Creating Handmade Card Gift Sets – AECP Level 1 Assessment

Hey Crafty People!

I’ve loved completing all of the AECP Level 1 classes and the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on my end of level assessment! The main brief for this is:

  • Create a masculine leaning card gift set with 6 or more cards
  • Create a feminine leaning card gift set with 6 or more cards
  • Create a tutorial that explains 3 of the skills taught in Level 1.
  • Use a recycled item within either set

Masculine Set

I wanted to make this a set of three pairs of cards that would all follow along with the same colour scheme to make the whole set feel connected whilst each card was different.


Watercolour Die Cut Inlay

I used blues, greens & gold from my Altenew metallic watercolour set, just dropping different bits of colour randomly, using a wet-on-wet technique. (I used a smaller scrap piece of watercolour paper leftover from a previous project, because I really don’t like to waste any paper if I can help it!)

Once dry, I die cut ‘hello’ from the Bold Greetings die set out of my watercolour piece and some Gold Pearl card stock, then I swapped them and die cut inlaid them into their opposite. ⭐ It’s absolutely essential that you don’t lose any of the pieces when doing this technique, even the smallest piece missing would spoil the whole look. ⭐

I added additional strips of both the watercolour piece & Gold Pearl card above and below the piece with my greeting and layered it onto some Grey cardstock, before adhering to a heavy weight card base. I wanted the beautiful metallic shine from the paints to be the star of this card, so I just embellished it with a few Nuvo Vintage drops in white.

I used the same grey card stock on this card too, but because there was less of the metallic watercolour I wanted to add some texture into the background; I achieved this by scoring a vertical line every 1/4inch. I layered this onto some more Gold Pearl card stock and popped it up onto a heavy weight card base. I cut the Gold Pearl inlaid sentiment strip at a diagonal to give it some interest and I added a thin strip of the watercolour piece below it. Lastly, I added some more Nuvo Vintage Drops in white.


Out Of This World Shaker Card & Star Trail

I used two moons that I had already stamped and cut before, (when I have got my layering stamps set up I like to stamp extra images to use on future projects; it really makes the most of the time & effort you’ve gone to in getting the stamps set up. Then I just store the images in the back of that stamp sets storage pocket, ready to use whenever I want.

I used the Altenew milky Way stencil to add stars straight onto a heavy weight card base with Golden Nuvo Glacier Paste; I use 110lb Neenah for my card bases so I knew that it could take this level of moisture.

I popped up a moon on some foam squares at the uppermost end of the trail of stars and I heat embossed my sentiment using superfine grade Silver embossing powder from WOW! I decided to use silver so that my sentiment would stand out against the Golden stars and also to tie in the greys coming from the moon. I love adding frames around my designs so I drew one with a black fineliner and a t-square ruler.

I used the Fine Frames Rectangle to cut this window out of Black Pearl cardstock, (I put the frames in the back of that die’s storage pocket so that I have them handy whenever I want to use one.) I added the largest frame that this die cuts, in Gold Pearl cardstock to frame the window and give it some interest.

I used a piece of acetate I kept from some packaging, gluing it with some really strong liquid glue to make sure it definitely isn’t going to go anywhere. I added a bunch of silver star confetti pieces and glued a piece of matte black cardstock to seal the shaker window and form the background.

I covered my other moon image with Glossy Accents and embossed my sentiment with superfine grade Gold embossing powder from WOW! onto some vellum. Once it was dry, I used the moon to glue one side of the vellum down and folded the other end to secure it on the back of the shaker panel, before adhering that to a heavy weight card base.


Full Panel of Shiny Metallic Embossed Goodness!!!

I firmly pressed a Versamark pad into a card panel cut from Neenah 80lb card stock and added some Black Magic embossing powder from WOW! This is a gorgeous mixture of Black, Gold & Silver that marble together as they melt; it gives some absolutely incredible effects and every piece you make with it will always be unique. ⭐ Preheat your heat gun before you bring it to your paper, this is a lot of embossing powder to melt and we want to limit the amount of time that the heat is on the paper to try to keep warping down. Also when you have a chunky powder like this, or a glittery powder, heat from beind first, that way the smaller grades of powder will begin to melt and trap the larger pieces, then you can bring the heat round to the front to finish melting it all to a smooth finish. If you go straight for the front then a big proportion of the thinker grade powders and/or glitter will be blown away before it can melt. ⭐

I wanted to cut a sentiment out of the embossed panel to use the inlay technique again, but this time I made my own using the Tall Alphas dies. I use the grid lines on my glass mat to position the letters evenly, they use a piece of masking paper to hold them in the right place, even as they are picked up and put onto your project. ⭐ The easiest way to make sure your letters are all straight is to line the bottom of each letter up to the bottom of the tape, then you can easily see exactly where the letters will be cut. ⭐

I cut the same letters from white cardstock scraps and I added a double layer of then to the embossed panel so that it would give an inlaid look.

I layered it onto another piece of the Gold Pearl cardstock and popped that up onto a card base. I added a sub sentiment from the little tub I keep on my desk; white embossing on Black Pearl cardstock. A few Nuvo Vintage Drops in white finished off this design!

I didn’t want to waste any of this absolutely gorgeous panel, so I stacked the embossed letters onto a couple of layers of letters cut from white scrap paper to five them some more dimension.

I used the small striped stamp from an Altenew Gift Tag set I’ve got, to repeatedly stamp straight onto a heavy weight card base. I triple stamped the middle row to make it much darker than the other two, then glued my letters onto the card base.

I added a mixture of Golden metallic studs and Black Nuvo Drops all round the sentiment and that card was complete!!


Gift Packaging

I put each card, along with an envelope, into an individual protective card sleeve and stacked them on top of eachother; to hold them securely I added a strip of sellotape to each of the longer sides that went from the first card to the last.

I die cut a tag from black card and stenciled some white dye ink onto the bottom half. I added two fine frames; one Black, one Gold. I added two sentiment strips that I embossed onto a Gold label cut with the same die then trimmed down, this means that the strips have the same stitching detail as the Black tag. Gold sequins and white Nuvo Vintage drops finish the tag off.

I used some baker’s twine to wrap around the stack of cards and through the gift tag, tying it in a bow to add extra detail.

I’m really happy with how these turned out! They look like a really nice gift to receive and will be going to my eldest daughter’s teacher as a thank you gift.

I chose the space theme of the second card pair specifically because I think he will really like that theme!

I completed the masculine set first because I worried that this would be the harder of the two for me personally, but I actually really enjoyed making these!! I was filled with so much inspiration & excitement for the tasks and I used so many different techniques that are covered in the first Level.

My biggest influence on this set was definitely Let It Shine, I added so many different metallic and shiny mediums; from specialist card stock, to sequins, metallic watercolour to Glacier Paste! There are so many ways that you can ‘Let It Shine’ and I worked my way through a fair few of them!!!!


Feminine Set

I decided to try something a little new to me when making this set; I filmed some of the steps I took to get the final results and I have edited this footage down into a video which I have uploaded to YouTube. Unfortunately, quite a bit of the footage that I managed to get was unusable but I did get three different techniques covered in the Level 1 classes and I have added a voiceover explaining how to do these techniques. I will still run through each card here, briefly, then insert the YouTube video for you to watch!

I didn’t follow quite the same design concept of having three pairs of cards for this sey, instead I followed a smaller colour scheme, choosing to use two of Altenew’s sets of four co-ordinating colours; Sea Shore, which is a beautiful turquoise set and Cherry blossom, which is a vibrant pink. (These are my newest groups of inks and they are just gorgeous!!!)


Ink Blended Mega Blooms

I used the range of four colours in the Cherry Blossom set to ink blend this gorgeous ombre effect flower onto a card panel, that’s just a touch smaller than A2, so that I would have that nice white border around the panel once I popped it up onto my card base.

I think that this stencil & that beautiful bright pink are a match made in my flower loving heart’s heaven!!

I just added a black frame and two separate strips to make up my sentiment. I love adding thin, white embossed on black sentiment strips, popped up on foam squares and at jaunty angles like this! A few black Nuvo Vintage Drops complete this design.

When I first saw this stencil my mind went straight to a Lilypad image, so I knew for sure that was what I needed to do with this card! I masked off the upper petals whilst I blended the lower half using the Sea Shore set. Then I repeated that but in reverse so my Lilypad would have a beautiful floral topper.

i trimmed the card panel ,so that it would leave a thin border around again. I added another black frame, then for my sentiment; I die cut the ‘you’ from black cardstock using a die from the Bold Greetings dies.


Gradient Ink Blended Backgrounds

I have included footage of me blending this background in my YouTube video! Check it out for some tips on blending a whole background!

I stamped and fussy cut a banner using the new Envelope Art stamp set and embossed my greeting onto it.

I added some of these beautiful layer stamped flowers, and I also show how to stamp these in my video.

Once I had my layout looking how I wanted it to, I lightly suck some strips of masking tape across the entire arrangement to hold it into place, whilst I lifted it and added foam adhesive across the back. This is really the same as the method using press ‘n’ seal, but that isn’t easy.to get hold of in the UK.

I added some Wink of Stella clear glitter overlay to all of the flowers and they look beautiful when the light catches them!

Whereas above I wanted a spotlight effect with the middle the lightest part, here I wanted to have the colour the most intense on the right edge and then get lighter and eventually fade out completely as it moved across the paper. This is much the same as above, I used the same inks & same brush.

I stamped this beautiful Paint-a-Flower Poppy in Grey and fussy cut it; I wanted to leave it white but I decided to add a little bit of shadow at the base of the leaves using pencil crayon. The pencils give a very light & subtle shadow that is just barely there, but it gives a huge difference to the flower.

I added a Congrats Frame die cut from Black Pearl card stock, gluing it down towards the upper left, and underneath the flower.


Stenciled Geometric Backgrounds

I blended a very light layer of ink over the stencil, before shifting the position of it so that I would get that double lined effect. ⭐ Play around with your stencils! They don’t have to be used in only one way or orientation! Double impose them like this! The possibilities really endless! ⭐

I stamped these flowers in my YouTube video! Check out how easy they are to do, if you think layering stamps aren’t for you I want to show you that’s not true!!

I added some different black frames at different angles to mirror the background pattern and then made a central focal point with the three flowers. ⭐Three is a pleasing number visually! ⭐ I added some more Wink of Stella glitter over the flowers and then a little sentiment on Vellum.

This time I kept my stencil in one place for the whole panel, but I started at the bottom with my darkest colour and moved through the lighter ones as I worked my way up the panel, giving an ombre effect.

I love how this background looks, so I wanted to leave as much of it on show as possible! So I really simply added a sentiment strip and several hearts, die cut from a panel of card stock I ink blended with the pink I’ve used elsewhere in this set.

⭐ Try adding Glossy Accents to simple die cuts to make them into stand out handmade embellishments! But, the Glossy Accents did darken the colour a little, so it doesn’t quite match the sentiment strip anymore but I’m still happy with how it turned out! ⭐


Gift Packaging

I added each card into a sleeve with an envelope and taped them together in a stack just like I did on the masculine set. Then I cut two strips of black cardstock and scored them so that they sat round my stack of cards. I glued the two pieces together and covered the join with this decorative label.

I added the letters by stacking two white and adding an ink blended letter to the top, then a tiny ‘you’ to finish my packaging.

The belly band can slip off the cards and easily back on, but it fits tight enough that it won’t move or slip on its own.


My YouTube Tutorial Video

If you liked my tutorial please give it a like and consider following my channel for more videos in the future.


I really enjoyed creating these projects and I really hope that I have successfully passed my AECP Level 1. I’ve linked the products I used below and I’ve also added a Gallery with more photos of my whole project!

My recycled elements are: Acetate from packaging used for the shaker window, and card scraps being used for die cutting rather than throwing them away!


Thank you for visiting my blog, if you’d like to see more of my artwork & how to’s and/or hear my thoughts on living with a chronic illness then please consider subscribing. T.


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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jyoti says:

    Awesome cards Natasha. Loved the easy to follow tutorials and the video is great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your support and kind words 🥰💗

      Like

  2. natashavacca says:

    Tasha you rocked these!!!! Truly AMAZING and beautiful!!!!!! Congratulations

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support 🥰💗

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Erum Tasneem says:

    WOWZERS Tasha!! Look at you rocking this challenge!! WOOT!!! I LOVEEEE IT!! You have blown me away esp with your masculine cards!! Way to go!
    Thank you for entering your work to the AECP assignment gallery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Erum!! I’m so glad you liked it! 🥰💗💗

      Like

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