Once a month, over on the Bella Blvd blog, we do a "Trends" feature where I choose something that's trending in paper crafting (scrapbooking, card making, etc) and a few of our design team members incorporate that trend into their projects. This month, I decided to focus on hand cut titles and/or sentiments (for my card designer).
I've been seeing a ton of hand cut titles lately, in all different shapes and sizes. I love the ones with the big, chunky letters, each cut from a different patterned paper. It adds such a fun feel to the page. I'm not sure how others go about cutting these letters. Just randomly cutting away with scissors? Drawing the letters first, and then cutting them out? Using a hand drawn alpha cut file and "cutting" them out with a die cut machine? All great ideas, I'm sure.
I know myself and I know that I cannot just randomly start cutting into paper and end up with cool looking letters. I have to plan things out. I had envisioned creating my entire title using hand cut letters, and using a variety of patterned papers. In the end, I decided to only use hand cut letters for one word of my title, and use chipboard alphas for the rest of the title.
Once I had my chipboard alphas all arranged on the page, I knew how much room I had left to fit in my hand cut letters. I knew I was cutting the word "wings", so I placed a sheet of tracing paper over the page, and simply wrote the word "wings" to get the sizing right. Then I used a pencil to sketch out the shape of each letter, erasing and re-sketching as needed.
Once I had them looking fairly decent, I cut each letter out from the tracing paper. I flipped them over and traced them onto the backside of my patterned paper. One reason being that I was using a dark brown woodgrain patterned paper, so it would have been hard to see my tracing. The other reason was that I didn't have to worry about cutting inside the lines, since when I flipped over my letters, any pencil marks left wouldn't show.
Since the base of my page is pretty simple (little bit of patterned paper, white cardstock background), I knew I needed to add a little something-something to the page to spruce it up. Bella's feathers are easy to add to projects, and don't add too much bulk, which is nice. And they definitely add some interest. It also felt like they just "fit" on the page, since my title involved wings and flying.
I tucked two feathers under my photo, so that just the ends were sticking out. I didn't want to overwhelm my title too much, so I just wanted the feathers to peek out a little. Once I added the feathers to the right side of the page, I felt like I needed to add some on the left side to balance it out. That was a little trickier, since I hadn't left myself much room to work with.
I ended up putting a good amount of adhesive along the edge of the cardstock and pressing my feathers in place really well. I put adhesive all along the patterned paper strip as well, and pressed that down on top of the feathers really well too. Then I trimmed off what was hanging off the edge. Not necessarily perfect, but it worked for the most part.
I finished off the page with some wooden buttons and a few enamel dots. Oh, and some journaling about my gorgeous girl. I actually had more that I wanted to say, but since I didn't really leave myself much room (journaling is almost always the last thing I think about), I kept it short and sweet.