Serendipity Squares are ‘all the rage’ in the scrapbook world these days, and no wonder! These little squares are both beautiful and fool-proof! There is absolutely no ‘wrong’ way to make them! So unique, each one is different and easily personalized for any theme or color scheme. While these may seem a little intimidating, they are really very easy to make.
Choose a piece of cardstock for your background. I generally like dark colors for the background, but whatever fits your theme is fine.
Choose coordinating papers – patterned papers, mulberry, homemade, textured, vellum, metallic, velvet, etc. This is your chance to dig into that file of scraps and use them up! Distressing some of the papers gives an interesting texture to the collage.
This is a terrific technique for using your bordered and patterned paper stash.
Tear Into it!
Cut and/or tear coordinating papers into strips and odd shapes. Got decorative scissors collecting dust? Consider using them to cut some strips for your collage!
Glue each to the background paper in random order. Be sure to get good adhesive coverage. You do not want any part of the coordinating papers to be loose from the page – this will cause problems in the cutting stage. I use glue sticks or Xyron adhesive for this step.
Be sure to place some shapes over the edges of the background paper. You can trim it off later. Don’t worry about the design of the page at this point – it will look very cluttered. When you cut these up into squares or shapes, each one becomes a little thing of beauty.
This is the fun step – let your imagination run wild! Your collage sheet is ready to be embellished.
In random order, embellish the sheet with one or a combination of the following:
* skeletonized leaves
* versamarker and embossing powder (I think metallic EPs look terrific on these)
* stamps (if using pigment ink, be sure to emboss the designs)
* paper punchies
* dried leaves and flowers
* Magic mesh
* mulberry spring rolls
* alphabet stamps (old fashioned alphabets work great for this)
* paint dabs
* metallic or glitter gel pens/ markers
* metallic rub-ons
* foils, gold leafing
* ink sponged or daubed in haphazard spots
Don’t worry too much about balance, but do leave some background space showing and try to make sure that each portion of the page is embellished.
For this page, I chose several leaf stamps (Stampin’ Up) gold pigment ink and several different embossing powders (some sparkly).
*Please note that if you plan to emboss your images, you will first need to clear emboss the entire sheet. This is to catch ‘stray’ glue and seal it. Otherwise, you will get messy results with your colored embossing powder.
I randomly stamped the page with the leaves, sprinkled with various embossing powders and heated them with an embossing gun.
When your adhesive is completely dry and all embossing powder is completely melted, you are ready to cut your page into the desired shape:
A good rotary trimmer makes this step a breeze. I use one by Carl but have also had good results with a glass mat, a very sharp craft knife and cork-backed metal ruler.
Decide how large you would like your squares and cut the page (very carefully) into strips. Trim into squares. Be sure to make the squares even and straight as it will be important when they are mounted.
At this point, you may want to look at each square and add bits to squares that are plain or just look like they ‘need’ something. Charms, buttons, nailheads and brads can be added at this point. Crystal Lacquer can be painted on the tops of squares to seal them, if desired.
For other shapes:
Don’t limit yourself to cutting these into squares! Why not try one of the following ideas?
- Using jumbo punches to punch out shapes (hearts, stars, ovals, flowers
- Using a letter template to cut title letters
- Cutting long strips for borders or weaving
- Cutting the collage into large rectangles for photo mats
- Cut circles, squares or ovals and connect them to make a chain
- Cut tags from the collage (or embellish tags with squares, shapes)
- Use the Sizzix machine (or other die cut machine) to cut letters or shapes from the collage page