'What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you say.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, 22 August 2009

We’re restarting the monthly challenges on Katy’s Corner UK and to ease us in gently, the first challenge is ‘Serendipity’. To make things easier for those who’ve never done this before, I’m posting the sheet I used to have on my website, for easy access.

This is one of those great techniques for using up all your bits and pieces of scrap paper and card - only problem being you won't want to throw the bits away, so you end up with bags or boxes of bits! The word means 'accidental discovery' and was dreamed up (literally – she dreamed the idea) by an American lady, whose name I don’t know.

sercard1 sertree

OLD Stamp Club samples

lynnepostoidserendipity sersample1 sercard2debbies

Lynne Wilkinson, sample panel and the tall card was made by Debbie Shelton, using tag shapes


Star card by Freyja Lee.

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Sheet of card to be used as base – A4 or A5, but A4 will give you more scope and will make more cards.

Scraps of paper, punchies, foils, wrapping paper, mulberry paper, handmade papers, magazine or newspaper pages, fabric scraps, netting or anything to use as collage. I have a Serendipity Basket and in that I throw bits of interesting paper, especially metallics (great at Christmas time or birthdays) just for this technique

Scissors (and or cutter)

Ruler (or other object to measure squares) - OR punch out shapes

Glue and/or Xyron machine

Stamps – can be any kind but usually works well in a theme, ie Asian, Christmas, Birthday, etc, etc – I also try to include at least one text stamp of some kind to achieve a nice arty feel to the finished item

Embossing ink of any kind - stick with Versamark if you're not sure

Embossing powder – any colour, but preferably to match the chosen ‘theme’ and colour scheme and metallics DO look nice


  • Take the plain piece of card and, using glue, cover it randomly with torn bits of paper, card, or whatever you choose to use (can even be bits of fabric). You don’t have to cover every centimetre of space, but don’t be too sparing, either. If you like you can also add some Marvy Metallics (or other brand) squiggles or some Acrylic paint squiggles – be inventive here!
  • Once the glue has dried, using embossing ink, stamp – again randomly – all over the card and the papers you’ve glued to it. If you’re using more than one colour of embossing powder, do one colour at a time, tipping off excess before adding another colour. When stamped images are covered with ep, heat with heat tool until the powder melts. This will give you the basis for your Serendipity tiles. See samples below.
  • I sometimes complete this stage with Gold Webbing spray – gives a very nice effect!
  • sheet1 sheet2 sheet3
  • Your sheet should now look a mess!! A nice mess, but nothing perfect or aligned or organised. Turn it over and, using the ruler or other instrument, measure the back of the card in a grid of squares. I usually take a narrow ruler, draw down the side, then draw the next line a ruler’s width away, to avoid any measuring discrepancies. OR I use a cutter!! Cut the card into the squares (or shape of your choice) you measured, cutting from the back so that it is totally haphazard.
  • TIP: If you have a Xyron, this is where it comes into its own. Run the completed sheet through the Xyron, using either permanent or non permanent adhesive, THEN measure on the front - saves all that messy gluing afterwards
  • Take whatever card you are using as the first mat and arrange the shapes on it, gluing them down in whichever design or shape you prefer. They don’t have to match – in fact they look better if they don’t – and you can use as many or as few as you like to create your chosen design.
  • When your design is complete, make up your card. You can use it as it is, or embellish it in any way you like. Add a Greeting or a Ribbon or a charm – anything. Experiment and see what you can come up with.

This is an ideal 'man's' card and the beauty of Serendipity is that no one can do anything wrong as it is just haphazard and every piece created is unique and individual - that is its beauty and attraction!!

Happy stamping!!!

4 very kind comments from lovely people:

lottie said...

I have never heard of this technique before, sound very interesting.

Lilymelba said...

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Mary S. Hunt said...

this is my first visit...lovely blog lots of energy!

Unknown said...

Fabulous post - Thanks for sharing!