It's about that time of year when I feel the need to create in multiples. The holidays that happen in fall and winter lend them selves perfectly to wanting to send special greetings or treats to friends and loved ones. And since we are paper crafters and card makers, our friends and loved ones expect nothing less than a hand made card or tag, right? I have little mass production Halloween tag project to share with you today that I hope will help you along your way with your next mass production project. The tips I have to share work not only for a Halloween project, but can be translated to any type of project when you decide that many, instead of one or a few, is the goal.
*I added specific tips separately so you can easily pick them out and use them when you do your next mass production project
I know that some people like to create a sort of prototype when getting ready to do a mass production project and that's a great way to start. I have done that in the past, but usually I kind of fly by the seat of my pants. I do have an idea in my head, but it definitely evolves as things get going.
I knew that I wanted to use the Autumn Pumpkins along with the faces with the Pumpkin Expressions set for stamped jack-o-lanterns. When you know you are going to stamp multiple images, why not stamp more than one image at once? I used a MISTI to stamp my pumpkins 3 at a time, but you can definitely set up multiple images on a larger acrylic block too.
*stamp multiple images at one time to speed up the process by putting them on the same acrylic block or use a tool like a MISTI
This next idea was something I had seen online and had to try it out for myself to see how it worked. When you stamp multiple images at the same time, you should be able to die cut them out at the same time too, right? With a little help with some Press 'N' Seal, you can hold the dies in the same position (I used the coordinating Autumn Pumpkins dies) and line them up easily on the images that you stamped together. I wouldn't say this was a snap to do, but once I got in a rhythm I definitely was die cutting out the pumpkin images more quickly.
*Use Press 'N' Seal wrap to hold dies together to die cut out stamped images that were stamped together
There's nothing better than a whole little pile of stamped and die cut images!
The tag that I used for this project is part of the Make it Market: Tinsel & Tags kit that is no longer available, but you can easily substitute a circle die cut or any other tag that you have. Since I have just one die, it took me a bit to die cut out what I needed. But, doing it all at one time really saved me some time in the long run.
*Die cut the pieces that you need for your project all at the same time
Next up was adding a sentiment to my tag. There isn't a lot of space on the tag with the die cut pumpkin piece that I am adding to it and I didn't want to add another die cut piece. I got creative and decided to curve the "trick or treat" sentiment on the block to use on the edge of the tag. I stamped the sentiment onto each of the tags with True Black ink.
*Think out of the box for quick and easy ways to add sentiments to your projects
Just because you are mass producing, doesn't mean you have to leave out extra details that you love to do. It depends on how quickly you want to complete your project and the look that you are going for. I wanted to add an eyelet to the tag hole and so I pulled out my tools and some silver eyelets and did all of the tags at once. Keeping your tools organized and ready to go will keep your process moving smoothly so you are not spending extra time hunting for what you need. I have a little basket that holds my eyelet setting tools, mats, and eyelets so I can just grab it when I need to. I do the same for embossing tools and supplies as well.
*Keep your supplies and tools organized so they are easy to find when you want to use them (this might seem like a simple/obvious tip, but it makes such a difference!)
To embellish the tags, I did some glitter stars on each one. This wasn't a super quick step either, but I die cut the stars all at once, glittered them, and then added three to each tag. I laid everything out so that I could make sure I didn't miss adding stars to each tag. Plus they look so much fun all laid out like that, don't you think? I laid out the star on each one and then went back and stuck them down.
*Lay out your projects to make sure that you don't miss adding the details to them
And finally, I added some twine to the tags so they are ready to go to add to Halloween gifts and treats. After I determined the length I needed, I cut all of the lengths and then attached them to the tags. Don't they look great all together?
I asked members of the Papertrey Forum to share their own tips and tricks for mass production and here are a few tips from that thread:
*I have to have it all planned out before I start mass producing. I like to "prototype" a card (I always laugh at myself when I think that, because it sounds so scientific!) before making more. One thing I find very helpful is to use small snack size baggies for all my die cutting. I've gotten Betsy's MIM holiday kits the last two years and those have been full of small pieces to die cut. I will do a big die cutting session, leaving them all on the table as I'm doing it, then separate them out in baggies so that they're organized. I also like to make more than I'll need, because inevitably I'll mess up some of the cards with inky smudges or something else, so this way I end up with enough, and some extra in case I need them. Finally, I like to have a container I put everything back into so all my supplies are organized in one spot. (from wendifful)
*I make a prototype, and it usually isn't very complicated. Usually I use my DIY stamping tool made from a DVD case or my 12 x 12 misti. Then, and this is key for me, I play a podcast or a book on tape to keep my brain somewhat occupied so I don't wander off with new ideas. (from Ohhh Snap)
*One tip I just figured out the other day is to use a silverware tray (just a cheap plastic one) to organize die cuts. Lots of different sections! (from bsktcse)
*I stack my die cuts in groups of 10 as I cut so I can tell quickly how many more I need to do. (from ginaegg)
*I stack mine in tens also so I can tell how many I have. I have trays that I use, but my trays are half-sheet cake pans. I can stack them and set them aside if I need to do something else midstream. (from uncbballfan)
*I just made 45 Rosh Hashanah cards. From start to finish and mailing it was 2 weeks, about 1 1/2 hours after work some evenings and then at least that on the weekends.
I make a sample card first and then do measurements and then write it all down. I do 50 percent of each step at a time, so I had 2 dozen cards completed at once and then started the next bunch and when I needed a break I wrote and addressed the first half. They went in the mail in 3 bunches. (from merryf)
*I too make a prototype. I will write out measurements on a post it note for reference. I will then do all of my die cutting (which is also,separated out in baggies). Then I will do things like glittering all at once, coloring, cutting twine, etc. (from LSN)
These are great tips and I what I have shared today along with these ideas will help you along on your next mass production project. If you have any tips or tricks to share, please add them in the comments!
Thanks so much for stopping by today and happy mass production stamping!
all supplies from Papertrey Ink unless noted
Trick or Treat Tags
stamps: Autumn Pumpkins, Pumpkin Expressions
ink: True Black, Orange Zest, Canyon Clay, Olive Twist
cardstock: white, kraft
other: Autumn Pumpkin dies, tag die (from MIM: Tinsel & Tags), Dangled Stars die, Rustic Jute button twine, white gold glitter (Martha Stewart), silver eyelets (Recollections)