My Virtual Studio: Stamping Inks, Diecutting, and Finishing cards

This lesson is a little random, with some other leftover ideas that I hadn’t gotten into the other ones. Let’s get to it!

Diecutting

For a long time I had resisted getting any electric cutters. I had my old dinged up Cuttlebug with the taped-on handle, who needs a swanky new thing when my old one still works fine? I had tried both electric (which only makes the parts move by press of a button) and electronic (where it cuts around things for you), and in the case of the former, I figured cranking the handle is exercise and I would continue to count that. And the latter – I wasn’t at all pleased with the edge that it gave me on diecuts, plus I hate what it does to the industry, so I keep buying dies when I need to and fussycutting otherwise.

Well, Crafters Companion sent me a Gemini Jr – I didn’t seek it out (I never do, see the lesson on video philosophy) – but plugging this baby in made me realize some of what I had been missing! I do more diecut projects now than I used to, even though I don’t put a lot of that on YouTube – but it sure makes me more willing to. It also doesn’t fall off the counter like the leg of my ‘bug did. And it had new plates…my bug plates were as bad as the ones in this video at the time!

It was so fun to see new plates again. I know, plates are there to be used. I just bought this pack of plates before this class was produced, and had to show you what nice pristine plates look like. I had forgotten! HA! So see the video below.

  • Crafter’s Companion Gemini Junior —- EH
  • Accessory Bundle, Crafter’s Companion Gemini Junior —- EH

Inks

I’m not an ink gal. There are tons of crafters you can turn to for great advice on inks! By the size of my ink drawer – and how not-full it is, and how much *other* stuff is in it, you can tell I’m not your pro! But I’ll share what I do have and do like.

Copic-safe ink is of course really important to me! I’ve found three great inks I use a lot – mostly I use Lawn Fawn’s Jet black because it also works with watercolor – so if it’s out and I grab the wrong one for watercolor paper, I’m still safe. But – I still love MFT’s and Memento listed below, they work great as well.

  • Jet Black, Lawn Fawn Ink Pad —- https://www.ellenhutson.com/lawn-fawn-ink-pad-jet-black/#_a_63
  • Memento Ink Pad, Tuxedo Black —- https://www.ellenhutson.com/memento-ink-pad-tuxedo-black/#_a_63
  • MFT Hybrid Licorice – MFT

Watercolor-friendly or waterproof inks are needed when adding color with a water-based medium. Ask me if I know what happens when you accidentally grab a water soluble one to paint! While I do say that the Lawn Fawn ink is fine for watercolor, I prefer the Versafine because it’s a softer pad and works a lot better on the bumpy watercolor paper surface.

  • VersaFine Ink Pad, Onyx Black —- EH
  • Jet Black, Lawn Fawn Ink Pad —- EH

Water soluble inks are able to be used to watercolor, but if you want the image to stay put, that’s not necessarily going to happen. But for some techniques, Distress inks and Distress oxides are the ones I like a lot, I have the full set of minis (minus newer colors, I never kept up) and just a couple of the oxide full size pads.

  • Distress Oxide Inks — EH
  • Distress Inks —- EH
  • Ranger Mini Distress Ink Storage Tin —- EH

Embossing ink – this was discussed in more detail in the previous lesson, but inks gotta stick with inks:

  • VersaMark
    • Full size Ink Pad —- EH
    • Small Cube Ink Pad —- EH
    • Reinker —- EH
    • Watermark Pen —- EH

Color inks are a rarity for me; I tend to not use them much, just black and white for sentiments. But what I do have a handful of and like – Catherine Pooler inks. I like the oval shape, for one, easy on the hands, and they stamp nice and evenly, and for me, the bad stamper — that’s a bonus!

  • Catherine Pooler Inks — EH

Finishing cards

The last step in any cardmaking isn’t adding that last embellishment, or focusing on the cardstock, liner for inside, or even decorating inside.

The last step is ADDRESSING THE ENVELOPE.

I’m not telling you to take calligraphy classes to make it a work of art. No need to stamp and color on envelopes unless you feel like it. But the addressing means you’re going to actually mail it! How many of our cards sit in boxes, not sent to anyone? If you don’t have a person to write to, here are some suggestions:

  • Your Christmas card list. It’s not just for Christmas! Send out cards too that aunt you never see, and send them in June, and September, and her birthday.
  • Send cards to your kids’ teachers. Or coaches, or guidance counselors. Whoever is making an impact in your child’s – or grandhild’s – life. They’ll love to hear positive reinforcement.
  • Look up your teachers from school. Yes, those teachers. Some may not be around anymore, but who knows? Sending them a card would MAKE THEIR DAY. Who else from your past would love to hear from you? Don’t email them ahead – if they’re listed as an employee of a school or hospital, just send it to them at work. Tell them who you are in case they forgot, and include your email so they can write back.
  • Donate them. I won’t get into the enormous task of looking for charities for you to send cards to….but I can tell you if you walk into a local nursing home with a beautifully packaged box of cards for the elderly to use to send to their family – or write messages TO them in your cards – they’re likely to say yes. Be sure to talk with them about how many or what kind they want for future boxes; don’t overwhelm them if they don’t use them quickly or provide things that aren’t needed. Other places to consider:
    • Animal shelters (dog themed cards they can sell)
    • Hospitals
    • First responders (thank you cards with notes in them)
  • Your church. You may not even know that many churches send cards to parishoners who are sick. Check to see if they do – and if they have need of specific themes you can provide.
  • Public officials. The ones who are doing good things: send thank you cards. To the ones you want to challenge: send your wishlist for what they should consider. Be nice, of course, because they get enough hate mail – but who’s not going to read your handmade card? I got an invitation to meet with my local rep after doing this, We had a hearty discussion and it was worth the effort!

Hopefully that’s a few idea-starters to get you rolling – who else in your community could you send cards to?

Join our creative community! Our Student Facebook Group is for all classes here …and while there are no finished projects in this class, you’re welcome to join the group and get an idea of what kind of beautiful works can be created from learnings in classes on this website!


I'm an artist, papercrafter, instructor, Youtuber - and all around creative geek! I love all the mediums and experimenting with styles. I especially love seeing others take a step on their own creative journey...whether for the first time, or leaping into new territory as a creative veteran!