Embellishments are any bits that you want to use to decorate cards. They might be bought, found items or recycled items. When walking into a craft shop for the first time you might be dazzled by the array and huge choice. But don’t go mad – select a few embellishments that you like and know you will use. Some, like eyelets, require tools to set them and these cost extra money. So build up a stock over time. You can also divide a packet of embellishments with a friend and share costs. This way you get even more choice.
Peel-off stickers are a quick and easy way to embellish a card. They can be used as a main feature or a border. You can even use the outline of the sticker which is left behind as an attractive element for a card. Because they are relatively cheap they are cost effective.
Metal eyelets have a hole in the centre through which you can thread ribbon, wire or leave as a hole. Eyelets require a setting tool to fix them in place and should be used on an old chopping board and stable surface. They can be used to attach two pieces of card or paper together or left as a decoration. Eyelets come in all shapes, sizes and colours.
These have metals ‘wings’ which are punched through the card and then spread out on the reverse side to hold them in place. They are a quick way of attaching two pieces of card together.
Ribbons are a must for cardmakers and can be tied around the spine of a card for a finishing touch.
Thin metallic wire comes in many colours and can be used to thread beads on for an interesting feature.
Seed beads (small) and bugle beads (long) can be threaded onto wire or cotton or stuck directly onto cards. There are many varieties of beads available, which can be used as an additional feature on cards. Try using square beads, round beads, gemstones and decorative beads such as bicone crystals.
Embellishments don’t have to be shop-bought for cards. For a personal touch, why not do it ‘scrapbooking-style’ and add some personal touches such as wedding confetti, photographs, buttons, cinema tickets, a music score or glitter. You can add natural elements such as leaves, bark, pebbles, or attach something that you have crocheted or knitted. A pair of bootees would make a fabulous idea for a new arrival card for example.
For light stickers, ribbon and paper die-cuts you should be able to attach them to your card using double-sided tape, a glue-stick or sticky fixers. You may need more heavy duty adhesive to attach some embellishments such as wire or heavier beads. For these purposes a hot or cool glue gun might be needed, but be very careful when using them.
Posting Cards with Embellishments On
You will need to use a padded envelope or small box if posting cards that have a lot of embellishments on. Make sure they are safely secured, wrapped in lots of padding and marked with ‘fragile’ and ‘do not bend’ on the outside.