Easy, Adaptable Card

During the month of March, I am taking the “You’ve Got Mail” card-making class at Studio Calico. Each week, we receive a PDF-format lesson on the week’s topic, as well as a video of additional techniques.  Last week’s topic was “Everyday Cards.” One of the card examples was attractive, easy and very adaptable to many different reasons for sending a card.

I can’t, of course, copy the class material, but I adapted the process for making to card to one that doesn’t require a double layer of card stock on the front, adding to the card’s weight, but still incorporates the basic idea, one that involves a strip cut off the right side front, leaving the inside card back showing, a strip that lends itself to all kinds of possibilities.

So, read on for my approach:

These directions are for a 5×7 card. For other dimensions, obviously, you need to adjust the sizes.

You need paper, one color (I chose solid and white) for the card back. A second should be a print, texture, or other design. You also need something for the strip showing on the inside card back, on the right side. It can be washi tape, light-weight paper glued to the card back, rubber stamps, or whatever you think will fill in that space attractively. It can have dimension, too, such as embellishments, but you do want it about an inch wide so the edge is covered. Read on to see what this means.

1) Cut the card back from white or off-white card stock. You can get two from an 8-1/2×11 sheet.

2) Cut the card front from decorative paper that is similar weight to the card stock. Cut it approximately 5-5/8×7 inches.

This next step can be done at the end, after decorating the card front. You would just need to remember that the left edge will be folded back.

3) Score and fold the back left edge of the front 3/4″.

If you are doing this with printed paper, take note of the pattern’s direction. If the pattern has a pattern with a definite up-and-down make sure you are cutting the left edge and not the right. This was true of the paper in this example: the birds are standing, and I didn’t want them to stand on their heads:

4) Adhere the card front to the back by applying adhesive on the inside of the folded edge. One of the reasons I like this approach to this card design is that this strip now shows on the back, a little extra touch! There’s a photo later on that shows the back and what I meant by that.

5) Folding the card front leaves a strip of the card back showing on the right side, about ¾” wide. The exact width of this space doesn’t matter, it’s up to you and your design!

Cover the right edge of the inside card back with washi tape, paper strips, ink, other.  It will look best, I think, if the paper, tape, ink or whatever you are using “underlaps” the front’s right edge so there aren’t any gaps. For this card, I used washi tape:

In this second example of a fully finished card, I used a strip of lighter weight paper that was about 1” wide.

6) At this point you have the basic card assembled. What follows is up to you. Here are some possibilities:

  • stamp a message or greeting vertically along the right edge of the card back.
  • add strips along the right edge of the card front.
  • decorate the front with a block (doily, sentiment, embellishment cluster)
  • other?

Here’s my example card with the floral design paper:

And finally, here is the back of this card. I used stickers to reinforce the washi tape ends. Sometimes washi does not want to stay down, and the stickers added an extra touch of interest, as well. You can see the strip of the card front on the back, too. The back of the card isn’t boring any more!

Of course, you don’t have to make a card front and back and put them together as in step 4. But this way, you don’t end up with two layers of paper on the card front. I think it makes for less weight overall, an advantage if you are using postal mail. It also gives you a solid color for the inside of the card for your message… not always necessary, but it is if you’re working with two-sided scrapbooking paper.

This design does mean, though, if you’re using brads on the card front, that you should try to apply them to the block (before adhering it the card!) The prongs of any brads applied to the card front itself will show on the inside.

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