Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Flowers to Shakespeare Card Topper by Alan Scott

I thought I would go back to making a card topper this time. It's a technique that's been doing the rounds for a while, so there is no harm in just doing a refresher and maybe just doing a 'Oh that will do for .....'s card'.
All you need is a sheet of paper from an old book and some simple lined stamps. Here I have used stamps from a NEW to me stamp designer, Jo Firth-Young. I have been lucky enough to add a few of the stamp sets to my collection and I'm eager to add some more soon, as I see a longevity in the designs. To embellish the topper, I have used from the Tim Holtz Stamps Collection Bitty Grunge stamp set. These are all available (stock willing) from That's Crafty! (if they are not available, please email Laura and I'm sure she will contact you when stock is back in store). 

JOFY 12 and 09
Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Collection - Bitty Grunge
A5 sheet Paper from an Old Book 
2 x A5 sheets of Topping Card (here I have selected colours that are from the colour range used in the stamping)
A5 sheet Plain White Paper
Selection of Tim Holtz Distress Pens
Archival Black Ink Pad
Heat Gun
Water Spray/Misters Bottle
Distressing Edge Scissors
Double Sided Tape
Post-it Notes
Thin Black Liner Pen
Tim Holtz Ink Pads: Tea Dye and Old Paper
Blender Tool 


Using your scrap paper, build up your main image. We are doing this as the old paper that will be stamped on in the final topper, has to be treated as a 1 stop stamping plate. Practice as much as you feel you need.T ry different placements till you're happy with the final construction. Use the black pen to get used to adding lines and joining in where needed, as this will come in handy after we have stamped the black outline. The key words are. PRACTICE....PRACTICE....PRACTICE.


Now it's time to start to build up our image. Select your colours from the Tim Holtz Distress Pen Collection and add colour onto the stamp. This will then be repeated with all the stamps needed to build up our composition.

When you're finished with the stamping, take the spritzer bottle and lay down a light layer of water. Allow this water to soak into the stamped image. 

When you're happy with the overall look, take the heat gun and dry the image as quickly as you can. You don't want to leave the paper to air dry. Doing that will allow the Distress ink to spread out further and you're will loose whatever depth of colour you were aiming for.

Taking the Archival Ink, start to stamp over the Distress stamp image. Then using the black liner, fill in those areas where the stamped image doesn't quite look right.

All that's left to do, is to build up some more intrest onto the paper. Here I have used the Bitty Grunge stamps, as they are the right size to frame the main stamped image. I took the star and stamped into all 4 corners to look as if it had been 'pinned' to the card.
After all the stamping had been done, taking the distress edged scissors, I cut around the page. This is optional ,you can leave it as is or just rip the edges. i didn't want 3 straight edges and 1 torn.
Then all that was left to do with the main topper, was to take the Tea Dye and Old Paper ink and blend the edges. This is just to 'age' the paper that little bit more. Final thing is to secure onto your chosen card using double sided tape.
There you have it a simple idea that looks as if you have painted it and drawn round it yourself. So dig out those stamps and start to play.
Car boots and Charity shops are a wonderful place to re-cycle old books. Try to keep to books that are mostly text, have stained edges and have been glued when it comes to stitching. Old books when not precious can be given a whole new lease of life by us crafters in a whole bucket load of techniques.

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