TIPS & TRENDS:

Wired!

CardMaker - - Contents - By Kim­ber McGray

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.

Wire Words

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.

Card Art

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! •

MA­TE­RI­ALS

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.

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