Visible Image | ATC Swaps Tutorial

Hi there! Thanks for visiting our blog today! Jane is here today to tell you all about the Visible Image ATC Swaps, and for those of you who are new to making Artist Trading Cards Jane has all the details you need…

Hello, it’s time for my latest design team make for Visible Image! Last month I started up an “official” Visible Image Artist trading card (ATC) swap over in the Facebook group. I pair up participants who create an ATC using the theme given, and then post to each other. It was a great success and everyone voted to continue it as a regular event. If you like trading ATCs I highly recommend you come over to the Facebook group! and join us! So far 53 Visible Image fans worldwide have taken part. Some of the Design Team (including myself) also take part.

ATCs | Visible Image stamps

Above is a selection of the ATCs I have made in the past and below is the swap I made for the first “just be you” swap.

I thought today it might be useful for people who have either never heard of ATCs, or don’t know where to start, to show from start to finish my way of making an ATC. This post might also be useful for future reference. Please bear in mind that this is how I personally approach my ATC making, and there are many different ways of doing so.

The theme for the current swap is “here comes summer”. The swap on Facebook is for one ATC but I always chose to make 4 as I keep one, I send one to my 7 year old crafting granddaughter and I swap one elsewhere.

The first thing I did was to choose which stamp sets I wanted to use for the theme. I decided to work with the Summer Wings butterflies

summer wings stamp set | butterfly stamps | dragonfly | line drawings

and to add some background interest to my ATCs I also chose to use the gorgeous grunge circles stamp from the Butterfly Effect set.

big butterfly stamp | grunge circles | bubbles | stamps | clear | rubber

To make my background I used one of my shaving foam distress re-inker marbled backgrounds. I wanted something really light with lots of white space. There are lots of videos on line if you are not familiar with this really old technique. I first made these with food colouring when I was at primary school! This one was made using Squeezed Lemonade, Salvaged Patina and Kitsch Flamingo re-inkers.

I then cut four 3.5 by 2.5 inch backgrounds from the sheet.

All ATCs need to be this “standard” size.

Many people including me, display them in trading card pockets and if they are not this size they won’t fit.

I stamped the word ‘summer’ from the Summer Wings set using Versafine ink and clear embossed to give a shiny appearance and to add some texture.

ATCs can be created in portrait or landscape form so I decided to make 2 of each. I always like add some background detail so I stamped the grungy circles from the  Butterfly Effect set using the new Salvaged Patina distress ink. I love this new colour and yes you can stamp regular distress inks using Visible Image stamps. Their quality is such that the ink does not bead.  Regular distress ink give a lovely subtle vintage effect which you can see above. If you stamped in an oxide you would get a much more intense effect but that was not was I was looking for.

Next I got out my bag of inky scraps and chose some pieces which co ordinated with the backgrounds.

I stamped out lots of the 3 sizes of butterflies and cut them out.  They are so useful for adding to any project that it’s always a time saver to have some ready to go. I cut off the antennae as I would be re stamping the whole butterfly again on the ATC.

To me what makes an interesting ATC is lots of little details. I often use my sewing machine to sew around the edges but you can also use a “faux” sewing effect with a sewing marking wheel. Just use it against a ruler. I use the metal edge of my ruler.

It leaves holes behind like those from a sewing machine.

You can then use a pen to go over the line and it looks like stitching. Try to not be too neat as it looks much more realistic! I used a gold pen this time but black and silver also looks good.

I added some ink to the edges.

I then played with placement of the butterflies. When designing odd numbers always look better than even, and 3 of something is very pleasing to the eye.

I used 2 large and 1 small for my 3 butterflies. Once I was satisfied with the placement of  the butterflies on each card I stamped them in Versafine ink.

I then adhered the butterflies on top.

To give the cards a good thickness of around 300gsm I back mine with the inside of a Weetabix packet. This is really good quality kraft card and free! Just cut it slightly smaller than the ATC and adhere together.

For finishing details I added a Wink of Stella clear glitter pen to parts of the wings and some of the small circles, and then Glossy Accents on top for real sparkle!

The final touch was to add some co ordinating sequins.

So here are the 4 all together as a group..

Summer ATCs | butterfly stamps | visible image | clear | rubber

and individually

This is the one sent to my Visible Image group swap partner

and one final photo with the products used

Visible Image stamps | ATCs | Distress Inks

I hope this tutorial has been useful. If you have never made an ATC do have a go! They are such fun and a great challenge to design in a small scale. You don’t need tiny stamps either…these 5 below were made using the new large A5 Dragonfly Reflection set… I just used parts of the dragonfly with the words.

dragonfly stamp | clear | rubber | ATCs

I do not blog everything I make so if you would like to check me out on instagram @jane.tyrrell then you won’t miss anything.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thank you so much for your excellent ATC tutorial Jane ♡

We love all of these, so gorgeous and beautiful made!

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You can catch up with them in the videos section and we are live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm BST [20:00 Europe | 11:00 PST | 14:00 EST… a little too early for our Australian and rest of the World followers sorry, but we hope you can watch on catch up!].

We hope you will join in with future ATC swaps in our Facebook group!

We’ll be back here on the blog tomorrow with more fabulous inspiration!

Helen & Mark xx


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