Sunday, February 26, 2006

Collecting Stickers

By Christina VanGinkel

Stickers are a great way to embellish and add that something extra to your next scrapbook layout, card, or paper craft of your own choosing. For the longest time, I resisted using stickers, as I always felt that they were a bit on the cheesy side, if I may say so, but then something surprising happened. Those who make stickers must have realized that there were people like me, who would love to have the convenience of stickers, when creating a layout or card, but wanted something more than your basic designs and the same old sayings repeated in the same boring fonts. What they have come up with in the last few years, is almost a complete hobby all in itself! Well, considering there are clubs and stores specifically for the sale and collecting of stickers, I would actually have to say that it is. Collecting stickers is a fun hobby for people of all ages.

There are now stickers in just about any imaginable theme you could ever think up, from floral, animal, vehicle, people, alphabets, sayings, bugs, and sports, to all sorts of very specific ones, such as John Deere, to NASCAR, to NFL, to Holly Hobby. If you can name an item, you can probably find a sticker to match. With the advances in machines such as the Wishblade or the CraftROBO, you can make your own if you cannot find what you are looking for. Simply design a logo or picture on your computer in any graphics program, print it to sticker-backed paper on your computer printer through their software programs, manually tracing the outline of the image inside of the Wishblade or CraftROBO program first. Once it is printed, you run it back through the cutting machine itself, the Wishblade or the CraftROBO, and with the aid of a mechanical eye and registration marks printed at the same time you printed the logo or design, the cutter knows where to cut.

If you are looking for something even more detailed than these are, there are stickers available that are finished in different textures. Flocked snowflakes and snowmen are always tops on my list of dimensional feeling stickers, and Diamond Dust stickers that bring a glittery theme to whatever project you incorporate them into. My favorite stickers I ever came across were actually balloons made of vinyl, filled with confetti, and real string tails. Three dimensional, I used them to create invitations to a birthday party I was hosting.

Take a bit of warning to heed though, that once you start collecting stickers, it is difficult to know when to stop. There are always stickers that will garner your attention for one reason or another. However, if you suddenly find yourself in the midst of lots of stickers, keep in mind that there are clubs specifically for trading stickers. These can be great for those times you see a sheet of stickers that you like, but you really only want a few of the actual stickers on it. You use which ones you want, and trade the others to someone who has a use for them for some they ended up with in the same manner. Trading stickers is a bit like trading collectible cards, but a lot more fun, as there never really is a monetary issue involved after the actual purchase, just the fun of the trades!

Trading stickers at crops is another fun way to trade off those you do not need, for a few you think you might. There are even folders with clear inserts that a lot of scrapbook enthusiasts use for storing stickers and making the trading of them easier. By keeping them stored in a binder with inserts made for storage of small items, others can quickly look through what you have available, and you can do the same with theirs. This keeps everything neat and orderly, and less chance of them becoming damaged by mishandling.

If you just want to get started collecting stickers, check out a club such as Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Art Club for ages seven through 107! If you have a child younger than that, that you would like to start collecting stickers, they also offer a Kid's Club for ages 2 through 9. The Sticker Art Club for all ages, arrives every other month, and includes both new designs and old favorites, to help you build up a collection of stickers from their fun line so you always have the perfect sticker at hand for whatever project you might be working on.

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