“Just because.” These two simple words can part the clouds and bring a rainbow to someone’s day. Straight out of nowhere, “just because” can magically transform bland into bright, dull into sparkly, ho-hum into perky… you get the picture. “Just because” needs no reason to be – it just is. And receiving a handmade card in the mail for no reason at all feels pretty amazing. Who can argue with that? So go ahead and make someone’s day with a “just because” card. There’s a good chance it’ll make you feel pretty amazing too.
“‘Just because I think you’re amazing”
I’ll never forget the day I was sitting in my corporate cubicle, frustrated beyond belief with my boss. It was the worst job I’d ever worked, and frustration was my constant companion. I hesitate to say it, but I hated that job. In all caps, HATED that job. But it paid the bills. (Have you been there? It’s a crummy way to live, but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.)
That day, one of my co-workers, a woman who was hired only a few months before, walked in and handed me a small colorful gift bag with sparkly tissue paper peeking out.
I was confused, to say the least, because we didn’t know each other that well. It wasn’t my birthday, and it wasn’t Christmas. In fact, there was no reason in the world for her to hand me a gift. But yet, there she was. She stood there, grinning at my confusion while I reached in the little bag and pulled out the tissue wrapped gift (it was heavy). And there, when I unfolded the tissue, was a beautiful silver letter opener with a crown on the handle. A crown encrusted with rhinestones.
Smiling, but still confused, I looked at her with a question in my eyes, and she said, “Just because I think you’re amazing.”
It’s a memory which was forever burned into my soul. And it brought home the importance of “just because.”
Have you ever sent a “just because” card?
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It might not be a letter opener or any other “tangible” gift, but a handmade greeting card sent “just because” is a powerful statement. It means “I think you’re special enough for me to spend my valuable time making this for you.” Tell me THAT wouldn’t instantly transport you to your happy place.
It does me. Receiving a “just because” card is great. But here’s the thing – making and sending one is even more fun. You hold the power of joy in your hands when you, as a papercrafter, use your talents to brighten someone else’s day for no reason at all. Let that sink in. YOU can bring joy to someone else! In a world full of sadness and despair, who wouldn’t love to send a little sunshine someone’s way for no reason?
Today’s card style is my number one favorite kind – a side step card. Side step cards don’t require a lot of written words because there’s not really much room. But you can pack a lot of meaning into one of these babies. And this side step card is a dazzler for two reasons: it uses my Shimmery Colors Designer Paper. (If you’d like a set, just tell me where to send the 5-pack in the form below – they’re FREE!). And the main embellishment, a big “faux glass” flower, is straight up fancy schmancy, though it doesn’t detract from the greeting. Plus it’s fun and easy.
Let’s get started.
How to make a side step “just because” card
- Shimmery Colors Designer Paper (sign up below for your own set!)
- Butterfly punches (small and large)
- Small tag punch
- Glitter (Art Glitter is my fave – the sparkles are off the chart)
- Liquid glue
- Glue dots
- Pattern stamp
- Die cutting machine (I used the Sizzix Big Shot this time – see Note)
- Flourish die
- Shaped die (for the greeting)
- Fence die
- Greeting stamp (one or two words is best – “hello” is ideal)
- Acetate (this is for the big floral embellishment, and no purchase needed. My tutorial “How to Make Faux Glass Flowers” explains how to do this.)
- Stick on pearl
- Ribbon scrap (for the small tag)
Note: if you don’t have a truckload of metal dies and don’t want to buy them, check out my post on 11 Reasons to Own a Digital Die Cutting Machine. This handy tool will create projects like this in a fraction of the time.
Create the side step card base from card stock. You can either use my tutorial on How to Make a Side Step Card the Easy Way – (Engineering Degree Not Required) or you can use a cutting machine with a card file. I use my Silhouette Cameo for my side step cards which easily shaves 20 minutes off the project.
Cut all paper layers from designer/patterned paper. My Shimmery Colors Designer Paper creates a pretty, springtime feel to your card, but you can use any papers. Subtle is good here so the embellishments and greeting take center stage.
Edge all of the designer paper pieces with glue and glitter. Do this over a piece of folded paper so you can tap the leftover glue back into the bottle quickly and easily. Though, as I say on most of my projects, be prepared for a bit of “glitter blow back.” Art Glitter is featherlight and a few flakes usually decorate me after a glittery project.
(Oh who am I kidding, more than a little, but whatevs.)
Punch out the large butterfly, small tag and greeting shape from designer paper. I used my Shimmery Colors for these pieces, because the colors are different, depending on where on the pages you punch from. So it’s like having a whole pack of papers to choose from.
Cut the fence piece and punch small butterflies from scraps of cardstock.
Note: I cut the fence piece from four different colors and finally settled on the same light green cardstock as the base. The other colors were too distracting. You may feel differently.
- Accent the small butterflies with a little bit of glitter.
- Stamp the large butterfly with the pattern stamp and edge it with glitter.
- Edge the small tag with glitter.
- Stamp the greeting onto the shape, then edge it with glitter.
- Leave the fence piece unglittered (ha!).
- Cut the flourishes
Make the Faux Glass Flower using the instructions found in my post “Turning Trash Into Treasure – How to Make Faux Glass Flowers” However, don’t edge the pieces with ink or use a background stamp. Use soft colors on this one. I wanted a subtly-colored flower, not an in-your-face one. Stick the pearl in the center. I colored mine with a Copic marker to coordinate with the yellow butterflies.
Step 7 – the embellishments
- Attach the fence piece along the bottom of the back “mountain.” Glue only the bottom of the fence – leave the top open.
- Using glue dots, attach the greeting layer to the middle “mountain.”
- Use micro mini glue dots to attach the tiny butterflies, sprinkled around.
- Attach the Faux Glass Flower with glue dots (or glue lines for more stability) and then glue the flourishes behind it with liquid glue for positioning flexibility.
- Tie the ribbon scrap to the tag, write something cute on the back, and tuck it behind the fence.
- Attach the big butterfly to the tag.
Attach a small piece of ribbon between the tall sections to keep the card from flattening. Call it “underpinning.”
Boom, you’re done.
Now then – who will your “just because” card be for?
Whose day are you going to brighten? Regardless of the papers you use, be sure to share your card on the G&B Facebook page, and if you’re an Instagrammer, tag me there too. I’d love to hear how you brought rainbows into someone’s world. Because sometimes, “just because” is the best reason of all!
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