Tutorial: Flocked Business Cards

Welcome to my first tutorial! Please let me know what you think – I hope I’m clear in my instructions, and I tried to take pictures of each step, but I’d love to have suggestions to make the next one better.

As many of you know, I’m just getting my blog and Etsy store up and running. I’ve also been taking a blogging class from Holly Becker, at decor8, and early on she mentioned the importance of having business cards. I knew I wanted something handmade, and something different for my cards. It took a few days, some online browsing and some trips to Hobby Lobby and Michaels for inspiration to strike, and when I came up with an idea I got very excited! 

The preamble: the cards themselves are chipboard. I found a package of chipboard cards and cut them down a bit using my rotary paper-cutter to business card size – 2 x 3 1/2 inches. I played around on my computer until I decided on a font and a layout for the text of my card, and then I sent that as a pdf to my local Staples store. By the time I got there they were ready for me to approve the design, and about 10 minutes later I had a custom stamp. Unfortunately there weren’t many color choices for the stamp I chose, but I was in a hurry to get it done (I was headed out to Art City Austin the next day, wearing one of my creations, and wanted cards handy) so I was just happy to be able to get a custom stamp done the same day. I’m considering ordering a second stamp in another color – maybe a deep purple? 

After all of that, here are the rest of my supplies…

supplies

Supply list:

  • business cards (or cardstock/paper/cardboard cut into vaguely business card size dimensions)
  • flocking in the colors you want to use
  • a glue stamp pad
  • a heat gun, preferably two speed (to activate the glue)
  • stamps in your chosen design (I used the clear stamps and an acrylic block)
  • your custom stamp (or if you have good handwriting you could just write them yourself!)
  • a scrap piece of paper to contain the mess!
  • a surface to allow the cards to dry 

blank-card

Start out with your blank card.

custom-stamp

Position your stamp where you want it and firmly stamp the surface. You’ll probably want to try this a few times to get the placement and pressure right.

card-beginning

Now you have the start of a card! Yay!

stamp

Now it’s time to stamp your image! Press the stamp firmly several times into the glue pad to be sure it is evenly coated. Then position it on the card and press down evenly. Again, this may take a few tries before you get it just right. I suggest trying the next couple of steps several times on a spare card to see what works best.

heat

Now it’s time for the heat gun. Definitely practice this a few times. The glue works best when it is heat activated, but if you’re not careful you’ll just dry it! If your heat gun has a low setting use this, and lightly heat it until it’s tacky – just a couple of seconds. On chipboard it doesn’t seem to get super-tacky, but that may be different on smooth cardstock.

add-flocking

Now it’s time to sprinkle on the flocking! Lightly tap the container to fully cover the stamped image. Don’t worry about using too much – you can recover the leftovers!

leftovers

After you’ve flocked the image pick up the card by a corner not covered in flocking and start gently tapping it. The goal here at first is to be sure every possible sticky bit has lots of fuzz on it. When you feel like everything is well covered tip the card onto your paper and tap it firmly to dislodge extra flocking. After I tapped off most of the extra I turned around so I wasn’t facing my work surface and blew across the card to get rid of the rest of the bits. After you’ve finished flocking with one color (or used everything in the jar!) you can pick up the paper and make a funnel out of it to pour the leftovers back into the bottle. If you’re unsure of your dexterity with this operation you can use a real funnel or pour the contents into a bigger bottle or jar (babyfood jars would work well for this).

stamp-back

Once your fronts are good and dry (allow at least an hour) you can turn them over and do the back if you wish. Here I’ve stamped some large flowers to make a pattern on the back of my cards. If you check out the finished backs below you’ll see that some cards have partial flowers on them. I did this by laying out several cards in a row and stamping across the edges.

business-card-backs1

And here are the finished card backs all laid out to dry! And below, the finished fronts!

card-front

There are lots of options for working with flocking. I’ve also used the double-sticky dots to make random things fuzzy, and you can get sheets of double-sided paper that could be punched out to make double-sided stickers to flock. Business cards, greeting cards, that blank Munny I got last year that I haven’t done anything with yet…the possibilities are endless!

Do you think you might try out a flocking project? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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4 Responses

  1. Hi! I used to play around with flocking when I experimented with stamping, it turned out very “crafty” looking though – you make it look so simple and elegant, those business cards are gorgeous! did you buy the cards or cut them yourself? I keep seeing all these diy business cards when I had been thinking about ordering, but I might try myself now…. thanks!

    • Lynsey, thank you! I found larger cards and cut them down myself with a rotary cutter. If you’re going to go with a “nontraditional” material or size I’d recommend investing in one. I got mine at an office supply store (cheaper than the scrapbooking aisle at the craft store) for about $30. It’s huge and heavy duty and has replaceable blades.

  2. so flocking is like embossing but fuzzy, right? hope you handed out a lot of these puppies at First Thursday!

  3. I did! Not in the way I planned, but that’s OK. Yup, like embossing, except you don’t have to heat set it afterwards. I actually got some embossing powder the other day to try on white cards – I haven’t tried it before, but now that I have a heat gun I’m going for it! Have you done it before?

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