As most of you know, I’ve been making cards for Cards for Cubs each March. These cards go to kids in foster care and need to be inspirational or birthday, and must be handmade. Here is the link to Cards for Cubs if you’d like to register to create some cards before the end of the month. This link will give you all of the information you need to participate.

I committed to making 20 inspirational cards and 10 birthday cards. I like to make cards for the older kids in foster care as I believe most people tend to make cards for younger kids. I also try to diversify the skin color on their faces, as I want to make sure all skin tones are well represented in the cards I send. I have just finished the 20 inspirational cards and here are my tips to making a lot of cards that are each unique and special, but with a streamlined approach. Here is my list of the ways I create these cards as quickly as possible.

1. I choose sentiments and young women’s faces on the stamps I use. Unity Stamps have the best of both and their red rubber stamps are amazing. (I am not sponsored or affiliated with them, but love their stamps and like to share the products I like best. Links for these stamp sets are below.) I keep all of my “Cards for Cubs” stamps together so each year I know where to pull them from and that saves time. One thing you might want to consider…since each card goes to a different child, you could recreate the same card for as many cards as you’ve committed to making, so would only need one image and one sentiment…or, if you use the Cards for Cubs free sentiments link:, you could use their colored sentiments and put them on a background of colorful scraps to create fun and easy cards.

2. I use my MISTI (or similar stamp positioner link: to stamp a lot of images at once and then cover with clear embossing powder and heat set to ensure the ink doesn’t run when coloring.) I use Gina K Amalgam black ink that shouldn’t smear, but I don’t want to take a chance when coloring so many images.

3. Once I’ve colored the images with alcohol markers, currently I really like Sanjoki brush tip markers…inexpensive and color beautifully I photocopy the entire page, so next year I can photocopy them again and simply cut them out and they’re ready to go.

4. I used a Scan N Cut this year to cut out the intricate women’s heads. Still learning how to use it, but will do a video once I’ve got it down pat. This should save considerable time, but you can also use a die cut machine and oval dies to cut the heads just as easily, or fussy cut them with scissors if you don’t have a tool that will do the cutting for you.

5. Do the same approach with the sentiments you’ve stamped, cut them with paper punches or a die cutting machine or your paper trimmer and create a pile of them to choose from. You can check free printables on google for images and sentiments and print them from your computer. Some paper pads have good sentiments that you can cut out and layer onto matching paper from the same pad.

6. Take your pile of images (mine are mainly women’s heads) and choosing one at a time, go through your decorated cardstock cut to 4 x 5 1/4″ until you find papers that look good with your image and create a pile. I have a lot of older Michaels boxed premade card bases that I don’t like to use as they are textured, so use those for this project. Add a card base that matches (4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″) to the image and patterned paper and put a sentiment I like with it. Then I start with the top grouping and use Avery Glue Sticks and glue my cards together. If I can’t find a card base I like, I’ll use one that I can alcohol ink 1/4″ around the edge of the card. If it bleeds through to the back, I add another half of one of the cardbases cut 4 1/4″ x 5 3/8″ and line the back to cover the ink. If you don’t have markers, you can add another layer of cardstock to the front that is 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ and glue it over the top of the card base, and trim off any that overhangs the original card base.

I like Unity Stamps for this project and here are the stamp sets I’ve used.

Jane Girl:

Indie Girl:

Mouse Wonderful Gift link:

Don’t be Perfect link:

Wear confidence link:

Whatever comes next, link:

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