Tutorial - Dryer sheets

Special thanks to Nancy, who is sharing this great technique with us today. You can see more of her cards and tutorials over at her website, Scrap Happens.

You are making cards out of . . .what?

So. . . in the past couple of months I have been really stretching my imagination and exercising my creativity. Too bad that doesn't burn as many calories as an exercise class, right? Hmm. . . I was inspired by a few different sources to try stamping on surfaces OTHER than paper. So far, my experimenting has been full of a few interesting results, both good and bad. Here are a few things that are fun to stamp on: ribbon, buttons, fabric, acrylic and baggies. Things that do not work so well: major appliances, the cat, and my husband. . . although the kids rather enjoy it and can have a lot of fun with their custom "tatoos."

But eureka. . .I had ONE thing that worked very well. . . here is a fun NEW thing to try. . stamping on a DRYER SHEET!!! (. . . . huh? . . .) Yes, I know. (. . . cricket noise. . .) I SAID . . . A DRYER SHEET!!! Please, allow me to demonstrate.

Last weekend, my friend Kirsten was making cards with me, and I started stamping on a dryer sheet. I got the whole, raised-eyebrow, "You're stamping on. . . what?" reaction. . . and since then I have really kind of gone wild with it. Here are two DRYER SHEET techniques that I have found that I have just fallen in love with.

First, stamping on the USED dryer sheet. Not only will this make beautiful cards and scrapbooking embelishments, it will also inspire you to DO YOUR LAUNDRY. Bonus! Remove the used dryer sheet from your clean laundry and rather than discarding it, lie it flat and press it for a short while. Cut the dryer sheet and mount it to a piece of cardstock by taping it on the back side of the cardstock. After the dryer sheet is mounted, stamp on it. Be prepared to use a heavy amount of ink to do this, as the dryer sheet soaks up quite a bit of it. The image will be very soft . . . here is an example of a card stamped on a used dryer sheet. A close up shows the soft image very nicely. I distressed the edges using ink as usual and mounted the stamped image to the card with brads. I have also found that a strong adhesive, but not a liquid one, works best when mounting dryer sheets to your cards. Brads or eyelets are also a good idea to give your project an extra bit of staying power.

What a fun, soft image. You almost want to touch it. It is, in fact, a very fun, soft feeling surface that adds a nice touch to a sentimental card.

Here is a tutorial on another method - using a NEW dryer sheet for card projects. I must admit that I love this technique even more. The opportunities here are fantastic - not only does a new dryer sheet give your cards a lovely scent but you can taylor them to the occasion. Imagine a "New Baby" card made on a dryer sheet that is made from a fantastic baby powder smelling dryer sheet . . a spring time boquet of flowers on a floral scented card. . . a purple, lavendar stamp on a lovely lavendar scented card. . .oh, how fun!

I have found that stamping directly on to a new dryer sheet gives a more crisp image than on the used dryer sheet. The ink does mix with the fabric softener, and takes a little while to dry. . . so be prepared. Although neither of these other two example cards show stamping directly onto the new dryer sheet, I did find even another way to use new dryer sheets when making cards. . . check this out!

First, I cut the new dryer sheet so that it folds nicely around a piece of cardstock that measures 4 x 5.25"I have found by suprise, that several brands of dryer sheet already come folded in a 4" size. All I had to do was trim down one edge a bit. And yes - the dryer sheet cut nicely in my paper trimmer.

Next, adhere the dryer sheet to the cardstock by using adhesive on the back. Through trial and error, I found that it does not hurt to mist your paper with a bit of spray adhesive on both sides. Although this is not totally necessary - it does insure that the dryer sheet will not "lift" from the cardstock later on. Glue failure is the bane of my existance! A little extra glue never hurts.
If you use a glue tape that has blue dots like I do, do not use this kind on the front of the card. The blue dots will show through the dryer sheet. It does work nicely on the back though.

After your paper is covered with the dryer sheet, run it through your cuttlebug or other dry embossing type of machine, and emboss it with a pattern. After you do this - you will notice that something magical has happened! The dryer sheet and the paper have been pressed beautifully together and become one solid, pretty smelling piece of paper! Of note, if you use a piece of colored cardstock instead of white, it makes the final piece a soft pastel color. It's fun. . . you can even use patterned paper in the middle for a neat result. Try it!!!

After this step, you can then distress the edges of your dryer sheet paper just as you would any other sheet of paper. You can trim the edges. You can use a border punch. I DID notice that the inside of my embossing folder was left with a fine film of fabric softener. This wiped away easily with a soft cloth.

Embellish your card as you normally would and suprise your sender with this fun, smelly little card. I once tried to make smelly cards by attaching silk flower embelishments to them that were sprayed with scented oils. I called the cards "scentiments" and they were fun - I think that these are even better smelling cards, however. What a suprise! I love it!

I don't know about anybody else, but I can't wait to try this! Thanks, Nancy, for sharing this with us.
Remember, if you have an idea for a tutorial or you would like to share one with us, please email me at kate@operationwritehome.org.

Anonymous –   – (January 25, 2011 at 5:57 AM)  

I have also stamped on CS (the bare tree scene) & then adhered a used dryer sheet over it. Makes it look kind of snowy. Love the idea of embossing the sheet. Am going to have to try that.

Rhonda Miller  – (January 25, 2011 at 8:00 AM)  

Wow, I never would have thought of this, but what a great idea. I love how it looks. TFS.

Susan S  – (January 25, 2011 at 10:07 AM)  

wow...can't wait to try this. Thanks for sharing!

Wendy  – (January 25, 2011 at 11:29 AM)  

My that's a clever thought! Dryer sheets. Who knew? Thanks for sharing!

songbird cindi  – (January 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM)  

Up until now, the only thing I used dryer sheets for was removing the static from cardstock before heat embossing. I can't wait to try these ideas!

Color Cure  – (January 25, 2011 at 3:42 PM)  

Such great ideas! My favorite is the embossing because it seems to be the most error-proof.

What kind of ink worked the best for you?

Nancy Keller  – (January 25, 2011 at 4:07 PM)  

I use Close to My Heart inks! :) Thanks for looking you guys! I hope you had fun with it. I did make my baby cards this week with some soft baby scented sheets, and they turned out to be a big hit. :)

Unknown  – (January 25, 2011 at 6:51 PM)  

I know what I'll be doing this weekend. Trying this.

Seongsook Duncan  – (January 25, 2011 at 10:50 PM)  

Beautiful cards and a great tutorial. Thanks for the inspiration. Will try this technique.

Kajikit  – (January 26, 2011 at 5:37 AM)  

I can only see one problem with using dryer sheets for making cards - they're chock full of chemicals and the cards you make won't be archival, so they won't last for very many years before they fall apart. But if you just want a short-term return they're fine.

Paula S.  – (January 26, 2011 at 8:08 PM)  

I am so glad this got posted here and reminded me that I have to try this. I saw the original post at Nancy's blog and forgot about it already. Nancy, you are always coming up with such creative stuff!! :)

katia  – (January 28, 2011 at 6:36 AM)  

There are some great tips here, i have been meaning to learn how to do this technique for ages, and now i have something to go by. Thanks.

Andrea  – (April 6, 2011 at 10:42 PM)  

neat idea! very earth friendly. love, andrea

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