Serendip­ity Tech­nique

CardMaker - - Let's Color! - By Sharon M. Rein­hart

The serendip­ity tech­nique is one of those go-to tech­niques that is not only time­less, but also re­sults in beau­ti­ful one-of-a-kind cre­ations! Although it is not new, it may be new to many of you. For oth­ers, this may be a pleas­ant re­minder to re­visit this tech­nique and all of its pos­si­bil­i­ties. Like many tech­niques, it has evolved and con­tin­ues to do so with each new prod­uct be­ing used in the world of card mak­ing and pa­per craft­ing.

Some re­fer to "serendip­ity" as a "for­tu­nate hap­pen­stance or a pleas­ant sur­prise." I am con­fi­dent that you will be pleas­antly sur­prised with your serendip­ity cre­ations! This tech­nique is sim­i­lar to pa­per col­lage where a va­ri­ety of ma­te­ri­als are pasted onto a sur­face to cre­ate a piece of art. In the serendip­ity tech­nique, a master board or serendip­ity panel is cre­ated us­ing bits and pieces of var­i­ous pa­pers. Strips of washi tape and rib­bons are also op­tions at this stage. Once the panel has been cre­ated, it is then ma­nip­u­lated by cut­ting it into strips, squares or shapes. Those pieces can then be used to cre­ate cards, tags and many other projects. Al­most any type of pa­per, rib­bon and tape can be used.

Choos­ing a Color Pal­ette

There are a cou­ple of op­tions when choos­ing the color pal­ette. One is to work in a monochro­matic color theme choos­ing var­i­ous shades of one color. Another is to pull to­gether com­ple­men­tary col­ors or color themes for the sea­son, hol­i­day or oc­ca­sion that the card is be­ing cre­ated for. If you are in need of in­spi­ra­tion, look to­ward the color com­bi­na­tions found in cloth­ing, fab­ric and home decor. Pat­terned pa­per it­self is also a great re­source—the color match­ing has al­ready been done for you! A lit­tle tip here is that the pa­per se­lec­tion process is even eas­ier if your pa­per scraps have been pre­vi­ously or­ga­nized by color.

Cre­at­ing Your Serendip­ity Panel

A card­stock base is nec­es­sary to glue the pa­pers onto. While white card­stock is usu­ally used, col­ored card­stock is also an op­tion es­pe­cially if you choose to leave some spa­ces of the base color show­ing through. Deter­mine how much fin­ished ma­te­rial you may re­quire and this will help you de­cide on what size of panel to cre­ate. For ex­am­ple, the three projects fol­low­ing this ar­ti­cle used a quar­ter sheet (41/4 x 51/2-inch) serendip­ity panel in to­tal. If more fin­ished ma­te­rial is re­quired, then start with a half sheet (51/2 x 81/2inch) or full sheet (81/2 x 11-inch) as the base.

The process of cre­at­ing a serendip­ity panel is quite sim­ple. Just tear or cut pa­pers into 1–11/2-inch or smaller pieces and ad­here to the card­stock base us­ing a glue stick (Photo 1). My choice of ad­he­sive is the UHU glue stick. Xy­ron ad­he­sive is another op­tion. A good start­ing po­si­tion is in the cen­ter of the card­stock base. Then work out to­ward the edges un­til the panel is full. Rather than try­ing to align the pa­pers flush to the edge, let them ex­tend be­yond the edges and then trim the ex­cess af­ter the panel is com­plete to cre­ate an even edge (Photo 2).

If us­ing a glue stick, it is im­por­tant to work on a dis­carded mag­a­zine, cat­a­log or scrap pa­per. Just turn the page for an ad­he­sive-free work sur­face.

Adding Di­men­sion

Di­men­sion is an el­e­ment that adds in­ter­est to your panel. This can be ac­com­plished by us­ing tex­tured pa­pers or by crum­pling or em­boss­ing pa­pers. Edges may be all the same or var­ied. Straight, torn, dis­tressed and even dec­o­ra­tive-cut edges all pro­vide vis­ual in­ter­est.

Once the pa­pers, tape and/or rib­bon have been ad­hered to the base it can be taken a step fur­ther by adding a va­ri­ety of other ma­te­ri­als. Most can be added prior to cut­ting the panel into squares and shapes. How­ever, some that are dif­fi­cult to cut with a pa­per trim­mer, such as mi­cro beads, should be added af­ter the de­sired shape has been made. In some cases, a ro­tary trim­mer or die tem­plate may of­fer bet­ter re­sults.

Cut­ting Your Serendip­ity Panel

Once the panel has thor­oughly dried, it is time to cut it into the de­sired shapes. One op­tion is to cut the panel into var­i­ous sizes of squares and layer them onto a card as seen in the Ghostly Greet­ings card on page 59, where three serendip­ity squares are mat­ted and lay­ered to the card front. Another op­tion when us­ing squares is to cut 4 small squares and layer to­gether in the cen­ter of a card or one larger square as shown in the Happy Hal­loween project on page 58. One of my fa­vorites is to use die tem­plates to cut a spe­cific shape such as the Patch­work Pump­kin tag on page 58 or the die-cut pump­kin shown on this de­light­ful mini treat bag (Photo 3). Another idea is to sim­ply use strips of the serendip­ity panel for bor­ders or to dress up a card front as shown in this gift card (Photo 4).

Which­ever shapes you de­cide upon I am sure the serendip­ity tech­nique will be­come a go-to in your craft­ing arse­nal. I hope that you are in­spired to cre­ate some­thing won­der­ful to­day!

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