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How to Make a Card Using Metal Dies

Posted by Jennifer Snyder

Do you love metal dies? Dies are growing in popularity because they can be used over and over to jazz up countless projects.

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Do you love metal dies? Dies are growing in popularity because they can be used over and over to jazz up countless projects. They are easy to use and make great accent pieces for cards and scrapbook pages, altered items, and gifts.

I have some easy- to- follow instructions showing how I made this card using Spellbinders dies, patterned paper and some fun embellishments. I also have some tips to consider when making thick embellished cards.

Products Used On This Card

Simple Stories Legacy 6x6 paper pad

Ranger Liquid Pearls Garnet

Spellbinders Majestic Elements Nestabilities Dies - Majestic Labels 25

Petaloo Red Flowers

Martha Stewart Medium Branch Punch

Prima Wooden Icons with Foil -Keys & Doilies

Beacons 3in 1 Glue Adhesive

Sentiment Stamp - this is great

Fine Tip Black Artist Pen or here

Chestnut Ink

Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Vintage Photo

Ranger Blending tool

Cardstock

Prefolded Cards

Prima Bella Rouge Brads - Red Gemstone Accents in Magenta - Brads or Crystals

Repositionable Tape

Some Close Ups

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Here are the Easy Instructions

Pick out 3 sheets of patterned paper that will coordinate nicely when layered. You will also need a small piece of plain cardstock to be used as a neutral background behind the die cut. I used a Simple Stories Legacy 6x6 paper pad. I loved the colors and found they could easily be used for feminine and masculine cards.

It's always nice to have paper packs that can be used for multiple projects. I may even pull these out for the holidays.

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Ink the edges of the card and the patterned paper. This adds some definition to edges and the overall look of the card. I used Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo. I chose this color because Vintage Photo has a warm tone that nicely compliments my paper choice.

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I used Spellbinders Majestic Elements Nestabilities Dies - Majestic Labels 25 to create a frame for my card. In order to run the Nestabilites dies through my die cut machine and stay secure, I add a bit of repositionable tape.

I also ran a piece of ivory cardstock through the die machine as well to create a solid background for the green frame.

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Ink the edges of the die cuts.

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Glue the die cut layers to the card. I also added an accent paper strip.

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Pick some embellishments. I used Prima's Wooden Foil Doilies and a bright red flower from Petaloo for a nice pop of color. The bold red embellishment also brings out the delicate red from the flowers in the patterned paper.

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Add a sentiment to your card by stamping or handwriting. I chose to stamp my sentiment that simply says "happy birthday". I used Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink but needed a bit more definition and crispness in my inked letters. To make the words pop a bit more, I grabbed a fine black artist pen and traced over the stamping. This is a great technique when your stamped image isn't as crisp as you wanted or is missing a bit of ink here and there. Use the pen to fill in the gaps and complete.

Add various other accents as desired. I added some Garnet Crystal Brads from Prima Bella Rouge Collection but gems and sequins work nicely as well.

Tip: when adding brads as an "after thought", simply cut the metal pieces off and glue to the project with a strong glue. I use Beacons 3in1 adhesive because it has a strong bond and works on metal, fabric, wood, flowers, and almost anything else.

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Add tiny dots of Range Liquid Pearls in Garnet to the die cut.

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Punch or cut some leaves or branches. I chose the Martha Stewart Medium Branch punch. It's quick to use and I can punch a number of branches in no time at all. The branches are perfect to tuck into floral clusters to fill out and provide texture.

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Add finishing touches! I added some more punched branches and a gem brad to the top corner of my card for balance. Once final touch - a few dots of Liquid Pearls in the corners near the embellishments.

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Here is the Finished Card

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Tips To Consider When Making Thick Cards

I am often asked why I make thick cards. Those lumpy bumpy cards just don't fit in envelopes and they cost more to mail. Those are both true statements. I am going to suggest a few tips that address these concerns.

  • Question 1. Those lumpy bumpy cards just don't fit in envelopes
  • Answer: Buy Bigger envelopes. Buy envelopes that are one size up from the card you create to avoid fighting and wrestling to get the card inside the envelope. This also reduces the risk of damage to your beautiful card.
  • Question 2. Thick cards will cost more to mail?
  • Answer: Yes, you will need to add extra postage depending on how thick and heavy your card becomes. If you enjoy decorating your cards with flowers and embellishments and want to avoid the cost of extra postage, make them for special occasions, parties, handing out in person. Save the flatter cards for mailing.
  • Question 3. Will the cards mail without damage?
  • Answer: You can add a thin piece of cardboard over the top of the card for extra protection. Bring the card to the post office and have it hand stamped. Be careful about adding sharp metallic objects that may rip through the envelope.

My philosophy is "Make what you love". If I were to buy a card in the store for $4.00, then I am way ahead of the game if my handmade card costs $1.50 to mail.

Happy Crafting!