Thursday, March 27, 2014

3rd Times a Charm

      It's Spring time and swaps are turning and churning. I just mailed out a few swaps the other day. A "Down the Rabbit Hole" swap I found on a blog in my search for fairy gardens. The other two being over at the Yahoo Art Charms Group. One was the monthly color palette swap. The other was a Gift Card Charm swap. Truly a swap that pushed my limits.

     I had it all lined up and my gift cards collected, die cut them on my Big Shot (steel rule dies only- not the wafers)  I had die cut them and was letting the inspiration strike me. Well I went to file and drill and found my poor die cuts of less than desirable state. The anatomy of a gift card has evolved over the last few years and some of these were from a few years ago or more.  From my years at the printshop I learned a few things about giftcards, room keys, loyalty cards, etc. They are constructed in few ways- basically whatever/however it's printed and and an additional layer of something laminated, anymore I think they are printed right on the plastic! Some are thin, some are thick and quality can and will vary in any and all of these factors.  Well needless to say I ended up ditching my first and second attempts. They were older cards and just not jiving with what I had in mind. My favorite though- I had one that was a Starbuck's card and loved how it die cut so I sought out some additional ones and this is what I came up with.  Just a reminder my camera battery charger is still MIA so this are phone photos taken in a window... lol (although the hubby seems to think it's in a box in the garage)



     My tips for die cutting gift cards, it needs to be a steel rule die- meaning the thicker dies- not the wafer thin dies like QuickKuts/Lifestyle dies, or Sizzlets, but steel rule. Then put the gift card face down (or whatever you want to be the front) on your die- it will allow the front to look neater and any puckering or slight creasing of the plastic will be limited to the backside. For the most part. I still took my files (I have the Basic Grey set from the scrapbooking section) and cleaned up any burrs and lessened any pointy parts that might poke someone. Filing just finishes the charms off. Makes it look better and eliminates any potential injury from sharp pointy edges.  I did not use adhesive on these- the wire held the layers together just fine. I then used some copper wire to wire wrap and make a loop. Making the thick wrapping was awkward as I am used to a nice and tidy eye loop and wrap. I then added a pretty bead and Ta-Da!  I also added a jumpring per the requirements of the swap, I just didn't locate them until after the photo. I can't wait to get these back and see what others have made. 
   So there you have it. Gift Card art charms.  Fun and pretty. 

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