Sandie in Connecticut returns to the blog to present her Christmas card from the past season. It’s a layered, three dimensional card centered around a wreath that symbolizes a warm circle of family and friends. We last spoke to Sandie over the summer when she submitted her wedding invitation design that we ended up selecting for our Share Your Creativity program. She was awarded a $25 coupon for her participation.
Sandie never stops creating, so she’s back to share how she made her latest creation. Here’s our interview:
Click the following link to listen, or right click and “save as” to download and listen at another time:
LCI Paper Podcast #40 – Sandie’s Three Dimensional Layered Christmas Card
Here is a transcript of the interview:
Last summer, we featured a wedding invitation ensemble that you designed for a friend. I was glad that someone commented on the blog article, saying that you had designed birth announcements for all three of her children. How busy are you designing invitations and announcements, I guess aside from your family cards?
I don’t do too many because I end up designing something that’s very labor intensive. (laughter) But I try to stay in with the latest papers that are out there and the ideas. I’m always toying with something so there’s always a project to work on.
How do you do that? How do you stay up on the latest?
I usually visit a lot of the stores and check a lot of the sites online and try and figure out how people are creating certain looks and adhering certain pieces to their cards because I like a card that’s really three dimensional. So I’m always looking for new ideas.
And then you come home and make them for a lot less money than what you see out?
I don’t know what it would cost to do it out, but I have a lot of stock and a lot of the products in my studio so it is a lot cheaper here. It is just labor.
Yeah, sure. Thank you for sharing your incredible 3 dimensional 2010 family Christmas card. And that’s what we’re talking about today. All five of us in the office were impressed and we have our guesses about how you made the cover flap and the unique, round, 3D window that showcases the metal wreath. Since everyone that listens to this interview will probably want all the juicy details… And of course, they’ll need to look at the photos that are on our blog at lcipaper.com/blog. But can we begin by talking about all the paper stocks other materials that you used for the invitation?
Let’s start with the front flap. It looks to be constructed from two layers of Stardream metallic paper, perhaps Silver and Mars colors. Is that right?
Okay. And there’s a beautiful pattern. Do you want to describe the embossed pattern on the Stardream Silver?
It’s a tree branch and it’s got full leaves at the ends of them, with the actual tree branch to the lower left. It is an embossing template that I used with my Cuttlebug.
Can you remind people what a Cuttlebug is? A lot of creative people like you it seems are using them. It might be nice to kind of spread the love about this machine to other crafty people.
There’s a lot of other products that are on the market. There’s the Sizzix. There’s a couple other name brands. But a Cuttlebug is a small unit. It sits right on your desk and it acts as a tool die or an embosser. It presses your paper together and when you use a template, it impresses the actual template into your paper. It works really well with card stocks and papers. And then you can also use a die to actually cut the paper or the card stock. I like to use it a lot for the embossing for the three dimensional effect. And you can buy it over the counter. It’s under $100.
That adds another dimension to your invitations. Tell me about the circular cutout in the middle of the card, and the printed layer underneath.
Well, I used a large punch. I want to say it’s over 3” punch or 2 ½” punch for the cutout and then I set the cutout aside, that I released from the paper. And then I adhered the vellum that has the saying on it underneath the cutout. And then I placed the punched out portion back behind the vellum. So what you’re seeing is the nice card stock with the embossed feature, then the vellum, then you can faintly see the remainder of the pattern behind it. By placing the punched out piece behind, you line it up exactly where you punched it out and you continue the image.
Yeah, by reusing that round cutout, your branches, your leaves, everything that was embossed is perfectly lined up. What a great idea.
It has that nice vellum tone though because of the vellum paper.
Yeah, it makes that circular area frosted, a frosted look.
Nice. You attached the front flap with, it looks like 3/4 inch round cutouts, two of them. How did you adhere them to the flap and base section of your invitation? Because the cover is holding strong.
Sure. What I did was I created the card in two sections. I have the front card section which has those two buttons that adhere to its back flap. And then I also created the back box that includes the wreath.
So basically I designed the card first. It has two flaps that I would set down on the desk in front of me and I would place them just about a 16th or 8th of an inch apart. And I would adhere the cutouts that would act as hinges. I used regular Elmer’s Glue because that seems to work very well with card stock and I would let that dry. When you fold it, it’s a nice bond. It keeps the card intact.
When I was finished with the top piece and the bottom piece, I used my ATG Gun which is a very thin, double sided tape to adhere the card actually to the back box.
So that’s really how I created this piece, in two sections. The front section was designed as a card that had a large hole in it and in the back section is a piece of foam core with a cutout so that the wreath could set down. When the top pieces adhere to the bottom, it looks like a complete package.
You cut out the same size circle in the center of the foam core that you just mentioned?
Actually, I cut out a larger, square shape. The shape and size doesn’t really matter because you’re hiding it with the velvet. The velvet piece is on top of your cutout foam core and then your wreath is in the middle. And then I wrapped the back box with the gray paper. The gray paper is actually a backer for the portion that’s underneath the wreath. You can’t really see that. I needed something that was a little sturdy, so the gray paper is a tough card stock. That actually supports the back of it. And then the top portion–the card itself–is adhered to the top and it actually seals anything else out of site. In other words, you don’t get to see the edges of the velvet. You don’t get to see the edges of the dark gray card stock because everything is concealed with the top card.
You sure want to reach your finger in and touch that velvet though, don’t you?
(laughter) You do. You do. It gives it a nice rich feel, a nice rich look.
Printing on Stardream card stock wasn’t a problem for you?
It’s not, as long as you give adequate drying time. This time, actually, I had better luck. It wasn’t that long, I would say about overnight, and I had no problem with that one. And I did the envelopes the same as well.
The glittery, frosty compound or whatever it is that’s bordering the circle… What is that?
I have a glue called 3-in-One Advanced Craft Glue. It’s by Beacon’s. I ran it around the inside of the circle with my finger and then I sprinkled on some Tinsel Glitter. It’s a Martha Steward Craft that’s carried in some of the craft stores. And I let that dry. The 3-in-1 glue is a wonderful, quick-dry glue and it dries clear so it gives it that look of the glitter around. It kind of adds a little bit of sparkle to the inside of the card.
Yeah it does. It looks wintery. (laughter)
Where did you purchase the metal wreath that’s the centerpiece?
The metal wreath is actually something that I started with. It’s a piece of jewelry. It was in the jewelry section of a craft store and you could buy 4 of them in a package. I believe you can use it for necklaces and bracelets and such. I just thought that it was wonderful and I wanted to work it into a card, somehow. I wasn’t quite sure. My only big problem with it was that it is thick and I needed, somehow, to be able to close a card and not have it be defaced if it was mailed, because that often happens. So I needed to be able to sink it into a card. And that’s why I had to go with a piece of foam core. By cutting the piece of foam core out, I was able to put a piece of velvet down and the wreath actually sits back from the front of the card. So it’s just a jewelry piece that I found.
And what about the bow that’s attached to the lower portion of the wreath.
The bow is a pre-made bow. It actually is part of a ribbon. I found a ribbon that had a bow this small and I actually bought a couple rolls of that and cut the little bows off it and glued them on with the same glue.
I don’t think I asked you what the card stock is that actually makes up the box.
The dark gray is some overstock that I had so I can’t actually identify it. But it covers just a piece of normal, I want to say 3/16ths foam core board.
Any other special tools that you used to made the card that might be worth mentioning?
The punch-out and my normal cutting board—my paper cutter—and the glues and a lot of X-Acto blades. (laughter)
How do you feel about the card? Where does it rate with your others? You’ve allowed me to see some of your previous holiday cards. And then tell me about the reaction that your loved ones have to the card.
I received a few e-mails that people had said that this was their favorite and they weren’t sure how I was going to outdo my last year’s card. But after doing so many of them, I get really tired of it fast so it loses its appeal. This was all about a warm circle of family and friends. The wreath symbolizes that. When it all finally comes together then I’m really excited about it and it gets me through putting together 140 of them. (laughter)
I don’t know that I would say it’s one of my favorites. They’re always a little different but everybody has their own taste.
Are you taking on clients? Would you be open to that? Are you doing it on a small scale, and if so, do you want to give some contact info?
Sure, I can leave my e-mail address, sandieinparis at yahoo dot com. I do a little bit of work on the side. I’m trying now to branch into doing more production cards and to see if I have an outlet for that. I’ve been looking at some other avenues as well. But my full time job keeps me busy too.
Thank you very much Sandie.
Well thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.
Thanks to Sandie for taking the time to talk to us about her Christmas card. What do you think? Post your comments right here.