Friday, September 21, 2012

Stretching Your Supplies by Jane Johnson

Today I am going to share with you how I make cards in a way that stretches your supplies a little further, which I find helps as we all know this hobby can really tug on those purse strings!!  This method allows me to create the matting for four cards from each 12"x12" piece of cardstock I buy!! There are also some other little tips for stretching your supplies of lace and ribbon.

Step 1.

Start with a 6" square of your chosen colour cardstock.

Step 2.

Cut a square from the centre of your 6" square cardstock leaving a 1/2" border all the way around.  You will end up with a 6"square frame and a square of cardstock as shown in the picture above.

Step 3.

You can now mat your chosen paper onto the 6" square frame created in step 2.

Step 4.

Take the smaller square of cardstock created in step 2 and cut your chosen image mat shape from the centre of it so that you still have the full square and your chosen shape as in the picture above.

Step 5.

You can now adhere your second choice of patterned paper to the square, covering the circle cut out in step 4.

Step 6.
This step allows you to stretch your paper supplies too!!  Using your smaller matted square as a guide, cut a square from the centre of the large matted square, ensuring it is slightly smaller to allow you to glue the small matted square over the top of the hole you will have created.

Step 7.
Your card base should then look like the picture above - and you can now save the square of paper you have cut out to use on another project!

Step 8.

Adhere the smaller mat over the top of the cut out in the base mat as shown in the above photo.

Step 9.

You can also be thrifty with your paper supplies.  I want to create a coloured paper background for my image on this card and have cut it from the centre of the paper so that I can use the rest of the paper for a base on another card.

Step 10.

Remember the circle (or your chosen shape) we cut out in section 4??  If you have nesting dies you can take the next die down and cut it from the centre of your shape - this gives you another shaped mat to use on another project!  I am going to use the circle frame created on this card.

Step 11.

In the photo above I have matted my circle of paper onto the scalloped circle frame shown in Step 10.

Step 12.

I also like to make my ribbons and lace go a little further.  If it is going to be underneath a layer or image mat I just use small pieces either side as shown in the picture above, rather than a full piece all the way across that will be hidden by the image.

Step 13.

For this card I wanted to create a mat for a sentiment, so I have cut it from the centre cut out in step 10 that we have reserved for another card - it doesn't matter that it has the middle cut out if we're going to use it to mat an image onto it!

Step 14.

I have used the little scalloped circle to mat my number nine, stamped with the new numbers stamp set.

Step 15.

I wanted to create a banner using the pennants die for this card.  Luckilly I had a small scrap of the same colour cardstock.  Again, if you cut your shape from the very centre of the cardstock this piece can be used to mat a rectangle element on a future card too!

Step 16.
In the photo above you can see my finished card and the leftover pieces created from all the mats as we went along that can now be saved and used on another card or project!

Here's my finished card.  As you can see I have added another little decoration cut from a scrap of green card using the grass die before adding my image of Soccer Ben that I have fussy cut out to complete the card.  I hope I've given you some ideas on how you can save a little bit of money while you're crafting!  Thanks for looking.



  1. This is so simple, just wouldn't have thought of doing that. Thanks for the ideas.

  2. Great ideas! And maybe you will save on postage by taking some of the weight of when you use less paper :-)

  3. Wow, this is fab Jane! Thanks for the inspiration :-)
    Hugs Ing

  4. Great use of supplies and practice for my cutting... Macine and hand!

  5. This is brilliant! I am always on the lookout for ways to use my supplies efficiently since I'm on a tight budget! Thanks soo much!

  6. I do try to conserve paper in the way you've shown, but you have taken it to a whole other inspiring level, thanks....beautiful card. Hugs lin

  7. I do this all the time Jane. Got to stretch those supplies! It's nice to see that someone else is careful with their precious papers and card stock too. :)

    Edna x


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