Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Week 18: Triple Flower Mother's Day Card

Mother's Day is coming up, and you've got to give Mom a card. Will it be a store-bought Mother's Day card with sentiments written by someone else, or will it be a card handmade with love for the mothers and grandmothers and women in our lives who have mentored and loved us? Well duh. Obviously, we'll go with option #2.

My mother loves gardening, so this card is floral feast, with three kinds of flowers: a real, pressed flower, an image transfer flower image, and a "mom" decal on floral paper. Yum. Let's get started.
Three kinds of flowers on this mom's day card

What you need
For the pressed flowers:

  • flower press or big, heavy book
  • fresh flowers, preferably ones with few petals
For the image transfer:
  • magazine images
  • soft gloss gel (Liquitex)
  • paintbrush
  • small tray (a toaster oven tray works well)
For the card:
  • blank card and envelope
  • pigment ink (Palette)
  • scissors and decorative scissors
  • craft glue
  • collage glue (Mod Podge)
  • German foil trim (can be found online at 32 Degrees North)
  • double-sided foam tape
  • rubber stamp or sticker with a Mother's Day theme ("mom" or the like)

Some of the things you need, clockwise from left: craft glue, Mod Podge, scissors, craft scissors, blank card, German foil trim, flower press, pigment ink, stickers, double-sided foam tape

Step 1: Pressed flowers
Gather some flowers, and using a flower press, press the flowers between the leaves. Or, if you don't have a flower press, put them between the pages of a big, heavy book. Many-petaled flowers, such as roses, don't press as easily as small flowers such as pansies. This card uses a Lenten rose (hellebore).

After a few days, check your flowers. They should be pressed flat and dry to the touch before you use them.

Step 2: Image transfer
First we'll take a printed image and spiff it up so that it's card-worthy. We could just glue a cut-out magazine picture straight onto the card, but that's kind of tacky looking: it has that thin glossy magazine paper look, and there's other stuff on the back side of the image. We'll take the image and transfer it onto a hardened gel "skin" that we can then glue on to our card.
Brush a coat of gel over your images and let them dry. I'm doing a batch here, to use in other projects. Then brush on four more coats, letting each coat dry between applications. Each coat dries quickly - in about fifteen minutes.
When the last coat of gel is dry, put your image paper-side down into a tray filled with water. Let it soak for a minute or so, or until the paper is saturated.
Take out the image, turn it over, and start rubbing the paper away with your fingers. Presto! You can see the picture from the other side start to show through. Keep rubbing until you've removed all the paper. You can get any stray bits with a Magic Eraser.
Use decorative scissors to trim a pretty border around your image.

Step 3: Putting it all together

With our pressed flowers and image transfer ready to go, let's put all the pieces together and add some finishing touches.

Start by inking the borders of your card, leaving the middle clear. The image transfer becomes transparent, so if you have a dark-colored background, when you glue down the image, it'll look murky.
Add a little dimensional embellishment by cutting a small piece of floral paper and sticking a clear "Mom" sticker on it.
Glue the image transfer down with craft glue, and carefully glue the flower with collage glue (you can see the wet glue in this photo). Then take the little "Mom" embellishment and attach it with double-sided foam tape so that it sticks up a little.
The card didn't look quite done, so I added some blue German foil trim under the "Mom" and along the bottom of the card. Adding a little shiny trim really makes a difference. I also used a metallic pen to color the edges of the image transfer, adding some sparkle.

Happy Mother's Day, and happy card-making!

1 comment:

  1. Great blog with good ideas. I like it.