Cardmaking Glossary

This Glossary contains definitions of terms used in crafting, and answers to questions that come up for OWH frequently.



  1. A2 – This is the right size for OWH cards.  An A2 card is a letter-sized sheet of cardstock cut in half, for a finished size of  4.25″ by 5.5″ when folded.  Read more.
  2. Adhesives – A substance used to adhere things together.  Types of adhesive include liquid, tape runners, double sided adhesives, and more.  It is important to choose the right adhesive for your embellishments, and use enough adhesive to securely hold a card together.  Insufficient adhesive (particularly when using glue sticks) is one of the biggest reasons cards end up in the “card hospital” for repairs.   See tutorial.
  3. AnyHero cards – AnyHero cards and letters contain messages TO our heroes.  Letters are distributed to those who rarely get mail, or to those most in need of encouragement the day the box arrives. This is a growing need as PTSD becomes more of an issue; knowing there’s a connection to home, even with a random stranger, can make a world of difference to a deployed hero.  Read more.   AnyHero coloring Pages.
  4. ATG – Adhesive Transfer Gun.  It’s a tool that dispenses double-sided adhesive. An inexpensive ATG can be purchased here, as well as the tape refills. Purchasing in bulk (joining in with friends) makes the tape extremely affordable compared with other adhesives.
  5. Banners, Badges and Blinkies – Banners,  Badges and Blinkies are graphics you can use to decorate your blog sidebar and let people know you support OWH.  See OWH Badges
  6. Blog – A blog (short for weblog) is your own spot on the internet where you can share whatever you like.  Many OWHers have blogs hosted on “Blogger” through Google; the OWH site you are viewing right now is in “WordPress.” Blogger tends to be easier, WordPress tends to be more flexible. A beginner tutorial video on Blogger is here. Our tutorials: 8 Ways to Trick Out Your BlogBlogger Basics IBlogger Basics II.
  7. Blog Hop – A Blog Hop is an online event during which a group of bloggers post links to each other’s posts.  The reader starts at the first post and then hops from post to post using the links provided.  OWH Blog Hops include a featured card type, information about OWH, and inspiring stories of bloggers’ personal experiences.  Blog Hop Posts
  8. Blog Skip – A Blog Skip is like a Blog Hop, but it is limited to a small number of posters who are posting on a theme.  Blog Skip Posts
  9. Board – 1) the governing body of a nonprofit like OWH (see our board) ; 2) groups of “pins” on Pinterest on a topic. (our Pinterest)
  10. Bone Folder – A flat tool used for scoring and folding paper. It can be purchased on its own or comes with a ScorPal or ScorBuddy.
  11. Bow – Tying a cute bow on a card can sometimes be a challenge. The Fork Method
  12. Brayer – A brayer is like a paint roller for ink.  Brayer Basics.
  13. Burnish – Burnish means to rub or smooth.  It’s often used in the context of  using adhesives. It is important to rub or press firmly to set the adhesive and keep the parts from coming apart.
  14. Calendar – Our events calendar lists cardmaking parties and other events being held across the nation.
  15. CAPTCHA – Stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.”  CAPTCHA is available on some blogs as a test to make sure an actual person is posting a comment, and not an automated spam program.  Usually the test is a distorted picture of a word that must be typed by the commenter before the comment will be accepted. OWH requests that CAPTCHA be turned off for the main (first) day of a bloghop to allow people to comment without having to type in extra CAPTCHA characters.
  16. Card Crops and Parties – Card crops and parties are a fun way to share OWH with friends or community members.  People of any number can gather to make cards and write AnyHero letters. Tutorial – Host a Cardmaking Party.  Ten Tips for a Community OWH EventMaking Cards with Kids.
  17. Card Hospital – The card hospital is the place where cards go when they have to be fixed in some way before being ready to go to our heroes.  To keep your cards out of the hospital, check out the Newbie FAQ, download this brochure, read Card Hospital, and  Ten Ways to Avoid the Card Hospital
  18. Cards for Heroes – This was the previous name of Operation Write Home.  Read more about the name change. Video including the topic.
  19. Cardstock – The foundation of our cards, cardstock is thicker than writing paper and comes in a variety of colors and textures.  Cardstock 101 TutorialLight Weight Cardstock
  20. CAS – Abbreviation for Clean and Simple. See tutorial.
  21. CASE – Stands for “Copy and Share Everything.”  The best inspiration for cardmaking comes from admiring other people’s cards. Sometimes also called “scraplifting.”  CASE Explanation and Challenge
  22. CHA – Craft and Hobby Association.  Among other things, CHA hosts an annual conference and  trade show.
  23. Chalk – Chalk is not just for chalkboards or sidewalks anymore.  It can be used to color stamped or digital images, and add depth, detail, or distressing to your cards.  Tutorial
  24. Coloring – Our cardmakers use a variety of mediums for coloring stamped or digital images. Some of these include chalk, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, markers, and copic markers.  Basic Shading Tutorial, Chalk TutorialCustom Embellishing and Coloring TipsTulip Trio Tutorial,
  25. Copic Markers – Copic is a brand of alcohol-based markers that are popular with stampers because they blend easily and come in a wide variety of colors. Basic shading with Copics Video. Copic Coloring Livestream Recording.
  26. Copyrights – Please make certain you have proper permission to use someone’s work of art before using it on your cards.  On Respecting Copyrights
  27. Crimp – A crimper is a tool that operates like a clothes wringer, and wrinkles paper into a corrugated texture.  Crimped Leaves Tutorial
  28. Crop – In photography, crop means to cut away the unwanted part of a photo.  Scrapbookers also use the word crop when cutting or punching pictures for albums.   For this reason, gatherings or parties where people come together to scrap are also called crops.
  29. CS  – Abbreviation for Cardstock.
  30. Design – Creating a beautiful card is more than just sticking images on cardstock. OWH’s Sketch Challenges are great inspiration for design ideas.
  31. Design Bootcamp – A monthly series taught by professional graphic designer Paula. See Bootcamp posts.
  32. Die Cut – An image that has been cut or punched out of paper, chipboard or fabric into a desired shape.  Layering With Your Cricut Machine.
  33. Digi Stamping – Many cardmakers use digital images rather than rubber stamps for their cards. Using Microsoft Word TutorialWhat’s a Digi?
  34. Distressing – Distressing adds an aged or weathered look. There are many distressing techniques, including sanding, sponging, and tearing or roughing edges.  Video tutorialTutorial -Distressing.
  35. DP or DSP – Abbreviation for Designer Paper or Designer Series Paper.
  36. DT – Abbreviation for Design Team. These are crafters who apply for and are accepted as designers for a company; some are paid positions, most include only a nominal product discount. Companies post calls for team members periodically.
  37. DTP – Abbreviation for Direct to Paper, meaning the ink is applied directly to the paper without using a stamp.
  38. Easel cards – Fancy folded cards that stand “up” like an easel. These can be made in various shapes, but be sure you find a panel for heroes to write one! Easel card,  Popup Easel Card, Round Easel Card
  39. Embellishment – Decorative elements added to cards, such as flowers, ribbons, or brads. Please be careful that your embellishments have sufficient adhesive.  Also, avoid “lumpy” cards that might get torn up in delivery. Read about lumpy cards. Watch OWHtv episode about dimension.
  40. Embossing or Dry Embossing – Creating a raised pattern or image on paper by either rubbing with a stylus or using a tool such as a Cuttlebug, Big Kick, or Big Shot.   Debossing is the reverse, where the image is the indented portion.  Embossed Foil TutorialEmbossed Flower Card. Embossed Kiss Technique.
  41. Envelopes – Every card needs one, right? See the Tuck later in this glossary to find out how to tuck cards OWH-style. Note that OWH has gotten a deal for you on envelopes from our partner, Heinrich! See the coupon code on this page and the link to their site.  Handmade envelopes are not acceptable, as the adhesives generally don’t hold up to the handling our cards undergo.
  42. Extreme Card Makeover – A former regular feature of the OWH TV show. (It’s still done, just not called that. Cards aren’t made over when they come to OWH, and that name was causing confusion.) During this segment, Sandy shows three versions of the same card, one very basic, one dressed up a bit, and one “tricked out” with more layers, embellishments, etc.  This segment is meant to give us ideas of how we can add interest to our cards.
  43. Eyelet – A small metal ring, designed to reinforce a hole in paper or fabric.  Eyelets can also be used as a decorative element. Tools are required to “set” eyelets.
  44. Facebook – the best place to get plugged in! While it could take time to get an email response from a busy organization, hundreds of dedicated OWHers visit the Facebook page regularly and offer great advice. Visit Facebook.
  45. Flickr – Flickr is a photo-sharing website.  Cardmakers who do not have blogs of their own can use a site such as Flickr to share photos of their OWH cards, and enter challenges.  Tutorial – Using Flickr
  46. Flyers – Printable flyers for advertising your OWH event.
  47. Fold – The most common way to make an A2 card is to cut an 8-1/2″x11″ piece of cardstock in half and then fold it in half again.  There are several other ways to fold cards or decorative elements for cards.  Dahlia FoldEasel Card, *Gate FoldHeart Doily PocketRecipe Card,  Trifold Shutter CardZig Zag Fold, Pocket Fold,  Stair-Step FoldZ Fold.
  48. Glitter – Do not use glitter on OWH cards.  This is a safety issue for our heroes, because glitter flakes off and gets everywhere and makes our heroes visible to night-vision equipment. Sandy did a crazy fun tutorial and explanation of glitter here.
  49. Guidelines – Everything you need to know about making cards for OWH.  See also  Guidelines BrochureImportant Cardmaking Tips/Requests
  50. Halloween Cards – Please do not use skulls or death imagery on cards for OWH.  Read more.
  51. Heat Embossing – A process in which a quick-melting powder is heated to create a raised design on paper or cardstock.  Heat Embossing TutorialFaux Snake Skin Tutorial, Cracked Glass Tutorial.
  52. Heroes – Our heroes are the reason OWH exists!  Why do we say “Hero” instead of “Soldier?”  The word soldier applies to people in the Army, but OWH sends cards people in all branches of service.  And they are all heroes!
  53. Ink – For stamping, ink comes in a variety of types.  Dye or Classic ink is fast drying for a crisp image. Craft or Pigment ink is thicker and dries more slowly.  Distressing ink has less pigment and is designed to be easily blended and give paper an aged look.
  54. Inlinkz – Inlinkz is an online service OWH uses so our cardmakers can submit links to photos of  their cards for challenges or tutorials.  Tips for Using Inlinkz  (See also Flickr, above)
  55. Light Box -A light box is a tool used for viewing or tracing images OR for placing items inside to photograph. Tutorial to make a light box.
  56. Liners – Often our heroes only have a pencil to write with, so it’s important to put light-colored liners inside cards made with dark cardstock.  If dark cards are sent to our shippers without liners, they will have to visit the Card Hospital.  Read more.
  57. LSS – Local Stamping Store or Local Scrapbooking Store. These are locally owned, as opposed to the big box store chains.
  58. Masking -Using paper to cover a portion of the card and keep it from being inked. Tutorial 1Tutorial 2Tutorial 3.
  59. Multiples – It is fine to make multiple cards (up to 25) with the same design.  The time it becomes a huge problem is with holiday cards.  If you are making our max of 25 holiday cards of the same/similar design, please allow at least eight weeks before the deadline for that holiday to allow the shippers time to divide the cards into multiple shipments.  Otherwise your cards will have to wait to be sent next year.  Read More.
  60. New Cardmakers – Welcome to the OWH family!  Please visit our Welcome page.  Also check the Newbie Q&A and the posts that are tagged Cardmaker TipsPackaging Video.
  61. Origami – Origami is the art of folding paper into different objects. Shirt FoldNecktie Card.
  62. OWH Stamp -We stamp the backs of our cards with the OWH logo, to let our heroes and their family members know the card has come from OWH.  You can request a free OWH stamp to stamp your cards before sending them in. You can also print labels and adhere them to the backs of your cards.  This will save extra work for our shippers.
  63. OWH TV – Sandy hosts weekly tv shows on YouTube. See OWHtv Playlist.
  64. Packing Slip – Please include a packing slip when sending cards to OWH.  This helps our shippers keep records of cards that are received, and lets them know how to contact you to let you know your cards have arrived. Include the total number of cards on the proper place on the packing slip.
  65. Paper Piecing – Using cut shapes of paper to create or enhance a picture.  Tutorial and Challenge
  66. Paper Piercing – Creating a pattern in paper or cardstock with pierced holes.  Tutorial.
  67. Patches – OWH has embroidered patches to sell as a fundraiser.  Read more.
  68. Photographs – A few notes about using photographs on cards. Please limit these, we get tons and our heroes are requesting that we not send so many.
  69. Pinterest – a photo sharing site in which images can be “pinned” for later reference to the site. Visit our Daily Card Shares Board, From our Heroes board, general OWH board.
  70. Poster – An 11×17 poster to print and use for your OWH event.
  71. PP – Abbreviation for Patterned Paper.
  72. Press Coverage – Information for Media personnel and recent coverage of OWH in the media can be found on our Press Page.
  73. Punches -Punches are tools that cut paper into decorative shapes. Punches 101,  Paper Pansies TutorialPaper Punch People TutorialPaper Punch People – Part II.
  74. QR Code – A QR code (Quick Response code) is a two-dimensional code that is readable by smart phones.  QR codes for the OWH web pages can be found here.
  75. Quilling – Creating decorative designs using rolled strips of paper.
  76. Ribbon – Ribbon comes in a variety of textures and widths and is often used as an embellishment on cards.  Some types of ribbon are:  brocade, chiffon, grosgrain, satin, and taffeta.  Ribbon Ruffle TutorialRibbon Tying Tutorial
  77. Scoring – Pressing a groove into paper, usually to make it easier to fold.  Tutorial
  78. ScorBuddy – a ScorPal tool in cardmaker’s size!
  79. ScorPal – A scored plastic board with measurements on it, for creating measured scores in papercrafts.
  80. Seminars – OWH brings you Saturday Seminars on a variety of design principles to improve our card making skills.  Saturday Seminar posts.
  81. Sentiments – The best sentiments for OWH cards include thinking of you/hello, love you, miss you, birthday, thank you, and major holidays. Please do not hand write sentiments in or on your cards. Sentiments about Sentiments
  82. Shippers – Sandy and Kris!  These ladies receive cards from OWH cardmakers, sort them and make sure they are stamped on the backs and ready to go, then put them in boxes and send them to our deployed heroes. Here is a list of the shippers’ addresses.  Here is a video showing how cards are sorted and shipped.
  83. Sketch – A sketch is a suggested design for a card, providing general elements and their placement on a card. Many cardmakers like to keep a sketchbook for inspiration and handy reference.  Using Card Sketches TutorialChallengesSketch Collection, Video Tutorials –  Double Embellishment SketchSimple Circle Sketch
  84. Sneeze – (Bless you!) “Sticker Sneeze” or “Stamp Sneeze” describes cards with random images without design or organization. How to fix a sneeze card.
  85. Stampamajig – A Stampamajig is a tool that allows you to line up your rubber stamps so you can precisely place the image.   Stamplighting Using a Stampamajig
  86. Stickles – Stickles is a paint product with glitter mixed in it.  OWH doesn’t accept cards with glitter on them, but one of our most frequent questions is whether Stickles is ok.  Here’s the answer.
  87. Store-Bought Cards – Please only donate handmade cards for use by our heroes.  Store-bought cards can be used for AnyHero mail.  Read more.
  88. Stump Sandy – A regular feature of the OWHtv show, during this segment, Sandy randomly chooses three designer papers submitted by cardmakers, and combines them on the same card.
  89. The Tuck – Our Heroes don’t always have a place to display their cards, so sometimes they are spread out across a vehicle or bed so people can look through them.  We want to make sure every card has an envelope, so we tuck each card into its envelope by inserting the back of the card into the envelope and letting the front of the card hang out.  See the tuck in a video here.  You can help our shippers by tucking your cards into envelopes before sending them! Download a brochure with step by step instructions here.
  90. Tuesday Tutorial – You can find a list of previous tutorial topics on the THIS  page of the OWH site, or by clicking the Tutorial category on the blog.
  91. Unmounted Stamps – Most rubber stamps are sold already mounted on a wooden base.  Unmounted stamps are meant to be used with an acrylic block.  Tutorial – Cling Mount with Unmounted StampsUn-mounting Rubber Stamps.
  92. Vellum – Semi-translucent paper similar to parchment. Stamping 101 – Vellum
  93. Watermark – In the context of online photographs, a watermark is a statement of the name and/or web address of the creator to let viewers know that the card was created by that person.  Tutorial

If you have any suggestions for additions, please leave a comment below!


1 Comment

  1. Just wanted to share a resource location. There is a great glossary of card design with pictures available for free download from Paper Crafts Magazine with definitions and examples of design concepts (like rule of thirds). The PDF file is able to be downloaded at the link below


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