Thursday, 24 May 2018

Wood Effect Anniversary Card

Today is our 32nd wedding anniversary. Where did the years go?

Having been so ill recently, I only managed to give my hubby a bought card for his birthday, and that was bought for me by a friend! I thought I’d better push the boat out a bit and make an effort and make a nice card for him for our anniversary.

At the County Show last Friday I was fascinated by a little wooden tag attached to the most expensive chopping board (if it hadn’t been for the price I’d have bought it because I fell in love with it!) – the little tag was made of laser cut veneer, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I could make something similar in card, and this would be the basis for my hubby’s card.

I began in Inkscape, working on my Apple Mac which is connected to the Cougar cutting machine (called Sheba). I found a free svg file online of nesting hearts, and I cut a dozen heart-shaped frames using two of the nesting sizes – unfortunately I forgot to photograph these till it was too late, but this is the paper left after they had been cut out. I ended up with a dozen smaller hearts (the bits that fell out of the frames) and most of these will go in my stash for other projects. In this photo you can also see the A4 piece with a window cut out for the front of the card.

I seem to end up using American Cardstock card for most of my cutting projects because it cuts like a dream. However, it’s not quite robust enough for a card base with lots of embellishments so this would have to be reinforced later on.

Again, I kept forgetting to photograph my progress. For the front and back of the tag I cut two hearts the same size as the outside of the frame, and these pieces also had our initials cut in them, as well as some little geometric flower petals like on the tag at the show. Propped up against the paint pot, you can see the completed frame, and the thickness I was able to achieve by laminating several layers of card together. When the edges were painted they looked like a bit of plywood! See below for the painting technique to replicate woodgrain.

The initials on the right were the pieces that fell out when I cut them from the hearts, and would be used to embellish the inside of the card.

I had intended to leave the initials in the hearts hollow as well as the petals, but you could see through and the one on the reverse was confusing, so to overcome this problem I stuck a small square of gold card on the back of each piece, so that the initials were gold, and opaque.

I glued the frame pieces stacked together to give a laminated and more rigid frame for the embellishment. In this picture you can see the linen carpet thread I used to suspend the embellishment, and the two heart pieces (front and back) ready to be attached to the frame.

Here is the first piece attached to the frame, with it’s little square of gold card glued on, to make the initial solid, and the hanging thread.

Here is the finished tag, with the side with my hubby’s initial on the left, and mine on the right.

I am so pleased with this little heart embellishment – it reminds me of some olive wood Christmas tree decorations I’ve got. I think one could take this idea further and make them in different shapes. They have a Scandinavian or Eastern European feel to them. I’ve wanted to make something like this for ages and thought of using mounting board but this is too thick to cut with Sheba, and you couldn’t cut them by hand. The laminated frame idea works well, or one could just laminate solid shapes. You could still have a design pierced through. They might make nice little Christmas gifts, or perhaps wedding favours.

Moving on to the card base, I painted the whole of the front with beige fluid acrylic, and then with Desert Sands Infusions, taking care to paint broad vertical strips to represent the wood grain, as I did on the heart pieces.

Turning to the inside, I created another type of woodgrain background, this time with Distress Stains, to make a lighter background as a contrast. Normally I don’t much like the unevenness you get with these (the dauber bottle isn’t my favourite form of delivery) but for woodgrain the effect is ideal. I used a combination of Antique Linen and Old Paper. This is the technique I used for one of the pages in my Floral Mini Album.

Here is the main card base, and the piece I cut and coloured with Distress Stains to be stuck on the back of the card front. The hanging string would be sandwiched between these two layers. You can also see the two thin circles I cut from gold card, to frame the hole, both front and back, to give a nice finish to the card.

Here are all the materials I used to create the embellishments inside the card. I used a couple of the hearts cut from the middles of the frame pieces, and coloured them to look like wood, as for the front of the card, but this time, to add a bit of bling, I also added a light touch of Treasure Gold (gilding wax). For the sentiments I simply used some peel-offs that I’ve had in my stash for years. They were very small, but I like the effect of the gold on the woodgrain, and I didn’t want anything competing with the rest of the design.

The edges of the hearts were distressed, and they were glued together and stuck down, and some shading added. The initials were what was cut out of the front and back of the embellishment. I daubed them with Antique Linen and Old Paper Distress stains, and they also had a light dusting of Treasure Gold.

I cut a piece of plain white card and stuck it to the back of the card base for extra rigidity. Even though it was just the back, I distressed the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink to take away the starkness of the white card.

Here is the finished card lying flat.

Here it is standing, so that you can see how the embellishment turns and moves as it hangs freely in the aperture of the card.

The completed inside of the card. You can see the embellishment through the aperture of the card.

I think this faux wood effect has come out very well. When I  have used Infusions in this way before (see this post for an example), I used Desert Sands Infusions straight onto white card, and it came out very orange – not a problem if you want it that way, but I wanted a more subtle approach here, so I used the Infusions on a painted substrate. You could make faux woodgrain in this way with any colour you wanted really.

Another reason I like this effect is that it is very suitable for a card for a man. It is strong and more sombre but it also has a natural effect. I used a similar theme on my hubby’s anniversary card in 2016, but this time with a woodgrain effect created with an embossing folder.

I seem to be in a bit of a brown phase again at the moment, after the bright colours of the Floral Mini-Album! I can’t wait to try replicating the effect of the absolutely fabulous wooden moths I saw at the County Show…


  1. Happy Belated 9th Birthday WOYWW. I have been away from blogging for a few weeks, so will go back and ready through your posts now. What an incredible anniversary card. Your woodgrain is so realistic! Our anniversary (13th) is in June, and I will be making a far simpler card for hubby - especially as he looks at it once, I put it up on the shelves to display it for about a week and then it goes in the recycling bin! Ali x #19

  2. Hi Shoshi, love the card. Bit late as my mum hasn't been very well and trying to catch up. Happy woyww anniversary my friend. Angela x20x

  3. Amazing where you can find inspiration! You've managed to replicate that wooden look quite closely - so much thought and effort must have gone into this - I'm sure hubby appreciates the special attention! You've been married twice as long as I have - our 16th anniversary is coming up later in the summer! We will probably both forget it as usual LOL!


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