Tutorial - Layering

Today's tutorial is brought to us by Allison of Allison's Creations. It's a fantastic demonstration of the power of using contrasting layers to make them pop!



What is layering? People talk about how it makes their cards look more pulled together, makes their cards feel like they are of a better quality (more layers of paper makes the card feel heavier), and makes their images “pop,” but what does it mean exactly? If you come from a scrapbooking background, you may understand the term “matting” better. Layering or matting means to add a slightly larger piece of cardstock behind your patterned paper or image to create a small border, usually 1/8”, 1/4” or 1/2” larger.

Here are some definitions that I found at a website called UK Craft Fairs (http://www.ukcraftfairs.com/guide-to-card-making-1.asp).
Mat: Mounting a layer onto a larger piece of paper or several concentric layers to produce a pleasing effect.
Layering or Matting: Adding a complementary or contrasting layer below your main focal point, cut slightly bigger than the focal point to "frame" it and draw the eye to it.

Now, let’s take a look at several cards that use the same layout and image. The image, sentiment, and digital patterned papers are all from Doodle Pantry (http://www.doodlepantry.com/browse-store.html).





This card has NO layering at all. The cowboy boot paper is cut to 4.25 x 5.5” (standard A2 card size). The strip of paper behind the digital stamp image of Cowboy Birdie is cut to 4.25 x 1.25”. The digital stamp itself is 2.5 x 2.5”, and the sentiment is cut with the smallest die from Spellbinders Nestabilities Long Classic Rectangles Large (approx. 7/8 x 2”).

This card is acceptable but just wait until you see the difference that a little bit of layering can make!




This card is layered with cardstock that coordinates with the background paper.
Here are the dimensions of the yellow cardstock pieces: card base = 4.25 x 5.5” (cowboy boot paper was cut down to 4 x 5.25”), mat for strip behind stamp = 4.25 x 1.5”, mat for digital stamp = 2.75 x 2.75”, and the mat for the sentiment is cut with the smallest die from Spellbinders Nestabilities Long Classic SCALLOPED Rectangles Large so that it is a perfect mat for the sentiment.

While this card has layering, it fades into the background of the cowboy boot paper and doesn’t pop off the card.




This card is layered with cardstock that contrasts with the background paper.
The dimensions are exactly the same as the card with the yellow cardstock, but it looks entirely different! Now everything stands out more – the image, the sentiment and even the patterned papers.

This is the look we are striving for when using layering on our cards.


Thanks so much, Allison, for an awesome tutorial!

Everyone remember, if you would like to do a tutorial, or if you see something that would make a great tutorial for OWH, please email me at kate@operationwritehome.org




Becca Whitham  – (November 15, 2011 at 6:11 AM)  

It really does make a huge difference to use contrasting colors for your mats. I didn't think the blue band of B&T paper even went with this card until the red mat layer went under everything. Love the final card!

Ronni  – (November 15, 2011 at 6:21 AM)  

Allison - what great examples - and a really well thought out and executed tutorial - I admire your work - Thanks for sharing!

Jen  – (November 15, 2011 at 6:41 AM)  

Great tutorial, Allison! Layering makes such a difference!

airbornewife  – (November 15, 2011 at 7:56 AM)  

Great tutorial Allison... I LOVE to use lots of layers on my cards. Thanks for sharing ~ Pam

Sandy Trefger  – (November 15, 2011 at 8:32 AM)  

Great job of explain it Allison! The contrast layers really make the card pop!

Ann  – (November 15, 2011 at 8:55 AM)  

I have recently been doing a lot of layering. What great examples you have Allison. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!

Kris Whittaker  – (November 15, 2011 at 12:16 PM)  

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing with us!

Paula S.  – (November 15, 2011 at 12:45 PM)  

Taken individually each of these cards seem pretty nice but boy once you see the third one with the contrasting layer and how much it makes the whole card "pop" it becomes really evident that a small change can make a BIG difference. Thanks for the great tutorial Allison!

Jan Hunnicutt  – (November 15, 2011 at 2:03 PM)  

Great tutorial Allison! I agree with you about layers on our cards, the layers add so much more visual effect.

It takes just a little more effort to make a nice card a WOW! I think we're all looking for the WOW too (:

Georgia Ehrmann  – (November 15, 2011 at 2:19 PM)  

wonderful tutorial and I love the step by step pictures to show the differences! Well done!

Cindy O  – (November 15, 2011 at 3:32 PM)  

Thanks for the before-and-after examples! To my eye, the red layering picks up the bits of red in the papers and image, and beautifully ties it all together.

BJ  – (November 15, 2011 at 4:59 PM)  

Great tutorial and examples! Thank you Alison!

Jennifer  – (November 15, 2011 at 5:26 PM)  

Wonderful examples of the differnece "matting or layering" make. Usually when I'm not happy with a card it's because I need another layer :)

Aundria B.  – (November 16, 2011 at 11:19 PM)  

Thank you for a wonderful tutorial - I'm still pretty new at this and am learning so much! And it's fun to know that I'm not the only one that talks about my colors "popping"!! :)

Sherry Hickey  – (November 18, 2011 at 3:14 PM)  

Excellent tutorial, Allison! Layering is an important key to a card looking polished & "professional". I love the cute digi & paper you used for your lesson!

Ruby Craft  – (November 21, 2011 at 7:20 PM)  

Excellent tutorial on layering. The way you explain it and show the 3 different cards really illustrate what a difference layering and color selection make. Thanks!

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