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Click Simple In Shape Templates by Papertrey Ink

Reported by Susan Reidy

While I enjoy crafting the standard A2 card, sometimes I like to “shape” it up. Who doesn’t want a heart card on Valentine’s Day, a onesie-shaped card to welcome a little one or a flower to say Happy Spring? Thanks to the downloadable, digital In Shape Templates by Papertrey Ink, creating shaped cards has gotten easier.


For $5, you receive four different shapes in a single theme, with each shape in several different formats. Themes currently available include Rock-a-bye Baby, Be My Valentine, Spring Fling, and Boys to Men, all created by the scrapbooking/cardmaking/designer extraordinaire Kim Hughes. For my examples, I used the Baby templates.

After making your purchase, you download the zipped file and save it on your computer (somewhere you will find it again). This is straightforward and no more complicated than a few clicks.

Within the zipped file you will have four different shapes in the following formats:
  • A pdf with a shaped card base
  • A solid outline and a mirror image of the outline as jpgs.
  • A stitching template and a mirror image, also as jpgs.
  • Some of the shapes will also include a card front image in pdf.

A great benefit of having these as electronic files is the ability to print as many as you want, directly onto the cardstock or patterned paper of your choice. So if you need to make invitations/announcements/thanks you, print more. If you make a mistake, print more. If your daughter steals your paper and does her homework on the other side, print more. You get the idea.

Truly, the options for using these templates are endless. Print the shaped card on cardstock or patterned paper, cut out, score and decorate. For the sailboat card above, I printed the card base on white cardstock and the card front on blue and kraft cardstock. I cut out all the pieces and assembled.

The printing lines are clear, making it easy to cut and the card base templates include handy arrows to show you were to score. The card fronts make it easy to paper piece your design. I cut my blue and tan pieces smaller to let some of the white card base show through, but the card front is actually sized to fit precisely on the card base.

There is a lot of cutting involved, so you will definitely want a sharp pair of scissors and/or a craft knife. Some of the cutting can be intricate, especially with the word-shaped cards.


Since the outline files are jpgs, you can resize them using photo editing software. Then you can use them as accents on cards, scrapbook pages, altered items, etc. Above, I resized the onesie using Photoshop Elements and printed it three times on pink cardstock. They are the perfect accent for a scrapbook page about my newborn daughter.

You could also layer the outline images on digital patterned paper and then print it out. The mirror images are great if you want to be sure the outline won’t show. I really appreciate this option being included; it’s especially helpful for the word shapes.

Next up is the stitching templates, in action above. Instead of a solid outline, the shape is dotted. While I was making the stitched Baby accent above, I thought the dots were too close together, so when I pierced the shape prior to sewing, I skipped every other dot. This stopped my eyes from crossing, but still kept the stitches pretty uniform (don’t look too closely).

My thread covered up the extra dots. If I had wanted to just pierce the word, I could have printed the mirror image so none of the printing would have shown on the front. See, that is a great option! This is on the same layout as my onesies from above.
The options for these templates go beyond paper, scrapbook pages and cards. I printed the elephant outline shape on paper, cut it out and used it as a pattern to cut the little guy below out of felt. How cute would this be on a onesie? Coupled with a matching elephant card, it would be a great gift.

Overall, I think the templates are a great value. They’re simple to download and use, and you can use them over and over again. They make cute shaped cards as well as card accents and scrapbook page elements. They do involve cutting and some basic computer skills.

You can see more examples of the templates in action at the Papertrey Ink website and the blogs of their designers.

Pros:
  • Affordable at $5 a set.
  • Lots of options, uses for each template.
  • Digital file so you can print as many as you want, on whatever you want.
  • Files can be resized to make accents, paper piecings.
  • Simple to use.

Cons:

  • You need a computer and some basic skills to use, and photo editing software if you want to resize.
  • Lots of cutting is involved, some of which can be intricate.
  • Stitching guides are close together.
  • I’d like to see some more themes introduced.

Have you used the In Shape templates? What do you think of them? We’d love to know.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

My Timeless Templates for Papertrey Ink

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is in just a few short weeks! As a paper crafter, I love making home-made gifts, and am always on the lookout for fresh ideas. Sometimes the simplest gifts can become a treasure just by the way that they’re packaged. But what do you do when your gift list is long, money is tight, and time is short? Let me introduce you to My Timeless Templates!

My Timeless Templates is a line of printable templates created by Lauren Meader for Papertrey Ink. Each month, Papertrey Ink releases two new template designs available for purchase on their website. These templates are a building block for you to create unique gifts and packaging out of basic paper crafting supplies.

Each template comes in the form of a PDF file which is downloaded to your computer and viewable using Adobe Reader. (If you don’t have Adobe already on your computer, there is a link on Papertrey Ink’s website for a free download.) The templates are designed to print directly onto 8.5 x 11″ cardstock, complete with cut and score lines. Some of the templates give you the option of printing the templates without the score lines so that the dashed lines won’t show on the inside of your packaging. Once downloaded, the templates can be printed as many times as needed.

Each downloaded template comes with a full-color, high-quality PDF document that includes six exclusive project ideas along with supply lists. These projects are all made by Papertrey Ink’s talented designers and are the perfect way to get your creative juices flowing. The great thing about these templates is their versatility! Once you get the basic idea of how the template goes together, it’s easy to modify it for any occasion.

For those of you who are still a little uncertain, Papertey Ink has two FREE templates available for download right now. I really loved the unique folds of the Recipe Wrap-Up and wanted to make a coupon organizer with it.

As I mentioned before, each template is very customizable. I printed the template directly onto Kraft cardstock and then added stamping and scrapbooking supplies to the cover.
The design is very easy to assemble. Each template has basic assembly instructions printed on the side (such as how many sheets to print and where to adhere). Beginning next month, each PDF file will also include thorough instructions on basic assembly, for those who are new to template designs or for when things get a little unclear.
I added a small notebook to one of my panels and used a large office supply paperclip to hold the book closed when not in use. (The original design includes markings for ribbon placement, but I thought that might get a little time consuming for what I was using it for.)
And here is the book when it is fully expanded. The template comes with these cute little pockets that were perfect for organizing my coupons!

Another of my favorite templates right now is called All Boxed Up.

My mom is always asking me for home-made cards for her to give away, so I designed this box for her to store them in.

This time, because my cardstock was so dark, I printed the template onto plain printer paper. I placed the paper on top of my cardstock using removable tape and trimmed and scored the design.
I customized this template and created a pocket on the side wide enough to hold my envelopes. Once you’ve worked with a couple of templates, customizing becomes really simple to do.


My Timeless Templates are a great resource to add to your paper crafting! Each download costs only $5 and the files are available instantly on your computer. You can purchase these templates from Papertrey Ink and new templates are available on the 15th of each month. The quality and resources that come with these templates makes this an incredible value.

Pros:

  • Templates are a perfect way to create beautiful gifts and packaging.
  • Each template can be printed over and over for a lifetime of use.
  • Templates are designed to print directly onto 8.5 x 11″ cardstock.
  • Templates can be customized to expand their use.
  • Each download comes with 6 exclusive project ideas.

Cons: (or, more accurately, Helpful Tips:)

  • Make sure your printer settings are set for NO scaling. This will alter the dimensions of your template and make it more difficult to use.
  • The proper adhesive makes a big difference on how well your project will hold together. I recommend using RedLine tape, Score Tape, or and ATG gun.
  • The templates can be a little confusing for those who are new to this type of paper crafting. However, Papertrey Ink will be including full instruction sheets in all of the templates to follow.

As you can probably tell from my article, I am a big fan of My Timeless Templates. These templates are a perfect way to create that special, one-of-a-kind gift this holiday season. Once you start using them, you might want to make something to keep for yourself! The templates are very customizable and can be used for any occasion.

Have you tried My Timeless Templates yet? If not, I encourage you to try out one of the free templates available on the website. I’d love to hear what you think about this new product! Or, maybe you’ve come up with a creative use for one of the templates. If so, please leave us a comment!

The MOTHER of all black ink tests…

Reported by Dana Vitek

Well, I finally did it… a no-holds-barred look at 14 different black inks, 3 different markers and three different card stocks.

I did a similar study back in early 2007, and posted my results on SplitCoastStampers; holy moly, was I ever a rock star then! The biggest names of stamping commented on that post, and the queen herself, Julie Ebersole, mentioned little ole me on her blog. Then I passed out.

But, I knew my work was not finished… there were MORE black inks out there, and clearly I needed them. So, now I’ve got them. I’m up to 14 black inks, some I’ve had for years, a few I just opened today (don’t tell my husband!).

Here are the players, in alphabetical order by manufacturer:

Papers:
Georgia Pacific White
PaperTrey Ink Stamper’s Select in White
Stampin’ Up! Whisper White

Markers:
Copic Lemon Yellow
Prismacolor Deco Yellow
Stampin’ Up! Barely Banana (yes, I know, this is not an alcohol-based marker).

Weather conditions:

79 degrees F, 44% humidity, a perfect August day in Delaware (just above sea level), and why am I inside again?

The process:

  • Created a grid and printed it on the three different card stocks with my laser printer.
  • Stamped each ink into its appropriate box.
  • Carefully cleaned the stamp between inks with a three-step process:
  1. Ultraclean, then dry
  2. Stampin’ Mist, then dry
  3. Swipe with a baby wipe
  • Allowed grids to dry for 30 minutes while starting this post
  • Colored over the lines (on purpose) with the appropriate marker
  • Cleaned each marker nib, each time, by coloring on a sheet of printer paper
  • Swiped a line of the matching colorless blender pen through each colored area
  • Checked for bleeding, feathering & smearing
  • Ranked the inks 1, 2, or 3 on each grid
  • Entered the results into a spreadsheet, tallied and averaged the results

**Please note: I did not heat-set any of the inks, because I wanted to see the results of the average (lazy like me) stamper. Heat-setting the pigment inks would probably improve their performance**

Results:

  • A ranking of 1 indicated no black ink movement with the yellow marker or associated clear blender.
  • A ranking of 2 indicated no to minimal movement with the yellow, some movement with the clear blender.
  • A ranking of 3 was a hot mess. Movement with both marker and blender.
  • I threw the SU! marker results out of the averaging, because they were the true definition of hot mess. So, the averaging only took alcohol-based markers into account.

    I was VERY impressed with Ranger’s Nick Bantock Ink and Tsukineko’s Memento… that stuff didn’t budge with either of the alcohol-based markers or their clear blenders. Ranger’s Adirondack and Distress inks also fared very well. As for the rest of them, well, you can be the judge (click for a larger view):


    As for the papers, the PTI smeared the least, followed by the Georgia Pacific, and then the Stampin’ Up! Whisper White.

    Between the alcohol-based markers themselves, the Prismacolor smeared less than the Copic by 0.05 of a point (averaged), so I’d call that even.

    Recommendations:

    Ranger Nick Bantock or Memento on PaperTrey Ink. Anything else, you’ll need to heat set or stay within the lines.

    So what do you think?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!