your favorite St. Paddy’s Day tradition.
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