Learn How to Make Clean and Simple Cards

You know me, I love the clean and simple (CAS) look and it goes so well with cute children's cards.  But it's not always as easy as you think to get the balance right.  Today I'm going to take you through some steps to help you learn how you can make clean and simple cards too. 

Starting Point
I start with a stamp set and work from there.  It helps me visualise a design on the page. But sometimes nothing comes to mind and so I turn to Pinterest for some inspiration (thanks to Melissa Stout for her gorgeous designs!). That's what I did for these cards you see here using the Zoo Globe set (it's a fun set - keep reading to see an image).

Learning from CASEing
In this case I CASEd (Copy and Share Everything) the cards exactly and the process of that taught me a few things.  Firstly that in the giraffe & koala card that a CAS card can have a "busy" focal point.  Here the smaller card she has placed into the design is the focal point - your eye is drawn toward that and that only and the rest of the card is blank.  The border frames it all and lifts that smaller white frame.  Secondly that a sentiment strip which runs across the page from edge to edge (in this case the smaller card edges) and which cuts the focal picture in two is actually a great way of tying elements together rather than pushing them apart!

More lessons learnt
The next card of hers taught me that the white embossing on the black cardstock looks fantastic on an all white CAS card.  The sentiment becomes a real stand out element of the focal point.  It also taught me that when using a small thing in the middle of the page that is a neutral tone, like this little elephant, that the addition of colour will help lift the whole focal point of the card and really make it pop. 

Applying lessons learnt
Next I took what I had learnt from my CASEing exercise and applied them to cards using the Moving Along stamp set (see further down for image) which I thought could offer me a similar look but something that was my own too.

My 1st Card - Tips
Keeps the single focal point of the elephant card but with an image that is a single block of colour. The train tracks underneath the engine help anchor the focal point.  The puffs of smoke provide the perfect framing for the sentiment piece to nestle into the image.

My 2nd Card - Tips
Using the sentiment strip idea from the giraffe & koala card I used it to ground the focal point of the helicopter.  Stamping on the clouds and little "woosh" lines behind the raised helicopter gives the feel that it really is flying.  The blue of the clouds also softens the black and makes it less dominant on the page. 

My 3rd Card (the toughest to design) - Tips
My final card posed me the greatest difficulty.  I tried a number of different designs before coming up with this one.  What I thought would work didn't look right.  The stamp set contains a road stamp which I was trying to incorporate, but it was only when I realised that it provided too much block colour (even if that was a neutral tone) that was competing on the page with the car and the black border, that I new I had to ditch it, and use the sentiment strip as a replacement.  

Stamp sets used

Moving Along - $30
I love that this set brings out the inner kid in us all.
Click here to buy it now.

Zoo Globe - $30 
How cute are those animals? 
Click here to buy it now.

If you have any questions about Stampin' Up! related crafting, please get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!

Fiona x

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  1. Really fantastic cards Fiona! Love what you did and your explanations how and why. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I'm really chuffed that you love them, thank you so much! I'm also glad the explanations were helpful. Creating CAS cards can be more frustrating than more intricate designs I find. So I'm happy to share what I've learnt (and am still learning) as I go.


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