Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Sticky Issue of Craft Adhesives

A crucial factor in any craft project is choosing the correct adhesive. When you have worked hard on your design and layout the last thing you want is to have it spoilt by messy glue trails, wet looking or discoloured ribbon or worse still embellishments falling off your cards in the post.
A huge range of adhesives is available on the market today, and knowing which one to choose can be a tricky business. If you are using a mixture of materials in your project, be prepared to use several different types of adhesive to achieve the best results. Whatever type of adhesive you are using it is important to make sure that surfaces are clean and dry before it is applied.

For layering card and paper where you need to cover a relatively large area try a standard glue stick, this will give you quick coverage, sufficient adhesion and will not wet the paper or leak out of the edges. Make sure you replace the cap when not in use as they tend to dry out very quickly.
Foam pads are a great way to add depth to your cards and scrapbook pages, they provide very strong adhesion and by the thickness of the foam, raise items off the page creating a layered or 3D effect. They are available in a variety of sizes. Foam pads stick instantly and are difficult to remove from most surfaces so take care when positioning your items.

For lengths of ribbon or fabric, double sided tape can be cut to the appropriate length and attached to the back of the ribbon or fabric first, making it easier to position. Using a ‘dry’ adhesive like this prevents the ribbon from looking wet or wrinkled and does not stiffen the ribbon as it dries.

Glue dots are small rubbery dots that are sticky on both sides, they are available in a range of sizes, and are perfect for sticking embellishments and decorative items to your projects quickly and easily, with no mess or sticky fingers! Lift the backing paper to reveal a dot and press the item you are attaching to the dot, it will stick to your item and lift off the backing paper, then press it into position on your project. Glue dots are suitable for a wide range of materials such as card, paper, plastic, metal etc. Always make sure you choose a dot that is small enough to be completely hidden by the item it is sticking.

If you are working with transparent or translucent materials such as acetate, vellum, skeleton leaves or shrink plastic then Invisi dots provide the perfect solution. As the name suggests they are translucent glue dots which provide an invisible adhesive which doesn’t show through the transparent materials, spoiling the effect.

If you are using craft punches or a die cutting machine, double sided punch tape can be stuck to the card or paper and cut or punched out to the exact shape or size required, creating your own self adhesive die cut shapes. Watch the video to see how it works.

With all the other types of adhesive that are available, traditional liquid craft glue might seem redundant, however it is ideal for sticking glitter, confetti or similar materials. Spread the glue thinly over the required area, sprinkle liberally with glitter, leave to dry, shake the excess glitter off onto a piece of card and paper and then pour it back into the container.

For envelope making, liquid glue can be used to join the edges of the paper where they meet, always spread thinly to avoid surplus glue squeezing out between the layers of paper. A special moisture activated adhesive called Lick and Stick can be used for the envelope seal.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Christmas Card Toppers

I have made two trips to England since my last post to deliver my children to School and University, it's been a hectic emotional roller coaster for me but the upside is that I have been able to buy more stock from UK suppliers.
We have teamed up with a company called Hunkydory Crafts who supply an amazing range of card, card blanks and toppers etc. I saw their range at the Summer Craft show in Doncaster and have been dying to get my hands on some of their stuff ever since. Despite a few false starts caused by problems with their website I managed to place an order with them and collect it on my last trip.
I have just put the first of their products on to the website, three sheets of top quality, die cut, Christmas card toppers.

 Each A4 sheet is printed on 300gsm acid and lignin free silk art card stock and all the die cut toppers have foiled edges for a superb, luxury finish. No card maker no matter how inexperienced or short of time can fail to make impressive cards with these toppers. For full details go to Card Toppers on the main website.
I will be putting other Hunkydory products on to the website over the next few weeks, so watch out for some more gorgeous toppers.
I am looking forward to trying them out and will be posting the results, so watch this space.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Stamping with Clear Stamps

I am delighted with our new range of clear stamps, which although quite small, caters for many different occasions in the greeting card calendar. The Missy Mice and Polar Bears are too cute and I have some great ideas for the Holly Tree stamp which I will get round to trying out when I have finished delivering my daughter to University at the weekend.
I have already tried out one of the stamps from the Tulips set and here are the results:

I used a black ink for the stamp to create the outline and stamped it onto a circle of white card, then coloured it with watercolour pencils which are great as you can blend them easily. This was then matted on pink card and mounted in the main card background.

As tulips come in such a wide range of colours the variations for colouring this stamp are endless.
The stamp is part of a set which is shown on the left.
To see details of our full range of stamps click here.