Inchies

Inchies are small works of art that have quite an appeal amongst papercrafters. Got an afternoon free for crafting? Find out more here and then why not try making some miniature art yourself?

"When life gives you scraps,
make something with them.
~Author Unknown


Inchies, scrapbook, art, chipboard

Have you ever made inchies before? Is this term unfamiliar to you? let's fix that :) Maybe you already know about this miniature form of art? They are fun to make, aren't they.

This form of scrapbooking challenges paper crafters to work with very small surfaces. 'How small', I hear you ask? Most people are quite amazed when they find out the answer to that question.

If you have a ruler handy, have a look at the measurements. In Imperial measurements you need to work with surfaces 1" x 1" square, (or 2.54cm x 2.54cm if you think in metric), to make an Inchie. Try cutting out some little squares of chipboard and see what you think of your working surface. The first time I cut out a tiny square according to the instructions, I was unable to think of how I could make something with such a little piece! Trust me. It is possible to do this. All you need to do is scale down the size of your layout in your mind, simplify it a little, and then the ideas and embellishments just seem to jump out at you.

If your work surface is too small at first, work up to it by trying this idea first.

I have seen some beautiful little Inchies made with embellishments of flowers, buttons, brads, ribbon, lace, twine - anything small enough to fit on the chipboard square. People sometimes paint the surface first, or they cover them with scrapbook paper, or they cut or tear paper to fit, or use combinations of inks, embossing powders, glitters - really, anything you could use in a scrapbook or on a handmade greeting card will also work here. Once you have decided what you want to do, these little beauties get done very quickly.

Inchies, scrapbook, art, chipboard

Here's How to Start:

First, get together your supplies. You might like to start with a theme for your project, as a group of these little squares mounted on a canvas or in a frame can pack quite a punch. For today, let's choose the theme 'Hearts'. You will need:

  • Some chipboard squares* the size of your choice - either 1" x 1" or 2" x 2". Choose lightweight chipboard and cut it with a craft knife and a metal ruler, or buy it pre-cut.
  • Some small heart embellishments - try brads, stickers, stamps, cut outs from old cards, magazine pictures, etc, as long as they will fit on your square
  • Some paint or glitter or ink or paper for the background
  • Other embellishments such as small pieces of ribbon or lace or foil or anything else that appeals to you with the hearts and the background you have chosen
  • (Optional) Some fine-tipped felt pens to add words to your squares, or to edge the squares, or embellish them in other ways such as with doodles or stamps
  • Adhesives and papercraft tools
  • Some patience!

*If you don't have any chipboard don't let that stop you. Find an old cereal or tissue box and cut squares from that. Glue several layers of cardboard together till you have squares that are as thick as you want them. Sand the edges a little to finish and then you can start decorating.

Here's What To Do:

  • First, make your background look the way you want it to. You may like to work with several squares at once to get a more uniform look, or you may want each one to look different. Colour or cover the chipboard in a way that pleases you and edge each square with ink to make it look more finished
  • Now adhere some ribbon or twine or lace as an embellishment and write the words you want to add
  • Attach your hearts last

You've made your first Inchies!

Once you have done a set of these it will be easier to think of some other themes. What about a series on famous women (print out small photos of women you find on the Internet), or a series of storybook ideas, or choose a feeling word like 'serenity', or pick a colour and work only in those tones with different subject matter? Or try using the tiny photos you get when you ask for an index print at the photo booth!

Once you have a collection of Inchies completed (I started with a group of nine) you can group them together in a lovely piece of artwork. Try mounting them:

  • to a canvas that you have painted in contrasting or coordinating colours
  • to a clear acrylic block that you can stand up on your desk or use as a paper weight
  • inside a picture frame that you have decorated
  • on a book or album cover
  • on a scrapbook layout to enhance a special page
  • across a card front - make a feature of just one and mount it on several layers of cardstock, or go wild and add nine or twelve little squares!

Use your imagination and enjoy the miniature world of Inchies! And if you make some, do share them with the rest of us.

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Inchies, scrapbook, art, chipboard

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