Friday, February 20, 2009
Stair Step Card
Lacy asked me if I could come up with a .cut file to make a card similar to one she had seen online. The card has cut-outs in a diagonal line and when folded will stand up with a see through effect. I thought it looked like a fun project. I have created files for both George and Plantin Schoolbook and I did some simple test cuts. The photos here are very basic -you can go wild with the embellishing these! I just wanted to post the files quickly so you could have some fun exploring all the variations possible with this concept.
Above is a photo of one of my first test cuts - viewed from above at an angle so you can see the three dimensional effect.
When these cards are folded they will fit nicely in standard envelopes meant for 8 1/2 x 11 sheets folded in half. The photo shows a box I got from Staples - I am sure you will be able to find these easily.
You can put almost anything in the space between the two sections of the card - just make sure that both sides of the shape are welded to the main card and that the top and bottom are free to move. Above you can see some stars in another test cut.
After folding, the card looks like this from the top - there is plenty of room to add a sentiment and embellishments.
Here are the stars folded and standing - the connections are rather small so this variation is delicate - some shapes will work better than others.
I tried another variation using the arrows from Accent Essentials. Above you can see the card before folding.
Here is the card folded with the smaller side on the left and the arrows descending.
If you choose a shape that has vertical symmetry it can be flipped and you can have a card with ascending shapes and the larger area to the front of the card. I used two sided paper and you can see how this has an entirely different effect. If you are using two sided paper you can also take your shape and flip it upside down in the file so that your card will have the shapes right side up in an ascending pattern. (If your two sided paper does not have an obvious direction to the pattern you can just flip the card over or reverse the folding pattern).
Above is a photo of one more view straight from the top so you can see how the card works.
You can add a four letter word (polite ones only please!) and make another variation. Some letters will work better than others but, with luck, there will be at least a couple of letters with strong connections in your word.
Above you can see the "Love" card folded.
I thought this look a little plain and decided to try to emboss the front. Rather than fuss with making a template for the Cuttlebug to shield the areas I did not want embossed, I created a cut for a separate panel and embossed it.
To adhere the panel to the card I applied adhesive to the card front (I probably went a bit overboard with the amount of adhesive here!).
Here is the card with the panel added - the embossing folder leaves a bit of an unembossed border on the top, bottom and left side.
Here is a closer view - maybe you can see the slight edge of plain paper around the embossing - I think it looks nice and it just happened by serendipity!
Here is one more view of the "Love" card from the back.
I did another file for the George cartridge and the baby bug. I test cut it on my Expression and it worked fine. I believe it will cut properly on the baby bug - the bottom line of the card appears to be in the cuttable area. If you try it and there is a problem you can just use a trimmer to straighten the bottom. The card should be 5 1/2 inches tall.
When you fold the cards you just bend gently along the straight edge to fold the shapes in the correct direction - I did not score anything to make the folds.
Be careful not to bend the neighboring shapes as you work your way down the line. Then fold the opposite side in the opposite direction. The direction of the folds will be obvious as you work with the card.
After folding in the air, you can place the card on the table and make sure that the two panels are aligned properly and sharpen the folds. You will need to use good quality paper that will not crack and I don't recommend using white core paper unless you plan to ink the edges.
The Plantin Schoolbook file has several variations from my test cuts and the panel for embossing. The George file has just one card and the panel. You can "save as" or copy and paste the elements to a new page in the file and create your own designs using any shapes you want. I have lots of ideas for variations for certain occasions and holidays and I am sure you will too.
I hope you have fun with these - I'd love to see the variations you come up with.
Stair Step Card - George
Stair Step Card - Plantin Schoolbook