Printable Flairs – with a UK slant

It came up on UKS the other day that someone was looking for digital “flairs” – I had no idea that was what they were called!  They are the scrapper version of the badges I used to get from Paperchase years ago, without the need to pry off the pin at the back.  Anyway, the person wanted a few things:

  • they be printable
  • they be colourful
  • they be 1 inch in diameter (to match her clear epoxy dome stickers)
  • they be “less American”

I was forced to comment that she was asking an American (albeit one who has lived in the UK for the vast majority of the last 20 years) to be “less American” but that I would give it  go.

I ended up with three files.  First, there is a sheet of printable, in one step, flair badges.  Now I don’t claim to be an expert at digital design.  I do my best and overall I like what I do well enough to share it, but if you are looking for perfection in the 3D effect and the shadowing, you may do well to move on LOL!  This is the PDF.


I played around with a way to allow you to have the flair bases then add the text or small image or indeed to add your own text, but given the many and varied settings of printer borders, paper sizes, feed dogs, etc I just wasn’t sure it would work.

Check this out:

My first sheet has very fine grey lines showing the placement of the blank circles.  My idea was you would print the decorative elements sheet over the printed BASE sheet.  Things shifted and the printer fed the sheet different and it all was a bit of a mess. So they I thought AHA!  I can print the base, stick the punched circles to it then print again.  I thought that way you would only print onto the circles you wanted and mix up the topper/base combos to suit you. Yeah, right.


The paper still shifted and fe differently and the faint lines were not so faint when printed.  DOH!


So then I though OK well I’ll remove the lines and any fractional shifting won’t matter as much as those lines will. So I did THAT. That give you TWO files – the FLAIR BASES and the EXTRAS.

Now, you will note there is a further difference.  That has to do with the WHITE bits on the pure printable version.  Basically when you are looking at a digital file and you see a WHITE area, you have to remember your printer cannot print white – it reads the white bits as “leave blank” so anything white printed over anything coloured will be, well, coloured.


So the pink heart, the star, the flourish have all been replaced by text.  The pac-man like Happy Eater figure, the boy and girl,  the cell phones and camera, the pointing fingers and the sideways chevrons print OK on LIGHTER coloured circles so long as you remember that anything WHITE will show the base colour thru it (the faces, the camera circle, etc)


Now, there is no reason you can’t print the base circles then compose your OWN topper text and print/stick/print again – like my no-faint-circles file, any very slight shift in the second printing is not going to make a HUGE difference.  Just make sure you stick them well.  I would say that if you stuck the punched circles to the base sheet securely and fully, there is no reason you couldn’t leave then stuck then punch thru both layers.

Two more things – first, about punches.  These fit a TRUE 1″ in diameter punch.  Some 1″ punches are not 1 “.


The original UKSer who asked about these wanted to use clear epoxy dome stickers over them,  But part of her reason for wanting these is she felt the commercial Flair badges were too thick for her PL book.  As an alternative I tried a few things:


Bearing in mind I didn’t wait for the glossy accents to dry, you can see that looks the closest to a commercial badge.  SOMEWHERE in my room I have a HUGE pt of UTEE but no idea where at the moment.  I suspect that would be the 2nd best option.  But I am not unhappy with the 2 coats of plain clear embossing powder, a slight curve of the outer edge by running my thumbnail from centre to edge all around then a flat foam square/pop dot in the middle.  Just curving the flat piece still looks good.  Just the act of heat embossing curves it slightly.


And even the purely flat version punched is not horrible. Here are the first ones I printed to show her:


So there you go.  I think the two files are useful on their own – the printed bases could easily be stamped on, for example, and the printed extras could be punched to be inked or spritzed and used on a card or layout.  I haven’t tried printing them onto glossy photo paper, but I suspect they would look nice, and no pfaffing about with embossing or the like.