One of the most common requests that we receive is for stamp sets that feature masculine themes.  This has always been tough because when designing sets, I always like to come up with a group of images that I would use myself in my everyday stamping.  I am not usually one to make cards following standard cliches, such as sports or hunting.  Nor are either of these types of sets versatile.  Our new Out on a Limb set fits the bill perfectly though.  Today I thought I would show you that by just changing the colors you use and concentrating on small details, you can end up with a masculine card without using a thematic stamp set.

011308_window_cutI knew that I wanted to create a window card, using vellum to line the opening.  So I picked the size window I wanted to use from Nestabilities collection (from the Small Standard Rectangle set).  I die-cut the window off-center and ran the die & card back through my machine using the embossing sandwich.  It created this simple, classy embossed edge around my window.  I just LOVE the way this looks!

011308_stamped_branch_berriesI traced the opening of the window onto vellum, so I would know what kind of area I had to work with.  I stamped the branch with Burnt Umber Palette Ink, followed by the berry overlay done in Orangerie Palette Ink.

011308_adding_glazeI decided to add some dimension & color to my berries by using my Sakura Glaze Pen (Sepia).  I found that by just "dabbing" the pen tip twice on each berry, I was able to get a nice rounded droplet of the glaze that didn’t go outside the boundaries of the berry.  I actually made sure that the glaze didn’t go all the way to the edge of each berry so that a small amount of the original orange ink would show.

011308_punched_05_inch_holeNext, I knew that I wanted to add some photo corners to my opening.  I decided to make my own from brown cardstock.  For those of you that may not have done this before, you need two nesting square punches.  I used 1/2" & 3/4" punches for my example.  Start by punching the 1/2" square from brown cardstock.

011308_punching_075_inch_squareInvert the 3/4" square punch over your 1/2" hole.  Get it centered and punch!

011308_finished_photo_corners You will end up with a small "frame".  With two quick snips, you will have two photo corners!

011308_sentiment_stripI wanted to add some detail to the sentiment strip I created for this project.  The sentiment reads "Amazing Grace", and it is stamped in the Burnt Umber Palette ink.  You will see me using this particular brown ink often because it is my favorite.  It is a nice dense chocolate brown.  I love how crisply it stamps each and every time!

011308_pencil_marksTo add the detail to my strip, I held the strip up to a light source (like a window, light bulb or light box) and marked the back of the strip as to where either end of the sentiment fell.

011308_scorpalNext I dug out my trusty ol’ Scor-Pal and placed the strip (sentiment side down) onto the surface.  I then scored two lines through the center of the strip, being sure to stop and start again on either end of the pencil marks.

011308_amazing_grace_cardWhen you put all of these elements together this is what you might come up with!  A really simple, masculine card.  When you know your recipient is a male, there are small things you can do to suit the card to him more appropriately.

011308_sraight_lines-Opt for straight lines rather than curvy lines or flourishes.  The straight lines just seem to have less of a feminine look & feel. 

011308_closeup_star -Add a star.  (The copper one I used in today’s project is from Nunn Designs.)  Stars in general lean to a more masculine look.

011308_color -Go for strong, rich colors.  Think autumn and you can never go wrong!

I will be posting some details about our release party later today, so be sure to stop by again soon!


Ink- Burnt Umber & Orangerie Palette Inks

Stamps- Out on a Limb by Papertrey Ink

Paper- Cardstocks from Prism

Other- star charm from Nunn Designs, Glaze Pen from Sukura, square punches from EK Success, Scor-Pal

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Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 36 Comments

  • 1
    Victoria says:

    I love this for so many reasons!It is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! You can really see the versatility in this set! I can’t wait to see the rest.


  • 2
    niccole-k says:

    Another great creation Nichole. I cannot wiat for the big reveal … thanks for all your inspiration …

  • 3
    Barb Schram says:

    Oh, I love this! And the sentiment Amazing Grace is perfect! Thank you for sharing, it is truly inspiring! Barb

  • 4
    Heather J. says:

    What a great idea for the photo corners – love this! Heather

  • 5
    Alli Miles says:

    Love your masculine design and yes you gotta have scor-pal…those lines add the perfect dimension.

  • 6
    Angela says:

    Love the addition of the Sakura Glaze Pen to add a bit of dimension to the berries. The colour scheme is gorgeous and the score lines add great interest to your sentiment strip. Great card as always…love your work!

  • 7
    Bonnie Sharp says:

    Very exciting to finally have a masculine card, that isn’t too masculine! LOL!

  • 8
    janice says:

    wow, can you start traveling from state to state and teaching us? i want a class from you for my birthday!
    this is great and so many details to use on so many other cards, i am a VISUAL girl and you give great pictures and tutorials! thanks so very much!

  • 9

    Wow! This is fantastic! I love the sentiment too! Thanks for all of the helpful hints!

  • 10
    Heidi K says:

    This is wonderful! I love how you did the horizontal lines on the strip! The gel pen added a lot to it too!

  • 11
    Sandy Kay says:

    I say “WOW” again! You’re right that the standard masculine sets are not so versatile. Thanks for showing us how you can make masculine cards with a versatile set! LOVE that sentiment too – what wonderful sets!

  • 12
    Sara Paschal says:

    Love the photo corner idea, and the sentiment stamp is wonderful!

  • 13
    Kim says:

    I always stop by your blog you’re so inspirational AND clever AND so creative, every card is done to such a high standard. It’s great how you share the tutorials so well and clear thanks for your care! Very stunning cards, great sentiments too! Impressed Kim

  • 14
    Melanie Muenchinger says:

    This is the 2nd project in the past week I’ve seen that is enabling me to get the Scor-pal totally guilt free, thanks for sharing! (and glad to see another Sakura glaze pen in use(I have the clear an was waffling on an 8 pack at the art store yesterday, but the lid colors looked kind of odd, wasn’t sure what they’d look like IRL…think I’ll need to go back, I believe they were $10!)

  • 15
    Julie Brooks says:

    I am sooooooooooo EXCITED about that sentiment!!! I’m loving all your projects this week!!! Another great set from Papertrey!!!

  • 16
    Peggy Robinson says:

    Can I be your bestests friend? I love your work, your tutorials a simply wonderful. I love your blog and check it out every day. I am in awe with the way you teach. Thank you, thank you!

  • 17
    Bee says:

    I am so not comfortable yet with masculine cards and I hate sports and hunting stamps (or toolboxes!!LOL), my hubby is in neither anyway!… 😉
    The colors here are gorgeous, and as always your attention to details makes all the difference!

    Now I have a question! 😛 When you cut out a window with your Nestabilities, how do you protect the back of your card from being cut or embossed? Do you just slip 2 or 3 pieces of cardstock inside the card?
    Thank You! 🙂

  • 18
    CherylQuilts says:

    Amazing, Nichole! Just love your work…you are THE BEST! The versatility is amazing…and what a great idea for masculine…without themes! Can’t wait ’til the release of these sets! LOVE PTI…
    Cheryl 😉

  • 19
    Kim Marie says:

    Of all your projects, Nichole, this has GOT to be my very favorite! How really really beautiful! and your step by step makes me think, I can do that! Tremendous!
    Be blessed with amazing grace this week!

  • 20
    Nancy says:

    I completely agree that the usual “themes” for masculine cards can be overdone. The color palette, I believe, is certainly key. I absolutely love your card and the “scoring” touch. I’ve been back & forth on the Scor-Pal and it’s beginning to look even more useful. And I knew nothing of the Sakura pens. It’s that attention to detail that makes your projects special.

  • 21
    Denise says:

    I absolutely ADORE this card. It is fabulous. But at the risk of getting rubber thrown at me, I actually don’t find it very masculine. I showed it to a bunch of male friends who were at my house with hubby and they agreed that it was a nice card. When I asked them if they thought if it was masculine, they said they felt the colors were too bright, the star too shiny. They said it reminded them of Martha Stewart. (I think that is a compliment, myself). They said it looked too classy to be given to a guy. Depending on they type of guy…he-man guy would not find it very masculine, nor would sports-guy. They said lawyer-doctor-upscale-rich-guy might like it. It was hilarious getting these guys views on this card. That being said, I LOVE it. It is so ELEGANT and TASTEFUL! (even if I don’t think I could give it to any of these guys as a card!).

  • 22
    liannallama says:

    oh, I love all your preview cards so far! Outstanding design work and I know I will be getting that sentiment set!

  • 23
  • 24

    WOW! I LOVE THIS! SOOO COOL! so looking outside—er I mean inside the box!

  • 25
    Lisa says:

    This is lovely. I used your card as an inspiration to do this one:

    Thanks for your beautiful stamp sets and ideas!

  • 26

    beautiful card!!! love the sentiment 🙂

  • 27
    KimHolochak says:

    Love this card!!! Where can I purchase the 1/2 square punch??? Thanks Kim

  • 28
    Donelda says:

    Nicole, this is just an amazing card!! I love your tips for making masculine cards!! Great ideas and I guess I use earthy colors and stars all the time so I am well on my way!! Boy, I wish my creative brain thought like yours did…so I could come up with as many amazing projects like you do!!

    Could you let us know if you come up with your ideas right away or if you do lots of trial and error before you come up with the cards you show us (in other words…are you real like us and toss away lots of poor attempts before getting a great card??). Thanks!!


  • 29

    stunning card – love how the glaze pen makes the berries ‘pop’!! definitely need to invest in the Scor-Pal as well!!

  • 30
    diane mcvey says:

    WOW, that is superb!!! Amazingly awesome! Fabulous!!! I love what you did (can you tell??!!). I cannot wait until the 15th!!! You make every month SO FUN! 😀

  • 31
    Conniecrafter says:

    very pretty, love the corners thanks for the how to’s, and love the touch the scoring gave to it too!

  • 32
    Sandy K says:

    I have seen so many beautiful cards from you, but for some reason, this one is now my favorite. I love it!

  • 33
    emily davis says:

    OMG I can’t wait. I just sent you an email a few days ago requesting Amazing Grace be a part of stamp set. DUH… I should have known.

  • 34
    Ruth M says:

    Nichole, that is a great card. You’re a complete genius! I’m in the UK and SU! have just launched here. I had an SU! wish list that included the Photo Corner punch. I was SO disappointed when that punch wasn’t made available to us in the UK. My disappointment has now turned to joy, knowing I can make my own photo corners with square punches I already have! I tried it today and it’s fab. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  • 35

    Love it! And I don’t have any of the square punches, but my square nesties will sure do the trick to make the photo corners! I was needing some ideas for the smallest sizes in the nesties and this is great.

  • 36
    Jozzie says:

    This is one classy looking card! Thanks for the constant inspiration!!!

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