TIPS & TRENDS:
The industrial trend of metal is very popular right now in home decor. You’re seeing iron marquee letters being used as wall decor, stainless steel appliances, and countertops in kitchens and wire lighting fixtures adding ambiance to rooms. This popular trend is very evident in paper crafting and card making as well.
Creative Paper Clips
One of the easiest ways to incorporate metal into a card design is to dress up a basic paper clip (Photo 1). There are also fun, premade wire words or icons that can actually double as embellishments and paper clips. You can even use floral wire or wire from the hardware store to make your own designs. Basic paper clips are one of my favorite inexpensive embellishments to use on cards. Just slide one on a layer of paper and tie on a piece of twine or ribbon, or attach a fabric flower or pretty gem; you have an instant, custom embellishment that will add a special touch to your card. Check your local office supply store for metal paper clips in a variety of colors beyond the standard silver. Craft manufacturers, such as Maya Road, also offer different-shaped paper clips. These clips work just like a regular paper clip and slide over the edge of a piece of paper, which in most instances causes a portion of the clip design to be hidden. The solution is to use the clip as an embellishment instead! Simply attach the clip to the front of your card with a small amount of glue, an adhesive dot or a staple. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, consider stitching the clip to the card.
Jillibean Soup is another company that has created wire words that are similar to the Maya Road clips, but these words don’t slide over the edge of the paper like a clip. You can use the previously mentioned methods to attach these to your cards. They are very thin and lightweight and only need a little glue or a few staples or stitches to hold them in place (Photo 2).
DIY Wire Embellishments
Now that you have some ideas on how to use wire embellishments on your projects, try your hand at these do-it-yourself designs. Wire can be found near the picture-hanging supplies in the local hardware store and in the floral aisle of craft stores. There are many different gauges of wire to choose from, but I like using a medium gauge that holds its shape well and can be shaped easily.
To create your own designs, you can start by using your fingers and bending the wire to create flowers or standard shapes such as squares or hearts. If you want to manipulate the wire to create a word, it is best to either write the word on a plain piece of paper or print it from your computer using a wordprocessing program. Script fonts work best because the letters are connected.
As with most anything, if you have the right tools, you will find the process much easier. Needle-nose pliers help make smooth bends; you can get a rougher looking word if you simply use your fingers and a bit of patience, but needle-nose pliers will make the job a lot easier. Start by following the design of the word, laying the wire atop the written word to find the points that need to be curved, twisted and turned. This will take a bit of practice, but practice does make perfect, and thankfully, wire is not very expensive. Don’t give up if you don’t get perfect results the first time—just keep trying (Photo 3).
Once you are finished with your design, use a pair of wire cutters to clip the wire from the roll or paddle. I have found an old pair of scissors can easily cut thin wire as well. However, whatever you do, do not use your good fabric or ribbon scissors. Cutting the wire can nick the blade of the scissors.
Are you ready to try incorporating wire designs in a card project? Enjoy experimenting with a variety of products to discover all kinds of wire embellishments you can make yourself. Whether it’s a basic paper clip or fancy script sentiment, I think you’ll agree that wire adds a wow factor to cards! •
Michaels white cardstock Jillibean Soup Healthy Hello patterned paper: Aged Aloha, Bite Sized Bits Jillibean Soup Healthy Hello stickers Hampton Art Letterpress tag Jillibean Soup teal felt bow clip Jillibean Soup self-adhesive sequins: red raspberry, teal plum Silver medium-gauge wire Pink embroidery floss Needle Needle-nose pliers Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L® adhesive foam squares Xyron adhesive runner 1. Form a 41/4 x 51/2-inch card from white cardstock.
2. Cut a 4 x 51/4-inch panel from yellow patterned paper. Adhere to card.
3. Cut a 4 x 3-inch sentiment panel from confetti patterned paper. Adhere to card at an angle.
4. Shape wire with needle-nose pliers to spell “hi.” Place wire word on tag as desired; pierce holes on either side of wire and stitch in place with floss. Attach sentiment sticker.
5. Slide paper clip onto edge of tag. Adhere tag with foam squares.
6. Attach sequins.