Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: mechanical cards

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Showing posts with label mechanical cards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mechanical 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, 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.

Oct 31, 2012

50 Rocks! Pull Tab Pop Up Card

50 Rocks, and inside, fifty rocks. (Go ahead, count them!) A 50th birthday card for a geologist.

How to make a pull tab card
The mechanism is from one of my favorite books on pop up cards, Pop-Up Design and Paper Mechanics: How to Make Folding Paper Sculpture by Duncan Birmingham. I cut all the borders with my Perfect Layers rulers. (Seriously, I can't believe how often I use them.)

Cut the base card and pull tab from a 12" x 12" piece of heavy card stock.

Recommended, but not required: to have the strongest pull tab possible, determine the grain of the card stock and turn the card stock so the grain is running in the vertical direction.

Cut the card stock in half, vertically.

From one half, cut the pull tab using the measurements shown in the picture. The other entire half is used for the base card, constructed using the measurements shown. Or download PDF template.

Crease the pull tab and the base card, where shown, on dotted lines.

Cut the slots on the base card.

Fold in and glue the little side tabs on the pull tab.

Fold the base card in half and cut a finger notch in both layers. I used the circle from my Perfect Square (also from Perfect Layers). You can use a circle punch or a compass or whatever you have.

Thread the pull tab through the base card, on the inside of the card, as shown below.

VERY IMPORTANT!!! The little tabs and the crease of the pull tab should be on the inside (wrong side) of the base card.

Gather your design elements for the front and inside of the card.

The size is really up to you. The inside piece needs to fit between the slots. You will want your front piece to be just a tiny bit larger than your inside pieces, so that the front flap covers the inside completely when the card is closed.

Glue the card front to the front of the pull tab, leaving a little space between the top of the card front and the slot so it can swing open properly.

Trim off the pull tab even with the card front bottom. (In the next photo, showing the open position, the bottom of the card front is actually at the very top of the photo.)

Glue a backing to the back side of the card front (shown here as light green).

Check that your inside piece (the rocks with a black border) fits comfortably between the slots. Glue the inside piece to the inside of the card.

Return the card to closed position. Trim the remaining piece of the pull tab even with the bottom of the card. Add an arrow if you like.

Glue the base card closed to hide the mechanism. Spread glue around the edges, but not all the way up to the fold. (The little tabbed part on the inside needs room to flip-flop for the card to work and gluing the card all the way around pinches it!)


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

Oct 20, 2012

Hallowienie Mechanical Card

What happens when you take a dog pull-tab card idea from Martha and mash it with a pin-the-tail-on-the-Sparky Frankenweenie printable? A Frankencard? It's my favorite kind of project: a serendipitous sythesis!

The bad news: For copyright reasons, I can't distribute a printable of the finished card. (All images remain the property of the original copyright holder. This project is for personal, home use only.)
The good news: if you know your way around drawing and photo editing software, it's not so hard to replicate.
Here's how!
Photo manipulation
Download the Sparky game from here.
Stitch the pages together in a photo editing program. Remember to attach a tail!
Select around the head. Cut and paste it into a new document. Make the background transparent.
Fill in the neck area with a clone from the back leg. You will have to darken it a bit to blend with the body. This doesn't have to be beautiful, just unobtrusive. It's only barely visible as the head turns from side to side.

Select around the dog and cut and paste it into a new document, with a transparent background, OR remove the background from the current document.
Adding the dog to the card file
Download my card file and open it in a drawing program.
Drop or import the dog body onto page 1 and resize it to fit the red guideline. Delete the guideline.
Drop or import the dog head onto page 2 and resize it as well. Delete the guideline.
Assemble the card
Using a straight edge across the guidelines, trace the crosshairs onto the back side of the dog head. I used my computer monitor as a makeshift lightbox.

Cut out all the pieces.
Score and crease the grey edge at the top and bottom of the card front.
Cut out the circle on the neck of the dog on page 1.

Fasten the linkage pieces together with a paper fastener.

Clip off the long ends of the paper fastener and tape the ends to the linkage.

Fasten linkage to pull tab with paper fastener. Tape the ends of the paper fastener to the tab.

Fold and glue the long rectangle into a band. This is the tab stopper that keeps the tab from pulling too far out of, or pushing too far into the card.

Glue it to the wrong side of the card. It should be close to, but not right in, the crease of the card. The folded end lines up with the tab cut out, about 1.125" in from the side of the card.

Crease the shorter rectangle into the second stopper. Glue to the back of the card with the fold lined up with the tab cut out, near the crease of the other long edge of the card, as with the other stopper. (Scroll down three pictures to see this in place.)
Insert the flanges of the linkage through the circular hole in the card, from the back side of the card through to the front side. (Yours will not have a dot and a "C", by the way. Martha's card has an additional paper fastener here, which I omitted.)

Slide the tab into the stoppers.

Flip the card to the front (right) side. Push the tab so it is in "rest" position--lined up with the right-hand, short side of the card.
Spread a small amount of glue on the flanges--ONLY on the flanges--that are protruding through the hole on the front side of the card. Look carefully at the picture to line up the head. The crosshairs should be right in the center of the circle, but it's hard to get a view of them from the right side. (I pull the edges of the head up and peer in and just guess a little. You could also stick a pin through the center of the flange piece, and then through the head to line them up, but it leaves a little hole.)

Glue the back to the card. Be careful! The pull tab cut-out is not centered on the card. Be sure you have matched top-to-top of the front and back of the card.

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

Mar 16, 2012

Must-have Books for Pop Up Making

Are you interested in creating pop up cards of your own design? Not sure which pop up instruction book or books are the best of the best? These are my favorites--the ones I'd want if I were stranded on a desert island!

First up, if you're only going to buy ONE book about how to make pop ups, I suggest Duncan Birmingham's Pop-Up Design and Paper Mechanics. I waited for years for this revised edition to be published. I loved the first version, but it had been so long out-of-print that I whenever I wanted to read it I had to interlibrary loan the last remaining copy in the state--which is in a prison library. (Begging the question: are prisoners allowed to have craft knives??)

Pop-Up Design and Paper Mechanics: How to Make Folding Paper Sculpture, from Amazon,
or from Book Depository (free shipping worldwide).
Next on my list, especially helpful for those of us who like to see and touch something to see how it works: The Elements of Pop Up by David Carter and James Diaz. This book has working models of the most common pop up mechanisms. I use this as a reference when I want to refresh my memory on the best way to make a specific 3d shape.

Elements Of Pop Up: A Pop Up Book For Aspiring Paper Engineers, from Amazon,
or from Book Depository.
My third go-to book, Making Mechanical Cards by Sheila Sturrock, is not technically all about pop ups, but I believe most people do not really care about the distinction between "pop up cards" and "mechanical cards."
Sturrock's book includes designs I have not seen elsewhere, mostly mechanisms from the great card makers of the past. I am grateful to her for digging up these cards in museums and working out how they were made. She includes full size templates for each mechanism.

Making Mechanical Cards: 25 Paper-Engineered Designs, from Amazon,
or Book Depository.
If you already have these three, my next purchases would come from this list (some are out-of-print).
The Pop Up Book by Paul Jackson: from Amazon or Book Depository.
Origamic Architecture books by Masahiro Chatani and Keiko Nakazawa.
Paper Engineering & Pop Ups for Dummies by Rob Ives: from Amazon
or Book Depository.
The Pocket Paper Engineer (series) by Carol Barton: from Amazon or Book Depository.
How to Make Super Pop-Ups (or any of her pop up instruction books) by Joan Irvine: from Amazon or Book Depository.
Kirigami: The Art of 3 Dimensional Paper Cutting by Laura Badalucco: from Amazon.

The Art of Paper Folding for Pop Up by Miyuki Yoshida: from Amazon.
Paper Engineering for Pop Up Books and Cards or Up Pops by Mark Hiner: from Amazon.
Full Disclosure: I received no compensation from any of these authors or publishers, nor any complementary review titles.
Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.