Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tri shutter cards

Lately I have seen a lot of these cards posted on blogs and in various forums. I am not sure when and where the design originated. It is a very clever design that is relatively easy to make and has a great impact.

Here are the basic directions - I did not do a full tutorial with photos of every step but there are many available online. There are lots of variations - I have other versions but this is my "basic" model.

Cut a piece of cardstock 5 1/2 x 12 inches.
Using a Scor-Pal, score the card at the 2, 4, 8 and 10 inch marks. (You can do this without a Scor-Pal but it is definitely easier to get accurate scores with this tool).
Using a trimmer or a craft knife, cut from the 2 inch score line to the 10 inch score line 1 1/2 inches from each of the long edges of the card.

You then fold the thinner top and bottom strips in a "mountain-valley-mountain-valley" pattern. You make only two folds - first a "mountain" then a "valley" on the wider center strip (skipping the 2 inch and the 10 inch score marks).

Here is the top view of the folded card - it truly sounds more complicated than it is and you will quickly get the hang of it and want to make lots more of these!

Once you have your card base you can start decorating it - there are lots of different ways to do this. Here I used a striped paper and cut the pieces you see above.

The pieces are

2 cut at 5 1/4 x 1 3/4 inches
4 cut at 1 1/4 x 1 3/4 inches
2 cut at 1 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches

I deliberately chose to have the stripes on the center pieces horizontal while the rest of the stripes are vertical.

After adhering all of the striped paper, I cut 3 pieces of contrasting cardstock at 2 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches and adhered them on the center panels. After I adhered these center pieces, I decided I should have inked them but instead I used a glitter marker to outline the edges

I added Cricut cuts for the "Happy Birthday" and the name - I used the Zooballoo cartridge for these cuts - Happy Birthday is a prewelded sentiment and I welded "Campbell" leaving the final "l" loose for legibility.

Here is a view looking down so you can see how the folds work again.

You can see the shadows from my strong light when I took a photo of the card standing. It is important to use good quality, heavyweight cardstock for the base card. You want to make sure it will stand well and hold up to the handling it will take - people are fascinated by these cards and like to "play" with them.

Our now 20 year old son (his birthday was last month) liked his card - it is fun for people to try to figure out how the card is made.

I made a similar card for our niece - in an entirely different set of colors. Above you can see all of my pieces cut and ready to adhere to the blue card base.

Once again, I first added the main background paper (wavy stripes this time).

Then I added the top layers to get the wide center band effect. You often see these cards with two pieces cut for the front and back sections (the tall section and then another piece 2 1/4 x 1 3/4 inches to fill the smaller blank areas on the first and last pages) or but I like the look of the continuous horizontal line.

For this card, the front and back sections match and I added a bright pink cardstock for the center. I outlined the large rectangles with the glitter pen and wrote the sentiment on a piece of white cardstock which I adhered it to the pink center panel.

This cupcake glittered cardstock is from the DCWV "Sweet" stack - with careful trimming it is a perfect fit. You can see the glitter outline in this photo as well.

Here is the card standing on my table.

By placing the sentiment on the middle panel it is hidden when the card is partially open.

I find this type of card easier to make without using the Cricut for these very basic cuts. You can use your paper more efficiently working with a trimmer. There are several people who have done .cut files but you do need to trim in the "uncuttable" areas since the Cricut does not cut the full 12 inch width. I also like cutting the layers by hand so I can be a bit fussy about the placement and alignment of any decorative papers.

I do have some .cut files that I will share soon for variations on the layers - there are many interesting designs to use that will allow you to create a unique card each time!


  1. I love your tutorial..I think it is the clearest one yet!!! Your cards are so adorable!!! Thank you for sharing your talent and inspiration.


    Lisa Sturgill

  2. Diane, like both the cards...I am inspired to try one! Have a good day!


  3. You are so talented... they are very cute.

  4. I love this card! I think I need to invest in a scor-pal and try this.

  5. Thank you for your clear directions and measurements. I love your blog and always learn something new from you.

  6. Diane,

    I've made several of these and I love your cards too. I got the pattern from SplitcoastStampers and had someone at the Craftedge convert it to an SVG so my cricut could cut it and save my pinkies.

    I have some on facebook,

    if you'd like to go and peruse :)



  7. Hi Carmen,

    Your cards are beautiful - thanks for the link!

    Anyone else reading this should be sure to check them out - there is so much you can do with embellishing these cards - they are all so different but always fun and interesting and a great way to showcase interesting patterned papers and embellishments!

  8. Diane, these are great cards! I love your tutorials on them. in this one you had mentioned that you had some cut files that you were going to share, I was wondering if you had posted them....I wasn't sure where to locate them if you did. I am very interested. Thanks!!! Love you site, it's great!

  9. Thank you for the tutorial re:tri-shutter card. I will be bookmarking this tutorial. Now, regarding the Cricut not cutting the full 12 inches...couldn't u use a 12x24 cardstock...that would take care of the sizing..right?


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