How to Make Your Own Custom Designer Cardstock

Birthday card using custom designer cardstock

Most of the designer paper in my stash is geared toward feminine cards. You know, pinks, purples… soft Easter egg hues. If not those colors, then it’s brown, navy or maroon. But I wanted something much brighter for Mr. Right’s birthday card. So I created my own custom designer cardstock to match the ombre colors of the stamped panel. Let me explain…

The designer paper that was born from an accident

Most of the time we think of accidents as being something we’d rather avoid. You know:

  • red wine spilled on your white silk shirt (it’s why I don’t wear white clothes – those stains gravitate towards me);
  • cutting the curb too close (popped a tire, yes she did);
  • leaving that pot of African violets in a hot car while you ran a quick errand (it was only 15 minutes, but they wilted flatter than a French crepe).

But some accidents turn out to benefit mankind:

  • bacteria infected with fungus (penicillin);
  • medicine to cure chest pain/angina (Viagra – yes, that was a happy-for-men accident)
  • wet grain in ancient times which produced alcohol as a byproduct (beer!)

And while this particular accident didn’t benefit anyone but me, it went on to become a quick and easy way to produce my own  custom designer cardstock whenever I needed something a little edgy.

Thanksgiving card using technique to create custom designer paper
The original "accident" - lots of energy on a sedate background

This was the original “accident,” a card I made several years ago. I painted the background with water-based shimmer paints on watercolor paper. It was pretty enough, and quite shimmery.

So do you like those black lines?  That’s what you do when you’ve completely finished your card front and you drop the lid to the waterproof black ink pad you used to stamp the sentiment right there in plain view where there wouldn’t be an embellishment to cover it up.  No screaming here (well, maybe a little), I just added more of the lines and liked the energy they imparted. Ta daaa – instant custom paper.

It did need a little somethin’ somethin’ anyway.

Same technique, different materials

Three colors sponged and blended into each other, then heat embossed
Soothing colors under a calming sentiment. It was a landmark birthday - "calm" was in order.

This time around I wanted the paper to match the stamped die cut layer. I sponged three colors – turquoise, green and yellow – then I heat embossed the sentiment, one of my favorites. This card was for Mr. Right’s birthday this past weekend, a big one. And he IS a work of art. But I digress.

I used the edges of the ink pads and dabbed them on the white card stock every which way. Some of them dabbed cleanly, some left smudges, but I liked the overall look. Very energetic.

Custom designer cardstock using ink pad edges
This paper practically vibrates with energy
Tiny flags in corresponding colors peek out from the corner of the stamped layer
Tiny flags are always welcome

I layered a black matching die cut behind the stamped layer and sandwiched three tiny flag die cuts between them. Of course, I see in the photo that one of the flags is a wee bit rough around the edges. Couldn’t see that with the naked eye, but I guess I should be sanding those die cuts in the future. Geesh. Close up photography shows everything…

A black rhinestone finishes the front.

The stamped greeting on the inside
Always the layers and the greeting on the inside

Now it's your turn

How have you created your own custom designer cardstock? Take a picture and post it on my Facebook page! We’d love to know we’re not alone!

We’ll wait for you!

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Hi, I'm Shea!

Hi, I'm Shea!

Do you prefer handmade to store bought? Would you rather make something than buy it? If you want to tap into your inner creative genius and say, "Yes, I made that," stick with me. From greeting cards to soap to old-fashioned desserts "from my mother's recipe box," (sprinkled with tales of life as an almost-senior), you'll learn that handmade beats the socks off store bought!

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