Thursday, September 3, 2009

Naked or Dressed Chipboard is the Best

Do you remember the first time you every saw chipboard? It was probably square or rectangle or, if you were lucky, round. It was this thick (relative to what we were using at the time), brown stuff that prior to having someone tell you that you could use it in your scrapbooks you only found in men's dress shirt packaging. Within just a few months it became the thing to be using on your layouts. Today it's a staple and it's so much more than squares, rectangles and circles. Now you find it in black, white and brown. It's any and every shape you can think of. It's been embossed and laser cut for fantastic detail. I love chipboard, it is one of the most versatile embellishments out there. I think I like it because it is totally customizable for your layout and customizing it is easy. Can you believe there are folks out there that actually avoid "naked" chipboard (chipboard that is waiting for you to "dress" it) and I've read that some scrappers actually toss it in the trash when they get it in kits they buy. When I read that on a board, my first thought was "Why?!" Chipboard is the best stuff. The quickest way to customize plain chipboard is to paint it with acrylic paints, use stamp pads or markers. Left alone you have a nice matte finish. Add a little Diamond Glaze to the dried piece and you have a glossy, epoxy-like look (I use this affect most often.) You can cover the pieces with paper -- also a quick way unless the piece is more than just a basic shape and it'll take just a little more to cover the piece. If you want to cover a more intricate piece simply trace an outline of the chipboard on the paper you want to use, adhere the paper to the chipboard and using an emery board draw the board down over the edges of the chipboard to shave off the excess. If you're handy with a craft knife -- which I am sooo not -- this is the easiest way. Depending on how much "buffing" you do, you can get a more distressed edge on the piece. I love this affect. If you like living on the edge, try leaving the chipboard naked. You can apply stickers, rub-ons and bling to add even more dimension to dressed and naked chipboard. Speaking of dimension, if you like flatter layouts, most chipboard these days is thin and when simply painted or paper-covered you add very little bulk to your layouts. See perfect! I didn't even mention chipboard albums. Totally blank slates for creating great mini books about whatever your heart desires. Check out what Maria Swiatkowski did recycling some of her chipboard. Because Maria went "green" with her creation, she was able to bind it herself. She used a Bind-It-All, but paper rings and ribbon would also work. Mini chipboard albums are a wonderful way to use up all sorts of scraps. So, if you're a tosser-of-chipboard . . . STOP! Stop the madness and rethink the ways you can customize and use this extremely versatile staple. If you need inspiration I encourage you to check out Maya Road's Gallery. Maya Road makes a lot of chipboard and their designers do amazing things with it. Another place that's all about chipboard is Magistical Memories. One of our sous chefs, Kristi Bergin-Smith, is also a designer over there. I've come to enjoy how she has utilized their chipboard on her layouts and projects. You can check out Kristi's blog to see her work, or go to Magistical Memories' Designers' Gallery (click on the smaller box next to each designer's bio to see their work.) I'd say if you want to stock up on chipboard, watch for a Blue Plate Special that's all about the perfect, customizable embellishment ;) Photobucket

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