Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: Christmas cards

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Showing posts with label Christmas cards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas cards. Show all posts

Dec 15, 2017

Seven Truths and Five Lies

Ah, truth.  There's been so little of it.

The envelope.

The front of the card

The alternate title of this card is "Cross My Heart."
(Notice the cross stitch hearts and x's on the front of the card.)

This card has twelve statements written on twelve rectangles.  Flip the front down to read six.  Flip the front up to read the other six.  Seven are true, and five are lies. The letter inside tells the true story.

Now that's it's done, I have a bad feeling that's it's "too long, didn't read."  Whelp, it's too late, can't change it.

The movable part of the card is cut from a single sheet of paper.  It's cut and rolled to create a Jacob's ladder mechanism.  A very tricky mechanical card!

Here is the video showing the card in action.

Here is the video showing the card construction.  Notice that after the card is rolled and adhered there are three empty text rectangles.  Because they actually come from the BACK of the printed page, I decided it would be easier to print them separately and glue them on after folding.

I made 81 of these!

My other card this year was the sliceform tree with angled slices.

See all of my family cards going back to 1989.

Dec 25, 2016

Christmas in Middle Age Style

This year's extreme Christmas card theme, the Middle Ages, proved strangely prophetic--we appear to be entering the 21st century version of the Dark Ages.

The envelope is decorated with a medieval design, a custom postage stamp (starring my dog), and a "sealing wax" blob (also featuring a dog) on the flap.

I found the tutorial for making Photoshop sealing wax here.

The card is a pull tab changing picture or dissolving card: Celebrating Christmas in Middle Age Style!

The beginning position is a stained glass window.

Pull the tab to reveal the end position, and the punch line to the joke.

Video of the card action.

Directions for this type of card can be found in my favorite book about mechanical cards, Making Mechanical Cards by Sheila Sturrock.  Similar card instructions online, here.

Each picture is composed of two sets of interlocking slats.

The two pictures are then interlaced.

Add a black frame and backing.

See every Extreme Christmas Card, dating back to 1989!

Dec 23, 2016

Faux Stained Glass Christmas Trees

Every year I make two sets of Christmas cards.  Set one cards, the Extreme Cards, generally involve some sort of "in" joke, so these go relatives and close personal friends.  (My mother claims the jokes are so obscure that *I* am the only one who gets them. This may be true.)  Set two was originally for my online friends, and now I send them to co-workers and neighbors, too.

These beautiful stained glass tree cards, made from printable acetate and black card stock, are my set two cards.

christmas trees stained glass card

The tree design was inspired by a project made with pasta sheets(!!) and permanent marker, seen on You Clever Monkey.  I had to make a papercraft version!

How to make a stained glass Christmas tree card

Jan 11, 2016

Skaters and Houses Shadow Box Card

This papercraft project is sort of a shadow box, sort of a pop up card. It doesn't exactly pop up, although it is possible to ship it flat.

Front of shadow box

It reminds me of a painting of people skating on the canals in the Netherlands.

This is what it looks like when back lit.

back lit shadow box of skaters

The skaters and houses are slotted through the floor of the shadow box.  The backing is snowflake printed vellum paper.

How to make a skater shadow box card

Dec 19, 2015

Town and Country Extreme Christmas Card

This year's extreme Christmas card's theme is Town and Country.

I am completely enamored of  the Gotham / Got Ham witticism.

Daughter #1 lives in New York City, daughter #2 spent the summer working on a sow farm, and we parents live in the suburbs.

The envelope is printed, and shows farm, suburbs, and city.

The inside.  I was going for something smack in the center between snarky and offensive.

The words were printed first on each sheet, then the outline cut with the Cameo.

It took a while to get the settings right to cut those tiny building spires and the legs of the pig without tearing.

I put a white gel pen in my Silhouette Cameo to write the greeting on the blue card back.

This photo is on the back.  I created it with Photoshop, using the polar distortion filter.

The card stands when unfolded.

See more extreme Christmas cards, going back to 1989!

Dec 15, 2015

Cute Retro Christmas Card

My Christmas cards are done!  I made more than 130 this year.

Two of the designs I made used this Etch-a-Sketch base.

You can use any suitable black and white line drawing, or stamp a seasonal design.

retro Christmas card etch a sketch frame
How to make an etch-a-sketch inspired card

Jul 7, 2015

Support the arts!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may know that my older daughter has graduated from art school and is a freelance illustrator.  Over the years you have occasionally seen her work (and when she was very young, her hands holding things while I took the pictures). Scroll down and see if you remember her drawings!

Here's the exciting news.
One of her illustrations was recently chosen to appear on Blue Moon Ale labels as part of their limited edition artists series.  The labels are out in stores, and now there is a "bonus" round, tied to social media.

You can help Erin by voting for her label on Facebook.
Click here, and Like her label.  


Feel free to Share, of course, and you can Like more than one label!
This only works on Facebook, and you must be 21 or older to participate. 

Thanks everyone, we appreciate your support.

This is a custom wedding portrait from her etsy shop.

Custom Portraits

You may recognize my profile picture which I cropped from one of our Christmas cards.

Extreme Christmas Card 2010

More recently, she drew the "wonderful" gifts on the front of another Christmas card.

This is a caricature from a few years back that she drew for my friend's wedding card.

Origamic Architecture Wedding Cake

And way back in middle school, a snow globe file she made for me in Photoshop.

How to make a digital snowglobe

Dec 23, 2014

Mixed Blessings Extreme Christmas Card

This year's extreme Christmas card theme is "mixed blessings," with our older child back home after graduating from college, and our younger one a sophomore.

Here is the front of the Christmas card with a selection of dubious gifts.

The border of presents is part of an Echo Park set called Happy Holidays.

The individual gift items were custom drawn for me by Erin Lux.

cover of extreme Christmas card

Here is the inside paper pop up house with one child leaving and one returning.

more blessed to give than to receive card

It IS more blessed to give than to receive. 

extreme pop up card

And the back, with the greeting.

The letter was printed on this paper.
Christmas tree stationery

Mailed in this envelope.

extreme Christmas card envelope

 The construction process

Cut out pieces, print envelopes and letters.  Print base card, trim and fold. 

(If you would like to make a pop up house card similar to this one, see this gingerbread house post.)

Glue house together.

pop up house assembly

 Add roof strut.

pop up house roof assembly

Glue roof to strut.

roof assembly on pop up house

Add kid flaps.

pop up house with elements attached

Christmas card about leaving home

detail of pop up house card

Use placement triangle to position the flattened house.

gluing template for pop up card

Glue one side, close the card, flip over, open the card, glue the other side.

gluing the house

Open the card to make sure it works.

another angle of pop up house card

Stuff the envelope and mail!  Now do this 90 times.

Then make 35 of the OTHER card.
Christmas tree sliceform from paper strips

Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.

Dec 23, 2013

Empty Nest Pop Up Card

This year's Christmas card theme is "empty nest," with our older child a senior in college and our younger one a freshman.

The front of the card is a combination of punched and cut shapes. Multiply 14 holly leaves and 12 branch punches (in two different colors) by 100 cards and you know how tired we got of punching!

The birds and red-brown branches are machine cut. Download the bird file set here. Includes Silhouette Studio, DXF, PDF, and SVG.

I used a holly mini punch from EK (no longer available but similar to this one) and the Martha Stewart Branch Punch.

I hand cut the circle cut-outs.

 The holly berries are Liquid Pearls (ruby red) and the snow is Galaxy white marker first, then Stickles (diamond).

Inside is a pop up bird with wind-up wings.

flapping bird mechanical card

The original plan was to create a bird that would fly right out of the card, like these butterflies. I never could get one to work, so I abandoned that plan.

I'm still not completely happy with the way these turned out. The wings were supposed to spin when the card was opened, but I think they mostly flapped once or twice, or just opened out, then stopped.

The wings are connected by a small rubber band, threaded through a piece of tubing.

The letter inside is printed on this paper. I got the graphic from an old Safety textbook (from 1938!) called In Storm and Sunshine.

bird on a wire letter

And this is the envelope graphic.

birds on a wire

Here's what my dining room table has looked like for the last two months!

bird pop up cards
Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.

Dec 10, 2013

Church and Trees Pop Up Card

I haven't cut this pop up Christmas card design, which features a church and evergreens (yet), so no pictures of the finished card! Here's a picture of the cut file, however.

church pop up card

It is similar to this window pop up card.

window pop up card

Cut and assemble following directions here: ornament pop up card.

Download cut files (PDF, DXF, SVG, Silhouette Studio)

Files download for free; contribute what you wish.  Suggested amount for this design: $1.00.

Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.