Monday, 14 March 2011

Completion of Vintage Book-Style Birthday Card

I have now finished my mum’s 90th birthday card. On the card itself, all that remained to be done was to secure all the embellishments with glue, and I added some wire to hold down the pearly flower stem that I used for the swallows to perch on, and to make the swallow’s feet I cut a black plastic-covered wire tag that had come around a cable, and poked it through some holes I’d made in the top layer of the card.

I would have preferred to have made the swallows out of embossed metal, but I am still waiting for my Cricut embossing kit and metal to arrive, so I had to make them out of mirror card instead, and it didn’t emboss terribly well. You can see a slight impression for the eyes and wings, and I hope it’s sufficient. I used a “Happy Birthday” peel-off sentiment – I don’t use these very often these days, but I needed something small, and I thought it would do fine for this project.

After this, I assembled the whole card, attaching the pages to the back piece with double sided tape down the “spine” of the book, and squirting a series of good thick blobs of Pinflair glue under the pages to keep them curved upwards.

19 Completed Card

When the card was finished, I started on the box. I designed a background sheet from the vintage papers I used for the card itself, layering the manuscript photos over a nice distressed endpaper from one of the ancient books from our church. The lid was no problem; I simply cut down the printed sheet of A4 to 10 1/4 in x 6 1/2 in, adding an extra 3/4 in all round for the sides, and scored all four sides at this 3/4 in mark to make the sides of the lid. I selected the centre page of the book-style card template cut file, and cut this from the middle of the lid piece. I cut a piece of acetate slightly larger than this aperture, and stuck it to the inside of the lid with double-sided tape. I cut a small notch in each corner of the lid, and assembled it with hot glue. I then cut a piece of white card the size of the inside of the lid and again cut the page-shaped aperture in it, and attached it inside the lid, covering the edges of the acetate.

The bottom of the box was a different proposition altogether. Making a straightforward box out of two sheets of A4, one for the lid and one for the base, wasn’t going to work for this project, because the finished card was too thick, and I had to make a deeper base. This proved to be quite a lengthy process and at the end, it was a bit too big, so I had to fiddle around with it to make it fit, but I think it’s OK now.

I cut the base bottom 10 1/4 in x 6 1/2 in from my printed card, as for the lid, and then cut it down a very small amount so that the lid would fit over it. Unfortunately I didn’t cut it down quite enough – when I make this again, I shall make sure I cut a bit more off.

For the long sides, from the printed card I cut 2 strips measuring 11 1/4 in long by 1 3/4 in deep. I scored at 1/2 in from each end, and 1/2 in along one long side to provide tabs for gluing the sides to the bottom of the box.

I did the same for the short sides, which measured 6 1/2 in x 1 3/4 in – in this case I only scored along the long edge at 1/2 in for a gluing tab, because the ends didn’t need tabs.

Before assembling the bottom of the box, I cut a small amount off the side pieces, but again, not enough, and it involved a lot of fiddling around to get it small enough for the lid to fit. Grrrr.

I applied double sided tape to both sides of the tabs on the long edges of the side pieces, and stuck the outside of these tabs to the inside of the box base, so that the tabs were inside the box. The final step was to cut another piece of my printed card, the size of the inside of the box, to line it; this was stuck down with the double sided tape on the upper sides of the tabs holding the sides to the base.

Clear as mud? I hope so…

18 Box

After completing the structure of the box, it just remained to attach some more roses on the corners, and a few leaf trails (also from a Penny Duncan cut file – thanks Penny!). I stuck the leaf trails down with spray on photo mount, and the roses with hot glue. Here is the card in the box:

17 Completed Card in Box

As this isn’t a traditional card that opens and stands up on its own, I made a stand for it. The design for this was inspired by a Chinese plate stand which folds flat when not in use, and is decorative as well as functional. I drew this in Serif DrawPlus, adapting the size and proportions to fit my particular card size, and drew one half of it, which I then copied and pasted, flipped the copy, aligned the two, joined them into one piece, and exported as an svg cut file. I cut two of these from a piece of light brown 12 x 12 cardstock, at right angles to each other to take advantage of the strength of the grain of the card going both ways, and glued them together with Pinflair Photo Glue after scoring them down the vertical centre line. When the glue was dry, I folded this stand in half, so that it can be stowed underneath the card in the box, ready for use when my mum wants to put it up.

21 Stand 2

This is my first book-style card and it’s been a lot of fun to make (apart from the box which was a bit of a pain!) I have enjoyed creating my own digital backgrounds and printing them out – it’s an awful lot more fun than just using bought patterned paper, which you probably wouldn’t have in the right design anyway, and you can design it to fit the size and shape of the project too.

Here is a picture of the finished card on its stand, hopefully destined to grace my parents’ mantelpiece for a while!

22 Finished Card on stand

I need to get going on Wonderwoman’s mum’s card, but we’ve got Mothering Sunday before that, so I have to make my mum another card! I haven’t yet quite decided what to do, but it will be a less elaborate affair, but still striking, I hope.


  1. You are good. I wish I was that creative. Just dropped in to say "Hi" and let you know you are in my prayers. Hope all is well. God bless, Lloyd

  2. Thank you for the comment! Your cards are lovely!

  3. I really appreciate your post, this would really provide the great information .Thanks for sharing.



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