My absolute favourite style to work in is vintage, and it's quite easy to achieve this look. Since we have stampers of all experience levels in our group. we'll review some basic distressing techniques. I'm going to walk you through my process of making my card from this past Saturday. We'll also talk a little about paper-piecing...not the planned topic, but thought we'd sneak that in as well!
First up: stamp and paper selection. I chose to work with Teacup Fairy, one of our fantastic clear sets by Krafty Artist Annie Rodrigue. Since vintage is my favourite style, I have a ton of paper pads that will work for this theme. I just happened to have the Graphic 45 Botanical Tea pad which suited this stamp perfectly! At first, I had planned on having lots of layers and antique-style embellishments. However, I really wanted to use this gorgeous paper with the teapot and it had so many elements on the paper that I did not want to cover up with additional layers. The Teacup Fairy stamp is fairly large, and I decided she would be positioned strategically under the teapot in the paper design. Therefore, I opted for a fairly clean and simple layout. Despite choosing minimal embellishments and layers, there is still a lot we can do to bump up the vintage factor of this card. Here's a shot of my supplies:
These papers already have a vintage design, but we are going to make them look even more aged by adding ink and physically distressing the paper. I began by selecting three distress inks: Antique Linen, Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain. One thing you should know about me: I'm frugal. As much as I love the ink daubers and applicators on the market, I tend to buy large bags of makeup sponges for applying my inks. It works fairly well as long as you pinch the sponge enough to lift the edges to prevent any harsh lines. I always start by first dabbing off any excess ink. I then start apply the ink using a slight swirling motion beginning on a scrap piece of paper and work the ink gradually onto the design paper. I started with my lightest ink, Antique Linen. I brought this ink further onto my paper than the other two colours. I repeated the same step using Vintage Photo. Walnut stain was used a bit later in the process.
While the inks serve to "age" the edges of the paper, I wanted my papers to look older. These were still looking to pristine and smooth for my liking. Solution: crumple up the paper. Once I had sufficiently wrinkled the paper, I lightly sponged the high points of the creases with Antique Linen and a touch of Vintage Photo.
I used scissors to physically distress all the edges. Don't worry if a bit of paper tears in the process...it just adds to the effect. I lightly spritzed the paper with water to soften the inks, flattened the paper back out and allowed it to dry. After the paper had dried, I sponged Walnut Ink sparingly around the edges. This ink is quite dark, so it only took a teeny bit to highlight the distressing. One tip here: if you apply ink after you've distressed the edges, you will likely have some paper fibres drop onto your work surface. Since these fibres have ink, be cautious when you remove them from your surface. If they have dropped onto other paper, or your coloured image, brushing them off the surface with your hand will result in unwanted smears of ink. Sharing this from experience. ;) Make sure you're working on top of a scrap piece of paper so you can carefully remove any fallout...and keep your coloured image out of harm's way!!
Up next: machine stitching. I think this finishes edges off beautifully and definitely adds to the vintage feel. After stitching my layers, I always go back over the stitching with more ink to ensure the thread doesn't look too stark against the aged papers. You'll also notice that I used a bit of crocheted trim. When cutting this trim, I frayed the edges a bit and sponged it with some ink to ensure it matched the vintage treatment of the paper. I also prepared a panel for the inside of my card.
Now let's focus on the image. I almost always colour in the no lines technique. I feel this technique really lends itself well the vintage theme as dark black lines would be too harsh for this card. I first stamped the image onto Neenah cardstock with Memento Desert Sand Ink and coloured the fairy with Copics. I decided that I wanted my stamped teacup to have a design. While I could have created this with markers or pencils, I opted for paper-piecing. I stamped the teacup onto a sheet from the Graphic 45 pad and shaded it with Copics...pretty sure I used E25, E40, E42, E43 and a bit of colourless blender.
After cutting the fairy out, I went around all paper edges with the coordinating markers...this step is very important as it conceals the stark white core of the paper. If you miss this step, your pieces will not blend seamlessly...if you've stamped in black ink, you can simply go around with a dark marker. After adhering her to the cup, I added a bit more shading to bump up the contrast of the cast shadows to really make her look like she was nestled in the cup. I also paper-pieced the little teabag tag...don't forget to add some cast shadows here as well!
All that's left is to adhere your image to the paper. I used a Copic multiliner to draw in the antennae and string for the teabag. I also used a Wink of Stella marker on her wings...this was just the perfect amount of subtle shimmer for this card. I felt the card needed just a little something extra, so I added some pearls...another favourite finishing touch for vintage cards. The pearls were too "clean" for my liking, so I coloured them with my E42 marker.
So that was my process! You probably noted in my initial picture that I had some vintage key charms. I had planned to use one, but it just wasn't working for this layout. Again, I had not initially planned such a clean and simple card...plans often evolve over the cardmaking process. ;) Other supplies I often reach for when creating vintage cards are:
- Frantage embossing powers
- Acrylic paint to add around the paper edges: I'll often use this in conjunction with the frantage powder. I've done this with both white and gold paints.
- Die cut flourishes and borders: I was going to add some to this card, but again the design paper was enough on it's own.
- Antique charms
- Doilies: die cut or pre-made...just make sure to age them with inks!
I hope you've found some useful tips in this post...and I hope you plan to play along with the Vintage/Distressed challenge this week!