August 22, 2012


Charlene left a comment from my 5 month post asking where I find affordable materials and embellishments.

I tend to work on smaller scale so stick with ATCs, Inchies, Twinchies, small cards, mini books etc and I really don't buy embellishments, I use a lot of ribbon offcuts, recycled materials (small jewellery boxes, matchboxes, gift boxes etc) and I prefer to source patterned paper with small things to cut out to create embellishments. Not only is this much cheaper, but the variety is huge. I buy a lot of 6x6 Paper Pads and focus on pages that can be stamped onto (so not too heavy in design) aswell as small images that can be cut out. Here are some examples of the types of papers I look for:-

Cosmo Cricket Mini Deck Odds & Ends, lots of 'odds and ends' to cut out and turn into embellishments.

The Songbird Collection by Prima has 48 6x6 sheets with papers great for stamping on and lots of pages with bits and pieces to turn into embellishments.

12x12 Graphic45 Little Darlings will make a gazillion ATCs or Inchies

Graphic45 Olde Curiosity Shoppe Cardstock Stickers

Graphic45 Olde Curiosity Shoppe 12x12

Being on the Darkroom Door Creative Team, I am fortunate to receive lots of scrumptious products from there too. Everything I create uses something from their range! I find them really versatile. Below are some products I use over and over again:-

Darkroom Door Montage
Love Letters is just one of the 18 designs available

23 designs

4 designs

All of the products I've featured here are very affordable and go a long way. I stopped looking for packaged purpose made "embellishments" and started to look paper products in a different way. Some people may find just using paper, flat and boring but you can jazz them up. Here are some things I do:-

Use foam tape for dimension
Distress edges using Distress Inks and Distressing tools
Sand edges and surfaces with sandpaper
Add Kindy Glitz for a bit of sparkle
Add Ranger Glossy or Crackle Accents
Heat emboss the edges using embossing powder, my favourite is clear and sparkly
Paint the surface with Distress Crackle Paint (clear rock candy)
Ink the edges with ink pads

Another thing I love to use is punches to cut shapes from vintage paper. I then ink it up to age it or use any of the above techniques and add it to an ATC with foam tape.

I also use rubber stamps over and over again to create my own embellishments. I like to choose stamps with a small design and versatile images. I might save that discussion for another post.

Here's an ATC I made using odds and ends to create embellishments:-
Patterned paper background with distressed edges. Darkroom Door Photobooth, Montage and Wordstrips, half a paper flower, punched heart, ribbons and a floral brad.

I used Inka Gold to distress the background, the embellishments are a punched heart, ribbon, Darkroom Door Wordstrip and Photobooth and the little bird is cut out from a 6x6 paper pad.

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