My “Joy of Stamping” Notebook to the Rescue

I keep a notebook of my original card layout designs. It’s a black composition notebook, so I truly do have a “little black book”. I actually call it my “Joy of Stamping” notebook, as it is basically a cookbook for cards, with very detailed step-by-step recipes for creating all of my original designs. This book is invaluable to me! Designing a card front is very labor intensive, so it’s wonderful to be able to refer to my tried and true designs when I am running short on time. Today is just such an occasion, as I not only need to make, but also mail several different kinds of cards. My “Joy of Stamping” notebook comes to the rescue yet again!

I need to make both a congratulations card and a birthday card, so my layout has to be very versatile. I found just what I was looking for, and with the design recipe in hand, I got right to work.

The layout I chose uses a cover plate, which is one of my favorite time-saving tools. A cover plate is a steel die that creates a design large enough to cover a good portion of a card front, thereby eliminating the need for elaborate embellishments. Since I’m sure you now know exactly what I’m talking about, I’m including a picture of the horizontal stripes cover plate I will be using today:

cover plate die_1

Now you’ve got it, right? Maybe a picture of the design on a card front will help:

cover plate on paper_1

Ah, much better! The cover plate pattern takes up so much space on a card front that, essentially, your project is half done just by using it. This is a wonderful thing when you’re crunched for time.

The congratulations and birthday cards came together quickly, such that I was even able to make a baby card. Take a look at my happy little trio of cards:

trio of cards_1

Simply by changing the color scheme, along with the main focal point image, the sentiment, and another coordinating design element, I was able to create three different cards all with the same basic layout. Now let’s get up close and personal with each card:

completed congrats card_1

First, the congratulations card. I knew that I wanted to use a star as my main focal point, and when you combined that with the horizontal striped cover plate, the colors and the nautical stars and strips theme just fell into place.

completed birthday card #2_1

Next up is the birthday card. My favorite summer color combination is turquoise, orange and yellow, and when you pair those colors with the flip-flops, you end up with a bright, summer birthday card. I even carried the three colors over to the inside sentiment by coloring each line of the sentiment with a different marker.


I think the baby card is my favorite. I love everything about it–the colors, the rubber duckies, and the little yellow hearts everywhere. I’m happy I made the decision to change the layout slightly by adding more duckies, and switching the position of the sentiment and the other design element.

Now it’s time to write these cards out and get them to the post office. Thanks for stopping by today, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars”.