Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Three Cards in One!

I hope you know someone who is about to graduate. If not you can always adapt this card to another occasion. Either way, I want everyone to make one! I wasn't sure where I was going when I started (Am I ever?!), but I'm really pleased with where I ended up! 
It was inspired by several different cards, all projects from the stamp club I go to once a month. A handful of us have been participating for several years and have become good friends with each other and with Sherry, the SU demonstrator who lets us invade her home one Friday night each month. Last week one of the girls asked if I'd come up with a neat graduation card yet. (She's the one who got me started with the airplane images a couple of weeks ago.) We talked about some of the cards we have made that have special cuts or moving parts, and I "free associationed" to this! (I can take free association a lo-o-o-o-ong way! Who says being on the verge of ADD is a bad thing?!)

The folds and cuts make a step card, but usually there's an image stamped or adhered to the front layer. I decided to use the negative space behind the front layer. It's hard to tell in a photo, but when the card is standing, there is about a half inch of space between the black paper that is the front of the card and the silver paper behind it. Kind of like a diorama. 

You'll need a piece of sturdy cardstock, 4 1/4 x 11. Just cut your 8 1/2 x 11 in half lengthwise instead of across like you normally would for a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 card. You also need a different color for the background, 4 1/8 x 4 3/8. I used two different sizes of star punches, a congratulations stamp with VersaMark and silver embossing powder, my Embossing Buddy to keep the powder from sticking where I didn't want it, a bone folder or something you can make a really good crease with, a stardust Gelly Roll pen, and some silvery Smooch Spritz.

Place the long edge of your paper at the 1/2 inch mark. Start your cut at 1 inch and stop at 6 1/2.  Make the same cut on the other long edge so you have a long slit running down each side of your paper. 

Next you will make six small scores and one long score. Score at 1 inch from the slit to the edge of the paper on each side. Then again at the 2 inch mark and the 6 1/2 inch mark. Now find the 5 1/2 inch mark and score from slit to slit, across the middle.
This shows the slits cut at the 1/2 inch lines (marked in green) and all the score lines marked in pink.

When everything is cut and scored, your card will fold like this. Use your bone folder or something similar to  go over the edges very well. If you don't have good creases the card will do the splits and end up flat!
The base of you card is finished! You could stop now and decorate the front the way it is, but if you want to have that diorama effect, grab some punches or dies!

Just punch a few shapes from the middle section of the card front. Put your punch in through the slit to reach further in toward the center of your paper. 
Don't punch any shapes from the top inch. The backing won't reach that high.

Run adhesive down the 4 3/8 inch edges of your background paper, staying very close to the edge. Position the background paper so the adhesive sticks to the 1/2 inch strips between the 2 inch score lines and the 6 1/2 inch score lines

Now when you pick up your card, the background paper will show through the punched shapes. I punched some stars from the same silver cardstock I used for the background and placed them around the front. Then I embossed "Congratulations" in silver on a one inch strip of black cardstock and backed it with another piece of silver cardstock. It was still just kind of blah so I gave it a little pop by tracing around the star shaped holes with a stardust Gelly Roll pen and shooting the entire front with some Smooch Spritz. (FYI--sometimes cursing does help. My Smooch stopped spritzing after just a few squirts, so I hurled a couple colorful phrases at it and, low and behold! It worked again without my having to take it apart and clean all the pieces parts!)  It's amazing how just that little bit of sparkle made such a dramatic difference!

Here it is again. I hope you got through my instructions without consuming a bottle of Excedrin! I found the tutorial for the basic folds of a step card at Splitcoast Stampers.  This link will take  you to the tutorial, although you might have to be a registered member to access it. She uses a bigger piece of paper so her measurements are just a little different. I wanted this to fit in a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 envelope so I tweaked her instructions a bit. If you aren't a member of SCS, you really should register. It's a great place to go for help and to get ideas!

Thanks for the inspiration Val and Sherry! I could see this done with all kinds of punches--especially hearts or flowers. I could even see squares punched in a grid with images showing behind them. Or a single large shape--maybe from a die--with an image on the background paper. I might make one with "Sr 2012" cut out of the front. Go experiment and see what you come up with! Please let me know if I need to clarify anything.

Thanks for stopping by! See you Friday! (Probably!)

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