Cardmaking glossary: key terms


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glossary-10395.png Cardmaking Glossary: Key Terms
The ultimate roundup of all your need-to-know terms used in cardmaking and papercraft!

Whether you're just starting out in papercraft or you're an old hand at cardmaking, the terminology used by all of us in the card making world can be a little daunting and confusing at times.

So, we've put together a comprehensive list of all of the key terms and what they mean in our craft, to help make your tutorials easier to read and understand. 
 

Blend

Blend

This technique means exactly what you think - you blend different ink colours with a blending tool to create a seamless ombre effect.

 

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Card blank

Card blank

The basis to every card, a card blank is the main, folded piece of card and supports all other pieces of card decoration, embellishments, toppers and more. 

 

Card front

Card front

This is the front (or top) of the folded card, where you will put all of your decorations. 

 

Concertina fold

Concertina fold

This is also known as a zig-zag fold, accordion fold or z-fold, is a continuous parallel folding in an accordion-like fashion, that has folds alternatively made to the front and back in zig-zag folds.

 

Decoupage

Decoupage

This is the art of decorating objects with paper cut-outs. Decoupage papers are available from most craft stores in a variety of colours and styles.

 

Die-cut

Die-cut     Die-cut

The act of die-cutting refers to a process in which you use a machine to mass-produce cut-out shapes. You can create the same shape, with the exact same dimensions, over and over without using scissors, stencils, or a craft knife. 

 

Digi stamp/digi papers

Digi stamp/digi papers

A digi stamp is an image you can buy (or occasionally download for free). They may also be called digital stamps, or more affectionately 'digis'. Once you've bought your stamp, you can simply print it off and colour it in as you would with a traditional stamped image. Digi papers are PDF designs that you can download, print and use. 

Check out our star sign digi stamp series!

 

Emboss

Emboss

This is the process of creating a raised image or design on your paper, cardstock or other materials. This is process is easily accomplished by placing your paper, cardstock or other media inside an embossing folder and rolling it through an embossing machine.

 

Embossing folder

Embossing folder

Embossing folders are made of hard plastic, which has a front and a back side, with some sort of design on the inside. One side of the folder has the design raised and the other side is depressed, so that when pressed together, the designs fit in to each other, thus leaving the design on your paper.

 

Fussy cut

Fussy cut

Fussy-cutting refers to trimming a motif or image. It could be a silhouette that you trace and cut from solid paper or a motif from a patterned paper. You can fussy-cut from patterned paper with your scissors and craft knife

 

Generation stamping

2nd gen stamping

Generation stamping is a technique wherein a single ink is used to create different shaded images by stamping it multiple times without re-inking. What you need to do in this technique is to ink your stamp well and stamp once to get your first generation image, without reinking, stamp again for your second generation image and so on. It really depends on the ink whether you can go for third and fourth generation images or not. 

 

Heat

Heat

Phrases such as 'add heat to set' or 'add heat to emboss' refer to using a heat tool to set certain embelishments. 

 

Infinity card

Unlike standard cards, infinity cards (also known as 'neverending' cards) have more than one 'front'. You turn over each panel to reveal the next section until it takes you back to the front page. 

Learn how to make infinity cards with our tutorial!

 

Mixed media

Mixed media

Mixed media is quite hard to accurately define, as it is a rather broad term used across many forms of art and craft. However, regarding card making, the term means a piece of artwork in which more than one medium or material has been used.

 

Mountain fold

Mountain fold

The crease is at the top and the paper is folded back on itself. It will form an upside down 'V' shape.

 

Mount/mat

Mount/mat

This is a thin, flat piece of coloured card attached to the card front, which serves as additional decoration.

 

Punch

Punch

Paper-punches come in all shapes and sizes and can create the most magical effects on your cards, from corners to borders, all have their own charm.

 

Score

Score

This involves creating a straight line in your card, either to help create a fold line or as decoration.

 

Smoosh

Smoosh

Smooshing literally means 'to squash, crush, or flatten' – in the case of card making, it involves applying ink to acetate and pressing it onto the card.

 

Stamp

Stamp

Rubber stamping, also called stamping, is a craft in which some type of ink made of dye or pigment is applied to an image or pattern that has been carved, moulded, laser engraved or vulcanized, onto a sheet of rubber. The rubber is often mounted onto a more stable object such as a wood, brick or an acrylic block.

 

Stencilling

Stencilling

Stencilling produces an image or pattern by applying pigment to a surface over an intermediate object with designed gaps in it, which created the pattern or image by only allowing the pigment to reach some parts of the surface.

 

Topper

Topper

A card topper is an embellishment which transforms a plaincard blank into an attractive card.

 

Valley fold

Valley fold

The crease is at the bottom and the paper is folded forward into itself. The paper should form a 'V' when you unfold.


Of course, this is not a completely exhaustive list and we will continue adding terms as more are inevitably added to our crafting vocabulary! Do let us know if you think of any more!

 

You can find most of the card designs above in back issues of Making Cards and Papercraft magazine.