Greeting Card Shapes

After a year of card making, I started to get fed up with the customary designs. I wanted to make something a bit more special, so I was delighted to discover:

The Eazi Score Scoring Board

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This is a durable A4 size board that helps you to create cards of different shapes easily and quickly. There is a double dvd set that you can also purchase which shows you step-by-step guides on how to make great deigns. But you don’t need the dvd to start producing masterpieces.

You simply place your card on the board like this:

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Notice how it’s right up to the edge so your lines will always be straight.

This little blue thing (below) is called a bone folder. Sometimes people use a metal prod that has a small ball shape at the tip – this is referred to as a ball tool. You can use either with this board but it is better to use the bone folder on thinner card to prevent the misfortune of making an unwanted hole!

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Keep it safe in something like a pencil case.

At the top, it shows you where to score using the bone folder which comes with it.

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It is designed for both right-handers and left-handed crafters.

It is also handy for the times you wish to make a simple A5 card but cannot get the fold right (you know when you close your card, the ends don’t meet and the crease down the middle is uneven) but with this amazing tool, you just do this:

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The bone folder is pointing to the groove that has been used.

I’d like to show you my two favourite cards that I have made with this indispensible friend.

Firstly the Tuxedo Card:

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For a special birthday or just to say you care.

Or with real buttons…

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Greatly received on Father’s Day!

In the shops, it is so difficult to find something for a male that is not depicting either a common hobby, beer glasses, a rude slogan or a slippered man reading the newspaper.

I have given this tuxedo card to many of my husband’s friends and male relatives and it is always received with surprise and joy. It makes them feel like you think they are stylish and smart.

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You don’t have to stick to the token colours either – bright blue would look cool.

And do not be fooled – it is very easy to make. I hate using scissors as I can’t cut straight but the five snips you need to do always turn out perfect.

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So easy to do! (And I’m a scissor hater)
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Thanks to the board you can have nice sharp folds

The dvd (which isn’t needed to get started as the board comes with clear instructions) has to be purchased separately but it is great value for money because the lady (Wendy) goes through month by month making cards to match all seasonal events. She makes all her creations in front of you, so that you can easily make notes or create the card alongside her. For example, she makes a New Year one in January, a Valentine card in February and a graduation one in August. Her manner is so friendly and welcoming that you feel like you’ve known her for years – it’s like she’s sitting at your dining table!

My second favourite creation using the scoring board is a really pretty wallet for presenting a gift voucher or money.

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Isn’t this so elegant?

This can also be used for placing invitations inside and is a cheapbut creative way to do wedding invites.

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For an invite or a money voucher

It looks like so much more thought has gone into it when the gift card is placed inside wallets like this:

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You can make a few and put them aside until the next birthday

If you scroll up to look at the first picture of the board, you will see patterns on the right hand side – a long wavy line, a heart, diamond, butterfly and a flower. These are embossing grooves sot that you can add extra pattern to your card if you wish. (see ‘Cons’ below)

So here are the pros and cons of the Eazi Score Scoring Board

Pros

*The board is very lightweight.

*It doesn’t doesn’t chip or scratch and most importantly, it doesn’t bend out of shape!

*There is a dvd available that shows you how to do other designs & small boxes.

*No card measuring is required as the board has already done it for you.

*It is designed so that left-handers can use it as easily as those who are right handed.

*Apart from shaped cards, you can also make small boxes and invitation wallets.

*Many designs are so easy to learn that you won’t need to keep watching the dvd to remember how to do them.

*The board is so durable that it lasts a very long time – I doubt that you’ll ever need to replace it in your crafting lifetime.

Cons

There is only one disadvantage of this board and that is the embossing grooves that I spoke about earlier. The embossed images are not as easy to do as the straight scoring lines are. Sometimes the bone folder can slip out of place, making a line drawn where it is not wanted. And unless you are using see-though paper, you cannot tell where to steer your bone folder or ball tool. The wavy line is easier to do because you instinctively know when to swivel your wrist in the opposite direction, but I struggle with the other shapes.

Summary

All in all, this is another craft tool that I could not live without. Most of the cards I sell are A5 size so I use it every time to score a perfect line down the middle of my A4 card. I cannot make the Tuxedo card without it and I love making gift card boxes. My daughter uses them to put her school letters in and my husband uses the less girly ones to store important receipts.

When you visit the website you will see other wonderful inventions just like this board. Take a look at the box making one. I have never used this but I am thinking of investing in one to put larger presents inside. So I cannot vouch for the other items on the site as I have not yet used them, but I can tell you with certainty that the Eazi Score Scoring Board is a must for both beginners and experience crafters.

You can get yours here: http://www.diamondcardcraft.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=55

The dvd can be purchased here: http://www.diamondcardcraft.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=18&product_id=52

Have fun!

SIGNATURE Elaine

A Fantastic Tool For Newbie Crafters

Can you cut straight? Even with a penciled line drawn against a ruler, my shapes turn out looking like they’ve been nibbled by an ant.

When I started card-making 10 years ago, I wanted to layer ink-stamped images onto pretty, shiny card and pass it off as a professional greeting.

But the finished product always ended up resembling something produced by a pre-schooler.

But then I discovered the Cuttlebug!

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I went from irritated, wannabe crafter, to confident, happy card maker who actually sells on Ebay!

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A topper for my first birthday card

Whaoo! People actually wanted to part with their hard-earned cash to purchase one of my glittery creations and give me positive feedback.

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People love personalised Christmas cards

It made me feel like the tallest giraffe in the zoo.

And it was all thanks to this wonderful invention by Provo Craft.

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As I had already spent a fortune on craft tools that I never ended up using, one year I asked people to give me money for my birthday instead of a gift. That way I could try the Provocraft Cuttlebug and if I didn’t like it, I needed feel so guilty about it becoming a white elephant.

But I was not disappointed and my precious little tool is certainly not gathering dust in any corners of my house. Since that time of purchasing it 3 years ago, this little green ‘handbag’ has become my best buddy and certainly my favourite item in my craft room.

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So dainty!

Previously to obtaining this amazing die-cutting and embossing machine, I had used trimmers, but they quickly became blunt, leaving frayed edges on my pieces of card.

Guillotines gave a sharper cut, but it was impossible to make small shapes with them because the paper shifts. They are just not made for the job.

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You can only do this with the RIGHT tool!

I wanted squares of all sizes. I wanted scalloped-edged rectangles. I wanted professional looking labels,

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I needed perfect circles to sit on top of larger perfect circles. I desired shapes that had holes in the middle so that I could use them as dainty picture frames for my scrapbook pages.

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Most of all, I craved to be able to present my friends and loved ones with embossed envelopes – patterns and lovely textures that made my stationery stand out from the rest.

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I takes less than 50 seconds to cut out a shape and embossing is even quicker!

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My hands have a tendency to go stiff if I have to crank handles, but this tool gives me no bother.

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There is a point when turning the handle that it becomes a little stiff, but it loosens up again quickly as you keep turning to complete the cut.

It is so simple to use that even a child (I recommend about 11+ for saftey) can have fun with it. I can’t begin to tell you how delighted my 9 year old daughter was when under my supervision, she created her first scalloped square to use a a birthday party invite. To her, it was like she’d made a masterpiece and it looked so pretty!

Pros and Cons

So here are the pros and cons of the Provo Craft Cuttlebug die-cutting and embossing machine.

Pros

*Great value for money as you can create thousands of different designs.

*It is portable and lightweight.

*It folds up small for easy storage. The sides fold up so it doesn’t take up much room.

*It is very easy to use and the instruction booklet makes sense.

It produces shapes and textured paper, card, foil & acetate very quickly.

*Cutting dies from other leading brands can be used with it, including Spellbinders, Nellie Snellen, Tim Holtz, Scissix.

*Easy to turn handle even for those with weak or painful wrists

*Suction cups at the base of the machine prevents it from sliding about during use.

*Beautiful design and looks great on your table.

 

Cons

*It doesn’t accommodate sheets of A4 paper nor A5 envelopes. (A5 envelopes are made slightly bigger than A5 card) A5 card fits well and so does DL size envelopes and all A6 stationery.

This is not too much of a problem as most greeting cards contain shaped layers that are smaller than A4, so unless you want to make an extra-large card, it won’t matter. Similarly, scrapbook pages look more presentable when divided into 4 sections and if you did desire to place a single photograph on a whole 12 x 12 sheet, you can layer it up with smaller pieces of card that will fit inside the Cuttlebug.

But it would not be right for me to not warn you of this if you were planning on cutting out very large shapes.

*The suction cups do not work on soft material surfaces such as tablecloths and carpet. But they work well on most table top surfaces such as plastic, wood, glass, lino, formica & marble.

*The final con is the bending B plate. Be assured, this happens to every user and all crafters I know are not really bothered about it as you can adapt accordingly. There are three perspex blocks used as a sandwich that enter the machine with your die and come out again at the other end with your cut shape.

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Just flip the top plate over each time you use it and it’ll last you for years.

It comes with full instructions, but you soon get used to remembering that for cutting shapes you need a thick A plate, followed by a thinner C plate, then your die with your card, then lastly your B plate. This top B plate soon becomes bent with regular use (I’ve been using mine regularly for 3 years and it has never cracked nor broken. Therefore this is only an aesthetic problem because all crafters get round this by turning it over each time they use it – thus preventing it from mis-shaping into a complete curve.

Do you want to cheat?

Take some old shop-bought greeting cards and make them into beautiful new toppers.

Just look at what you can produce, bent B plates or not:

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Keep all your old cards and have some fun!

I would never, ever swap my Cuttlebug for a different die cutting tool, as I love it so much and have had hours of fun producing scrapbook pages and handmade cards that I’m very proud of.

You can obtain your own Cuttlebug companion here:

http://www.crafterscompanion.co.uk/shop-by-brand-c2159/cuttlebug-c5961/the-cuttlebug-c5962/cricut-cuttlebug-personal-die-cutting-machine-version-2-p9725

 

Be warned – once you start using it, you will not want to  share it with another crafter –   in the same way that you would never want to share your husband. Yes, this tool will bring out your possessive side and you’ll be telling them to get their own!

If you have any question, please do not hesitate to ask and I will be pleased to help.

SIGNATURE Elaine