Handmade Card Project
Make your holiday cards unique with a shimmery, 3-D star!
- Blank cards with a smooth or lightly textured surface, such as:
- Strathmore Creative Cards in Florescent White
- Strathmore Fine Art Cards for Drawing, or
- For colored cardstock, cut and fold your own blank cards using a heavy paper like Canson Mi Teintes or Fabriano Elle Erre
- Daniel Smith Water Soluble Ink
- Safety Kut printing block
- Speedball Carving Tools
- Ink or Palette Knife
- Flat Palette for rolling out the ink
- Scrap paper trimmed to approximately 2-1/2 inch squares
- Frisket Film
- Utility Knife
- Golden Molding Paste
- Daniel Smith Luminescent Acrylic in Iridescent Gold
Step 1 Carve a printing block for the decorative border pattern using a Safety Kut block trimmed to the size of your cards. We carved our whole block with a pattern and used a mask to create the border effect. You can also simply carve out a square in the center of your block to make the border, but using a mask is a neat trick that will allow you to re-use your block for other decorative printing projects.
Step 2 Prepare your ink. The Daniel Smith Water Soluble Ink comes in a wide range of colors and dries permanent and waterproof. A small amount of the Transparent Medium can be used as a modifier if the ink seems stiff. DANIEL SMITH Water-Soluble inks can be thinned with a drop of water.
Work a small amount of ink on a flat palette with a knife until it is smooth and slightly tacky. Roll out a thin layer on the palette with the brayer and ink up your block.
Print your block several times onto scrap paper until you are getting a good print. The first prints off a dry block are often spotty.
Step 3 When you are ready to start printing your cards, roll ink onto your block and position a 2-1/2 inch square of scrap paper in the center of the block. The paper will stick to the inked block and mask the ink from transferring to your card!
Pick up your inked block carefully by the edges and position it face down on a card. Press gently to make sure the card has stuck to the block and then turn it over so the card is on top.
Burnish the back of the card with your baren, going carefully around the edges. You may want to lay a piece of scrap paper over the card so you don’t get ink smudges on the back. Check to see if your print has transferred by holding your card against the block and lifting an edge enough to peek under. If you need to, lay the card back down and keep burnishing. If you can’t get a good ink transfer on your card, try inking the block a little heavier or thinning the ink a bit.
Continue printing all your cards and leave them until they are dry to the touch. Daniel Smith Water-Soluble Ink should be dry to the touch by the next day.
Step 4 Cut a stencil for the center star motif leaving a wide border of the stencil film. Frisket has a light adhesive backing, which makes it easy to position, but acetate or polyester sheets work well also.
Step 5 Make a mixture of approximately 3 parts Golden Molding Paste to 1 part Daniel Smith Luminescent Acrylic. We used Iridescent Gold, but any of the Iridescent colors would make a festive card.
Step 6 Position your stencil in the center of the card and, with a palette or ink knife, spread a layer of the Molding Paste mixture over the stencil. Carefully lift your stencil to reveal a sparkly, 3-dimensional star! The Molding Paste is stable and will not shrink, although the cards may buckle a little at first. As it dries, they should flatten out. You can easily layer on a pretty thick coat of the Molding Paste, although you may want to keep it under 1/8 inch if you are planning to mail your cards. Give the cards 2 or 3 days to dry completely.