Tips & Tricks


Hi there, and thank you for stopping by!

As a paper crafter, one of the first things I realized is that, if I want to add dimension and/or texture to my handmade cards, layering my die-cuts is one great way to go! There are other ways to accomplish the same thing, of course. Sometimes I use foam when I want to raise up larger elements, such as big florals, or even an entire second layer. For die cut words and other intricate designs (such as lattice covers), I like to layer by using multiple cuts. So I grab a bunch of cheap white cardstock, pull out the die I want to use, and start running it lots of times through my Big Shot (which is working great since Hubby fixed the silly handle!). Some Crafters I know of use 3-4 layers for each element. Those layers, when added to a “shadow” die-cut*, can provide 4-6 layers of height, which will give the card some very nice – and mailable – dimension!

*you can also layer these!

In this post I am referring to liquid glues, no two of which are alike. Each glue has a different viscosity (thickness) and drying time, and will affect 1) how easily the glue flows out of the tube, and 2) how much time I have to adjust my layers after I’ve glued them together.

These are the crafting glues with which I have some experience:

  • E6000
  • Aileen’s Tacky Glue
  • Lawn Fawn’s Lawn Fawndamentals Glue Tube
  • Connect Glue by Gina K Designs

E6000: What can I say? This is the “hookie dookie” of adhesives! LOL Super adherence. Almost insta-drying. But very toxic*. I only use this in my cardmaking if Aileen’s (see below) isn’t enough for heavier elements. Mostly I use E6000 when working with resin, metal, plastic and/or ceramic elements on my wall-hanging and/or journal-cover-making adventures.

*Do not work around or use E6000 adhesive if you are pregnant!!

AILEEN’S TACKY GLUE: This glue is super viscous, and dries clear. I like to use it on thicker materials, such as felt, grosgrain ribbons and cotton doilies. Because it’s thicker, though, it can take longer to dry. I don’t really use this glue in my cardmaking.

LAWN FAWN’S LAWN FAWNDAMENTALS GLUE TUBE: This glue has a thinner viscosity than others I’ve used, and it’s great for larger areas. I use a small artist’s brush to spread it around, keeping my fingers clean (if you don’t mind getting glue on your fingers, I say go for it). LoL

CONNECT GLUE by Gina K Designs: This is definitely my “go to” glue! It has, in my opinion, just the right viscosity for “dotting” the glue onto my smaller, or more intricate, card elements. It also gives me enough time to get my layers lined up. I can control how big of a “dot” I get. It’s not that runny, and, when I press layers together, I rarely get overflow onto my card (if I do get overflow, it’s not much). It also has super adherence, so as Jennifer McGuire (of Jennifer McGuire, Ink) says, “a little goes a long way”! I have learned that dotting the “highs and lows” of my elements, along with a couple dots in the middle, is PLENTY.

Dotting Technique

Whatever glue you decide to use, I suggest you practice making different sized glue dots on a scrap piece of cardstock first. Don’t be afraid to try this! Put your apron on, get messy, and play with different glue types. It probably won’t take too much practice until you become a proficient Glue Dotter. Ha ha ha

This is my general formula:

Size of dots = glue choice + pressure applied + tube angle

Give it a shot! Try the dotting technique with some different glues, and find the one that works best for your style of cardmaking. You’ll be glad you did, and your cards will no longer have as many “shiny spots” from wiping off excess glue!


❤ “Have a great day, and go CRAFT something!” ❤

QUESTIONS: What is your “go to” glue? Do you already use the Dot Method? Is there a different no-mess method you like to use? Let me know in the comments, below!


Learning Curve!

So, it’s late and I’m sitting up in bed…in the dark…to type this post. My little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, “Kiwi”, is curled up beside me. She doesn’t like the light from my laptop (in fact, she hates my laptop! LOL), so she moves to the foot of the bed, asleep in minutes. My husband is wrapped up in the comforter, sound asleep and snoring softly. And here I am:

It’s like learning a new language!

Right now I’m attempting to learn a new program, and have no experience whatsoever in blogging-web-building-design-whatever-it’s-called, and I feel as if I’m butting my head against a wall (see pic, below). My brain has been inundated with this new computer language. I mean, where is this field it talks about, and does it have pretty flowers? And what in the world does it mean by a parent? Are there also children? Learning something new can sometimes be frustrating! Gosh, I feel as though I AM trying to speak a foreign language that I’ve never heard before. And yet, I’ve heard that the more I do something unfamiliar to me, the easier it gets. If I’m honest (and I am), I can tell you that tonight, I’m already 100 times better at manipulating some of the program than I was two days ago! BUT… instead of focusing on my small design successes, of course I’m stressing out about all the other commands that I don’t know yet (whew…big breath…don’t wake Hubby or Kiwi…relax shoulders…another breath… find out where the text disappeared to…try again…).

I’m of the opinion that frustration can also crop up (ha ha) while learning new techniques in cardmaking. I think we, as artists, have the ability to see the end result before we ever begin! That happens to me sometimes. Long before I pull out the cardstock and try to find where I left my scissors, I know what I want. I sit down with one part confidence and one part trepidation, my Crafter’s Apron tied, and my tools at the ready. Then come the details:

  • Ink-Blending (oops, too much pressure, or, I didn’t know those colors would make brown);
  • Stamping (stamping tool or acrylic block? Kiwi, come back here with that stamp!);
  • Die Cutting (I thought it was about ham & cheese on rye when the instructions mentioned a sandwich!);
  • Heat Embossing (what, exactly, do I do with this antistatic pouch? Is the paper supposed to curl up like that?);
  • Glue (not a technique, but oh my goodness! I had no idea there were so many types of glue!);
  • Interactive Cards (wait…the iris is supposed to close without those pieces coming out, too??) ;
  • Matting (seems I can’t ever get them glued straight); and
  • On and on and on it goes!

Many times, while I’m learning a technique, and because I get caught up in all those details, the end result looks NOTHING like what was in my head before I began!

Yes, learning new stuff can be frustrating for me – at first. It may even be frustrating for me “at second”. But I know that if I don’t give up, I will eventually learn. Now, I said “learn”; I didn’t say “become perfect”. After all, there is no “perfect” in art is there? Most importantly, though, I’ve discovered that I need to have (a) some patience, (b) a sprinkle of positivity, and (c) grace toward myself, because mastering a technique involves a lot of practice. And here’s the silly thing: even if I think I have it “mastered” (I don’t), I can still find fault with it somewhere (“Gasp! I messed up the edge of this card by 0.005 nanometers?? OMGSH, it’s JUNK!”). I mean, really?? LOL

My friend, you and I may get frustrated while learning a new cardmaking technique (or a new computer program), but the good news is that we, as artists, are a determined lot. We may bang our heads against a wall for awhile while learning something we’ve never seen before, but we also have the uncanny knack, and amazing ability, to take the one thing that didn’t work out the way we wanted it to, pull it out of the trash, and turn it into a different, but quite satisfying, masterpiece!

Well, it’s time for some rest. Have fun crafting!! And let’s be KIND to OURSELVES, and to EACH OTHER! I hope you enjoyed reading this, and that it brought a smile or two to your face!



IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT A TECHNIQUE THAT CHALLENGES YOU, PLEASE REPLY IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. I would love to hear about it, and I’ll bet some readers will acknowledge being challenged by the same technique!

Kiwi and I say “Nighty Night”