Friday, October 15, 2010

CARD MAKING 101 Cutting Your Cardstock

Hello and Welcome to my blog!

If you are NEW to rubberstamping or are interested in making your own CARDS - then this post is for you!
I will explore the "basics" with you in CARD MAKING 101, so you can get started!  Learn more in time so you can be just as fascinated with this craft as I am!!!

You may want to read RUBBERSTAMPING BASIC EQUIPMENT to find out what supplies are required to get started.

Alright - let's get you started! 

Cardstock comes in 2 sizes: 8 1/2 x 11 inches and 12 x 12 inches.  Therefore we tend to make card sizes which maximize the amount of cards we can cut from one piece of cardstock. This involves the standard card shapes A2 and A6 cards, as well as small Notecards. Then we have the Multiple Fold Cards or any card which involves a different shape.  Naturally you can cut your cards to the size you wish!  Many people like larger cards and simply can fold the cardstock in half - its nice to experiment and design your own look!

8-1/2 x 11 inch Cardstock

For each  sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock, we can cut 2 cards.
This size is known as A2 cards! 

 First which way we do we want the card to have its fold.. on its side {landscape}?  Or at the top {portrait}? 

 Landscape - Fold On The Side Card A2
1. Cut the 8 1/2 x 11 sheet on the longest side {the 11 inch length} at the halfway point, or at 5 1/2 inches. 
    You now have 2 lengths of cardstock which measure 5 1/2 x 8 1/2.  Fold both pieces at the 4 1/2 inch   
     point.  Now you have 2 cards where the front of the card measures 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches - this is the first
     version of an A2 CARD.

Portrait - Fold On The Top Card A2
2. Cut the 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of cardstock, on the shortest side, along the 8 1/2 inch side at the 4 1/4 inch 
     mark.  You now have 2 portions of cardstock meauring 4 1/4 x 11 .         
    You typically place the fold at the top of this card.  It is also an A2 CARD.

A Small Note Card
3. Cut your cardstock at the 8 inch mark on both sides - you will have an 8 inch square.
     Cut the square again on one side - at the 4 inch mark: now you have 2 sections of 4 x 8 inch. Fold in half
     and now you have a nice 4x4 inch notecard.
Multiple-Fold Cards - ex) Z-Fold Card
For a Z-Fold card you can make 2 cards from an 8-1/2 x 11 cardstock if you cut the 11 inch side at 5-1/2.  Now you should have 2 sections of 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 which you can fold twice along the long length to achieve a "Z-fold" card. {Ex: fold at 2-1/2 in from both ends, and fold}

**** When cutting the additional "LAYERS" that make-up a card, cut each layer 1/2 inch smaller and as a rule, 'center' the next layer on top which leaves a 1/4 inch border all around.   So a 4-1/4 x 5-1/2 inch card base has the next top layer of 3-3/4x 5 inch centered. Then another layer could possibly be added that measures 3-1/4 x 4-1/2 inch  next on top and so on. Then add your other elements!

**** Tear one side of a layer right off for great looks!

12 x 12 Cardstock

Typically you do not need the 12x12 cardstock for cards as much as you do for scrapbooking, 
but there are some examples.  For example, a 12 inch cardstock can make multiples of short & small notecards 3 inch square.  This can be great for maximizing on cardstock for notecards, wedding table cards, gift cards, or projects in a class {school projects!} involving many people. It is also good for maximizing on a lovely sheet of Designer Paper!  Each sheet of 12 inch cardstock produces 4 notecards.

3 Inch Square Notecards 
1.  Cut your 12 inch cardstock in half at the 6 inch mark on both sides to create four 6x6 inch sections. Then fold the sections in half. You now have made 4 of the 3x3 inch notecards.

Multiple Fold or Extra Length Cards.
2.  Again, a card that is more intricate or complicated in its design may require extra length than a regular 8x11 inch cardstock can provide. Follow the requirements of your project. 

Final Notes
Having cut a lot of cardstock, I recommend that you invest in the best quality of a paper trimmer you can afford.  Not only does it cut down on the frustration of cutting with scissors, but you can measure your cuts easily as most have a ruler markings and quidelines to help you!  The blade guard (if it has one) of a Table Top Paper Trimmer - the grandaddy of trimmers - helps you to cut beautifully and without worrying about cutting yourself in the process. I do not cut many sheets at once as some people do, but I do cut 2-3 sheets at a time, thus cutting down on time. I invested in a cheap paper trimmer only once - I quickly learned it wasn't worth my time and money replacing blades. There are really well-designed features included in the models today but a quality standard trimmer is the first place to start! 

Do not worry - if you do not cut a cardstock correctly as you can downsize it to work for something else later, but CHECK BEFORE YOU CUT! Always a good thing! 

Do have CLEAN HANDS to work with your cardstock - the oil on our skin can leave a mark that might not blend so well and remain visible on your card - and that makes it hard to give or sell the card!  

STORE YOUR CARDSTOCK away from heat, light and just common sense will tell you to protect it. I have mine in plastic drawers and containers that protect them. I also keep my cardstock lying flat - not sideways but this is an individual choice. 

Well - hope this helps clear up some of the 'mystery' of card-making, 
now go and enjoy making some! 


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