I've had some questions recently about some of the words and abbreviations I use and I thought it might be helpful to share some card making terms. Let's get started!

Helpful Card Making Terms


10 Second Bow Maker – Yes, it's a product I sell. Yes it's amazing. I sell it BECAUSE it's amazing. Here's the back story. I didn't used to be able to tie bows. I couldn't get the loops even, I couldn't get the knots tidy – I was a hot mess. And I thought I was the only one. One day I spent LITERALLY the entire time figuring out how to come up with a contraption that could help me, only me, and the 10 Second Bow Maker was born. I brought it out one day at a class so I wouldn't look like the bow dope and the rest is history. I do sell them now and people love them. And I feel weird that this was the first definition. But it started with a number and that's how the system arranged it. Keep reading.

Aquapainter – This is Stampin' Up!'s name for their handy dandy water brushes used for watercoloring techniques. What makes Aquapainters so great is that there is a hollow barrel attached meaning you can fill it with water and travel with it OR fill it with bleach to wash out color from colored cardstock and then go back in and recolor with other shades. You can also use Aquapainters to paint the new super handsome AquaMAN (Ok, that was a stretch but the dude is hot).

Batch Card – This refers to a card that can be made fairly and quickly in large batches. These cards are great for times when you want to sent a lot of cards in a short period of time, like the holidays or as invitations, OR when you want to have a large number of cards on hand (see “Stash Card” below) to be able to grab, write and send in a flash. I LOVE batch cards and you will see me mention them often.

Block – This refers to the block of wood OR the acrylic block used to mount stamps to give them a “handle”. Stampin' Up! acrylic blocks come in a wide variety of sizes giving you more control over your stamping. When combined with “head” can also be used to describe your spouse or kid when they ask you for something when you are stamping. Hello???

CAS Card/CASE – This stands for “Copy and Share Card/Copy and Share Everything”. If you see a card and there's something you just love about it, go ahead and copy and share what you create! Your card won't be exactly the same and if it turns out to be that close you can always credit the wonderful person who inspired you.

Clear Mount Stamps – These are traditional red rubber stamps backed by the kind of foam used with Photopolymer Stamps (see below) for mounting on and use with clear blocks. The advantage to these is being able to have better placement of your images because you can see the basic shape through the block (see above).

Dimensional Adhesive/Dimensionals – Dimensional adhesive is a sticky foam adhesive, usually in very small shapes or strips, used to adhere your elements to your projects adding some height so as to create, well, dimension! Stampin' Up! has three varieties of dimensional adhesive: Stampin' Dimensionals – hexagons about 3/8″ across; Mini Stampin' Dimensionals – TINY hexagons about 1/4″ across; and Foam Adhesive Strips which are God's gift when making shaker cards.

Dry Embossing – The action of using either an embossing folder or a stencil or mask and stylus to flex and bend paper fibers enough such that they take on a new texture.  This is one of my favorite things to do on a project to add depth and dimension with very little effort and cost.

DSP – For people “in the know” in the world of Stampin' Up! this is our shortcut for talking about the beautiful assortments of Stampin' Up!'s Designer Series Paper.

EP – Embossing Powder (see “Heat Embossing” below)

Fast Fuse – A SUPER sticky – like totally keep it away from your cat! – low profile adhesive tape on a runner. This product is ideal for creating 3-D items as its hold is incredibly strong but it's relative thinness prevents skewing of measurements or edges lining up. This is one item I am NEVER low on!

Faux – This is the French word for “false” or “fake” and that's exactly what it means when I use it. If I talk about a Faux Something Background, it means I am creating something that has the look or feel of that technique or element but isn't as labor or cost intensive. Here's an example of where I created a project using Faux Ombre.

Framelit – Along with Thinlits (see below), Framelits are a stamper's joy! These wafer thin steel dies can be cost effectively produced in any shape to be used with the Sizzix Big Shot by Stampin' Up! to cut out stamped images with just a twirl or two of the handle. Framelits are designed to FRAME a stamped image.

Fussy Cut – This is when you take a pair of sharp scissors like Stampin' Up!'s Paper Snips and carefully cut around a stamped shape. The advent of so many matching Thinlits and Framelits means we don't have to do as much of this as we used to but sometimes it's necessary – and it can be really therapeutic if you have a ton to do and are looking for an excuse to plop down in front of Netflix for a binge!

Heat Embossing – Often the most magical of techniques, Heat Embossing occurs when high heat from a heat tool is directed toward an image that has been stamped in Versamark and sprinkled with embossing powder. After just a few seconds, the embossing powder begins to melt together, creating a beautifully liquid appearing smooth glossy surface. Though you may be mesmerized by watching this happen, don't “overcook” because the gloss will disappear and your paper may scorch!

Masking – This is when you cover up or obstruct a certain part of an image from being stamped. You might want to do this with a post it note when you are trying to get only a portion of a stamp like I did here. Or you might be trying to stamp something to look like it is in front of something else in a vignette or a scene like I did here.

Monochromatic – Technically meaning containing or using only one color, this easy technique has you using one color or a few shades of one color to create a beautiful, soothing, elegant looking project. The fact that Stampin' Up! works so hard to ensure that their products all across the board from card stock to ink to ribbons to buttons and more coordinate so beautifully, creating a monochromatic look is easy!

One Sheet Wonder – While you could use this to describe a $10,000.00 bill (do they even have those?) in the stamping world this describes taking a single sheet of card stock, stamping all over it and then cutting it up into specific shapes and sizes to create an assortment of projects. You can see the last one I created here.

Photopolymer Stamps – Stamps that are completely clear and made from – you guessed it! – photopolymer. In the past ten or so years, huge advances were made in how photopolymer images were produced, finally getting to the point where Stampin' Up! felt comfortable enough with the quality to offer certain sets in photopolymer to their fans. You will notice that images for which being able to see through them in order to line them up or create layered looks are most executed in photopolymer. Here's an AWESOME tip! While photopolymer does stain, especially with any colors containing red, they can only absorb so much ink to stain. So when you get your new photopolymer stamps, ink them up in the palest color you own and stamp off a couple of times. Clean as usual and when you do use them with your whole rainbow of shades, you will notice those “prestained” stamps will stain far less than the others.

Punchies – The objects left when you punch or cut a shape from card stock. These often disappear under your desk or worktable. My suggestion, especially when making very small shapes, is to lay down a sheet of Stampin' Up! grid paper and punch over that.

Ribbon Scissors – So in our house we have a rule – use Mom's ribbon scissors for anything other than ribbon and she starts lopping off digits!  You know I don't really mean that BUT when/if you establish your OWN “Ribbon Scissors” you might just start to feel the same way! Did you know that paper is one of the items that dulls a sharp edge the fastest? And you know you need the sharpest, cleanest cuts with ribbon so you don't get jagged cuts and fraying. So I have a pair of scissors with a length of ribbon tied to the handle and they are used to cut NOTHING but ribbons and trims. I haven't had to replace them in years and they are still super sharp and give me the best cuts ever. They are totally worth the investment!

SAB  – Demo-speak for Sale-A-Bration, the annual Stampin' Up! three month long event where you get a free item for every $50.00 you spend. The most fun you can have with your stamps on, shopping-wise.

Scoring – The act of using a stylus to bend the fibers of paper to facilitate folding OR to create a pattern as a design element. You can do this with your paper trimmer and a scoring blade quite easily.

Shaker Card – A card that has a window, usually made from an acetate sheet, popped out from the card using Dimensional Adhesive (see above) in order to contain tiny beads, punchies (see above), sequins or other tiny objects for a snow globe effect. These are much easier to make than they appear!

SNAIL – Stampin' Up!'s standard adhesive, this stands for “Simple, Neat, Affordable, In Line”. In other words, it's a fabulously strong, easy to use, refillable tape runner and it's another thing I keep a huge stash of on hand because it's truly so awesome.

Stash Cards – Cards you have on hand for those “need a card right NOW” moments. Often the result of making extra cards when in a card making sesh or leftovers from a Batch Card (see above) frenzy, these are fantastic to have on hand because you will always look like a rock star when you can whip out a handmade card at a moment's notice!

Thinlits – along with Framelits (see above) these are wafer thin steel dies that cute intricate shapes, even words. When used with the Big Shot Die Brush – a must have for me anway! – these incredibly detailed die cuts can be cut out and gently rolled with the brush to create the most gorgeous details on your projects.

Two Step Stamping – when you stamp one stamp in one color and another stamp in a different color or shade directly over it to create a beautifully detailed image. Lately Stampin' Up! has been introducing stamp sets with three or even four stamps intended to be layered and the results are nothing short of stunning!

Wood Mount Stamps – These are your good old red rubber stamps still mounted on wood blocks. The classics never go out of style and neither will these!

Hopefully this (rather long!) list will help you learn some card making terms that can help you decipher what we are all saying in our posts and articles. That said, if there are any card making terms I didn't cover here and you would like to learn more, comment below or email me at Meg@ITeachStampin.com and I will answer right here on the blog!










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