5 Simple Tips for Layering

Layering is one of the most basic cardmaking techniques yet it’s often not talked about much. It’s one of those techniques that most of us learned by trial and error. And let me tell you, I went through A LOT of paper during my trial and error period! Yes, a LOT! But I definitely picked up some tips and tricks along the way. Whether you are looking for a bit of layering inspiration or you’re not sure how to get started, I have some helpful tips and suggestions for you.

So what is layering? Well, simply put, it involves placing different sized papers and/or accents on top of each other.  There are many different ways to add layers to your cards. The most common type of layering is created with cardstock and/or patterned papers. However, layering can also be used to describe the use of accents or embellishments on the card.

Layering allows you to easily add depth and dimension.  You can use embellishments like buttons, ribbon, pearls or other fun products. You can also create some accents (different shapes) by using your punches or die cuts. By choosing different papers, accents, and/or embellishments you can certainly add a variety of color and texture to your cards with layering.

Here are 5 simple tips for layering:

  1. Create a Matte:  One of my favorite ways to layer, is to create a “matte.”  Mattes allow you to add two different colors around the edges of your card front or around a focal point on the card. I typically use a 1/4″ matte when layering but you can vary the size of the matte depending on the look you are going for. For example, the “love” sentiment, on the card shown below, is matted with a piece of glimmer paper.  The glimmer paper is 1/4 inch larger (1-3/4 x 2-3/4 inch) than the white cardstock that has the “love” sentiment (1-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches).
  2. Add Texture:  You can add texture to your layers in a variety of ways. Tear the edges of your cardstock, emboss one of the layers or do a bit of sponging to soften the edges of your layers
  3. Create a Grouping or Collage: Layer together different shapes, accents and/or embellishments in a group to create a “collage” or the focal point for your card. Notice how the hearts are layered together to form a “collage” or grouping in the card below.
  4. Add Color:  Use solid colors that coordinate with the patterned papers that you want to use on your card. The use of glitter paper is always fun and goes with just about any color combo. Don’t be afraid to mix and match some patterns together. I tend to use larger patterns in the background of my cards and the smaller patterns to create accents.
  5. Use Scraps: Get out your scrap bin and start playing around with different colors and patterns. Scraps are already cut at different sizes so play around with different ways to add them to your card. Tuck them under a grouping, punch/cut out some fun shapes, trim them down or use them as is.

You can add as many, or as few, layers as you like.I highly recommend that you layout the design on your card first (before adhering the pieces). Once you have the design you want, then glue everything down!

But the most important tip I can give you is to just have fun with it!

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