Craftwork Cards Blog

Back to Basics on Design Skills – Introduction / LINE

Welcome to my new series of blogs on design skills!

Please allow me to take you back to basics, and elaborate on the fundamentals of design.

I’d love to share this fascinating part of crafting with you, and help you to really consider design in your own card creations and projects. Appreciating and understanding design will certainly lift your work to a new level of skill. Bring out the designer in you by joining me, let us begin…


Back to Basics on Design Skills – Introduction


To start with, let’s ask the question…

What is design?

Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system.

Design has different connotations in different fields of work, so let us concentrate on the design process for our craft. Paper crafting and card making is a highly creative process, which involves producing a visually pleasing end result. In our craft, we can make good use of the fundamentals of visual design. These fundamentals are the basics we are reverting back to; they are the design elements and the design principals.

What are the elements of design?

The elements of design are the tools to make art! The basic units of any visual piece. They comprise of the following;








What are the principals of design?

The principals of design is how to use the tools to make art! They are the factors to consider when deciding on the layout and design of card making. These are the following;











A few wonderful words there, and some of them we love and warm to straight away. I’m sure there are a few that we recognize but pay not much attention too, maybe one or two that might need more explaining. I would like to take a closer look at each of these interesting words, and relate them to our paper crating interest.



Back to Basics on Design Skills – LINE


What is LINE?

LINE is the first design element. LINE is an identifiable path created by a point moving in space. It is one dimensional and can vary in width, direction, and length. Such as the mark made by a pen.

I will use my scrapbooking paper to produced a ‘mind map’ for each of the design element words. The mind map below shows various different thoughts about LINE…



Focusing on LINE like this, makes us appreciate the simple art that we can create just by using LINE alone. Here are a few simple, but I think quiet effective ways of just using LINE in card design…


Just a few straight lines of three different thickness, running horizontally across the bottom section of this card. I’ve simply added a small sentiment topper using candi fix. Notice how the two white lines on the topper exactly line-up with the gaps of my drawn lines to show continuous lines! An ‘optical illusion’ happening here, making the topper appear threaded behind two cut lines in the card!




Using a sentiment topper in the center of a square card this time, I have drawn shallow scalloped lines freehand in a radial pattern, with three different thicknesses. Again very simply, but I think enough interest there for the eye.








This time I have used LINE to draw a image. Using LINE very simply like this, gives the eye just enough to happily recognize the bicycle. Allowing the brain to fill-in extra detail. My mind instantly wants to drawn in the spokes and pedals!  I’ve also added a hand drawn caption at the bottom in finer pen. The bike has been cut out as a topper and fixed down with candi fix just for extra interest.



Give thought to LINE in your card designs.

Don’t be afraid to hand draw lines. Practice creating lines in a note book, using different pens and brushes, different inks and paints. A frame or boarder looks terrific when drawn by hand, giving your cards that extra home made look!

Hope you have enjoyed this blog. Please join me again for the second blog in the series where we will focusing on SHAPE and FORM together. See you on the 20th February! xXx




  1. Karen Rowe

    20th January 2017 - 11:47 am

    Great tips l love this kind of card x

    • Sue Smith

      20th January 2017 - 9:43 pm

      Thank you so much Karen! Your comment is much appreciated! xXx

  2. Heather Mitchell

    20th January 2017 - 2:21 pm

    I love this Sue! No one should be afraid to inject a bit of hand drawn into their makes, it adds that personal touch! A squiggle here, a line there… and you’ve got something truly unique. Fabulous!!

    • Sue Smith

      20th January 2017 - 9:46 pm

      Heather you are terrific! I am a bit apprehensive and nervous about this blog post. You make me feel a bit happier. I quiet agree with your comments about hand drawn lines. Thank you! xXx

    • Sue Smith

      17th March 2017 - 4:54 pm

      Thank You Cordelia! xXx

  3. Brenda Rae

    20th January 2017 - 4:08 pm

    Thank you very interesting blog x

    • Sue Smith

      20th January 2017 - 9:47 pm

      So glad you found it interesting! Appreciate that! xXx

  4. Cathy Clowes

    20th January 2017 - 5:55 pm

    Such a fabulous post Sue. I really don’t know anything about these design fundamentals- but it’s interesting how I do think about these things when I craft. Cathy x

    • Sue Smith

      20th January 2017 - 9:50 pm

      Thanks Cathy! I believe (like yourself) if you have a natural talent, a lot of these design skills do come naturally. A bit like having common sense. Thanks so much for your comment! xXx

  5. Mary Gillingham

    20th January 2017 - 6:59 pm

    Fantastic sue!! Xx

    • Sue Smith

      20th January 2017 - 9:51 pm

      Thank you so much Mary! Fantastic you know your thoughts! xXx

  6. Jackie

    20th January 2017 - 7:10 pm

    A really interesting piece Sue, I love how simple but cool just a few lines can be.
    Some great ideas there. X

    • Sue Smith

      20th January 2017 - 10:00 pm

      Thanks Sis! Thanks so much for commenting and letting me know your thoughts. It took a while to construct. xXx

  7. Phillipa Lewis

    20th January 2017 - 7:38 pm

    Sue, that was fascinating, I can’t wait for the next instalments. Love learning about the logic behind what we all tend to do as something natural. Brilliant x

    • Sue Smith

      20th January 2017 - 9:55 pm

      Oh Wow! Thanks so much Phillipa. Yes talented crafters (like yourself) just instinctively use these fundamentals. Like having common sense. Really appreciate your thoughts. xXX

  8. Jackie

    20th January 2017 - 9:11 pm

    Fascinating read about lines Sue, looking forward tomthe next installment x

    • Sue Smith

      20th January 2017 - 10:15 pm

      Arh thanks Jackie! So pleased that you find it interesting! I was nervous about putting this blog together. Even more pleased that you looking forward to more! Your honest thoughts I truly value! Thanks again. xXx

  9. Mags

    20th January 2017 - 11:28 pm

    A fab blog post Sue,very well written and extremely interesting. Can’t wait for the next one x

    • Sue Smith

      21st January 2017 - 3:42 pm

      My confidence is building! Thanks so much for your honest thoughts Mags. Means so much. Pressures on now to do the next! xXx

  10. Janet R

    21st January 2017 - 11:01 am

    Back to basics is a great idea for an interesting blog Sue. I love your stunning line card examples, they are inspirational in themselves, well done. Looking forward to your February blog now with eager anticipation!

    • Sue Smith

      21st January 2017 - 3:44 pm

      Oh great! Brilliant! Thanks so much. Your encouragement is very helpful for me. xXx

  11. Patricia Smith

    22nd January 2017 - 8:40 pm

    Thank you Sue for your interesting and inspirational blog.

    I do not have a natural flair, but even I could have a go at making a card using the line method.


    • Sue Smith

      23rd January 2017 - 8:52 pm

      Thanks for your comment, glad you found my blog enjoyable. You should give it go! xXx

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