Stick Pins… or How To Take Your Cards From Ok to Wow!

Handmade greeting card with colored rose and handmade stick pin

Stick pins can take a card from “looks nice” to “WOW!” And they’re multipurpose too!

I’m taking today’s card from the archives as we’ve just returned from our long weekend in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. What a beautiful state. Trees, rolling hills, low mountains, a little rain, and lots of charming architecture in one of the most precious towns in the state.  But I digress, so let’s talk about one of my favorite elements when it comes to dressing up handmade cards.

"Card jewelry" is the answer to the nagging question

Have you ever looked at a card you’ve just finished and thought it needs something? But you couldn’t figure out exactly WHAT it needed? You didn’t rush the card, you took your time composing it, maybe even coloring it. It’s got all the elements of a well-made card, but, gosh darn it, something was missing?

That’s how I felt about this card.

It happened during my time as a guest designer for a stamp company (sadly no longer in business), and I needed to make a card to fulfill a color challenge – in this case, white, orange and green.

These are NOT my favored colors to work with. My comfort zone includes pinks, purples, vintage and/or shabby, and this color combo required some creative thinking on my part.

But what good is a challenge if it’s not, well, challenging?

Not my first choice of colors to work with

Working outside of one’s comfort zone is half the fun of any challenge. Besides, I almost never use orange card stock except at Halloween, so this was going to prove interesting, at the very least.

Close up of rose image colored with Copics
Colored with Copics, I tried a new style of background

I colored the image, a lovely full-blown rose stamp, with Copics.  I attempted to color it as a Chicago Peace rose, though admittedly I took a little creative license with it.

OK, roses are the hardest flower to color, so I just did the best I could. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

For the background, I used the pointelle method (applying dots of ink). That white was just too stark. Also too stark was the white doily, so I colored it with two colors of shimmer paints, mango and peach. The peach was too light, the mango too dark, so I attempted to lighten it again. Think three coats was enough? *sigh*

I added a small banner with the sentiment to offset the central panel. (Yes, I inked those edges.)

A coordinating stick pin to the rescue

Two ribbons for a multi-loop bow and a matching stickpin complete the card
A little "card bling" to finish it off

Layered ribbon bows, a pearl, some stitching and a lacy border complete this card. Except they didn’t. The card was nice, but I felt it still lacked a little something.

Enter… a stick pin looking all the world like I had custom made it just for this card. But I didn’t. I already had it on hand. Still, it wouldn’t have taken five minutes to make one. (I’ll share a tutorial in an upcoming post showing how easy these pins are to make.)

Here are a few more from my stash:

More stick pins - blues and greens
The colors of the ocean
Turquoise and pink stick pins
Turquoise and pink - a favorite color combo
Angel charms made from beads, pearls and tiny angel wings
Not stick pins, but very cute - and so easy to make
Teal and lime green stick pins
Teal and lime green - gorgeous!

If you want to see some stick pins in action, check out this flower-filled beauty. Or this Parisian delight.Which, to be fair, featured one of my charms and not a stick pin. But when I make one, I make the other, so I’m sharing both.

And here’s one of my all-time faves – a copper-colored beauty with a stick pin and a bonus charm. Those are the cream of the crop – a stick pin with an attached charm. Yummy…

By the way, I mentioned earlier that these stick pins are multi-purpose. That’s because the recipient of the card can remove it and wear it in a jacket lapel. Or attach it to a lamp shade. Or wear it on a hat. They are beautiful, useful pieces of real jewelry!

Now it's your turn

Try adding a jewelry accent to one of your cards to bring the pizzazz level up a notch. Share it on my Facebook page, including details, so we may all admire it with oooohs and aaaahs. Include pictures of the extras you made, too. Because as I’ve discovered, you can’t make just one.

Happy crafting!

Angled view of card with stick pin as it's "jewelry"
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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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