Sunday, April 27, 2008

Elegant Embossed Gift Card Holders

Once I get going with an idea, I can't seem to leave well enough alone! I thought that these card holders would look great if I "prettied them up" a bit with embossing - so I tried it out!

For my first attempt, I took one side of the holder and put it into my cuttlebug folder - paying attention to where the design would hit around the scalloped edges.

Here is the embossed front of the card

As you can see here, I should also have paid attention to what would happen to the inside of the card.

So...I tried the other side using a different folder. Here is the outer part of the card

This is what it looks like on the inside - here you have more of the design showing so it looks like you "meant to do that!" There is still some room to write a message if you want to.

It doesn't really matter if you do the front and back differently - in fact, I think it makes it rather interesting.

Next I tried a different card with some different folders - this time being careful to emboss only to the exact edge of the front and back - here is the front

and here is the back (as you can see, some patterns work well in either direction and some do not).

This time the center section remained totally free of embossing

I even tried using the smaller embossing folders side by side with this result

The possibilities and variations are endless - these are just to get you started. I think some of these would be very nice for a shower or baby gift or lots of special occasions.

Once again, the files for these cards are in the original post.

Gift Card Holders made with Patterned Paper

The gift card holders look great when you make them up in patterned paper - I think double sided paper gives the best effect but you can also use paper that is white on one side and use that for the inner part of the card which allows a blank slate to decorate or write a message.

You can get a bit fussy when you cut these to make sure that the pattern falls just where you want it to. I checked to see where this striped paper would cut by overlaying the leftover piece from another cut out card. I did not like the way the top scallops were striped when I put the paper in the normal starting position on the mat (photo below).

I shifted the pink offcut around to find a pleasing starting position where the top and bottom scallops would be all one color

and then stuck my paper to the cutting mat so that the cut would be in that position using the pink sheet as a guide. You can see that it is just shifted a bit lower to keep the pattern even.

I love stripes and I like the way this now lines up with a continuous stripe along the sides.

Here you can see a glimpse of the opposite side which now forms the center of the card and the card holding sleeve.

No files here, this is cut from one of the files in my previous post - which was reaching novel-like proportions, so I decided to split a few variations into their own entries.

I'd love to see what some of my readers do with this - email me or post to the Cricut Message board if you'd like. Thanks!

Gift Card Holders with Scalloped Edges

The basic gift card holder in my last post is just a jumping off point for more interesting designs. Since scalloped borders and punched scallops are so popular now, I decided to do some more versions of this card. Once again, I did each version in both George and Plantin Schoolbook so all bug owners can use one of them!

First, I modified the George card holder by adding a border of scallops - to do this I welded a series of 1/2 inch circles to the edges of the card. Here is a screen shot of a corner of this design

For the George version I was able to keep the original dimensions of the card and simply add the circles at half inch intervals along the top and bottom of the length of the card. I added six scallops at each end for the front and back of the card, leaving the center section which folds in to make the actual sleeve for the card plain. In order to make the scallops even I added an additional 1/4 inch to the height of the card to make it 4 1/2 inches tall and placed 9 scallops on the front and back edges of the card.

For the Plantin Schoolbook version, I ran into a problem. The "cuttable" area of the Expression mat is slightly narrower than the baby bug mat and a card 11.5 inches wide, centered on the mat would not fit because the starting point of the cuts on this mat is slightly more than 1/4 inch into the mat. To keep the math simple, I made the base card 10.75 inches instead of 11 inches, re-centered the card and welded the circles to the edges. Here is a screen shot of this design - you can see the slightly larger amount of space where the cuts will not be made if you compare the two screen shots.

For the scallops with holes, I did a "save as" of the scalloped design and then proceeded with the tedious job of adding 1/8 inch circles for the holes. Here is a screen shot of the Plantin Schoolbook version

To get this type of design to come out evenly requires a lot of time and patience and attention to the Shape Properties box to be sure that the elements are in exactly the same position on the X or Y axis. It is also extremely tricky to get an exact dimension on elements that are less than one half inch - if you type in a smaller dimension the program defaults back to .5 so you have to use the "handle" in the lower right corner and watch the numbers until you get the exact dimension you need. Once I get this to work, I immediately copy and paste a few extras somewhere on my page so that I will be able to use them as backups.

After cutting the Plantin Schoolbook version - the scoring is a bit tricky - the easiest thing to do is to line up the spot where the scallops stop on the 3 1/2 inch mark on your Scor Pal (or score 3 and 1/4 inches from the edge of the card. In the photo below you can see that the left side of the card is shifted to the 1/4 inch mark and the scoring is done at the 3 1/2 inch mark even though the actual finished dimension is 3 1/4 inches.

If you are using a Scor Pal (highly recommended) you should then turn you card around and use the same method to score the opposite side. After this is done, FLIP the paper over and place it on the board so that the six inch mark lines up with the center of the center opening. To check this, you can use a centering ruler as shown in the next photo and make sure the the distance from the "0" to the first score lines is equal (in this case is should be 2 and 3/8 inches on each side).

When you make the center fold, be sure that your scallops are aligned

Flipping the paper for the center score will insure that the folds for your peaks and valleys are going in opposite directions, resulting in a correctly folded card.

If you want a band around the card (like the one in my last post) you can cut a one inch by seven and 1/2 inch strip of paper and simply fold it around the card (use your bone folder to make the crease sharp) and add adhesive to stick it together.

The George version is a bit simpler to score. Since the size of the card did not have to be adjusted, you simply place the card at the 1/4 inch mark on the left and score at the 3 1/2 and 8 1/2 inch marks. Then flip the paper over, line up the first scores with those measurements and score the small bars on the six inch mark

To prevent having the inner section of the card show through on the version with holes in the scallops, I needed to make an additional cut of a thin rectangle to trim the inner height just enough to hide it from the outside of the card, Here is a photo of the card on the mat after cutting which shows that extra cut before the card is removed.

Here you can see the piece more clearly after the card was removed

Here is the fully folded card - you can see that the center section does not cover the holes when the card closes.

A word to the wise - the George version will only cut properly on the baby bug. I normally use my Expression and so when I was testing this cut I just loaded the paper as usual - much to my annoyance I discovered that the leading edge of scallops did not cut completely and I had to hand trim them as you can see below

This raggedy result was not pleasing and I nearly started to completely redo the file but then I decided to just test it on the baby bug cuts perfectly - here it is all on the mat

and here it is after the edges have been lifted off the mat -that very slight difference in "cuttable" area is significant in this case!

The holes are 1/8 inch so you can easily add eyelets to reinforce them and then use a ribbon to tied the card shot as I did in the card at the start of this post (so far back that I'll add the photo again here!)

These files each have several pages - to cut the gift cards holders first cut page one and then DO NOT REMOVE the mat but simply click on page two and cut again (this page creates the slot for the card and trims the extra bits for the scallops with holes version.

If you just cut the first page you have the option of making a flat card with or without a contrasting insert. There is a third page for cutting the insert on the Cricut or you can simply measure and cut with a paper trimmer. I made the file inserts about 1/4 inch smaller than the base but you could vary the width - here are a couple of photos to show you how this could look (I used highly contrasting paper just so you could see it better)

The front scalloped pieces will overlap when folded.

This card could be made horizontally (above - sorry for the slightly blurry photo) or vertically(below)

Do you like the embossing? There is more about that in another post!

Gift card holder with scallops - George

Gift card holder with scallops - Plantin Schoolbook

Gift card holder with scallops and holes - George

Gift card holder with scallops and holes - Plantin Schoolbook

Friday, April 25, 2008

Simple Gift Card Holder

While browsing the Cricut message board today I saw a post in the Card forum by Debbie (taz11693) showing a very cute gift card holder she had made. She gave a link to a You Tube video by Dawn Griffin showing how to create this gift card holder. Dawn used a punch called a "word window" that I do not have. In watching her video it occurred to me - I could do a design studio file to create the cut for the card slot and so I set off to do it! Thanks to both Debbie and Dawn for the inspiration on this one!

The file creates a rectangle with a special cut out to create a place to insert the gift card. After cutting - the card stock should be scored at 3 inches, 5 1/2 inches and 8 inches.

To get the proper peaks and valleys you should score on the 3 and 8 inch marks and then flip and score on the 5 1/2 inch mark - take care as there are only very thin bits of card left to score at the 5 1/2 inch position.

Once the scores are made and you have smoothed the folds with your bone folder, apply adhesive to three sides of the center section as you can see in this photo (I used a tape runner - you should just be sure that your adhesive is strong!) If you want to stamp the card you may want to do it now while it is still flat and easier to work with.

Fold the center sections together carefully and adhere - you have created a pocket for the card

The file also cuts a band to wrap around the card and hold it shut. If you are doing a group of these in various colors you can mix and match the bands for contrast. The band should be scored at the 3 and 6 inch marks but to allow enough "give" for it to slide over the card you should shift the paper about 1/8 inch to the right before scoring on the 3 inch mark as shown here

Than slide it back to the edge and score on the 6 inch mark

Apply adhesive to the short end and fold over the long end

You could leave this totally plain....(it would be better looking if you used patterned paper)

or you could add an embellishment on the band

I stamped a little greeting on this one as you can see in the photo at the start of this post. There are many possibilities and as we get in to the season of Graduations some of these holders will be very handy.

To help you all I did a file in George and also one in Plantin Schoolbook. So, even if you don't have a "word window" punch, you can make this card holder too!

Gift Card Holder - George

Gift Card Holder - Plantin Schoolbook

Leann's CD envelopes

As I mentioned in my last post - I made the CD envelope because of a request from the Cricut Message Board. Leann ("luvmygirls" on the board) also saw the request and created some CD envelopes. Since she does not have a blog, she asked me to post these files in my blog for her to share with others. It is fun to see how different people approach a design and what shapes they use to create a file - there are many ways to reach a similar result.

Leann made a decorative center using a flower from Accent Essentials and made a trim ring on a second page to help the cutout really "pop." Her standard envelope requires Plantin Schoolbook and Accent Essentials.

Her mini CD envelope is made with George and Accent Essentials and holds a cookie very nicely!

Leann's CD Envelope

Leann's mini CD Envelope