Sweet Birthday Elephant

Sweet Birthday ElephantThis card is one I went into with a plan, but that ended up not quite how I expected. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Four challenges inspired the making of this card. The layout comes from My Favorite Things. Alphabet Challenge and Tuesday Throwdown both asked for exotic/jungle animals, and CASology requested chevrons. I have also decided to enter this card to Pixie’s Snippets Playground – I used so many snippets in the making of this card that it would be rude not to!

My starting point was the elephant, which is It’s a Party from Itty Bitty by Unity. It’s the only stamp I have that would fall into the exotic or jungle animal category. Plus he’s been a bit neglected recently so I thought it was about time I used him! Initially I stamped him onto a piece of textured card in preparation to colour with coloured pencils. Unfortunately the ink bled, so I had to rethink. I found a snippetย of smooth white card stock that was about that right size and stamped him onto that.

Next I began colouring. The colouring pencils I had to hand are a bit pale – I should have dug out my better ones! I tried layering up the colour but it didn’t make a lot of difference, and it was very difficult to add any shading. I did find it a bit frustrating when I was colouring the elephant himself, but once I’d added colour to all the other components – basing the colour on that of my snippet of chevron patterned paper – I decided that actually I quite like the understated, subtle colours.

When I finished colouring I decided to add a little pompom to the top of the elephant’s party hat. This was mostly because the ink had started bleeding again, and looked particularly bad at that spot. (Perhaps I’d overinked? Not sure why else it would be bleeding so much… I didn’t have that problem when I used this stamp before!) I dug through my collection of pompoms, which I’d conveniently tidied earlier in the day, and found the little sparkly white one that I used. I attached it with a little Tombow Multi Mono Liquid glue and then rested my acrylic block on it for a little while to add weight whilst it dried.

At this point I trimmed the stamped panel down to the size I wanted. (I should have done this before adding the pompom. I did a lot of things in the wrong order on this card!) I wanted to round the corners, as is called for in the sketch, but it took me a little while to work out how. I have ordered a corner chomper and it is awaiting me at my dad’s in England to pick up when we go there in a couple of weeks. As I was considering the best course of action I spotted my wedding ring and decided to use that as a guide for making the corners. I drew around it at each corner, then cut it out with my scissors. It worked surprisingly well!

I was about to start sorting the banners when I realised I wanted to add a sentiment to the blank space in the top rightย corner of the image panel. Again, adding the pompom already came back to bite me. I only have one acrylic block and it’s rather large, so adding a tiny sentiment to a tiny space was very tricky! I managed to stamp the happy birthday (from Altenew’s Super Script), but as I’d put the birthday a bit too far left I wanted to add an exclamation mark. Which of course is the moment that everything went horribly wrong. It kind of squished sideways as I pressed it down, and smudged horribly.

Not wanting to give up after all the effort I’d put in so far I went ahead and restamped the sentiment onto a snippet of the card that I’d cut off from the image panel. I managed to line it up better this second time so didn’t need to add the exclamation mark anyway. I used the same method with drawing around my ring to round the corners on the little sentiment panel, then added a bit of definition to the edges by running it along my silver ink pad. I considered mounting it on foam tape but decided to just add it directly to the image panel with the tape runner, covering up my original, ruined sentiment in the process.

Next I needed to make the banner. This is where I bought in my chevron paper. The soft, muted peachy pink colour is what had inspired the colours I’d chosen for the elephant. I cut a strip of the patterned paper making sure that the chevron showed clearly on it. Cutting the tails of the banner was very simple – I cheated a bit and just cut out the lowest chevron! The snippet I’d used was actually a bit too short so I snipped it in half and adhered the halves onto the back of the image panel with a slight gap between them to give the illusion of it being longer.

I considered using a cream or peach coloured strip to make the second banner but decided on silver as it would tie in the grey shades on the elephant. I cut the banner tails into that, worked out where it needed to be on the card, then used my tape runner to adhere it in place.

Before adhering the image panel I ran around the edges with my silver ink, as I had with the sentiment panel. I should have done it before attaching the chevron banner, but never mind. The line that was left is so subtle it doesn’t really show up in the pictures, but I do think it made a difference and is better for having it. I then adhered the image panel and its attached chevron banner to a white panel using foam tape. The panel was then attached to a white, top-fold cardbase (I probably could have just stuck the whole design directly to that, and skipped the white panel, but never mind!) using my tape runner.

Sweet Birthday Elephant 2I’m actually really happy with how this turned out, surprisingly enough. There were a lot of things that didn’t go to plan, and a number of places that I could improve, but this is definitely a card that I’d be happy to remake. Though of course, I would hopefully learn from my mistakes and approach it slightly differently! I also think it could be really cute to add a little balloon or something that maybe looks like he is holding it in his trunk.


Lady Joyful


24 thoughts on “Sweet Birthday Elephant

      1. Yeah, I enjoy colouring the stamps ๐Ÿ™‚ I just wish I had better pencils! Actually what I really wish is I that I had Copic markers. I’m going to start saving up for some, but it’s hard because the most cost effective way would be to buy multiples at once… You can buy all (358!) in a set (a suitcase full!) for something like ยฃ1500… ๐Ÿ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, it’s a lot of different shades! (As you can see in this picture.) Might take me a long time to save up for it, especially if I keep spending all my money on stamps ๐Ÿ˜‰ It might be more sensible to just buy a smaller set to start with, but it’s hard to know which colours I’d need most.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes they do, they blend amazingly from what I’ve seen. Seems like they’re the go-to pen for a lot of card makers (and artists!) I’ve been watching a lot of card making videos on youtube lately and seeing how they use copics, and I really want to give it a try!


      4. That’s a good idea! I’ll have to do a bit of research ๐Ÿ™‚ Need to work out where best to source them too – seems like there’s a bit of a shortage of them at the moment. The brand’s official shop is sold out! (Or at least, was last time I checked.)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. It would help you choose which ones would get most usage…I tend to choose cards that have cats on (even if they’re not for me-lol) while Mum likes boat/beach scenes..you can choose colours from people’s favourite themes, that sort of thing. Hope you manage to find some : )

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I think your card is completely charming. Your cutting out is so, neat (again!), maybe you don’t need the die cutter?? (Sorry, I really didn’t mean that)! Also, just because I have also had the dilemma of trying to stamp into a confined space – if you have any ink pad or small ink cubes with a clear(ish) lid you can use that. I have even resorted to a small shot glass with a flat base in the past!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s a good idea! Thanks for suggesting it ๐Ÿ™‚ I probably ought to invest in at least one small acrylic block at some point in any case… Glad you think the cutting out is neat! Some days it goes better than others ๐Ÿ™‚ No sign of my die cutter yet – so frustrating! I expect it will be here by the end of the week though ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely card Charlotte! Super elephant and colouring – darling little pom pom too ๐Ÿ™‚ And your layout is great, cleverly pulls the colours together.Have you considered Pro markers, the range is only 92 pens and you can buy the lot, as I did, from Cowling and Wilcox for ยฃ140. Instead of ยฃ230. Could always have them delivered to your Dad’s for when you’re over on holiday. I find that the range is more than ample for my needs, but then I’m no great shakes as an artist.

    Having said that, the Copics range is so much bigger and the shades are more graduated that you might want to wait and save up. Did you know that Mrs A’s (the Butterfly Challenge) daughter is a really talented and qualified Copics tutor? She would be able to advise you I’m sure. This is Faye’s blog, http://www.stampinfluffnstuff.co.uk/p/about-me.html – why not leave her a message, her email addy is there? She may well be able to advise you on the basics to get in the first place and also where you can buy them from.


    Di xx


    1. Glad you like the card, Di! And thank you for the input regarding pens. Pro markers could be a good alternative. I don’t have the money to buy them before we go to England (spent all my fun money getting a die cutting machine!) but I’ll definitely look into them. And I will have a look at Faye’s blog and see about contacting her if I have questions. Thanks again for everything! ๐Ÿ™‚


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