Make a Slimline with a Standard Background Die

Slimline cards seem to have a new awakening in the crafting world, and companies are starting to make a few slimline dies that we can purchase. For those of us on a budget who might not have a slimline die yet, I wanted to share a way you could “stretch your supplies” and use a standard die instead.

I used those words deliberately. Today, I am showing you how to “stretch” a standard-size background die into a size that will allow you to create this Life is Beautiful Lemons card.

This card was originally created for the Craft Roulette challenge, but, unfortunately, I broke the rules again, so I was not able to submit it. After you watch the tutorial, you can read why I wasn’t able to participate in this week’s challenge.

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As you saw in the video, I was able to take the standard 4ΒΌ” x 5Β½” Stitched Lattice Background Die and use it to create a background for my slimline. This is easy to do when you know how to place your die onto the cutting plates.

When you create your first cut, make sure to stop before you get to the bottom of the die. In the first photo, you can see how the bottom portion of the die hasn’t gone through, yet. I simply moved my plates back towards me before it cut through and removed the die.

To create the bottom half of the slimline background, place the die so that the top portion is above the plates. This prevents any pressure on the die and prevents it from cutting through your paper. You can also use this process to create a border for a scrapbook page using a standard die as I did on my Parade Layout.

After I finished assembling the base of the card, I added a denim hexagon and some floral images that I shaded with SpectrumNoir Metallic markers. I wanted to create a metallic wash on the images, so I watered down the marker pigment on a paint palette and used a watercolor brush to shade the flowers with Silver Ingot and Red Garnet.

As I was shading the remaining portions of the images with watercolor paints, I realized that I had broken the rules. The parameters for this week’s challenge were: Slimline Card, Tasty Treat, Polka Dots, and Yellow+2. I had added a fourth color.

At this point, I decided to continue with the project because I wanted to make sure I finished this tutorial. After all, my goal was to show you how to “stretch” those standard-size background dies and share how I shaded the images with watered down metallic markers.

I could have attempted to make another card to submit for the Craft Roulette challenge, but life took over, and it just didn’t happen. Oh, well. Maybe next time I will try to follow the rules.


I hope that this project inspired you to use your metallic markers in a new way and a “stretch” those background dies into a few slimline cards. If you have any questions about this project or the supplies listed below, feel free to leave a comment.

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here is a list of some supplies I used today (View All My Supplies Here)

Start with a Sketch & Create Some Bird-Day Cards

Each month, our Creative Design Team shares simple project ideas with you that show you ways to use some of the crafty items in your stash. This week, we are focusing on Sketches! Each one of us has chosen a sketch from a Make It From Your Heart how-to book and showing you new ways to use them.

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For my project, I chose to use a card sketch from the new Make it From Your Heart book. This new how-to guide is full of card and layout sketches with cutting guides and project samples. Each of our how-to books are designed to give you a “jumping off point” in the creative process and help you to create beautiful projects of your own.

The bird-day cards I created were inspired by Sketch #30 which is a simple design with three paper strips in the background. As you can see, I was able to take this uncomplicated design and use it to create three adorable birthday cards.

Each of these cards is a little different from the rest. In the MIFYH book, there is an A2 horizontal sample and an A2 vertical sample with playful papers, icons, and sentiments. In my video tutorial, I share how I was inspired by each sample in the book and how it altered it for my designs.

I chose the bright, whimsical Party Time paper and sticker pack for my card collection and paired them with the So Tweet bird images. Aren’t those little birds simply adorable?!

In our idea book, all of the bird images are shaded a lovely yellow color. I chose to mimic this on two of my cards using SpectrumNoir Triblend markers. I used my swatch sheet to match my marker colors to the paper pack, then went right to work shading those little bird images.

On the first card, I chose pink patterns and images to create a card for a little girl. I added some stitching on the side, a few layered tags, and a sticker sentiment.

Her balloon was shaded a lovely pale pink and coral mixture with a splash of shimmer from a shimmer brush. I am still practicing my coloring and shading techniques so I kept my blends simple.

The Party Time paper pack has both pink and blue designs so, naturally, the second card was created with a boy theme in mind. That little chick with the glasses is just too cute dressed up in his little party hat sticker.

This card is a bit more elaborate with a pattern paper background, glitter gel polka-dots, and stitched strips of paper.

After creating the two standard-size cards, I decided to use the sketch to create a slimline design. Instead of using a little yellow chick, I went rogue with a beautiful little bluebird.

That adorable bird was placed onto a scallop tag adorned with Liquid Pearls, then added to a simple card background of pink images and sentiments.

If you would like to see how all three of these cards came together and learn a few tips & tricks, I have a video for you to enjoy. I walk you through how I shaded each of the images with TriBlend markers and share how I altered each of the sketches in the Make It From Your Heart book.

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I hope that today’s project inspired you to take another look at some sketches from the Make It From Your Heart how-to books. Each of the Creative Design Team members will be sharing a sketch with you this week, so make sure that you have subscribed to each of their channels so that you can learn a new way to Start with a Sketch.

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Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. By clicking on those links and making a purchase, you are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.


here is a list of some supplies I used today (View All My Supplies Here)

Father’s Day Crafting Adventures on Craft Roulette

This past week, I had the opportunity to be a Guest Crafter on Craft Roulette, and oh, boy, did I struggle. We got off to a rough start, then I froze when the wheel spun, and partway through, we lost sound. Despite the technical issues and mishaps, I was able to learn a new technique and create an awesome Father’s Day card.

Before I continue with my cardmaking adventure, let me tell you a little more about Craft Roulette. Every Friday night, you can join the creative community as they watch Mary and a special guest crafter create a project based on the parameters set by the craft roulette wheel. Yes, there is a genuine roulette wheel with 96 crafting parameters (331,776 possible combinations) and, once that wheel starts to spin, you never know what might happen.


The minute I woke up Friday, I had a strange feeling that something wasn’t going to go well, and wouldn’t you know it, we had one mishap after another. It all started when Verizon wouldn’t allow me to connect, causing a little domino effect. The show started later than planned and we went right to spinning the wheel. 

Now, I have been on Craft Roulette two other times and the wheel was kind to me, but my intuition told me that tonight was going to be different. The first spin presented me with an easel card which was a project I wasn’t familiar with and MY BRAIN FROZE.

These past few months I have been in a creative slump and this just made me weak in the knees. I may have made an easel card once, long ago, but the cogs in my brain seized up and everything just stopped moving.

Thank goodness for Mary! She did an amazing job explaining how to make a simple easel card. After her demonstration, I started to feel a little better and knew that the other three parameters were simple enough for me to process and handle. I started to work right away at creating a Father’s Day card using the My Dad Rocks stamp set.

Of course, once I started to get comfortable we had another little hiccup. I could no longer hear Mary or her producer Stephen. I must have sounded a silly talking to myself because Mary starting writing me a little note letting me know that they could all hear my little craft room conversation.

Eventually, the sound came back – after we lost the connection – but it wasn’t very good and I could no longer talk with Mary. At this point, my hands were shaking, I kept making stamping mistakes, and I was frustrated with my project.

Despite all the messes and mistakes, the crafting community had such wonderful comments, Mary and Stephen were super supportive, and I learned a brand new technique. I finished my card and was able to see a very unique creation made by Mary. Take a look at all the FUNN we had.


Every time I have an adventure, I process what happened, maybe cry a few tears, and make a mental list of what I have learned. This episode of Craft Roulette gave me an opportunity to try something new.

  • I am now comfortable making a simple easel card and plan on making a few more in the future.
  • After a month of rude comments and mental insecurities, my spirits were lifted by Mary and her creative community as they continued to cheer me on.
  • Despite my human nature to want everything to be flawless, I need to remember what my friend Julie said “Better done than perfect.” Sometimes, you just need to call it finished.
  • A creative slump is an opportunity to let go of expectations and accept new adventures.

Thank you again to everyone to joined us and for all of you who continued to watch through the little hiccups. I hope you were inspired and that you plan on trying something new.

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