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Old 01-12-2019, 12:34 PM   #1
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Default How to center a front panel

I always have such a hard time with this, I wonder if it's just me, or is there some trick I don't know about. Whenever I go to attach a panel to the front of my card, and the panel is smaller, so that there'll be a border around it, I struggle to get it centered. I'm thinking that it may be because I like to use double sided tape for this. I like it because there's no rippling like there can be with glue, but it's very unforgiving. Once the two come in contact, it's difficult to make any corrections. Especially with watercolor paper, which can warp because it gets really wet, I just find that the tape works best. I try to stand over the card, looking straight down on it, but it seems that it's never right the first time, and making corrections can ruin things. I often end up trimming the card down further, trying to even things up.


If any of you have any tricks you'd like to share, I'd be happy to give them a try!
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:29 PM   #2
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My first tip is I always stand up and look down when placing my card front to the card base. That perspective will help aligning things up evenly. Sitting down can give you a skewed view.

My second tip regarding adhering it down:
If you want the panel "popped" up with foam squares ONLY peel the backing on the 2 center foam squares. Keep the others with their backing on and once it's centered, then reach under with a craft tweezers to remove the backing. If you need to readjust, this method will allow you to pull it up and only potentially tearing the cardstock in the center.
If you are gluing the panel directly onto the card base I use a glue that takes a minute to set so you have a few seconds of wiggle room. I love Tombow Mono glue in the green bottle. Worth any amount of money to purchase!

Good luck!
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:56 PM   #3
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I can have issues with that as well. Can be annoying for sure. If I have cut my cardstock precisely I find that helps me line it up. I line the top up first, not pressing it down yet but holding the layer at a 45 degree angle or so. If the top is even and the sides have the same amount of card base showing, I ease the layer down so the tape sticks a little. As I ease the rest down, if I haven’t pressed down firmly yet, there can be a little wiggle room if necessary. But as I mentioned before, if I have cut precisely, the bottom should line up as well.

I also use double sided tape. That’s always been my preference as well. And yes I find standing helps for that step.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:14 PM   #4
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I can toss in a tip or two as well:
  • Lay the bottom layer atop a sheet of grid paper, lining up the edges of the layer with the lines. (Check for grid paper in the school supplies paper aisle if you don't have some already. Or it's also sold by stamp companies.)
  • Now you can more easily visualize the placement for equipment-distant margins.
  • When setting the new layer atop the bottom, set it with a very light touch, close to a whisper. If a margin is off, it's easier to pick up.
  • Relax ...
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:17 PM   #5
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I can add to Bev's tip about grid paper: you can find it online and print it as you need it.

I like double-sided tape/adhesive also. However, I add a thin line of liquid glue to that so I have wiggle room before I firmly attach the panel. The absolute best liquid glue I've found is Scrappy Glue by Sulyn. It's runny, but dries fairly quickly with a good hold; it has never rippled my paper, although I imagine it would if used too heavily.

Be careful cutting the tip off the bottle. The tinier the opening, the better.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:27 PM   #6
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I use Aleenes Tacky glue and except with very thin DP, don't have a problem with cockling.
If you're sure that both your card and layer are true, then sometimes I use a clear gridded ruler lined up across the bottom of the card using one of the gridded lines on the ruler as a guide, and butt the panel against that. You still have to eyeball the centering.
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:57 AM   #7
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A method I was shown years ago using DST is to Peel back the liner tape only a quarter way on the top sides and bottom. I actually find it easier to only do this to the top and one side though. Make sure to fold the liner tape so it's outside your layer- kinda like tabs. Then lay it down on your base, but don't press the corner with the uncovered tape down until you are sure you have it lined up. When you do, press that corner down, and then pull away the top liner tape, then the side. Now you can just reach under and peel away the remaining liners.

I also use my TH Ruler to lay down my card to line up my first edge straight. Sometimes I still have to do a little trimming, but I think it's very often because the original cardstock/premade blank wasn't square to begin with.
I've used the squiggle of liquid glue on the tape too in the past, and that does really help to give you some wiggle room. I almost always use DST, as I too don't like glue for layers.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:36 AM   #8
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A xyron using repositionable adhesive works well for me, but they are pretty expensive devices. (I was lucky enough to get one in a post-Christmas sale a year ago) - most of the great tips above cost little or nothing extra. It is worth it for calendars and decorating book covers and things like that which are more long-term than a card.
There have also been discussions in the past here about use of the "perfect layers" rulers and the Misti Creative Corners and other positioning aids.

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Old 01-13-2019, 05:33 AM   #9
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Wow, thanks for all the great tips!!! Glues I haven't tried, and grid paper and clear rulers, so helpful, thanks to all of you. It's such a tricky bit, after you've done all the artsy work on your card, you just hate to mess it all up by getting the placement all wonky. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:33 AM   #10
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instead of grid paper ( I work on either a grid self healing mat or a grid glass mat)

I used to buy grid paper but, I find cleaning the glass mat is easy for me. so, just another thought. and I pretty much do what you have been told and I work standing up
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:33 AM   #11
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These are really good tips. I always have an anxious moment when I layer, especially with mounting tape. I tend to use fun foam and glue more often because of the wiggle room. With tape I use one Misti magnetic corner layed out in the middle if I want to use the graph lines on the Misti or even wedged into a corner of my TH or Misti positioner. I lay down my base and place one Misti corner piece on top of one corner lined up just where I am going to drop the next layer. Kind of like using a ruler but I don’t have to tape it down or worry about the wiggles.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:18 AM   #12
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A method I was shown years ago using DST is to Peel back the liner tape only a quarter way on the top sides and bottom. I actually find it easier to only do this to the top and one side though. Make sure to fold the liner tape so it's outside your layer- kinda like tabs. Then lay it down on your base, but don't press the corner with the uncovered tape down until you are sure you have it lined up. When you do, press that corner down, and then pull away the top liner tape, then the side. Now you can just reach under and peel away the remaining liners.

I also use my TH Ruler to lay down my card to line up my first edge straight. Sometimes I still have to do a little trimming, but I think it's very often because the original cardstock/premade blank wasn't square to begin with.
I've used the squiggle of liquid glue on the tape too in the past, and that does really help to give you some wiggle room. I almost always use DST, as I too don't like glue for layers.


This is what I do also, never a problem with it not being centered!
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:16 PM   #13
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Default Another way to adjust alilgnment.

I especially agree with using grid paper. It just gets my brain thinking right I guess. However, I do mess up sometimes. I prefer using double sided sticky tape and when the cardstock turns out crooked, I discovered that if I "huff" on it, the moisture and heat of my breath makes it possible to gently separate the layers while continuing to "huff" along the way. I ususally do not have to re-tape and neither layer gets torn. Hope this helps!
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:25 PM   #14
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You are not alone. I struggle with this years down the road now. I tend to go with the fold (left) side and try to line up the left, top and bottom and in THEORY the right side should be ok. Usually if I am off, there is too much on the right so I just trim it.

Boy I would love it if I could have an overhead projector that does a fine grid onto the bottom layer to go with. (I bet a lot of kids don't even know what those projectors are these days.)

People say it gets easier over time.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:58 PM   #15
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Default USE GLUE

I use my Tim Holtz clear ruler because it has -0- in the middle of one side. You lay it down on your card front with -0- in the middle and set the layers to be equal measurement from each side.
If you use Zip Dry glue you have some 'wiggle time' to get layers just where you want them. This is not a wet (with water) glue, so no warping paper like Scrappy or Best Glue Ever. Zip Dry is always on sale at Scrapbookpal dot com, free shipping with $25 purchase. Sometimes I just buy enough glue to fulfill that.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:12 PM   #16
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I run a glue stick over the adhesive tape, and sometimes that will let you squiggle it more to get it straight.

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Old 01-15-2019, 05:59 AM   #17
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Thanks a bunch for the further suggestions, I really do appreciate them all. And wavejumper, I do remember those overhead projectors, and that's a genius idea! Now we just have to wait for someone to come out with the cardmaking version.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavejumper View Post
. I tend to go with the fold (left) side and try to line up the left, top and bottom and in THEORY the right side should be ok.
It's interesting how differently we all approach things . . . I do just the opposite. I go from right to left, thinking that if the 'open' ends are well lined up, any inconsistency will be less noticeable.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:51 AM   #19
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After years of frustration, and messing up hundreds of cards trying to fix them and make them straight after sticking the panel on crooked, I've learned to do one of two things. I either slap some sort of embellishment on the side(s) of the card to make it look like I made it uneven on purpose, or ... I hold it far away, look at it squinty-eyed to convince myself it's straight and shove it in the envelope and seal it before I change my mind. It took me over ten years of card making to come up with these two solutions.

PS: I'm pretty sure the people I send cards to aren't going to think, "Ugh! Look how crooked that is." Hopefully they will just be glad to get a card.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:58 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grateful2bsaved View Post
After years of frustration, and messing up hundreds of cards trying to fix them and make them straight after sticking the panel on crooked, I've learned to do one of two things. I either slap some sort of embellishment on the side(s) of the card to make it look like I made it uneven on purpose, or ... I hold it far away, look at it squinty-eyed to convince myself it's straight and shove it in the envelope and seal it before I change my mind. It took me over ten years of card making to come up with these two solutions.

PS: I'm pretty sure the people I send cards to aren't going to think, "Ugh! Look how crooked that is." Hopefully they will just be glad to get a card.

LOL, good one. I’ll try the squinty eye trick.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:11 AM   #21
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It's a silly thing...but one other trick - let your breath out. Don't hold your breath while you are trying to line it all up. The more you relax, the gentler you will work, and the easier it will all come together. Promise.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:35 AM   #22
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I just skimmed over the answers and didn't see this, but I'd be lost without mine. Have you tried layering rulers? I have both the Perfect Layers and the We R Memory Keepers layering tools.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:22 AM   #23
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You guys have the best tips! And grateful2bsaved, I'm sure you're right, the people who receive the cards just see a pretty card, but because we've made them, we see even teeny tiny faults. I will work on not being so self critical!!!

And barney, I'm off to check on layering tools, thanks.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:56 AM   #24
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I bought a temporary adhesive tape runner so I can attempt to get it straight
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:35 AM   #25
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Another vote for the layering ruler. I love it! I also use DST, so this is a really handy tool. However, just in case I do need to get a layer up (forgot to tuck the ribbon under, put the wrong layer on, etc) I have just become the owner of the a little plastic tool that slides under the edge of the card stock and helps pull the layers apart. I can't come up with the name of it, but it really is a life saver and rarely tears anything more than a bit.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:47 AM   #26
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I'm sure I read about this ruler here on Splitcoast. It has been a fantastic tool for me: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You just make sure you have the same overlap on both sides of a corner and tuck your top layer into the angle of the ruler.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:19 AM   #27
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I'm sure I read about this ruler here on Splitcoast. It has been a fantastic tool for me: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You just make sure you have the same overlap on both sides of a corner and tuck your top layer into the angle of the ruler.

That's the one I was talking about! Thanks for posting the link.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:34 AM   #28
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These look very interesting, thanks so much!
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:08 AM   #29
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It's a silly thing...but one other trick - let your breath out. Don't hold your breath while you are trying to line it all up. The more you relax, the gentler you will work, and the easier it will all come together. Promise.
When I wing it without using at least one of the tips mentioned above I have mixed results. I know saying to yourself “stop dithering and just drop it on there” doesn’t work. Always crooked. I’ll try the breathing.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:27 AM   #30
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When I wing it without using at least one of the tips mentioned above I have mixed results. I know saying to yourself “stop dithering and just drop it on there” doesn’t work. Always crooked. I’ll try the breathing.

Definitely use it with another tip...it just helps along with.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:47 AM   #31
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Another method of "fixing the problem" is to just offset the next piece. Do that for all your layers and you will be surprised at the uniqueness of your layout!.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:44 AM   #32
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I do like some of the others have said. But I don't use a grid. I will get my card front made. Get the sticky tape on the back. Lay it down on the card base exactly where I want it. Hold it down firmly with one hand, making sure not to let it slip and peel the top release paper from the top most piece and before pressing down, make sure it's still positioned accurately, if so, press it down and then gently life up to reach the other pieces of tape and remove the release paper and it should be perfectly aligned. I have no more problem since I started doing it this way. patty
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:51 AM   #33
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I guess "practice does make perfect" because my hubby often comments on how good I've gotten at 'lining things up'... sure didn't used to be good at it! Two things I really agree with are: use gentle pressure when putting a layer down and, look at it from above. I've also recently started using Nuvo Glue and have decided [after about 30 years of crafting] that it's the best glue on the market as it has a fine nozzle, gives some 'wiggle time' and hold very tightly when dry. I've even got my upscale crafting friend using it now.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:16 PM   #34
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I second the idea about the grid ruler. I have an 18"x2" gridded clear quilting ruler. It has saved my bacon more times than I can remember! Plus, I can also use it for scrapbooking or any other larger-than-a-card projects. Also, I got a tip from some YouTube or blog artist a long time ago (I forget who it was). Line your panel up with the folded edge of your card base. Yes, you can have a border, but start laying your panel at the fold. That way, if you have to trim your card base (& I often do), you can just trim off the "open" side. Otherwise, you have to take up your panel and redo placement. Another helpful item if you're using double-sided tape or ATG adhesive, is UnDu adhesive remover. It does have an odor--reminds me of lighter fluid--but works like a charm. I had an old bottle that I finally had to pitch & replace, because the smell stayed in the paper. The new one (I'm not sure if it's a different formula) doesn't have that problem. It is a bit pricey, but you can find it with the dry adhesives at Hobby Lobby at least & maybe Michael's--think coupon! You can either peel/rub off the adhesive after separating the layers, or leave it on the paper and the stickiness will return when the UnDu evaporates. Hope this helps!
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:17 PM   #35
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I'm sure I read about this ruler here on Splitcoast. It has been a fantastic tool for me: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You just make sure you have the same overlap on both sides of a corner and tuck your top layer into the angle of the ruler.
Great looking tool, but apparently if you are not a Prime member at Amazon (I am not), you're out of luck!
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:56 PM   #36
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Great looking tool, but apparently if you are not a Prime member at Amazon (I am not), you're out of luck!

I'm not a prime member either, but I ordered it with one click from them! I never even noticed that caveat!
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:02 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by jeanne3579 View Post
Another vote for the layering ruler. I love it! I also use DST, so this is a really handy tool. However, just in case I do need to get a layer up (forgot to tuck the ribbon under, put the wrong layer on, etc) I have just become the owner of the a little plastic tool that slides under the edge of the card stock and helps pull the layers apart. I can't come up with the name of it, but it really is a life saver and rarely tears anything more than a bit.
If you remember the name or can provide a picture of this little plastic tool, I would love to know.

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Old 01-16-2019, 02:06 PM   #38
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This is like one I got, but mine came in a set with a metal tool to be used on hard surfaces like tile or glass. You can see it further down the site, made by the same company.

https://www.amazon.com/Scotty-Peeler.../dp/B0068QIQVA
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:08 PM   #39
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Sorry, I didn't look close enough. The set show, does come with the metal tool as well as three of the plastic ones. I only got one of each.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:12 PM   #40
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Thank you so much Jeanne. So, do all of the colors work on paper for the problem? The red, white and blue? Or did you find one of them works the best?

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