AECP Level 1 Challenge

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

I am delighted to announce I have completed the Altenew Level 1 Challenge for the AECP course I have been taking. The final challenge was to create a his and her packaged card set, each set containing up to 6 cards with cohesive themes. The card sets needed to focus on any 3 components I have learned from the videos with a twist of having a recycled element within the card or packaging designs.


I really wanted to step out of my box and challenge myself to make beautiful card sets using designs that I have never tried before. Putting together 12 different cards is a challenge in itself, but I really wanted to make 2 different sets of cards that looked as if they belonged together. I am proud of the results in both card sets, and I hope you enjoy them as well! Thank you so much for stopping by to celebrate this milestone with me today!

 

The three components I chose to incorporate into my cards are:

  • Easy Die Cutting Techniques

  • Let it Shine

  • Clean and Simple Boutique Cards

 
 
 

Both Card sets have A2 sized card bases cut lengthwise in 110# Ivory cardstock paper.


I took another piece of Ivory cardstock and used my Altenew Artist's Watercolor Pan Set. I used the two darkest brown colors mixed together and lightly tapped the brush head to leave a spray of paint behind to create a background.


The sentiments used for all of the cards are from Altenew Label Love Stamp Set.

 

For the feminine set I used Altenew Book Engravings Stamp and Die set from the Storybook Fantasy Collection. All of the flower outlines were stamped with Altenew Jet Black Ink. The petals are stamped with Altenew Puffy Heart and Purple Wine Crisp Ink, and the stem is stamped with Altenew Hunter Green.


 

For the masculine set I used Altenew Decorative Swirls Die Set, and chose to use the two different leaf dies for my card designs. I created a piece of paper by blending Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks in several shades of greens and blues on a piece of yup paper.


 

Card #1: Happy Birthday

This card features a large octagon with die cut images in the center of the mat. It also has been embellished with foil on the top and bottom. There is just something about the foil that adds some elegance, and works on both lay outs. I tried to leave more white space than I normally would. Adding the layered detail in the sentiment adds some more eye candy to this beauty, and also allows for some real stability to adhere the sentiment. I chose to off center the sentiment on this card because I did not want to cover all of the beautiful die cut images.

Assembly Instructions:

  • Cut a piece of black cardstock 3 3/4" x 5"

  • Cut a piece of the watercolored Ivory cardstock 3 3/4" x 3 1/2"

  • Using two-sided tape adhere a piece at 1/4" on both ends. I use the grid lines on my working mat to make sure the tape is straight. (You could also use a taper runner and ruler for this step as well.)

  • I removed the tape strip from the top, and placed a piece of foil down on each of the tape strips to add my shine. I used a rose colored foil for the feminine set and a gold colored foil for the masculine set, however, any color can be used for this.

  • Next, glue the watercolored ivory cardstock in the center of the tape lines.

  • I used Hero Arts Octagon Infinity Dies to cut the center piece for the card, and arranged several die cut flowers on one, and die cut leaves on the other. Once they were arranged the way I wanted, I used glue to adhere them. I layered the octagon with the die cuts on top of the larger black one, and used foam tape to add some dimension to the card placing it in the center.

  • For the sentiment I used the Happy Birthday phrase from the Love Label Stamp Set, and my MISTI stamping tool. I like to add a little bit of ink at a time for these label stamps so I get a clear sentiment through the color.

  • Once my sentiment has been stamped, I trimmed it down using my paper cutter and placed it on a piece of black card stock trimming it one last time with my paper cutter. I really like the layered look this achieved with the sentiment, as well as giving it a tad more back bone to sit on the card.

  • I used a small amount of glue to adhere the sentiment to the octagon.

  • Last, I glued the card front to the card tent, and allowed it to dry.

 

Card #2: Thanks a Bunch

This card features a designed belt on the bottom of card front, giving plenty of room for a large, bold sentiment to be placed on the top. I brought the foil close to the die cut designs, and couldn't be more pleased with the results. I felt the sentiment on this card looked great centered on the top, leaving a very clean look.

Assembly Instructions:

  • Cut a piece of black cardstock 4" x 5 1/4" and set it aside. Cut a separate piece of black cardstock 2 1/4" x 8 1/2 ".

  • Cut a pice of ivory watered colored card stock 3 3/4" x 5", and 1 1/4" x 8 1/2"

  • Arrange the die cut pieces on the ivory card stock cut 1 1/4" x 8 1/2" and adhere them with glue once you have them placed where you would like. Set aside to dry.

  • Next, take the black cardstock 2 1/4" x 8 1/2" and adhere double sided tape at 1/4" down the length of the paper on both sides. Remove the backing, and place foil down to add some shine to the card.

  • Take the Ivory card stock with the assembled die cut pieces and trim the pieces down. Once trimmed to size, use glue to place it in the center of the foil lines, and glue the entire strip at the bottom of the watercolored ivory cardstock across the width of the card.

  • Line up your sentiment in your Misti tool and apply several layers of black ink until you have the desired look you want.

  • Trim down your sentiment with your paper cutter, and glue it to a piece of black card stock. Once it has dried trim the black card stock down with your paper trimmer and use dimensional foam to adhere it the card front.

  • Apply glue to the back of your card front, and adhere it to the black mat. Once the glue has dried, I used foam dimensional tape and applied it to the base of my card.

 

Card # 3: Missing You

This card features how stunning these images really are, and I wanted to keep it that way! Running the patterned paper all the way down the length of the card with the neighboring foil on each side adds a touch of class to this card. I chose to put the sentiment down on the bottom off centered, and just love the final result!

Assembly Instructions:

  • Cut black card stock 4" x 5 1/4"

  • Place double sided tape down 1/2" on each side and run it down lengthwise of the black mat. Adhere foil to double sided tape.

  • Take a piece of the ivory watercolored cardstock and cut a piece 3 3/4" x 5" and arrange several die cuts in place.

  • Once the die cuts are where you would like them, adhere them with glue to the black mat, and trim the edges.

  • Place the ivory cardstock piece and center it in between the foil strips on the black mat.

  • Place foam tape on the back side of the card front and adhere it to the card base

  • Line up your sentiment in your Misti tool and apply several layers of black ink until you have the desired look you want.

  • Trim down your sentiment with your paper cutter, and glue it to a piece of black card stock. Once it has dried trim the black card stock down with your paper trimmer and use dimensional foam to adhere it the card front.

  • Apply glue to the back of your card front, and adhere it to the black mat. Once the glue has dried, I used foam dimensional tape and applied it to the base of my card.

 

Card #4: Thank You

I had a piece of the patterned paper left from Card #2, and wasn't going to let it go to waste. To make this look different than the last I simply changed the direction in which it was placed leaving you with a completely different look to this design! I wasn't sure what to do with the sentiment on this, but I thought leaving it slightly off gave it some additional personality it needed!

Assembly Instructions:

  • Cut a piece of black cardstock 4" x 5 1/4" and set it aside. Cut a separate piece of black cardstock 2 1/4" x 8 1/2 ".

  • Cut a pice of ivory watered colored card stock 3 3/4" x 5", and 1 1/4" x 8 1/2"

  • Arrange the die cut pieces on the ivory card stock cut 1 1/4" x 8 1/2" and adhere them with glue once you have them placed where you would like. Set aside to dry.

  • Next, take the black cardstock 2 1/4" x 8 1/2" and adhere double sided tape at 1/4" down the length of the paper on both sides. Remove the backing, and place foil down to add some shine to the card.

  • Take the Ivory card stock with the assembled die cut pieces and trim the pieces down. Once trimmed to size, use glue to place it in the center of the foil lines, and glue the entire strip lengthwise down the piece of watercolored ivory cardstock.

  • Line up your sentiment in your Misti tool and apply several layers of black ink until you have the desired look you want.

  • Trim down your sentiment with your paper cutter, and glue it to a piece of black card stock. Once it has dried trim the black card stock down with your paper trimmer and use dimensional foam to adhere it the card front.

  • Apply glue to the back of your card front, and adhere it to the black mat. Once the glue has dried, I used foam dimensional tape and applied it to the base of my card

 

Card # 5: Love You

This card features a large, of centered circle with a piece of foiled paper behind it. I love this card and everything about the way this turned out. I chose to use the sentiment "Love you" because love is like a circle that does't have an ending. It's bold and makes a statement, yet sweet and simple all at the same time!

Assembly Instructions:

  • Cut a piece of black cardstock 4" x 5 1/4". Cut another piece of black cardstock 1/2" x 5"

  • Cut a piece of ivory watercolored cardstock at 3 3/4" x 5"

  • I used Hero Arts Circle Infinity Dies and Cut a large circle in Black and went down 2 circle sizes and cute one in the watercolored ivory.

  • Assemble die cut images to the ivory circle and trim access edges. Adhere to black Circle.

  • Place your 1/2" cut black cardstock and align it on your grid placing double sided tape down the center of the strip for foil placement. Place foil down on adhesive tape, and glue the black strip lengthwise about 1 1/2 inches from the left side of your card front.

  • I used foam adhesive under the circle to give it some dimension and off-centered it on the card front.

  • After stamping my sentiment and trimming it down I added it to the center of the circle with some glue.


 

Card #6: Congrats!

I had a lot of fun making this card, and it is the first time I have tried a card front using a diagonal cut. It was much easier than I thought it would be (with the help of my ruler), and I love the contrast between the two sides of the foil with this one.

Assembly Instructions:

  • Cut a piece of black cardstock 4" x 5 1/4" and 1/2" x 8 1/2"

  • Cut a piece of the watercolored ivory 3 3/4" x 5"

  • On the reverse side of the ivory cardstock take a ruler and draw a diagonal line from corner to corner, and cut the paper on the diagonal

  • Take one piece of the ivory cardstock and assemble the die cut pieces the way you would like and adhere them to the cardstock with glue. Once the pieces have dried trim to size.

  • glue the diagonal pieces on the black cardstock

  • Take the 1/2" piece of black cardstock and run a piece of double sided tape down the center of it. Place the foil over the tape, and adhere it down the diagonal line on the card front.

  • Take the card front and place foam tape to adhere it to the card base.

 

Packaging

I searched Pinterest for different ideas on card packaging, and saw some really cool ideas. In the end, however, I chose to be simple and elegant with a boxed set of cards that are visible through the lid, tied off with a ribbon. The packaging came together exactly how I envisioned it would, and was made with 100% recycled packaging, paper, and ribbon that I had lying around my house.

Assembly Instructions:

Stacked with matching ivory envelopes my cards were approximately 1" tall, so my box needed to be at least 1" deep.

  • Cut a piece of heavy card stock 8" x 4 1/2" and score at 1" all the way around.

  • Cut one side of the corner to create a tab

  • Fold your scored lines to create a box, and glue the tabs down inside of the box.

Lid:

  • Cut a piece of acetate 5 1/2" x 6 3/4" and score all the way around at 1/2"

  • Cut one side of the corner to create a tab

  • Fold your scored line to create a box and use double sided tape to adhere to the inside of the of the lid side.

 

Tips & Tricks

  • Use a stamping tool if you have one to stamp your sentiment. It allows you to apply several layers of ink, and gives a clean sentiment.

  • When you are trimming your sentiment line the block up with the edge of your paper cutter (where the blade is) and it will give you an even border.

  • Cut your paper down the length to get more pieces to use for your cards

  • Don't compare yourself to what everyone else is doing! What you are doing is unique to your design and is just as beautiful as everyone else's work!

 

Supplies Used

I challenged myself to use minimal supplies for this card set. It allowed me to really focus on the design of the layout rather than what image was going to be placed on the card. The choice also created a cohesive card set that looks like they all belong to one another. I have listed the supplies below with affiliate links. I make a small commission without a charge to you when you make a purchase after clicking on my link. I have purchased all of the supplies used for this card, and truly appreciate your support when using these links to shop. Thank you so much!

 

Acknowledgements

A quick shout out to the Altenew team, and especially Erum Tanseem! I definitely could not have gotten this far without your patience, advice, constructive criticism, and willingness. Thank you for your time, and always getting back to me when I had a question. Thank you for your honesty when I needed to improve in some areas. I look forward to Chapter 2 with AECP, and working with you all.


Another quick shout out to my husband Terray! Thank you for your non stop support and belief that I am totally capable of achieving this goal and dream in my life. I could not have asked for a better husband, or best friend in life. Thank you for making sure that I have every supply I need to make such incredible cards. Thank you for your assistance in holding lights, fixing camera settings, and telling me when something is crooked! I love you, and could not do this without your constant cheers of "Hoo-Rah" in the background.











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