14 December 2020

AECP 1 - Final Project - A Set of Masculine Cards

It was this set for which I had originally had an idea, as I have two sets of stamps that I thought would be perfect for masculine cards – Coffee Love and Coffee With A Splash – and I thought the sentiments included were great. So it was with these that I started.

Card One

It was the sentiment that was the initial inspiration for this card, particularly as it mirrored the stamp set I intended to use for the feminine card set. And love is hearts, isn’t it, so what better than the Heart Builder stencil for this card. I gave the back of the stencil a light coat of Crafters Companion Stick and Spray temporary adhesive, just to make sure it wouldn’t move during inking.

Tip: Even though it is a light temporary adhesive, I make sure to touch the sprayed surface to a cloth to remove a little of the tackiness from the glue before setting the stencil down on the paper. This ensures that the stencil won’t pull at the surface of the cardstock when it is removed – you don’t want to ruin all your hard work!

Using my chosen inks – Sand Dunes and Rocky Shore - I stencilled the pattern onto a piece of Neenah 216gsm (80lb) Classic Crest Solar White cardstock, before cutting out a heart-shaped aperture from the stencilled piece and a co-ordinating frame from another piece of Neenah Solar White. I placed the stencilled piece on top of the card base (without adhesive at this stage) and lightly drew around the inside of the aperture to give me a place marker for the sentiment stamp. I then put the stencilled piece to one side whilst I completed the rest of the elements. This allowed the ink to dry thoroughly.

With my Original MISTI (without which I could accomplish so much less) and some Jet Black ink, I stamped the sentiment I had chosen from the Coffee Love stamp set onto the card base, within the place marker. I stamped it a couple of times to make sure to get a really nice solid black impression. Just to add a little detail, I drew a small coffee bean in the swirl of the 'e' of the word 'coffee' - I think it's quite cute!  Using the same ink, I stamped two coffee pots, two cups and a spoon from the Coffee Love stamp set onto a separate piece of Neenah cardstock and coloured a little detail with some Copic markers.

Finally, I cut a piece of white craft foam to 14cm square and marked out where the heart needed to be cut out to allow the sentiment to show through from behind.

Tip: I like to use craft foam instead of 3D foam pads or tape if I need to support a large piece on the front of a card – I feel it gives more stability, particularly if your card is being sent through the mail.

I used some Tacky Glue to adhere the foam to the stencilled piece, and some strong tape to stick the foam to the card front. I then arranged my coffee pots and cups around the bottom of the heart frame – I love how the coffee pots ‘look’ at each other YY. The spoon joined the two cups to complete the scene. 

There were, of course, sequins – need I say more?

Card Two

I think there is always room for a little humour in our cardmaking, and this sentiment, also from the Coffee Love stamp set, made me giggle. It also made me think of a fridge magnet – just the sort of corny humour you’d find adorning many a fridge – and the idea was born. This card has a fridge magnet attached to the front, which can be removed and kept once the card is no longer needed.

The card was very straightforward to make. I used the Pile of Presents mask/stencil to stencil blocks of colour – Sand Dunes, Rocky Shore and Lagoon – across a piece of Neenah 216gsm (80lb) cardstock. I moved the stencil around the page and allowed the blocks to overlap so as to cover the card randomly rather than in straight lines. Then I cut a rectangular aperture and frame, in the same way as I had done with the previous card, and mounted the stencilled piece onto some craft foam and then onto the card base, again as before.

For the magnet, I die cut a smaller rectangle from Neenah Solar White and coloured this direct to paper with my Sand Dunes ink pad. Then I took the ‘coffee stain’ from the Coffee With A Splash stamp set and stamped this in the corner of the rectangle with Espresso ink, and set aside to dry.

I used the die to make an impression of the correct size of rectangle in a piece of 2mm (1/16”) thick board – the board was too thick for the die to cut through but this way I could mark the size accurately. I then used my craft knife and ruler to cut the shape out fully. Taking my Espresso ink pad, I inked directly one side of the board so that it was well covered, taking care to also cover the edges of the shape as well. I put this aside to dry for a few minutes, and then attached the Sand Dunes rectangle to the uninked side of the board with a thin layer of Tacky Glue. The whole thing then needed to dry completely before I could go any further. (I used the time to work on the next card.)

Once properly dry, I placed the piece in my MISTI and stamped the sentiment on top of the coffee stain with Galactic Stream ink, stamping twice to ensure a crisp impression.

Note: I ended up making this magnet a second time – these are the instructions for the successful second attempt. The first time, I stamped the sentiment on the Neenah piece before adhering it to the board with wet glue, resulting in a very slightly blurry outline. Even though I went ahead and finished the first attempt, I found I just couldn’t leave that blurry outline so made the whole thing again, waiting to stamp the sentiment until after everything had dried.

Once the sentiment was dry, I covered the top of the whole piece in Versamark ink, applied a coat of ordinary clear embossing powder, and heat set it. Once cooled, I reapplied a layer of Versamark and this time used Wow Ultra Thick Embossing Powder to coat the top. Once heat set, this gave a thick, shiny, smooth finish to the magnet, just what I wanted.

I applied two short lengths of Stix2 self-adhesive magnetic strip to the back of the board, and carefully measured the distance between the two. I cut another piece of board to that measurement, and just slightly shorter than the length of the magnet. I pushed this board between the two magnetic strips so that it fitted well (though not tooooo tightly!) and then applied a little Tacky Glue to the board strip only. I centred the magnet in the aperture on the card front and pressed firmly down, though careful not to damage the embossed front. I let this dry for a good while and was then able to remove the magnet and replace it with ease. For good measure, I ran a little temporary adhesive tape down that middle board strip to hold the magnet in place for gifting. It will still lift away easily from the card but won’t fall off in the envelope.

 Card Three

 No coffee pots for this card, but I used the same ink set. This time I coloured a piece of Neenah 216gsm (80lb) Solar White card with Sand Dunes ink, straight to paper with the pad, and put it aside to dry. I used the Mighty Corners stencil and masked off the last two longest strips with some Post-it paper as I didn’t want to ink these. I used each of the four inks in the Coffee Break ink set (starting with the Sand Dunes again for the smallest stripe) to ink the first four stripes of the stencil to give the impression of a ‘v’ necked sweater, using The Greetery’s Knit Wits stencil with Rocky Shore ink to add some knitted pattern.

On another piece of Neenah, I stamped the bow tie from the Thanks Dad Mini Stamp Set in Lagoon and Galactic Stream inks, and fussy cut it out, right on the line. I swiped the Galactic Stream ink across a scrap of Neenah to give a solid colour and used this to cut out another slightly larger tie shape, which I adhered only under the centre knot part of the stamped image, so that I could manipulate the ‘wings’ of the tie to give some dimension. I stuck this onto the ‘sweater’ just below the second stripe.

I stamped the sentiment from the Thanks Dad stamp set with Espresso ink onto a scrap of Sand Dunes inked paper and matted it onto a small piece of gold mirror card. I popped this up on the front of the card and added some Rose Gold Liquid Pearls drops.

I kept coming back to the card as something wasn’t right but I couldn’t work out what. Suddenly it came to me – the ‘neckline’ wasn’t right, so I cut away the first stripes to leave a white ‘shirt’ behind the ‘v’ neck – much better.

Card Four

This is probably the most straightforward of the cards in this set – just a little foiling and die cutting, really. I think it meets my personal 'clean and simple' challenge, too.

I used the Grid Stencil and Sand Dunes ink to create a simple background for the card.  I laid the Splatter Stencil over the grid stencilled piece and applied some Deco Foil Transfer Gel Duo, and set the piece aside to dry.

Tip: Don’t be impatient to move on to applying the foil. If the transfer gel is not completely dry when you apply the foil, you will end up with a patchy result, not at all what you’re expecting. And don’t ask me how it know…

Meanwhile, I used the Mega Friend Die to cut the word ‘friend’ four times – two from white card, two from brown card – and layered these up for added dimension. I think in hindsight I would have preferred to use a glossy brown cardstock, as it would have had a little more impact against the background, but I didn’t have any in my stash and by the time I realised, it was too late to heat emboss, which would have given the shine I realised I was looking for.

I swiped some Sand Dunes ink directly on to a scrap of Neenah and stamped the sub-sentiment ‘You are Awesome’ in Rocky Shore ink. The sentiment is from the Kind Reminders stamp set.

Once I was sure the transfer gel was completely dry – it goes completely clear and slightly tacky – I laid a piece of Rose Gold Deco Foil Transfer Foil over the whole design, sandwiched the whole piece within a folded piece of vellum, and ran it forward and back through my Spellbinders Platinum Six die cutting machine – I used my metal shim to ensure plenty of pressure was applied. Then, heart slightly in mouth, I gently peeled back the foil to reveal a beautifully foiled splatter across my grid background. Result! I could also have used a laminator for this process, with exactly the same gel and foil, but my laminator doesn’t get hot enough to properly transfer foil – guess what’s on my Christmas list!

To assemble the card, I adhered the ‘friend’ die cut at a jaunty angle and popped the sub-sentiment strip up on some 3D foam pads. Voila! I hope I’ve captured the shine of the foil in the photograph.

And finally, for this set at least…

Card Five


I love geometric shapes and frames and I think this card is one of my favourites. I have the Trigonometry stamp and die set and I use it a lot for masculine cards, and thought it was perfect for a final ‘strong’ card. But in the end I didn’t use the stamp at all, opting instead to use the die set and cut some stencils to work with. I also have an triangle frame die set (I've had it ages and can't remember where it came from), which I used to extend the range of sizes of triangle I could stencil. (I also used this die set to cut the thin gold frames.)

Then it was just a matter of using my homemade stencil to cover a piece of Neenah 216gsm (80lb) Solar White card with a variety of triangles in Sandy Dunes, Rocky Shore, Lagoon and Dew Drops inks. The result appears random, but, in fact, I took care when placing the triangles to get an ‘organised jumble’ of colours, sizes and types.

I chose the ‘Fabulous’ sentiment from the Birthday Bash stamp set and used my MISTI to stamp this over the largest triangle with Jet Black ink. I made sure to stamp twice to get a good crisp image.

I cut some triangular frames from gold mirror card and added a couple of these, including the solid gold centre piece, as accents. I also popped on a few gold crystals, because why not?

Thought you’d finished? Oh no, because there is, of course:

The Packaging

The second part of my challenge was to create the packaging for each set, and this was such fun. I love making boxes and felt that a simple box with a decorated lid would be perfect for these square sets.

Because of the lockdowns we have had over here in the UK, I’ve been shopping online and from the parcels through the post I had plenty of cardboard to help me meet the third challenge, to recycle something.

I had intended to make a video to show the process of making the box and covering it, but I'm afraid time was against me, given the steep learning curve it would have entailed.  

I made a double-walled box and lid, which gives the box additional strength. The paper I have used to cover the lid, for both sets in fact, is stamped to co‑ordinate with the card set in the box. 

Tip: I always like to insert a ribbon in the box base, to assist with lifting the contents out. It’s a simple thing to do, but adds a real touch of luxury to your gift.

So, that is the masculine set completed. Click here to see how the feminine set turned out.

Products used for this set


  1. THESE.ARE.BRILLIANT! LOVE them to bits!! Super awesome work Peri! I knew you would create an amazeballs set!! I am off to see what the other one looks like!
    Thank you for entering your work to the AECP assignment gallery. Well done!

  2. I love your pictures. They’re really stylishly taken to show off your cards. Well done.


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