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Rubber Stamps: 10 Great Tips For Making Multiple Cards

You know the feeling. The kids have tons of demands, vacation is just around the corner, that big project at work is eating all of your free time. How will you ever make those handmade cards for the big party, or mail the invitations for the guests at the big wedding? What started out as a great idea for some very special cards has turned into a stressful project. These ten simple steps will maximize your time and free up your creativity when making multiple cards for any size project.

1. Determine and plan your cardmaking schedule. Do you want to set aside a few hours or just 30 minutes at a time? Pick a design suitable for the available time. Make a simple "assembly line" schedule to maximize the time you have to spend on the project.

2. Work on individual elements, individually. It may sound silly, but working on one element of the cards will retain the "look" of the cards while creating a "unity" among them. Start by stamping all of the impressions, then work on cutting out all of the backgrounds, folding all of the paper, tearing all of the sheets simultaneously. You don't want to spend too much time on any one card.

3. Have a party! Kids and relatives love to involved. Make the work fun and don't be overly concerned about the smaller details of the project. You will ultimately put all of the individual components together, giving you plenty of time to add any special touches. Working together with other people will also add a new level of uniqueness to your cards.

4. Stop writing. One of the most frustrating tasks of mass producing cards is hand writing messages. Find "handwriting fonts" available online, at your nearest craft supply store, or your local computer store. Sign the finished card or pen in any details or RSVP information as you would with a store purchased card.

5. Use a paper trimmer. If you need a fast way to make background frames or trim down embellishments, scissors just won't cut it! Stacking paper in 5-10 sheet groups and trimming all at once will provide perfect multiple shapes. Often, your scraps can be stacked in such a way to trim them into usable pieces with a trimmer. Rotary trimmers will also allow you to add perfect "scalloped" edges to the base of the card(s).

6. Punch It. Remember your time is valuable. Whether it's a heart, circle, flower, even a fork and spoon, your local craft store will have a perfect punch for the card. Cutting out shapes by hand is tedious and rarely looks well. Circles can be particularly difficult.

7. Stamp, Stamp, Stamp. When placing stamped images on a card, use one stamp at a time and make as many impressions as needed. Don't clean stamps or switch colors until all of the cards have been stamped. This keeps your ink pads from becoming "mixed" and makes the impressions uniform.

8. Avoid difficult embellishments. I am sure that rows of bows, lines of brads, or glued dots would look wonderful on each card. Finding a simpler alternative will save you hours. Paper tears, taped bows, even stylish stickers can be just as attractive without the hours of difficult handy work.

9. Customize backgrounds. If you absolutely must have a "look" provided by a stamped background, make a "master" copy on white paper EXACTLY how it should look. Scan the paper design into a computer at 300 dpi. (If you're already confused, spend a minute with the scanner manual.) Print onto colored cardstock or paper. When done properly, no one will even notice!

10. Have fun…with a budget. These are the two biggest factors when mass producing cards. You don't want to get partway through the project only to realize you have far overspent your intended budget. That special patterned paper and those cute hologram stickers can max out the cost of the cards. Alternatively, when the project simply becomes a duty, it is unlikely you will ever finish. Remember to always plan lots of time. After all, this is by far the greatest hobby in the world!
 
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