Using chipboard albums to create an extra special card

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I have been making a lot of chipboard and mdf albums into special birthday and occasion cards. I started with two sets of mdf congratulations to make as memento for two close friends weddings where they requested no gifts then 10 60th birthday albums and now a baby one.  Once you get started you will be hooked!

There are a few tips floating around when working with these albums but here are mine:

  • Do choose a theme then pull out from your stash everything you have that relates.
  • Do buy a good quality spray adhesive to attach the paper to the base. It will attach firmly within five minutes and be smooth. I used 3M Super 77 Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive and would definately buy it again.
  • Layout your chosen papers numbering the back of each paper and the corresponding base. After you have taken the time you do not want to attach the wrong ones.
  • Use a scalpel to cut around the edge once you have stuck it down, one side at a time.
  • If you cut too much or tear the paper do not worry use a sanding block it will create a tear line and smooth your paper into the colour you painted around the edge.
  • If you nick the edge use coloured pens to blend, they are much easier to manage than paint.
  • When choosing your embellishments work out where to place then make sure to lay each piece on top of each other before attaching, ideally you want the finished pages to sit evenly not sit up on one side.
  • Use a scalpel to push through the paper and expose the hole, do not worry about being too neat the ring will cover these.
  • Do not forget to leave a space to write on the card or at least add a small open envelope that you can insert a personal message or if you are doing a word, make a note card to go in the box.
  • Paper or bakers twine is best to hold garlands together or metal hinged rings for album cards but that does not mean you cannot add a ribbon.
  • Buy or make a small box to put your creation in. Nestle it in some tissue paper because it is your gift to the recipient.

Here are photos of the rest of the album to give you a few ideas.

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What can I use in my bigshot?

Well I have been slack and not posted for a while but I have been “playing” with my bigshot.  Given that I am only using embossing folders as I have already invested in a cricut my quest has been to work out what scraps of paper, card and other items I can actually use in the bigshot.

If you google you will find an endless list but that isn’t much help.  So this is what I have found out this far:

  • Bazzill/AC cardstock – embosses nicely gives a smooth edge
  • Foil cardboard – the kind you buy the kids to make stuff out of embosses fantastically, very clear & precise and as a bonus readily available and cheap!
  • Stardream/Opal papers – embossed fantastically, clear image.  2 pieces seem to emboss the same as 1.
  • Glitter card – embossed ok but difficult to see against the glitter
  • Acetate/clear packaging (including from your embossing folders!) – embossed fantastically, nice deep images which are clear.  So don’t throw away that clear packaging cut it up and use it.
  • Printed scrapbook paper/gift wrapping – embossed nicely, need to consider the pattern on the paper vs your embossing folder.  Ideally use at least 2 pieces of paper at a time
  • Vellum – plain and printed work great, gives a nice embossed finish but not clear images.  You need to use at least 2 pieces at one time.
  • Wallpaper – produces a nice soft embossed image

All of these are pictured below.

Different media embossed with big shot

Endless choice

Top row from left – bazzil, foil board, stardream, wallpaper.

Bottom row from left – wrapping paper, vellum, clear packaging, printed paper.

My girlfriend tested alfoil – you need to double up twice, it will crease-up a little around the embossed image so don’t expect a pristine flat piece of alfoil.  Brown paper also works well.

Other household items yet to be tested but I expect will be great – cereal boxes and covers from magazines.  The addition of “embossing” really does make an otherwise ordinary looking item look fantastic whilst being good for the crafting budget and the environment.

I would love to hear any other idea’s for what to emboss.

Katrina