Without further ado here is what I have done to streamline my supplies and maximize my cardmaking. I learned long ago I am a production line kind of girl - I do way better if I can focus on one task and just run with that than changing gears. This is especially true when I am trying to be creative so when I started making cards for Operation Write Home on a regular basis I needed to figure out a production line approach. Cardfronts was what I came up with, I am truly not sure if I made that up or read it somewhere but I like it so am keeping it.
The most efficient cards to make are those where you need to do the least cutting so if you start with an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of cardstock for your base simply cutting it in half lengthwise at the 5 1/2 mark and then folding that in half for a base that is 5 1/2 x 4 1/4. Can I also just say here this is also the size that is most user friendly for finding envelopes - takes a standard A2 - and allows OWH to be able to fit the most in a box to send to the HEROs. You then have a few options for 'decorating' the front for this post I'm only going to address using patterned paper as a 'cardfront'. My cardfronts are patterned paper which has been cut into 6 pieces 5 1/4 x 4 and the left over 1 1/2 inch strip can also be used in either 3 pieces of 1 1/2 x 4 or 2 pieces of 1 1/2 x 5 1/4 each. This allows for a nice margin that shows off the card front just a little more in my opinion. So you only have 2 choices here having the design vertical or horizontal (shown below).
The next photos show how I decide which way to go. Before I start cutting I take my paper and have it facing me (note hubby was across the desk from me taking the photos so you have them many of them from his perspective [or upside down] cause I still have only figured out how to crop and size in photoshop)... I place a card over an upper corner of the full sheet and see which direction gives the most impact for that design - especially when there are words on it as I don't want them all cut in half.
Once I've figured out which way I'm going I trim off a 1 1/2 inch strip from side that I want to cut in half for my long side (5 1/4 inch).
If I want a vertical design I cut with the design facing so I can read it and trim at 8 inches and 4 inches - turn a quarter turn and cut at 5 1/4 inches.
For a horizontal design I have the paper oriented the same as above but make my first cut at 5 1/4 turn a quarter turn and cut at 8 inches and 4 inches.
This is a horizontal cardfront being held on a base. Yeah I most of you know what that looks like but Jay took the photo so I'm using it. Have to keep him happy so he keeps buying the supplies to make the cards you know.
And here are a couple of options for using those 'scraps' and to see finished cards go here. First your 1 1/2 x 4 inch pieces you can use one or 3 across the front of a card depending on your design it will be a horizontal or a vertical.
If you go the 5 1/4 x 1 1/2 route it will look something like the following. With this size piece I prefer to use a single one with a complimentary paper or image/sentiment stamp.
After trimming all my extra patterned paper stash into cardfronts I have them all stored so they are easy to take to a crop. I will admit I am still working on a system that works for the smaller pieces but it will come.
It is fun to watch someone say I have this image but no paper that really works and several of us can now dig into our card fronts and find what is needed. An evening with the girls is fun, relaxing and now even more productive. Oh and because I'm a tad anal about such things this box is now sorted pretty much by color...
I'm going to tackle my other odds and ends of scraps and get them card friendly or out the door they go as I have way too many.