Craftwork Cards Blog

Back to Basics on Design Skills – SHAPE

Hello and welcome to my second blog in the series looking closely at design skills!

My aim is to take you back to basics, and elaborate on the fundamentals of design. If you have missed the first part, you can find it here…

Back to Basics on Design Skills – Introduction / LINE

Continuing to share this fascinating part of crafting with you, and help you to really consider design in your own card creations and projects. Bringing out the designer in you!  The plan was to talk about the next two elements of design. I’m going to focus on the one, as I got a bit carried away with this, so join me as we consider SHAPE.

What is SHAPE?

Shape defines objects in space. Shapes have two dimensions, height and width, and are usually defined by lines. Shapes can be drawn large or small, regular or irregular. Also in a various ways…

Geometric shapes – These are mathematical, having certain properties like being symmetrical, containing right angled corners, having equal length sides, you get the idea.

Organic shapes – These shapes have less mathematical structure, and more random with fluid lines.

Natural shapes – As seen in nature and the natural world around us. Shapes that have grown.

Familiar shapes – These shapes can be any of the above, and are easily recognized in our day to day lives, we are surrounded by shapes.

Below is a mind map, about SHAPE, labeling various different shapes drawn by line…



Focusing on SHAPE like this, makes us appreciate how important this design element is. Shapes reflect our mood, some we like and warm to, others have properties we don’t care for. Are you a round or a square person? I am defiantly round, admire anything circular in my life from planets to wheels. I love free flowing lines. Personalty traits are artistic, sympathetic and harmonious. Oh!.. and hate endings! If you are a square person, you like a more structured, strong shape. You are a logical, neat, and an organized person.

A rectangle is pretty much a rectangle, but other shapes have loads of different looks, like the star. It can be drawn in many ways. A snowflake has millions of different variety of shape detail. Using and thinking about SHAPE in card design is always interesting, here are a few I’ve made to give you some ideas…


Using only circles, I have created a simple but effective design on this card. Just by drawing around circular lids in a random pattern can produce an eye pleasing background. I have very slightly moved the lids and drawn around them again to add a more interesting line, changing the line thickness. My circles look very much like bubbles floating in the air. Giving a real lightness to the design, with added help of placing the sentiment topper randomly too.




 As I enjoyed playing around with circles so much, I tried stamping to create a different look. Using smaller lids as stamps, I randomly marked my card blank with black inked circles. Then using the rubber on the end of my pencil as a stamp, inked dots were added with an abundance surrounding my sentiment topper. This creates a more stable, permanent heavier feel.





The star shape is the focus for this card design. Two different sizes placed on different angles adds interest. I’ve highlighted the space in between the star shapes with a different colour paper strip running down the card. The star shapes are more of a feature by doing this.







Playing with different sized square now on this card. Cutting them out and moving them around to produce a soft flowing design before fixing with foam pads. There is a slight ombre colour change to help draw the eye up and down the card. I like the more clustered look of the shapes here.







The hexagon has taken over this time! I’ve used it for my card shape. Thinking about cluster again, I have grouped three hexagon shapes by slightly overlapping them with added flowers. Placing the caption over the top coming out from under the flowers adds to the tight, huddled look which I like.






This card is made with natural shapes in mind. I wanted to use shape to produce a bunch of roses. These flowers might look like lovely roses, but in fact they are celery! The cut bottom end of celery, which we usually discard, makes a great rose stamp. The leaves are stamped too using a clove of garlic cut length ways. Stamping the same shape several times, rotating it round, gives a different looking shape. Making my roses look even more natural.




Hope these cards have helped you to think more about SHAPE. You don’t have to keep shape as it’s meant to be either, round off those square corners sometimes as I did in the last card. Be mindful about SHAPE and use it for inspiration in your own designs.


Thanks so much for joining me this time, so next month I shall be talking about FORM! I promise! See you on the 20th March!




  1. Kathy Wain

    20th February 2017 - 1:51 pm

    Celery?????!!!!! That is brilliant. Am off to raid the fridge right now.
    Loved all the designs but the squares are ingenious. So simple but beautiful.
    Thanks for the inspiration Sue x

    • Sue Smith

      22nd February 2017 - 9:49 pm

      Well thank you for your lovely comment Kathy! Have fun playing with the celery! xXx

  2. Mary Gillingham

    20th February 2017 - 2:13 pm

    Love the second installment sue! Xx

    • Sue Smith

      22nd February 2017 - 9:50 pm

      Thank you Mary. I really appreciate your comments and thoughts. xXx

  3. Elisabeth Hogarth

    20th February 2017 - 2:40 pm

    This is brilliant Sue. I would pay good money on a design class just to learn these skills. I’m going to keep this information so that I can refer to it again ( if I can work out how ). Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Best wishes
    Elisabeth xx

    • Sue Smith

      22nd February 2017 - 9:52 pm

      Lovely comment you have left for me Elisabeth. These blogs do take me a while to compile, so it is great to read some feedback! Thanks very much! xXx

  4. Brenda Rae

    21st February 2017 - 3:54 am

    How clever would not of thought of using bottle tops or celery as stamps .thank you Brenda xx

    • Sue Smith

      22nd February 2017 - 9:53 pm

      Yes! Give it a go! Thank you so much for leaving me your thoughts to read! xXx

  5. Maxcine Etherington

    21st February 2017 - 1:53 pm

    Great blog post Sue, thank you. Celery!!!! Garlic!!! how do you think of these things. Glad you have I am going to have a go.
    Thanks Sue
    Big Hugs

    • Sue Smith

      22nd February 2017 - 9:55 pm

      Hehehe! I’ve given it a go in the past! Yes you must try the celery stamp! I really appreciate your feedback. Thank ever so much! Hugs to you too! xXx

  6. phillipalewis

    21st February 2017 - 3:43 pm

    Sue, this is brilliant,
    Am loving your series & looking forward to the next instalment – it’s all so fascinating.
    Thank You xxx

    • Sue Smith

      22nd February 2017 - 9:57 pm

      Oh that is so nice to know! Appreciated this Phillipa as they take me quite a while to compile. Many thanks! xXx

  7. Jane Madge

    25th February 2017 - 8:19 am

    Thank you for these lovely ideas. It feels more like fun when you are playing with bits of celery and garlic. I am immediately thinking what else have I got that I can use. Reminds me of my potato printing childhood x

    • Sue Smith

      26th February 2017 - 3:20 pm

      Hi Jane! I remember potato printing too, and wasn’t it fun!? Thank you so much for your lovely comment! xXx

  8. Mags

    27th February 2017 - 11:22 pm

    Loving these blog posts Sue.The cards are awesome as well…….Mags xx

    • Sue Smith

      8th March 2017 - 1:17 pm

      Thank you Mags! Thanks for your interest in them. Lovely to hear comments from you! xXx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *