Modus Operandi: DIY Masks & Chipboard Elements

modus operandi - every tuesday

Squeaking in with minutes remaining this Tuesday, but still under the deadline! This week, I want to remind you not to be limited by the items in your stash or found in the wondrous aisles of scrapbooking goodies at your local craft store. Sometimes you don’t have the just-right thing on hand or maybe it doesn’t exist at all. There are plenty of elements you can make to suit your own purposes, in terms of style and size.

Don’t have an appropriate mask for the task at hand? Make your own using blue painter’s tape or any other material that can be removed or repositioned. I wanted to paint one of the pages in my journal black and have the word “believe” show up as the original paper color. Using painter’s tape made this effect so very easy, I know I’ll try it again with more complicated designs:

DIY mask suppliesMask of the letter V (detail)Before & After

Similarly, chipboard elements are one of those things I always see in the craft and scrapbooking stores, but I don’t have many in my stash and their uniformity doesn’t always work for my designs.* For the book cover below, I drew out the letters freehand (but you could always print designs from your computer, too) and cut them out on thin cardboard with an X-acto knife.

Close up cover shot of my handmade book

Obviously the mass-produced elements still have their place. If you’re looking for one-inch san serif chipboard letters, it’s much easier and quicker to shell out the dosh and use what’s available at your craft store. However, if your idea requires three-inch wiggly letters, don’t settle for less, don’t compromise—you can make it yourself!

Special bonus:  If you’re particularly skilled with a blade, you can make a chipboard element and a stencil (the reverse of the chipboard shape) all in one go!

  • Do you use this technique yourself or something similar? Leave a comment below!
  • Have an idea for a future modus operandi feature? Want to know how I achieved a certain effect or what I used to make a project? Leave a comment below or e-mail me at miscellanea (dot) arts (at) gmail (dot) com!
  • Stop back next week for another of miscellanea’s modus operandi!

* Having said all this about chipboard, I’m really excited by the possibilities of Tim Holtz‘s grungeboard. Promise to say something about it here when I finally get my hands on some!

Thanks for reading!

Published in modus operandi on Tuesday, June 24, 2008
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