With the holidays over, I can find some time to work on my art projects. I have recently become obsessed with inchies. I have been swapping them on Swap-bot and trying to fill a large frame. I must confess, I’ve become quite smitten with these tiny little challenges! Because many ATC artists are unfamiliar with inchies, I thought I would spend some time on introducing them.


Inchies are tiny works of art. They are precisely one square inch. Therein lies the challenge. How can you convey an idea, concept or mood when limited to just one inch?


To begin with, make sure your inchie is sturdy. Because they are so tiny, they need to be a little thicker than an ATC. Some people use cereal boxes as the backing. I like to buy precut matboard from Inchie Arts via Ellen Hutson. They come in white, black, gray or various shades of browns.


To design inchies, I often think of three main components: background, focal item, accent item. For backgrounds, you can use a variety of techniques. Sometimes I use scrapbook paper, punched with a 1″ punch, old maps, book pages, paints, embossing powder, or a combination of these.


The focal item may be an image cut from a book, postage stamp or other ephemera. It could be a trinket, charm or button. Sometimes I draw or rubber stamp an image.


To accent, I may edge the inchie with ink or embossing powder. I sometimes doodle designs, or I may add a few other smaller images for a collage. It all depends on what I’m trying to convey.


Finally, I like to seal my inchies with a topcoat. You can use any number of things, but I tend to use Glossy Accents. I put a thin coat if I just want to seal and shine. I put it thicker if it is holding a heavy embellishment. Sometimes I seal with clear embossing powder or Mod Podge.


Finished inchies can be used in a number of ways. I have framed large groups together. I have attached some to a small canvas. They can be used on ATCs or greeting cards, too. The photo below us an unfinished project of framed Halloween inchies.


They are a lot of fun, so I hope you will give them a try!





3 responses »

  1. I’ve made and traded hundreds of ATCs and heard of inchies but they just seem so ridiculously small to bother with. I think I will try a few this week and post them if they come out good.

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