With four wonderful nephews, I often need to put together a few cards and projects for the little men in my life. And I love it every time.
As this is sometimes one area which crafters sometimes struggle with, I thought I would share with you some tips for making little boy cards, so you will be overcome with inspiration and you will never be stuck ever again. Well, thats the idea anyway…
Working to a theme.
You may find that it sometimes seems easier to come up with girly themes rather than boy themes especially with so many products out there focusing on butterflies, fairies, flowers and sparkles. But if you put your mind to it, you will soon come up with just as many themes for boys, you just need to set the creative juices flowing.
One trick which I find extremely useful is that you can often find great inspiration in homeware catalogues, hidden in the bed linen section. In Argos for example, you can find bedcovers, carptets and rugs with numerous great boy themes such as monsters, football & rugby, pirates, games such as snakes & ladders, cars & trucks, rockets & spaceships.
You will likely find that a number of these homeware products may be based upon popular TV programs or the latest movie features, but remember that you don’t have to have specifically branded craft products to run with the theme. For example, Thomas the Tank Engine leads us to think of trains and transport; for Bob the Builder we may be inspired to implement a DIY theme, Spiderman and Power Rangers makes us think of superheros and comics, and Transformers gives us the idea of robots, which I’m sure every little boy loves.
Words and Shapes
You can implement the theme into your card design in many ways: firstly by pictures of course,a stamped image, stickers, printed papers or ribbon. But I like to add another dimension to the cards by using words. Think of words associated with your theme and use these as a feature element: on a tag, use as a border, or even use words to create your own unique background paper. It really is very simple. Perhaps for a car theme you would use words such as Vroom Vroom or Beep beep, for a football theme you could use goal, strike, score, shoot or many many more.
Remember that you can also create fantastic effects by implementing shapes into the design of your card too. There are plenty of ingenious ways to cut your cards into shapes using templates, and a shaped card always creates a huge impact. Here are a few to get you thinking:
Football theme: A World Cup trophy shape, a football boot, football shirt
Train theme: Train shape, Conductor shape, train ticket shape
Artist: Paint tin, Apron, palate or even paint brush
The key when making a shaped card is to remember that you need to keep some of the fold intact so that the front and the back part of the card can stay attached. Some craft companies even make shapes cut out of mylar with the purpose of using these as templates for making shaped cards. WS Designs is one of the most popular card template makers in the UK, available here. These are usually very affordable and completely reusable and therefore a useful tool to have in your stash. Also keep an eye on places like ebay where people with electronic die cutting machines usually sell precut cards in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Make an Investment
My next tip to you is to invest in a few versatile stamp sets, perhaps even sets which touch upon these themes mentioned above. I have three in my collection which I love to bits, and by chance, all three happen to be made by a company called Woodware: Dogs, Dino friends and Mr Fix It.
With these three stamp sets, I have made dozens of different cards suitable for both little boys, teenage dudes and manly men, plus they can also be used for other recipients too, especially the puppy dogs which are just so cute. But there are many other great stamps available so check out your local craft store or online stores such as www.twopeasinabucket.com or www.scrapbook.com and see what you can find.
I like to look for designs that I can decoupage into a 3d element which gives me a little more variation and freedom to play with the design. Also, my advice is to look for stamp sets that include not just feature designs but also a few little stamps of themed accessories. This will give you much more milage, for example, with the stamp sets I have I could put the baseball hat unto the dinosaur, but I could also use this baseball hat when creating an card using the dog stamps. So remember to make the most out of your stamp sets buy mixing and matching what you already have to create new and exiting combinations.
Interaction & Intrigue
Most of the little boys I am familiar with don’t know how to sit still. They hold a level of curiosity and intrigue, and the older they get the more you need something to hold their attention. So think of ways to make a card exciting for them by offering an element of interaction. Perhaps a flap to lift up, or a pop up element in the inside. Introduce acetate to make peep through panels, or pockets to hold tags or even money. Perhaps you could also include a bookmark or a badge as a gift inside the card. If you are feeling really inventive, perhaps make a key chain or magnet out of shrink plastic. With stamps it is really easy to make cards and gifts match completely, which gives an element of cohesion and professionalism to your project.
Whats in a name?
Big or little, tall or small, young or old, girl or boy – no matter who you are making a card for, you can be assured that everyone loves to receive a card with their name on it. It adds that personal touch, and you can certainly take this idea and make it into the focal point of your design. Just make sure you spell the name correctly!
Life in Colour
Even if you aren’t working to a particular theme, you can still create a card fit for a little boy by using an appropriate colour palate. I know you are all thinking BLUE, BLUE, BLUE. And yes, blue is a great colour for boys, but don’t forget that there are dozens of other colours which work well too. It may also depend on the age range of the recipient, for example, for a baby boy – pale, pastel blues, greens and yellows never fail. For a toddler, perhaps more bright vibrant colours – after all this is the time when they are learning to distinguish between their reds, blues, yellows, greens and oranges. The primary colours will always evoke memories of school, so you can use this to your advantage too. At the moment I think my favourite colour palate for boys projects is brown and orange. These two colours have an earthy feel and remind me of muck and dirt – which every little boy seem to attract with remarkable ease.
If you keep these few points in mind, you will find it super easy to make great cards for the little men in your life, and if you want to, you can buy lots of great products which will make it even easier. Over the last few years especially, we have seen the release of some fantastic collections of scrapbooking and cardmaking products which are perfect for little boys, and which focus on the themes mentioned above and offer a wide range of embellishments to add finishing touches to your little men’s cards. I have compiled a list below of some of the current collections available on the market which would be great for all those little boys cards that you are going to make now.
I hope you have found this post useful, and don’t forget to share with your friends and please leave me a comment so I know you stopped by.
Great Products for Little Boy projects
Robots from My Little Shoebox
Monstrosoties collection by Sassafras
Robotics collection by Sassafras
Archaic collection by Basic Grey
Rough & Tough collection from Fancy Pants Designs
That Boy collection from fancy Pants Design
Junior collection by American Crafts
To the Rescue collection by Three Bugs in a Rug
The Boyfriend collection by Cosmo Cricket
Lil Man & Snorkel collections by Cosmo Cricket
Cogsmo collection by Cosmo Cricket
Key Lime collection by Doodlebug designs
Zoofari collection by Doodlebug designs
Orbit collection by Crate Paper