An elegant ornament spins on this card–and, below it, spin the words “merry” and “bright.”
The card is designed as a tri-fold so that the cardstock supports the spinning, and so that the greetings can be placed on the inner-most panel, unseen while the card is displayed. Gold and black with clear, diamond-like embellishments have been selected to give the card a style that will keep it on display through a chic New Year’s Eve party.
This card will require two pieces of 8-1/2″x11″ black, heavy-weight cardstock, cut to 7″ high in the landscape orientation. Cut one sheet (we’ll call this Sheet A) to 6″ wide, turn 90 degrees to portrait orientation, and score at 5″. Keep the remaining 5″x7″ piece of this Sheet A. Take the second, longer sheet (we’ll call this Sheet B) and cut it to 8-1/2″ wide. Score it at 4″. Set Sheet B aside for now; it won’t be needed until final decoration and assembly of the card.
On the large panel of Sheet A, cut two rectangular openings that leave at least a 1/4″ border at the top and bottom and a 1/2″ border on the left and right. You can do this with a paper trimmer, but I used the Sizzix Framelits Tickets Die set with the Big Shot die-cutting machine. Because the placement was important, I held the dies in place with micro-pore surgical tape while I ran them through. Using this cut piece as a template, tracing the positions first with a pencil, if you like, cut the same openings onto the 5″x7″ piece of Sheet A. Set this 5″x7″ piece aside until final assembly.
Continuing with the die cutting, choose a flourish die that contains a section that will fit attractively within your ornament, and cut it twice from heavy cardstock. Cut your words from either gold cardstock or from gold glitter paper, like this one from Heidi Swapp. Now is also the time to cut a bow to top your ornament (two copies of this, as well). I used one from the Paper Smooches Wise Dies Bows set, which offers eight petite bows from which to choose in the package. For your graphic images (the flourish and the bow), you’ll have an easier time if you choose symmetrical images, as they’ll be being placed back-to-back on a clear item. If you’re using an electronic die cutter, you can always “flip” the image to get the exact reverse, so you can choose any image you like. The same holds if you’re inking your image–simply cut it from white paper, flipping it over first.
Use the remaining black scraps to cut out the base for your word spinner–two copies. For my words, I used the Tim Holtz Holiday Words Script die set, finding a shape that not only fit both of the words when they were placed back-to-back, but that also echoed the shape of the ornament I had chosen (the third-smallest ornament from the Memory Box Drop Ornament Layers die set). Cut two copies of your ornament die from a sheet of crafting acetate.
Before we start assembling the card, let’s add a few shimmering touches using Delicata Golden Glitz ink. First, I inked the flourishes we cut out earlier (being sure to reverse one first, as mentioned above); then, I selected the Stars Shimmer stencil from Memory box. I like a finger dauber for stenciling and other quick inking tasks, but a makeup sponge would work just fine. A few stars at the upper left and lower right frame the front cardstock panel nicely, and a line of stars swirling on the inner panel add interest from the other side when the card is propped open. This is a pigment ink, so it will a little take time to dry. In a pinch, you could speed things up with your heat gun, but I don’t recommend heat embossing the Delicata metallic inks. They’re among the few that are formulated with gorgeous shine that is actually diminished by the heat embossing process. And, at the busy holiday time of year, I’m all for saving a step!
So, as the ink dries, let’s go back to constructing the spinning elements of the card. Using a matte liquid glue, attach one of the words to each of the labels being used as the word spinner. Next, use the same glue to carefully adhere your flourish to your ornaments, lining them up on each side. I like to use temporary tape like micro-pore surgical tape to hold them together while I make sure things line up as I’m working. When adding the second flourish to the second side, gluing it to the back of the first one on the over-hanging sections is helpful in getting precise alignment, and also holds the pieces in place as we continue. Once the adhesive has dried, remove the micro-pore tape, and take this opportunity to clean off the ornament before final decoration. I used a lint-free alcohol wipe, like those packaged for medical use or cleaning eyeglasses, but any lint-free cloth and rubbing alcohol will work. Please don’t use glass cleaner on clear craft plastic–it will permanently cloud it. After this much effort, you don’t want anything to spoil the effect.
Now comes the fun part! Further embellish your ornament with diamond-like gemstones to your liking. A fingertip craft knife provides good control for moving the tiny pieces. Following the path of the flourish is likely to give you a natural and pleasing line, as would following the shape of your ornament. These are self-adhesive; however, that generally means they were designed to adhere to paper. I didn’t trust the adhesion onto the smooth plastic, so I reinforced the sticker gems with some Multi Medium Matte. For the sake of concentration, as well as not knocking off your gems while you work on the other side, you’ll probably do best to decorate one side completely, allow it to dry, then turn it over and apply matching gemstones on the opposite side. When both sides are finished and dry, trim off the excess of the flourish with sharp scissors. Retain the flourish pieces to use for embellishment later, if you choose.
Time to put it all together. Place your front panel and half of each spinner element, including your bow, face down on your work surface–using a grid mat will help with alignment. Adhere strong, double-sided tape above and below each window, as well as at the middle of each element, then run clear thread straight down, embedding it into the tape. Cover at the top and bottom of the window panel with another piece of tape. To have elements in each window spin separately, give each window its own piece of thread. Cut off any excess thread, then use a strong, liquid, matte adhesive to adhere the second copy of each spinner element over the first–this time facing towards you. The addition of more double-sided tape at the thread junctures will give additional strength. To give the interior a finished look, carefully align the 5″x7″ die-cut panel that you made and retained from Sheet A and adhere it with a liquid glue like Scotch Quick-Dry to cover the threads.
If desired, adhere leftover flourish pieces as further embellishment. I chose to put them on the panel where we’d added the swirl of stars. Additional gemstones could also be scattered strategically, as suits your taste. I briefly considered adding one of the small gems to the center of each of the stenciled stars, but I felt that I had enough going on with this card. If you want to go all out with the bling, though, that’s certainly an option!
Use more liquid glue to adhere the scored 1″ section of your front panel to the 4″ section of Sheet B to complete the assembly. For the inner-most section that’s intended for your greeting, you could add white cardstock, stamp with white or metallic ink, write with a white or metallic gel pen, print onto a white panel and adhere it, or combine any of these.
This was certainly a more elaborate card than previous ones have been; but, sometimes we have somebody to whom we want to send a card that makes him say, “Wow!” If you have such a person, I hope that this card fits the bill for you.