Teacher Appreciation Cards

I haven’t posted or created much lately because it’s been a little crazy around here, so what better way to get back into the swing of things than with 10 cards for our kids’ teachers? I used a bunch of floral stamp sets, and I was given the teachers’ favorite colors which helped guide me in making these cards.

Now even though our son (3) and daughter (5) attend different preschool classes, they have the same 8 teachers. Also, our daughter recently turned 5 and has been going to Kindergarten Enrichment where she has 2 more teachers there.

I will admit that my desk was a hot mess while I was working on all of these, as I was using different papers, stamp sets, and coloring mediums for each one. I’ll try to list everything that I used for each card, but please forgive me if I miss anything!

All of the card bases were created using Neenah Solar White 110 lb cardstock, and each card front was die cut with the largest rectangle from Avery Elle’s Finished Frames. This die measures 4″ x 5.25″, just shy of the standard A2 size, and I just love how those lines add a nice, subtle border! Every card front was also popped up using foam tape – I used 5 strips of tape on each so that there would be plenty of support with no sagging or lumps. Some of the cards were heat embossed and/or watercolored, which did cause the paper to warp a little. By liberally using the foam adhesive, I knew they would flatten out once adhered to sturdy card bases. Every card was stamped on the inside with the large heart from Avery Elle’s Little Minds stamp set. Inside the heart it says, “It takes a big heart to shape little minds” – so true! I used the wilted violet Distress Oxide ink for the inside of the cards – I love how this ink stamps so nicely and solid.

Ok, now on to the individual cards:

These two cards are very similar – the only difference being the sentiment stamped on just one. I used the Timeless Rose from Stampendous & stamped it in Ranger Archival jet black ink onto the smooth side of Distress watercolor paper, precut to A2 size. I used my MISTI to ensure that the stamp was placed in the same spot, as I was creating more than one, but it also allowed me to get nice solid lines by repeat stamping. I watercolored these with some Hampton art dye inks that came in a 4-pack with varying shades of the same color family. I used two of the purples, two of the greens, and one of the blues. I just smooshed each ink pad onto laminated pieces of white cardstock, and used a water brush to pick up the color and paint the images. I stamped the “thanks” from Hero Arts Thanks Stamp & Cut using wilted violet Distress Oxide ink.

These next two cards were stamped using the flowers from Mama Elephant’s Pretty Peonies. I stamped the images in Versamark ink and heat embossed using Hero Arts Ultrafine Clear embossing powder and my heat tool. The blue flowers were stamped on the smooth side of Distress watercolor paper. I used Distress inks (salty ocean, chipped sapphire, crushed olive, mowed lawn) to watercolor the images with my water brush and stamped the sentiment with wilted violet Distress Oxide ink.

With this ink blended card, I stamped onto Neenah Solar White 80 lb cardstock with Versamark ink and then melted the embossing powder with my Wagner heat gun. I used round mini ink blenders to blend the Distress inks (wilted violet, dusty concord, seedless preserves) over the cardstock and embossed flowers. I then spritzed some water droplets onto the image and blotted them dry with a paper towel after about 20 seconds. The water activated the Distress inks and removed some of the color where it sat.

These next two cards were made using Altenew’s Garden Treasure layering stamp set, and I used Altenew dye inks to stamp the flowers (purple flowers: puffy heart, purple wine, cosmic berry; blue flowers: sea glass, ocean waves, desert night) and leaves (frayed leaf, forest glades) onto Neenah Solar White 80 lb cardstock. Altenew’s 4-ink sets make it easy to create depth in these gorgeous images, as each set has coordinating colors ranging from light to dark. The “thanks” sentiment from Hero Arts Thanks Stamp & Cut was stamped in wilted violet and broken china Distress Oxide inks.

These next cards were created by heat embossing onto Strathmore Bristol paper, and then watercoloring with ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers. For the flowers I used Carmine Red, Light Carmine, Pink, Dark Pink. May Green and Light Green were used for the leaves. The faint blue background was created with a light blue from the Hampton Art 4-ink set and a water brush. Again, the sentiments were stamped with broken china Distress Oxide ink.

This beautiful floral image is from Mama Elephant’s Organic Blooms, and I love how the clustered image is on one large stamp, eliminating the need for masking.

This floral cluster image is from Concord & 9th’s Hello Lovely stamp set. The lines are thinner and there are some added splatters, which you can see against the darker colors. Again, I like that this is a large image that doesn’t require masking to build.

This next card was created with Mama Elephant’s Brushed Florals and stamped in Distress Inks (wild honey, fossilized amber, mustard seed, crushed olive, mowed lawn) onto Canson XL watercolor paper. After the flowers and leaves were stamped, I used a water brush to try and blend out the color in each image. I think the ink settled in to the paper too much because it wasn’t as reactive as I had hoped and the blending just wasn’t happening the way I wanted, so I smooshed each color onto a laminated palette and diluted them with my water brush. I was then able to add more color in areas that I didn’t think had blended well, as well as a little beyond each stamped image to add to the watercolor look. I wasn’t trying to get each image completely smooth, so this ended up working out. The “thanks” was stamped in fossilized amber Distress Oxide ink.

And finally, the last card! This flower from Ellen Hutson’s Mondo Magnolia is one of my favorites because of the size and open space that allows for so many coloring mediums to be used. I stamped this in Ranger Archival jet black ink onto the smooth side of Distress watercolor paper. You can see where I wasn’t patient enough to wait for each petal to dry before watercoloring the neighboring petals, and the colors bled out a little. However, it was getting late and I didn’t really mind the messy look it created, so I decided to continue with it. The “thanks” sentiment was stamped with broken china Distress Oxide ink.

Phew! Is anyone even still reading this?? If so, thanks for sticking through all of that! I normally wouldn’t write such a long post, but figured it would be easier than 10 short ones. Anyway, hopefully the teachers liked their cards & know just how much we appreciate all that they do for our little ones!! Our daughter is finishing up her second year of preschool and our son is completing his first, and it’s been wonderful to see how they (and the other kids) have changed and grown.

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