3 Flawless Letterpress Hacks for Exquisite Cards | Perfect Pairings with Jaycee

by Jaycee Gaspar
Letterpress Anniversary Card

Hey there, Altenew friends, it's Jaycee! Welcome back to another edition of Perfect Pairing!

Today, I want to share my secrets with you on how to create beautifully arranged press plates and stunning letterpressed cards. I have three designer tips that will help you achieve perfect impressions every time. So, let's dive in!

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Tip #1: Letterpress Setup

To start, let's prepare our cotton canvas. Grab the Spellbinders Porcelain A2 panel and use the Sticky Mat on the Stampwheel as your mixed media mat. Apply an even wash of ink using the Sugarplums Fresh Dye Ink Set. Personally, I highly recommend the Pale Mauve color from Altenew. Use direct-to-paper inking for full saturation on your panel. While it dries, let's familiarize ourselves with the BetterPress system.

The BetterPress system is key to creating amazing letterpressed cards. Start by setting up your magnetic chase, which holds the Altenew Press Plates. Use three thin shims underneath the chase for perfect alignment. Place the platen, which is what your cotton cardstock sticks to, on top of the chase. I prefer using a tape runner to adhere the cardstock to the platen. Align your dried Pale Mauve panel to the A2 lines on the chase, facing down. Apply two strips of tape runner on the top and bottom of the cardstock's back.

Carefully bring the platen to the four alignment pegs of the chase, making sure to keep the BetterPress wording facing you for clear alignment. Depress the platen to the chase, ensuring that the adhesive on the back of the cardstock meets the platen. Now, we're all set up for letterpress!

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Tip #2: Make a Template

For a flawless arrangement on your card front, use a piece of thin printing-weight paper. Cut it to the same size as your cotton panel. This paper will become your guide. Temporarily adhere this paper to the A2 registration marks on the chase using a tape runner.

Now, you can plan your arrangement. Choose your desired Altenew Press Plates, such as the Billowing Flower Press Plate and the Wild Daisies Press Plate, to create a beautiful floral arch. Pay close attention to the spacing between the plates. With the Love Story Press Plate Set, select numbers and sentiments. To ensure all elements fit on the card front, trace around the press plates on the template. This will help you visualize the arrangement and make adjustments if needed.

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Tip #3: Uniform Inking Techniques

Now, let's ink the press plates. Apply Sugarplums Plum ink to the floral outlines, using a light circular motion followed by gentle taps on the ink pad for uniform saturation. Align the press plate to its respective spot on the template, apply ink, and impress onto the platen. Repeat this process for each press plate, including the numbers and sentiment. Use different ink colors to create contrast and add subtle shadows to the flower petals. You can also add a light spray of ink splatter for a finishing touch. Gently remove the pressed and watercolored panel from the platen, and keep the template for future use.

To complete your letterpressed card, simply adhere the panel to a folded note card base. And voila, your stunning letterpressed card is complete!

I hope you found these designer tips helpful for perfectly arranging press plates and creating exquisite letterpressed cards. With consistency and attention to detail, you'll achieve amazing results every time. Stay tuned for more card making inspiration and tips.

Until next time, happy crafting!

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