Ever had a gorgeous flower stamp but it was just so big you didn't know what to do with it except stamp it right in the middle of a plain card front? Well, here's five tips from a former graphic designer (me!) about ways to use shake up that boring old look and get more use from your BIG floral stamps!
TIP NUMBER ONE: Cut it off!
Nothing says you have to show the entire image. Using nesting dies like Stylish Shapes you can create a frame that naturally boxes in the image and provides a visual stopping point for the eye. We don't expect to see the flower outside the frame. In the example above, this allows us to use pretty coordinating floral background paper that would otherwise be wasted, as only a tiny bit would show behind the huge flower.
TIP NUMBER TWO: cover it up!
Nothing says you have to show the entire flower, either. Cover part of it up with your sentiment strip. A good rule of thumb is not to cover more than 1/3 of the main image. Otherwise the sentiment overwhelms the image, instead of the image naturally leading your eye down to read the sentiment. On the example above, where does your eye go first? The red flowers (from the CUTE Petal Park punch bundle) pull in your attention and you follow them down to the saying.
TIP NUMBER THREE: put it in the background!
Your huge flower arrangement doesn't need to be the main star of the show! Stamp it repeatedly on your card base in a neutral or subtle shade and send it to the background. It will still be gorgeous, but now you can layer your sentiment on a tag or frame with some Bough punches and textiles and it will be the focal point instead (I used a saying from Hope & Prayers.) Tip for "random" stamping: start in the center of your paper and work your way out and off the edges. Random isn't really random this way--it's spread out more evenly and purposefully.
TIP NUMBER FOUR: cut it out!
Sometimes, it's not that the flowers themselves are so large. It's the amount of white space all around them on the square or rectangle piece of paper you stamped them on. When you remove that extra cardstock by fussy-cutting the flowers, all of a sudden it's a MUCH more manageable size, and able to be clearly positioned in a corner or layered over patterned paper. It may be worth a little scissor time to get rid of that dead space around your blooms in order to regain some flexibility in your layout.
In the sample above, that Celebrate Sunflowers stamp is a LARGE image. Now think of how big that piece would be if it still had the square of paper I stamped it on, plus a mat. Almost bigger than the card itself!
You can add lots of interest to your large floral by slicing it into three or more pieces! That's right, stamp your image, cut it in thirds, and reassemble on the cardfront spaced slightly apart. If it's tone on tone (ink and paper match) you don't even need to color it! This trick works for lots of large stamps, whether it's a lighthouse and ocean scene or a snowy Christmas landscape. In the sample above, I used the Flowers of Friendship and matching Flowers & Leaves punch to scatter blossoms from lower left to upper right, spanning the three panels.)
I hope you've enjoyed the five cards I shared today! If you're a fan of the whys-and-wherefores of good design, you'll LOVE the "Five Tips Designers Know" articles on my blog. Be sure to check out the Cheat Sheets Collections, too, if you could use assistance with not only the layout but also complete measurements, another big bug-a-boo for many stampers!
Leave me a comment if you'd love some professional tips on Five Tips Designers Know About____?