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Cardmaking Glossary

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



  1. A2 – This is the standard size for US-based 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.  The term was coined by OWH but is in wide use by those who send care packages now, too.
  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 a company or cause.
  6. Blog – A blog (short for weblog) is your own spot on the internet where you can share whatever you like.  Many crafters 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.
  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.
  9. Board – 1) the governing body of a nonprofit like OWH; 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 scoring board.
  11. Bow – Tying a cute bow on a card can sometimes be a challenge. See 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. 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.
  15. 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 their final destinations.
  16. Cards for Heroes – This was the previous name of Operation Write Home.
  17. 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
  18. CAS – Abbreviation for Clean and Simple. See tutorial.
  19. 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
  20. CHA – Craft and Hobby Association.  Among other things, CHA hosts an annual conference and  trade show.
  21. 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
  22. Coloring Mediums – 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, See our founder’s YouTube channel playlists for Copics (beginner, intermediate, advanced) as well as Pencil and Watercolor.
  23. 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.
  24. Copyrights – Please make certain you have proper permission to use someone’s work of art before using it on your cards.  On Respecting Copyrights
  25. Crimp – A crimper is a tool that operates like a clothes wringer, and wrinkles paper into a corrugated texture.  Crimped Leaves Tutorial
  26. 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.
  27. CS  – Abbreviation for Cardstock.
  28. Design – Creating a beautiful card is more than just sticking images on cardstock. OWH’s Sketches are great inspiration for design ideas.
  29. Design Bootcamp – A series taught by professional graphic designer Paula. See Bootcamp posts.
  30. 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.
  31. Digi Stamping – Many cardmakers use digital images rather than rubber stamps for their cards. Using Microsoft Word TutorialWhat’s a Digi?
  32. Distressing – Distressing adds an aged or weathered look. There are many distressing techniques, including sanding, sponging, and tearing or roughing edges.  Video tutorialTutorial -Distressing.
  33. DP or DSP – Abbreviation for Designer Paper or Designer Series Paper.
  34. 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.
  35. DTP – Abbreviation for Direct to Paper, meaning the ink is applied directly to the paper without using a stamp.
  36. 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 to write on! Easel card,  Popup Easel Card, Round Easel Card
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Envelopes – Every card needs one, right? Handmade envelopes are not great, as the adhesives generally don’t hold up to the handling our cards undergo.
  40. Extreme Card Makeover – A former regular feature of the OWH TV show. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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
  43. 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.
  44. Glitter – Do not use glitter on cards sent to service personnel on the battlefield.  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.
  45. Halloween Cards – Please do not use skulls or death imagery on cards for heroes.  Read more.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. Liners – It’s important to put light-colored liners inside cards made with dark cardstock.
  50. LSS – Local Stamping Store or Local Scrapbooking Store. These are locally owned, as opposed to the big box store chains.
  51. Masking -Using paper to cover a portion of the card and keep it from being inked. Tutorial 1Tutorial 2Tutorial 3.
  52. Origami – Origami is the art of folding paper into different objects. Shirt FoldNecktie Card.
  53. Paper Piecing – Using cut shapes of paper to create or enhance a picture.  Tutorial and Challenge
  54. Paper Piercing – Creating a pattern in paper or cardstock with pierced holes.  Tutorial.
  55. Pinterest – a photo sharing site in which images can be “pinned” for later reference to the site.
  56. PP – Abbreviation for Patterned Paper.
  57. Punches -Punches are tools that cut paper into decorative shapes. Punches 101,  Paper Pansies TutorialPaper Punch People TutorialPaper Punch People – Part II.
  58. 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.
  59. Quilling – Creating decorative designs using rolled strips of paper.
  60. 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
  61. Scoring – Pressing a groove into paper, usually to make it easier to fold.  Tutorial
  62. ScorBuddy – a ScorPal tool in cardmaker’s size!
  63. ScorPal – A scored plastic board with measurements on it, for creating measured scores in papercrafts.
  64. 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
  65. Sneeze – (Bless you!) “Sticker Sneeze” or “Stamp Sneeze” describes cards with random images without design or organization. How to fix a sneeze card.
  66. 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
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. Vellum – Semi-translucent paper similar to parchment. Stamping 101 – Vellum
  70. 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



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