Saturday, March 12, 2011

An ATC "Newbie" needs advice on Making ATC's

I made my first ATC recently and loved doing it, so I'm working on another.   But I do have some questions.

1.  What do you use as backing for your ATC?       I've been using heavy cardboard, but it seems too stiff.

2.  How do you put your name on it?   Do you sign the back or make a little info tag to paste on the back?

3.  I put plain cardstock on the back to cover the cardboard.  Do you do anything different?

4.  Do you always go by the 2-1/2" x 3-1/2"  size? 

As you can tell from my questions, I'm new to creating ATC's.  I don't know the basics.   I have made Tags for swaps, but that was a bigger size.   Any advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated!


My name is Cindy said...

Aah, where to start.
1. You can use anything for backing. Personally I like my ATCs to feel fairly substantial but it really is personal preference. Obnviously lighter is better for posting. So thick card, mountboard, cereal packets whatever or another good way is to stick together several thin flimsy layers (good use for old Christmas cards) and then cover them with something else to 'bind' it together. I use old book pages for this. You can either use that as a base or paint or collage over it. Just remember you might affect the size!!
2. I have a title block which gives my name, contact details, and space for techniques etc if I want to add it. I did this on a PC 9 to an A4 sheet and just print them as I need them. You can buy a stamp or just write by hand - it's up to you what you want to write, just think someone might want to contact you again to ask a question and a date too can be useful. If you do several the same or in a series you might want to number them also (ie 3/7 or 3 of 7), but again it is really up to you.

3. Yes I cover the back with my ATC 'title block' - I do like a tidy behind.

4. This is one rule that should never be broken. ATCs must be 2.5" x 3.5". The only other rule is that ATCs MUST be traded never sold. If you sell it it should be referred to as an ACEO (although I forget what that stands for at the mo lol).

Send me your addy and I will send you a RAK to welcome you to the crazy world of ATCs.


Sherry Edwards said...

Well, I think Cindy's just about covered it all!

As long as you stick to the strict measurements of two and a half by three and half inches, anything else goes really. Instead of a card backer you could try fabric or metal or thin wood even - and go mad with all the embellishments. They really as so much fun to do and working on such a small scale is great for trying out things.

As for the backers have a look at this UK site for some examples and an idea of what should go on the back.

If you'd like a RAK from me too, email me your address (Random Act of Kindness - ie, you don't need to send one back)

Good luck and have fun!

trisha too said...

My backgrounds are usually collaged, so the weight turns out to be that of a sturdy cardstock . . .

I usually print out my info, because I can't seem to fit it all in when I write it! I include my name, e-mail, blog, date, and the swap.

Nope, I don't usually do anything to the back, other than the info pasted on. I kind of like seeing the unfinished side of things.

I always use the standard size base, but sometimes embellish slightly outside the box. It can be frustrating to try to store atcs that are hugely outside the parameters, as they don't fit into sheets or sleeves.

ATCs are fun--be careful, you may get addicted, and there really isn't a cure . . .

Mollye said...

Hi Sweetkins, I'll put my 2 cents in and weigh in here too. You are first of all doing magical things with your art! Yep the size always has to be this for ATC's, but you can also do Inchies, 1x1; Twinchies, 2x2; Moo Cards and I forgot the size but they are slim and taller; Post card art, 4x6; so all can be done using the same elements but in different sizes.And I cannot elaborate on Cindy's advice on the backing, just that there aren't any rules on how you finish them. Although I don't always like a tidy back, and some of my faves which I have received from others are very messy on the back and that just adds to the creative process for me. I do also like to see and on mine do... list the details of which I feel is pertinent. I guess what I've love over the past four years in ATC art is that you are not restricted to a bunch of rules other than the size and the fact that they are not to be sold. I like the ezy peazy creativeness of few rules. You're awesome/ XXMollye