Saturday, July 17, 2010
Alllll about lumpy cards
One of the joys of OWH is being able to make some of those cards that are a bit lumpy - the ones that would cost us an extra 20cents to mail. Our heroes don't pay postage on lettermail, so they also don't pay that surcharge! However, we'd like to put a little bit of boundaries around "lumpy" to help everyone out - cardmakers, heroes, and shippers alike!
First, what we're NOT talking about
Before you get worried: Dimensional adhesives, layers, ribbon, bows, etc are fine to use on your cards to give them some dimension - we're not cutting out one of your favorite things, don't worry! We don't want to remove the beautiful handmade elements in our cards. But...some folks have been receiving mail from our heroes - but it's just an empty envelope. No card inside! If some of our shippers and cardmakers are receiving these, we're sure families are likely dealing with the same. So we've been asked to address what might be causing that; according to our postal sources, it's certain kinds of lumpy that would get chewed up in one of their machines, so we're hoping to eliminate some of that on our cards. (The PO has to tell us that every lump may cause damage, but this post is based on some off-the-record interviewing of postal staff who love OWH!)
We know that a lot of you need the "why" to understand what we're asking, so here are three main reasons for this post about lumps:
Some do's and don'ts
Here's the fun part—and hopefully there's an answer here for your favorite kind of embellishing!
Give it heft. If you really want to embellish, give your eye candy something to hold onto! Use a little heavier cardstock—if your card won't stand up on its own, or sags under the weight of what you've attached, it might be telling you it's time to invest in some heavier cardstock...or....*gasp* cut back on some of the embellishing. (And yes, this is Sandy, the "queen of overembellishing," saying this. My own overdone cards get turned into AnyHero cards if they don't pass muster!)
Shop judiciously. When shopping, look for those thinner embellishments, and make sure you stock up on thin gluedots of various dimensions so you have some choices. Pick ribbons that are wider than your favorite adhesive, and consider tape runners instead of glue dots - if the ribbon comes off a line of tape, it's less destructive to the next card in the box than a glue dot is. If you can't resist buying that 8-layer-sticker-sentiment, see if it's got wording that you can use on an AnyHero card!
Marvy Uchida has come out with a really cool punch that can satisfy your desire for a button, without adding huge thickness. (Read more on Dixie's blog post) There are also cute button stamps that you can ink up in whatever color you want, and cut them out to add where a button would go. There are lots of great products out there now that create great effects with paper, and that works better with cards going through postal machines than hard, plastic, or sharp embellishments.
And now, for your superthick embellishments.
You CAN use any crazy embellishing on your AnyHero cards! If the thing you want to add to the card is that one thick button—go for it on these! Got a thick shaker card? Write a note in it! Want to make a crazy popup-turn-it-round-tricked-out card? Make it a thank-you theme for a deployed hero! Found a beautiful flower that could crush when mailed? Jot some encouragement to a hero inside the card! AnyHero cards sit on the top of the box and don't have to go through the mail anyway, so you can go wild on cards made for your notes to our heroes....and you can picture them as treasures hanging up on their walls!
Hopefully this clears up the confusion we've caused in the past - and gives you some great ideas for embellishing your cards! If you've been someone sending in these single-lump cards, please don't feel badly — lots of us have done the same! We just want to learn from what our friends at the PO are sharing. Thanks for all you do in making these beautiful cards for our heroes!!!
If you have ideas for ways to get dimensional effects that don't cause huge lumps, share them as a comment below - we'd love to pass them on, maybe as tutorials on our S&S blog too!
(FYI The cards pictured here that are too lumpy for our heroes to send home will have hero notes written in them instead. I love making lumpy cards just like everyone does....AnyHero cards are a great outlet for that!!)