Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ooh La La...

Ooh la la...this is a wordy post if you're not in the mood to read, feel free to just skip to the pictures below.  :)

I was in the mood to make something different a few days ago...a card, but something in a different shape or configuration than usual. I went searching through my thick Pepin Press How To Fold  book for ideas, but nothing jumped out at me (must have been my mood, because I always find something fun it that book!).  So I put my supplies to the side, and decided to take a peek at some of my favorite card makers' blogs to see what everyone else was up to.  First up was a visit to Magda's blog...and that's as far as I got!

In this post Magda was showing a set of what I call "shadowbox" front cards (I have no idea what the real name of this card style is???), and I instantly got to work copying her idea.  It's been a long while since I made a shadowbox front like this...and the only times I've made it, it was on the front of a mini album and constructed from medium weight chipboard, so I had to reduce some of the measurements I originally used. I'd never tried it as a card...but now that I have, I love it!

In all fairness, if I'd taken more time to read Magda's post instead of just seeing the card picture and getting to work, I might have found a way to save a few steps...she has a link posted to another blog's video instructions. The video is on Olga's blog's accompanied only by music (and Olga's video sure does make this card look like it goes together very quickly...I wish mine went together that fast! LOL), so I'll put some detailed instructions on how I made mine at the bottom of this post.

Now for the fun of my Parisian-inspired birthday card...first up, a view from the front.  My card is 5" square, and there's a paper in the 6x6 paper pad of Prima's Romantique collection that's already a patchwork of 4 different patterned papers from the's perfect for something like the front of this card! I loved these colors and wanted to see if it would work with a lighter cardstock paper. It took a bit more thinking, but I made it work .

and here's a view of the "shadowbox" from the side with a peek at the inside...

Of course, I had to put a flower cluster somewhere! :)  This one is made up of die-cut leaves, punched branches, Prima flowers, a piece of die-cut cardstock flourish, gold-colored pearls, and a jewelled Maya Road leaf stick pin...all sitting on a small piece of scrunched tea-dyed cheesecloth...

I loved Magda's banners inside her cards, but I wanted to use this Eiffel Tower image from Janet's Spring in Paris collage sheet, and I didn't want the banners to cover it. Originally those green and bronze pearls were clear crystals...I wanted to imitate the photos I've seen of the Tower at night during the holidays, when it's surrounded by strings of white lights on the surrounding boulevards.  But the crystals didn't work with the floral cluster colors, so I changed them to the green and bronze pearls, and added one little banner from a tiny piece of a different paper in the Romantique paper pad...

I had previously printed some French sentiments on a piece of cardstock for use later...punched as tags, etc.  So I cut one into a small banner shape, distressed and inked the edges, and added it to the bottom of the circle cutout...

Here's a close-up of the image from Janet's collage sheet.  I added a touch of clear glitter to the rose and the Eiffel Tower images, and a small snippet of tea-dyed crocheted lace beneath the flower...distressed, inked, and dry-brushed the edges of the image itself with white acrylic paint...

Patterned papers: Prima/Romantique collection (front); Glitz Design/French Kiss collection (inside background)
Paris image: "Spring in Paris" collage sheet      Colored pearls: Queen & Co. 
Dies: Spellbinders Classic Circles Large; Memory Box Elegant Scrollwork; My Favorite Things Royal Leaves
Paper flowers: Prima      Punch: Martha Stewart Medium Branch      Lace:
Miscellaneous: clear coarse glitter, foam tape, black twine

The next obvious question do you mail something like this?  I will say that the ones I made in the past were hand-delivered, or shipped inside a box, since they were mini albums. If you need to mail a card like this all by itself, it should probably be mailed in its own small but sturdy cardboard box to keep it from being flattened or otherwise damaged during its travels through the mail process.

I didn't make a set of photo step-outs as I made my card...I assumed, wrongly I guess, that somewhere on the web a detailed assembly post probably already existed....but I can't find one.  I have searched "shadowbox cards" but the ones I found are deeper and a different configuration, rather than a shallow shadowbox frame attached to a card front. Perhaps they're called something else?? (If you know of video/tutorial with measurement details, etc., please let me know and I'll link it here...thanks!)

Here are some step-by-step details from my own notes that might help you.

The piece for the "shadowbox front" of the card should be 1" larger in both length and width than your finished card size will'll be using 1/2" from the outside edges of all 4 sides to form your shadowbox front.

For example, if your finished card will be 4-1/4" x 5-1/2", your shadowbox piece needs to be 5-1/4" x 6-1/2".  For a 5" square finished card, your shadowbox piece needs to be 6" x 6"...and so on.

1.)  Score all four sides of your shadowbox front piece at 1/4" from the outside edge, and again at 1/2" from the outside edge.
2.)  Die cut your desired inside shape from the center of the card at this point.
3.)  Cut and remove the four corner pieces, cutting all the way in to the 1/2" score line.  (The drawing below illustrates this step.)

4.)  Crease, from front to back, the score lines at 1/4" and 1/2" on all four sides.
5.)  Note: If you want to ink, paint, distress, or machine stitch around the edges inside the 1/2" score/crease (which will be the outside edges of your finished card), and/or around your center die cut shape, this is the easiest point at which to do that.

6.)  Fold the creases at 1/4" down around all four sides, and glue the corners together to form a shallow box shape. (see hint at #7 first)
7.)  Hint: If you've used heavyweight cardstock paper, the box shape should stand well on its own. If you've used a lighter weight cardstock paper where the sides are not stiff enough, glue 1/4" strips of cardstock between the 1/4" crease and the 1/2" crease, or use 1/4" wide pieces of foam tape sideways between the folds, to reinforce the sides. It's easiest to do this before gluing the corners, but still very manageable if you've already glued the corners and decide at that point that your box isn't stable enough. (You could reinforce the whole sheet of paper with cardstock or lightweight chipboard before creasing, die cutting, etc., but it will be more difficult to crease the edges, harder to die cut your center shape, will make your card very heavy, and it's probably not necessary to make this box front as sturdy as an album would need to be.)

8.)  Decorate the front of your card base first (for ease, place the "shadowbox front" piece flat over the front of your card base, and trace lightly with a pencil the outside edge of your diecut shape, to help with placement of your embellishments inside the cutout).

9.)  There are a few ways you can adhere your shadowbox front to the card base: a) apply a 1/4" wide adhesive (such as Scor-Tape or ATG tape) around the four bottom edges of the box top and adhere the edges of the top to the edges of the card base;  b) scatter 1/4" thick foam tape pieces inside your shadowbox front around the area of your diecut shape, and adhere to the card base using the foam tape pieces; or c) a combination of both ways.

10.)  Decorate your shadowbox top with embellishments and sentiment.

And now I'll end what has to be the "chattiest" blog post I've made since I started blogging last year! :)

Thanks so much for visiting today!


  1. Beautiful card.
    Lova Magda's work too.
    Have a nice day :)

  2. HI..Your card looks amazing, and thanks for sharing your tips on making it!

  3. This is so gorgeous, I love all those pearls and the flowers are so pretty in these beautiful colours!

  4. Fabulous Kathy!! I'm amazed at the timing! I've been working on a shadow box card of another sort all morning and opened your email to find this!! Love it!! Hugs~

  5. Super gorgeous !!! Kathy , what an enormous work this must have been ! The colours , background papers and embellishments come together so well . I 'm going to save your description and try to make one myself for whenever I'm up to it .

    Thank you for sharing !Hugs, Rosa

  6. wow this is gorgeous love all the details!

  7. Oh my goodness...this is amazing!!! I seriously love it....what details and an immense amount of work!!

  8. What a lovely card and it looks like lots of good instructions for trying one myself. I am up to my eyeballs in Christmas cards a the moment, but am saving interesting folded cards to try in 2013...This one is going into the file!!!!!


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